The Greatest Lesson I’ve Learned About Applying For A Teacher’s Position

Hi. My name is Marjan Glavac from the Busy Educator website.

Thank you very much for taking the time to watch my video.

In this video I’m going to tell you that one word that can ruin your chances of getting a teaching job.

It’s just one of the secrets that I discovered and used in my 29 year teaching and mentoring career to get me dream teaching jobs in schools that wanted me.

And a lot of those years were spent just learning about some of the small details that you don’t think are important to an employer but are crucial if you want a teaching job.

Let me share a story with you about one of those small details and how it can be a deal breaker.

Van Halen is an American rock band.

They are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 80 million records.

Van Halen had a standard performance contract with a special rider.

The rider stated that a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown M&Ms removed was to be placed in their dressing room.

If there was even a single brown M&M in that bowl, Van Halen had  legal cause to cancel their concert without advance notice.

When I first heard about this I couldn’t help thinking about more prima donna’s making these ridiculous demands because, well, they’re prima donnas.

But there was reason behind this request.

It was a test of whether the contract was being read and followed.

As Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth explained in his autobiography:

Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. They’d pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors — whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through.

The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say “Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . .” This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.”

So, when David Lee Roth would walk backstage, if he saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, he would line-check the entire production. It was a guarantee that he would arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.

The folks in Pueblo, Colorado, at the university, took the contract rather kinda casual. They had one of these new rubberized bouncy basketball floorings in their arena. They hadn’t read the contract, and weren’t sure, really, about the weight of this production; this thing weighed like the business end of a 747.

David Lee Roth came backstage. He found some brown M&M’s.

The staging sank through their floor. They didn’t bother to look at the weight requirements or anything, and this sank through their new flooring and did eighty thousand dollars’ worth of damage to the arena floor. The whole thing had to be replaced.

So, what is the bowl of M&Ms when applying for a teaching job?

It’s the employer’s name.

I used this same technique when I was an employer and a member of a number of hiring committees as a screening method, just like Van Halen did.

Let me tell you how I did that.

Before I had any thoughts of becoming a teacher, I was taking courses in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations at the University of Toronto.

The University of Toronto is the largest university in Canada.

While I was there, I was a member of the Student’s Administrative Council and held an executive position as the Education Commissioner.

And it’s here that I learned some of the secrets of getting a job.

One of my first duties as an executive member was to sit on a number of hiring committees and hire people.

We needed to hire support staff to work as administrative assistants and project coordinators for all the work we were doing on behalf of students.

We put a small classified ad into the local newspaper advertising the positions.

Within days, we got hundreds of resumes.

And I mean hundreds and hundreds of resumes that came in manila envelopes.

And a lot of these candidates had Masters degrees or PhDs or so much practical experience that they were overqualified.

And all this for a minimum wage position.

It was a very very competitive job market.

A lot like today for teachers.

We quickly found out that there was no way that we had the time to read through every one.

We were busy and we had other things to do with our time. We were students.

So we decided to screen them as best as we could.

This is the greatest lesson I learned about applying for a teaching job.

I learned that if you can’t get this one word right, it will ruin your chances of even getting a minimum wage job.

And if it can ruin your chances of getting a minimum wage job, then it’ll probably ruin your chances of getting a teaching job.

So the greatest lesson I learned about applying for a teaching job or any job is to make sure to get the correct spelling of the employer’s name.

And this starts with the name on the envelope or in the cover letter, email or fax.

Make sure you spell the name correctly.

We tossed every manila envelope that misspelled our name in the garbage.

And there were a lot of envelopes that didn’t even get open because they didn’t even take the time to carefully read the name in the classified ad.

We reasoned that if they couldn’t even do that right, then what else couldn’t they do?

What’s unfortunate about all this is that it could have been easily been avoided.

All they needed was to have someone proofread their application.

You might be thinking that this was just an isolated incident from a student organization at a Canadian university.

Stuff like that doesn’t happen in the real world.

It’s just a small detail right?

Everyone makes mistakes.

Well that’s what I thought until I heard the story about Van Halen.

You know, making sure names are spelled correctly, and little details are attended to may seem pretty trivial.

But they are very important.

Even in teaching, if you misspell or mispronounce a student’s name, it’s pretty important to them.

And with a name like Marjan, I know that from first hand experience.

A small detail that you might not think is important to an employer may be crucial if you want a teaching job.

In the next two videos, I’ll be telling you about some other little details that can make all the difference.

Make sure to watch the next video.

In the next video I’m going to talk about the most critical mistake to avoid in a job INTERVIEW.

So, you’ve learned what mistake to avoid in your job application. Next, you’re going to learn what mistake to avoid in the job INTERVIEW.

And this one I learned the hard way, by doing this critical mistake and not getting the job.

In the meantime, scroll down to the comment box.

Let me know your experience looking for a teaching job.

Were there any little details that hurt your chances for an interview or for a job?

Is there any advice you can give based on your own job hunting experiences?

Do you have any questions or other comments?

After you’ve posted your comments, go ahead and hit that “Like” button!

We all want to be liked… Come on, hit the like button…you know you want to…”

I’m Marjan Glavac from the Busy Educator website.

“Talk to each other, support each other, take care of each other”

Let me know what you think… please leave a comment for me below (and then go ahead and hit that “Like” button!)

Here’s the second  video:

The Most Critical Mistake To Avoid In A Job Interview 


Click here to learn the simple strategies I used to get my dream teaching job

By the end of this FREE course you’ll

  • Acquire the skills to get the teaching job you want
  • Learn valuable research techniques for the teaching market
  • Confidently ace your teacher interview
  • Understand what principals are looking for in teacher candidates
  • Create a unique teacher interview
  • Get your resume and cover letter read by the right people


Do you get nervous before your interview? Does your mind go blank after an interview question you’ve never heard before?

Check this resource now for tips and strategies

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook Comments:

Leave A Reply (No comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

No comments yet