Fall into an education career

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

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A fall education job fair,including 60 schools from all over the nation who are in search of teachers, school psychologists, school nurses and speech pathologists, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 1.

The fair will be in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

All grade levels and alumni can come to the event. Participants should dress professionally, bring 25 to 30 copies of their resumes and their panther card.

To help prepare for the fair, a workshop is being held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Buzzard Hall in Room 1103.

The workshop will include presenters who will try to answer any questions about the job fair, attempt to help students prepare for potential questions they might be asked and help each grade level figure out what they should be looking for.

Douglas Bower, interim dean of the College of Education and Professional studies, said it is important that all grade levels attend, even if they are not seeking an immediate job.

“I believe everyone should go, from freshmen to seniors, because our freshmen and sophomore students need to get used to ‘OK, what can I expect’, and start making those networking contacts with these employers,” Bower said. “When you go as a senior and are actually looking for a job, it makes it a whole lot easier.”

Diane Smith, marketing specialist and career adviser, said the fair has been going on for 25 years.

She said the schools present will be from all over the nation, with the farthest one coming in from Nome, Alaska.

Smith said the variety of schools allows students to consider places of employment they would not have considered before.

“This is important for our education graduates,” Smith said. “It’s a good opportunity to explore beyond their comfort zone of districts that are hiring.”

Eastern is the only school in Illinois to host a mid-year job fair, with most schools choosing to only host one in the spring.

Smith said this timing is important because it allows students who are graduating in December to potentially get hired right away, as opposed to waiting five months for the next job fair.

Another reason why this timing is important is that many districts are in need of mid-year hires, Bower said.

“There are a lot of jobs that come available mid-year; either they weren’t able to be filled during August so they hired subs to cover until January, and others (become) available due to some people leaving,” he said. “Some are long-term substitute positions, those types of things.”

Bower said because of the nationwide teacher shortage, it is a student’s market, which makes finding a dream job for soon-to-be graduates easier.

“If they are upperclass students who are finishing up their teacher education program, their real job’s waiting for them,” Bower said.

The full list of schools that will be attending is up on the website eiu.edu/careers. This list allows students to do their own research on potential employers before next week’s fair.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]