Katie Horstmann, a senior in elementary education, is student teaching this semester at Olmsted Elementary in Urbandale. This week’s teacher education career fair at Iowa State aims to help future teachers like Horstmann find full-time employment. Photo by Ryan Riley.
Katie Horstmann, a senior in elementary education, is student teaching this semester at Olmsted Elementary in Urbandale. This week’s teacher education career fair at Iowa State aims to help future teachers like Horstmann find full-time employment. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Career fair aims to help future teachers find jobs

The number of school districts coming to Iowa State University this week to connect with future teachers has nearly tripled.

Representatives of 43 school districts from 10 states will attend the second annual Teacher Education Career Fair, 1 to 5 p.m. this Friday, March 4 at the Iowa State University Alumni Center. That’s up from 15 districts that attended last year.

“We attend the ISU career fair annually because we are looking for skilled, dynamic teachers who make a positive difference in the education and lives of our students,” said Joe Horton, associate superintendent of the Southeast Polk Community School District. “We have consistently found those people at Iowa State.”

Especially for educators

The Teacher Education Career Fair, a collaborative effort between Iowa State University’s Teacher Education Services and Human Sciences Career Services, is aimed at helping future teachers to connect with school districts that could potentially hire them.

Alyssa Zaino, a senior in elementary education, will be among those attending. She is currently student teaching at United Elementary and will next student-teach at Gilbert Elementary.

“I am so happy and thrilled to be attending this career fair in high hopes of getting a job,” Zaino said. “When I think of career fairs, all that comes to mind are the business and engineering fairs. The teacher job fair is a great way of getting us in this type of setting as well as offering us the same opportunity as other majors. I plan on talking to at least 10 school districts in the time that I am there and will take full advantage of having the recruiters on campus.”

Representatives will come from school districts around the state including Ames, Davenport, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Gilbert, Johnston, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Saydel, Southeast Polk, Waterloo, Waukee, and West Des Moines.

Horton said the Southeast Polk school district has had a longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship with Iowa State.

“We have found that Iowa State more than adequately prepares their students for the rigors of the teaching profession,” he said. “In short, we actively recruit ISU teaching candidates because we know that they are ready to assimilate to our district culture, as they have the dispositions and skill sets to succeed, and when they succeed, our students succeed.”

For students interested in traveling farther from Iowa, this year’s Teacher Education Career Fair is also attracting school districts from as far away as Alaska, Colorado, and Texas, along with neighboring states Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota.

Key networking opportunity

All students in Iowa State’s Educator Preparation Program — those from the College of Human Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — are welcome and encouraged to attend the Teacher Education Career Fair.

But registration is also open to the public, including students from other central Iowa universities. About 152 students attended the fair last year. Organizers say the timing of this year’s event works well for all students, including current student teachers who have this date built into their calendar.

“While this event will be especially important for students getting ready to graduate, it is beneficial to all education students to network for future placements and employment,” said Tammy Stegman, the College of Human Sciences’ career services director. “We want students to see this as an event where they can build connections with potential employers and learn about the school districts that recruit here.”

This year, the College of Human Sciences’ career services office worked with Teacher Education Services to offer career-related presentations prior to the career fair, to help students prepare for the event.  

The Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, last Wednesday offered resume tips and interviewing advice to students. Then on Friday, the career services office offered a presentation on preparing for success at the career fair.

Organizers say that in addition to the website, Iowa State students should use CyHire to research school districts where they may be interested in working. Zaino said she’s excited to get started.

“After graduation, I am applying to multiple districts in Iowa as well as Clark County in Nevada,” Zaino said. “I am from the suburbs of Chicago, but I want to put myself into as many new opportunities as I can! To be honest, I am open to anything and would just love to have a classroom I can call my own.”

KEY CONTACTS:

Tammy Stegman, career services director, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-3708, tstegman@iastate.edu

Jaime Boeckman, coordinator of clinical experiences, School of Education, Iowa State University, 515-294-7559, boeckman@iastate.edu

Kate Wonders, coordinator of clinical experiences, School of Education, Iowa State University, 515-294-1915, kwonders@iastate.edu

Joe Horton, associate superintendent, Southeast Polk Community School District, 515-967-4294, joseph.horton@southeastpolk.org

Alyssa Zaino, senior in elementary education, Iowa State University; student teacher at United Elementary; azaino41@iastate.edu

Lynn Campbell, communications specialist, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-3689, lynnc@iastate.edu

  • Quick Look

    The Teacher Education Career Fair will feature 43 school districts from 10 states, 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 4 at the ISU Alumni Center. The fair aims to help future teachers find employment.


  • “We attend the ISU career fair annually because we are looking for skilled, dynamic teachers who make a positive difference in the education and lives of our students. We have consistently found those people at Iowa State.”

    Joe Horton