How to Advance Your Teaching Career
April 23 2020 - You might think that your students are the only people in the classroom who are learning. But teaching is in and of itself a form of learning. And as your knowledge grows, so does your ambition. This often leads to a stronger inclination to reach new heights and accomplish more with your work, just as you encourage your students to do.
Perhaps you've recently experienced a burst of ambitious energy and are looking to move forward in your teaching career. This is most definitely a good idea. Taking action to advance your career can help you earn more money, discover opportunities, meet new people, improve your job security and more.
Most importantly, you will feel a great sense of fulfilment. Your career will be even more rewarding, as advancing it usually allows you to make a bigger impact. Following are some pointers to help you progress as a teacher.
Chart a Course
Start by evaluating your goals and determining what your ideal job would look like. Think about what you enjoy. Do you thrive in front of a classroom? Maybe you prefer the type of one-on-one sessions individual counsellors have. Some teachers find that administrative roles are better suited to their skills. Others end up becoming researchers.
Be sure to consider whether you see yourself staying at your current institution or moving elsewhere. Once you have a better idea of where you're headed, it's recommended to connect with someone who is already in that position. They can help you obtain some clarity, determine your next steps and learn from their mistakes.
Outperform the Competition
Assuming you've chosen to stay at your current school or university, it's imperative that you excel at what you do. Even if you plan to head to another institution, showing exemplary teaching performance can work in your favour. It often leads to awards, honours and positive evaluations that can help you improve your portfolio.
In the former case, showing your ability to do more than your current position demands is key to becoming eligible for an internal advancement opportunity. Take a look at your classroom, lesson plans and overall style of teaching. With a bit of detachment, you should be able to identify areas for improvement.
Perhaps your students can provide some advice. After a bit of reflection, you can develop a strategy to outperform the other teachers at your level, thus becoming a more likely candidate for promotion. In any case, your students and superiors will appreciate the extra effort.
Improve Your CV
Think about how you can add more lines to your CV. Pursuing additional certifications is the go-to option here. They can make a major difference when it comes to demonstrating the true extent of your knowledge and expertise, which may otherwise go unnoticed by your managers or potential employers.
As the education sector moves towards a more digital environment, the demand for technical skills only continues to rise. This is a good starting point for improving your CV. There are countless online courses available that can help you obtain accredited recognition for your current skills while also teaching you new ones.
Following on from the above point, educating yourself is no less important when you're a teacher. The key here is to adopt a growth mindset, which involves being aware that there's always room for improvement and acting on it. Simply having this mindset already makes you a more eligible candidate for new positions and promotions.
It's no secret that teachers have a busy schedule, so it helps to find ways that you can incorporate a bit of learning into your daily schedule. The internet is once again your friend here. Even if you choose to make the wise decision of pursuing an additional degree, online universities can help you make it happen while still working.
While most qualifications related to education are associated with traditional teaching roles, they can also help you move into a more specialist field. This post lists the education career options in the UK that you can pursue with an additional degree. Aside from improving your credentials, there are a few more things you can do.
Maintain Healthy Relationships
First off, don't underestimate the importance of maintaining healthy relationships with those in your school or university. Not only is this true for your colleagues, but also with learners and where applicable, their parents. The latter group might be impressed enough to send the principal a letter commending your efforts in the classroom.
Having good relationships with those in your field offers many other benefits as well. Senior colleagues can provide useful guidance and advice. Your networking opportunities can also increase. Someone might know of a position at another institution that's more in-line with your current goals.
Another effective way to make a good impression is to involve yourself more in school life and extracurricular activities. Arrive on time at meetings, participate in school discussions, offer a helping hand at events and advise on ways to improve daily processes. Teachers who do this are noticed and appreciated for their willingness to go the extra mile.
They are also more likely to be considered for department chair, advisory and similar leadership positions, as your efforts can be related to a stronger sense of honesty and commitment. You may also be rewarded in other ways. For instance, your suggestions, requests and questions will be treated with greater respect and consideration.
What if you want to forge your own path? Perhaps there's an entrepreneurial spirit in you that's longing to be unleashed. In that case, it's worth looking into side gigs that you can get started with during your spare time. This can include selling online courses, hosting webinars, offering tutoring services and reselling your curriculum.
With enough dedication and a bit of creativity, one of these side gigs might eventually turn into a lucrative business. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
These are all effective ways to advance your teaching career. The more time and effort you put in, the greater the result will be.