AST Journal / February 2015 /Tips on Landing a Job and Making It Through the First Years

Tips on Landing a Job and Making It Through the First Years 

by Ryan Silvestri


Graduating from college is exciting—after taking countless methods classes, writing about your educational philosophy, and completing a semester of student teaching, you have finally earned that much anticipated degree! Now, it is time to find a job . . .

The days after graduation can quickly turn from celebratory to anxious if one does not have a plan for this next stage of life. In starting the job search process, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

In this Issue

Know Your Values

When searching statewide databases, professional websites, and sifting through recommendations from friends/colleagues, a number of different job postings will come your way. Are you comfortable teaching choir, band and/or guitar in addition to orchestra? Do you want to be at one school all day, or would you work as an itinerant teacher? Do you only want to teach a certain grade/age level, or are you open to a variety of levels? Where are you willing to work— would you move across the country if it meant finding a job that you love? Depending on where you are in the search process, it may be tempting to interview for any job that comes along, but before even applying, you should know what you are comfortable teaching. If this is your first job out of school, you want to set yourself up for success as much as possible before even stepping foot in the classroom. Your first job, or even second or third, might not be your dream job, but you need to be sure that even if you are “certified” for a posted position that it is a job that you will be excited to wake up for each morning. Do not make so many compromises to your value system that your job, this career that you spent so much time preparing for, becomes a burden and a paycheck instead of a passion.

Ryan Silvestri currently teaches orchestra and guitar at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s of music education from Florida State University under the direction of the late Michael Allen, and holds a master’s degree in violin performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he worked with Rebecca MacLeod. As a violinist, he has performed with the Charleston, Greensboro, and Tallahassee symphonies and also served as concertmaster of the Brevard Music Center Sinfonia Orchestra. He lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife, Stephanie, who also is a music educator.