October 24, 2020

Teaching is one of the most fulfilling careers there is. Shaping young minds and helping your students to unlock their full potential gives you such a huge feeling of satisfaction. This can be particularly fulfilling for teachers of color, given the dearth of representation in the ranks and need for students of color to have representantative role models.  Even though teaching can be a tough job at times, it’s worth it. However, if you really want to make a big difference as a teacher, you need to find ways to progress your career. 

When you move through your career and start landing positions as a head of department or headteacher, you have more power to make big changes and improve the lives of your students. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers do not know how to make those career moves and they find that they are constantly passed up for promotions. This is the reason that a lot of teachers struggle to stay motivated when they have been doing the job for years. But if you make some simple changes, you can achieve your career goals and make the changes that you want to see. These are some of the best ways to progress in your teaching career. 

Dedication And Passion For The Job 

When you are a teacher, you have a duty to give your students the best possible education, and that requires dedication and passion for the job. If you turn up every day and treat it as a job and nothing more, you are not going to progress in your career. The teachers that are given the best positions are the ones that go above and beyond to help their students and keep them engaged. Your superiors will see whether you are passionate or not during your evaluations, and if you are not, they will never consider you for promotions. You can’t fake passion and dedication and if you don’t have it, you should seriously consider whether this is the right career for you. 

Continued Education 

You can always learn to be a better teacher and improve your classes, so continued education is vital if you want to get ahead. There are some great institutions like Edith Cowan University that offer online Master of Education courses. You can complete these courses part time while working as a teacher, and you will learn a lot about leadership skills and new educational techniques. This will make you a better teacher and equip you for more senior leadership roles. Investing in further education can give you a big headstart when you are applying for senior teaching roles. 

You should also consider administration courses that teach you the ins and outs of running an educational institution. This will be incredibly useful if you have ambitions to eventually become a headteacher and manage an entire school instead of a single classroom. 

Even if you do not want to go back into formal education, you should look for learning opportunities elsewhere. Teaching conferences, for example, are a great place to meet more experienced teachers, learn more about new educational tools and techniques, and improve your ability as a teacher. You should try to attend these events as much as possible and make use of the resources that are out there. 

Consider Moving To A Different School 

If you are doing everything that you can and you are still not progressing in your career, you should consider moving to a school that has more opportunities. There are a lot of barriers for teachers in some schools, especially for people of color. There is still a large racial gap in teaching and certain schools will make it more difficult for people of color to progress. In some cases, you will benefit from moving to a different school with a more forward thinking approach. 

Some schools are also very set in their ways and they do not like to adapt to new teaching practices. All of that work that you are putting into your education goes unrecognized because the school is resistant to change, and it is the teachers that do things the way that they have always been done that get the promotions. However, if you move to a school that is always looking for ways to improve the level of education by embracing new methods and tools, your new ideas will be seen as a strength, not a weakness. 

In some cases, the issue may simply be that the school is too small and there are not that many opportunities for advancement there in the first place. Moving to a larger school will make it a lot easier to progress in your career. 

Explore Online Teaching 

Although brick and mortar schools will always be important, online schools are gaining in popularity. Homeschooling is becoming more common and a lot of parents prefer their children to take lessons online. As these online educational facilities grow, they are always looking for experienced and passionate teachers. If you are looking for new opportunities, you should consider applying for some online teaching positions. They are particularly good if you want a more flexible work-life balance because you can usually work from home. As online education becomes more popular, there will be more opportunities available, so getting involved now will benefit you in the future. 

Move Into Higher Education Teaching

If you do not feel that you are making enough of an impact in a school, you should consider teaching at a college instead. You will get the opportunity to teach students that are passionate about their subject area and a lot of them may have aspirations to be a teacher themselves. It’s a good change of pace from teaching in a public school, and it is a good way to advance your career and increase your earnings as well. If you want to teach in college, you will need at least a masters degree in your chosen subject area, which may mean that you need to go back to college yourself. However, you can do your masters degree online in your spare time so you can earn while you learn. 

These are some of the best ways for a teacher to improve their job prospects and advance in their career so they can have a bigger positive impact on their students. 


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