The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Teaching majors get career advice

By Aaron Coleman/reporter

Education majors and those interested in teaching careers received tips on entering the field at the Finding a job in the Teaching Profession: Insight from a Principal speech on NE Campus.

The speaker of the Nov. 10 event, Paul McCollum, has a great deal of experience.

He is the principal of Spring Garden Elementary School in Bedford and has been in education for more than 29 years.

McCollum gave insight to what school districts look for in employees.

He included information about the hiring process, the power of a strong résumé, required certifications and ways to stand out against competition.

McCollum said prospective teachers should focus on their college experience.

“What you do here and your first teaching job does make a difference,” he said. “What happens from here to there is very important.”

McCollum said it’s important for teachers to get additional certifications to help them stand out in a pool of applicants. 

Applicants should also focus on a good quality school once they receive those certifications.

He also said students should seek a school that has a great teaching reputation versus a school that has a big name.

“Prestige doesn’t come through dollar amount in the world of education,” he said.

“So find a school that has a great reputation in the field of education because it’s unique in that way.”

The workshop also focused on finding a field of study, specializing in a subject area and determining what fits one’s teaching style.

“You’ve got to know where it is that you fit,” he said.

McCollum said he and other educators ask applicants what grades and subjects they would like to teach.

He encourages students to know what grade they want to teach but also take what is available and work toward getting there.

“Teaching is a passion for me,” he said. “I love the art of teaching.”

Many students who attended said they were unaware of the process that educational administrators go through during the hiring process.

“I know that principals and vice principals don’t have the time. They have a school to run,” NE student Heather DeCutler said. “This one-on-one has been very valuable to me.”

NE student Eliana Torrants said she wants to pursue a teaching career.

“I had already felt strong about what was said tonight, and he (McCollum) just put it in words for me,” Torrants said.

McCollum said being persistent, focused and knowing what one wants to do should give someone a leg up when looking for a teaching job.

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