How to Get Hired

photo of teacher with students in a classroom
  • The Wake County Public School System is one of the best and largest school districts in the nation. Teachers want to work here because of our commitment to innovation, diversity and professional development.

    This means there's plenty of competition for our available jobs.

    Here are a few tips to help you put your best foot forward during the application and interview process. 

    Show, don't tell

    It's easy to say you love teaching. Give us proof.

    "The number one thing I look for is the passion for teaching, and yet everybody who comes in is going to say they have it," says Jason Kennedy, also a retention and recruitment senior administrator.

    "I'm really big on once you decided teaching was your calling, what have you done to align yourself with that passion? Have you volunteered, been a Sunday School teacher, a camp counselor? Something that demonstrates you care about children and want to guide them."

    Tiffany Newsome (above) is in her second year teaching English and Speech & Debate at Rolesville High School. The Wake Forest University graduate volunteered as a tutor while in college. When she began her student teaching, "I didn't just go in the classroom and stop there. I said what is going to be the best exposure, the best training."
    She immersed herself in the behind-the-scenes work that makes good teachers great, sitting in on Professional Learning Team and department meetings, seeing first-hand how teachers use data and collaborative thinking to improve student outcomes. "That really prepared me to be a teacher leader," Ms. Newsome says.

    photo of teacher with studentWanted: Teacher Leaders

    The best candidates will have demonstrated a commitment to going above and beyond: meeting the basic human needs of a struggling student, volunteering after-hours, aggressively pursuing professional development opportunities, etc. 

    "I look for drive, I look for passion, I look for energy, but first and foremost I look for a teacher who is very child-centered," says Barry Richburg, principal of Yates Mill Elementary.

    "I want teachers that come in with a mentality of, 'I will do whatever I need to do to allow students to achieve.' I'm looking for teachers who consistently are focused on the children and student achievement." 

    For Ms. Newsome, that means playing the role of teacher, guidance counselor, doctor and, sometimes, stylist.
    "Some of them might come in with a bad hair day, and I'll fix that," she says.
    "We have a custom that school is a place of business, and in a place of business, you look your best."

    Do your homework

    Principal Richburg says he always appreciates candidates who show knowledge of his school. Before you come in for the interview, check out the website, social media and other resources to get a sense of the school's culture and mission. 

    Once the interview is complete, give some honest reflection as to whether you think you'd be a good fit. If you believe you are, be prepared to show how you would make your prospective new school better.

    "I want someone with really hardcore strategies for improving student outcomes, and someone with clear assets," Richburg says. "How are they going to help us be better? How are they going to take us to the next level? What is their skill set? What can they teach us?"

WCPSS At a Glance

Wake County Schools offers competitive salaries, room for growth and a commitment to excellence. Learn more.

District Map

See the locations of all of our 176 (and counting) schools. View map.

Suggested Reading

  • Photo of Mindset book coverLast school year, all Wake County principals and assistant principals were trained on Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset. This reading includes research-based advice on how to set your students up for success, including when to praise, and when to criticize. We now have an initiative to train all educators on its material. Learn more.

The Basics

  • photo of teachers 

    1. Be sure your resume is an easy read. You want to be able to grab the attention of the reader in a short amount of time. Your resume should succinctly answer these FOUR questions:
    • Who are you and how can we contact you? (Heading)

    • What is it that you want to teach? (Objective)

    • Are you qualified to teach what it is you want to teach? (Education)

    • What have you done to align yourself with the profession you have chosen? (Experience)

    2. Out-of-state applicants will want to check the Licensure Requirements for the State of North Carolina.   

    3. Visit to apply online. When you see a position that is of interest to you, click “Apply” to have your application sent directly to that school. Principals will review applications and contact selected candidates to schedule interviews. Checking the WCPSS website weekly for new position postings is a good idea. We update our website daily, and you do not want to miss any postings that fit your criteria.  

    4. Candidates are encouraged to follow up with principals with whom they've spoken with an email or hand-written note. If you haven't heard back from the principal at a school to which you've applied after a reasonable period of time, a follow-up email is appropriate. No phone calls, please.