When to Start Applying for a Teacher Job: A Comprehensive Guide for New Teachers


So you might have just graduated with your degree or license or you’re discovering that your current district may not be for you and you want to start looking for another position. Today, we’re going to share not only when you should start applying for a teacher job but also what to do in the meantime to prepare if it’s not the right time of year yet to job hunt. Let’s dive in!

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The Important Question

Before we dive into when districts start hiring, I want to invite you to answer 2 very important questions: Do you want to start a position mid-year OR do you want to start teaching at the beginning of the school year? How you answer this question will greatly depend on when you should start applying for new teaching jobs.

Pros and Cons:

There are both pros and cons to starting right away if it’s in the middle of the year OR waiting until the upcoming school year.


  • Gain experience sooner.
  • Build relationships.
  • Discover if it’s a good fit without committing a full year.
  • Get to know staff and coworkers sooner.
  • Financially make more the sooner you join (unless you have a job or decide to sub in the meantime).

Beginning of year:

  • More time to set up and train.
  • More time to get to know staff without having to start right away.
  • Get to start with a new group of students like everybody else.
  • Train them how you like.


  • Mid-year: Not sure why the previous teacher has left. Have to train students mid-year. Have to start teaching sooner.
  • Beginning of year: Wait longer to make more money. Have to work longer with a district that may not be a good fit. More people applying at the end of the year.

If you want to earn money but not join halfway through the year, you might consider subbing. It’s a good way to get to know the students, staff, and admin before getting a job there to figure out who’s a good fit AND build connections so when you do apply they already know, like, and trust you.

Typical times of year:

After you’ve answered that question and decided when you want to start working, you can then answer the question of when to start applying for a teacher job.

If you don’t mind working mid-year, depending on where you are applying, you can honestly apply anytime you see an opening. While some states are more competitive for teaching positions than others, many states, like the one I am currently in, have a teacher shortage, so you can apply at any time.

If you are wanting to start during the new school year, here are some ideas to figure out when you should start applying for jobs.

Typically, teachers put in their notice during the last 1-3 months of school. To figure out when the best time to start applying or looking for jobs in the new school year, find the current district calendar and I would start looking the last 3 months of the school year. However, some districts may not hire until school is out; it completely depends on the school district and how prepared they are. A general guideline to follow is to start looking for positions for the new year between April and August. These are the months that districts are hiring, although some may be earlier or later depending on the area and district.

What to do in the meantime:

Now that you know WHEN to start applying for a teaching job, here are some things you can do in the meantime to PREPARE for hiring season so you’re ready to go.

Discover your “It Factor”:

One thing you should do to prepare for your upcoming interview is to figure out your “It Factor.” Your “It Factor” is what makes you stand out from other candidates and ensures that they should hire YOU. Ways to decide your “It Factor” is to figure out why you are passionate about teaching and what makes you a good teacher.

Rate Schools/Districts:

It’s never too early to rate or research possible districts. Go to niche.com and look up any districts or schools you are interested in working at. Start rating and writing down districts you want to work for.

Mission Statement:

The last step you can do to prepare for applying for a teacher job is writing down the districts’ and schools’ mission statements and values. This will help you when you start creating cover letters and applications for future job opportunities. Save this for later to refer back to once you start applying to jobs.

If you want to learn more on how to prepare for a job interview in a single weekend, I want to invite you to check out my resource, Land Your Dream Job. This program is self-paced and created to have you prepared to apply for a teaching job in a single weekend.

Wrap Up:

That wraps up when to start applying for a teaching job. If you found this helpful and want to learn more, I want to invite you to check out the Ultimate Interview Guide. When is the best time to apply for jobs where you are at? Let us know in the comments below.

As always remember:

See you next time teacher bestie!


Helena <3


Feeling overwhelmed and not sure if teaching is for you? Click here to learn the key shift on how to love teaching again in the new year.

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