Teaching can be a highly rewarding profession. Yet, teachers face numerous challenges, such as increasing administrative demands and changing student needs. Your best bet in surviving these limitations is advancement. The more you advance, the more you find ways to manage specific challenges in the teaching profession. Here are eight tips to advance your teaching career.
Get The Right Tools
The difference between calm and stressed teachers is how they organize and prioritize work – for instance, using cutting-edge tools in their day to day to schedules. You’ll find out that efficient teachers spend a lot of time outside school planning lesson notes, filling out assessment forms, and so on. It gives them comparatively less work to deal with during in-school hours, which they perform excellently. This approach is sustainable and can help teachers advance without succumbing to burnout and other mental health issues.
The smart teacher also prioritizes the resources they can access to work seamlessly. Many resources exist today for teachers to teach and work easily, for instance, cloud document-sharing apps.
A teacher committed to cloud sharing cuts out the stress of managing hardcopies and enjoys more freedom to work from anywhere. Cloud sharing apps give you remote access to student work and affords you the room to add other colleague teachers who can help you with student assessment.
Ground Your Purpose
The author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, advises leaders to clearly define their purpose and build everything else around it.
The same can apply to your teaching career. There should be something intrinsic pushing you to do everything you do as a teacher.
As a teacher, you need to search deep into yourself and ask questions. Why did you consider the teaching field? Why did you opt to apply for an MA in education degree? What’s your end game? What’s the essence of this degree in advancing your teaching career? The more you ask yourself this question, the better your chances of finding “why.”
That being said, going up a career path is easier said than done. Sometimes, it’s tempting to switch careers if things don’t go as fast as you expected or discover quick ways to make money outside of teaching. Starting with why creates a big goal that guides you on the teaching path.
For some teachers, this big picture is their contribution to students’ future, and that’s a non-negotiable element in their toolbox. With your core purpose clearly defined, you can circle back to it whenever a problem arises, and you’ll find ways to transform the problem into opportunities to help in your advancement.
Advocate For Self-Learning
Learning has evolved a great deal from the teacher being the gatekeeper of all information to giving students more control in the learning process. Using the old approach stifles creativity and innovation from students.
Today, students have the same access to all types of academic information. With encouragement, students can leverage the internet for self-learning. That’s where teachers come in. They can encourage their students to take their own learning initiatives on the web.
The issue of today’s students using the internet is a dicey situation. Beyond education, the internet serves as a source of entertainment and communication. There’s the likelihood that a mobile phone or laptop in the hands of a student can spiral from an online class to an online game or social media platform. Teachers giving students a chance to self-learn on multi-purpose devices must constantly monitor and ensure focus.
A classroom is a dynamic place. It’s hard to see if whatever knowledge you’re delivering is relevant and can impact students significantly. As a teacher, it’s not enough to provide your lessons and leave things be. It’s crucial to understand and be sure whether your lessons carry weight and are impacting students.
That’s why researching for teachers is important. The objective of research is to produce new academic knowledge and develop new insights to personalize your lesson strategies to the unique needs of your classroom. That way, you won’t have to forcefully use your old strategies even if they show no signs of effectiveness.
Reaching can also be a great avenue to build teachers’ capacity. You can read about experiences from teachers across the world and their resilient strategies for classroom and teacher capacity development.
Take Care Of Your Health
You’re less likely to advance in your teaching career if your health fails. As you go about your daily duties as a teacher, remember to make healthy decisions. Eat well, sleep more, and work out consistently to keep you fit as you advance in your career.
Participate In Students’ Lives
If you want to advance in your teaching career, don’t turn down any opportunity to be involved in student lives outside the classroom. Students experience growth quickly, which doesn’t all happen in the classroom. They pick up lessons on the pitch, in the dining halls, on trips, at home, and even on TV. These lessons seep into their core and can affect their performance at school.
You may be concerned about a student’s performance dipping as a teacher. But the fact is that you can do very little you can do to salvage things if you’re still wearing your teacher hat. Sometimes, you have to be a student’s coach, parent, or mentor to get them to speak to you. Students bottle up a lot of emotions. You’ll be a good teacher if you devise ways that get them to share things with you so you can guide them to find help.
Involving yourself in their games and informal chats breaks the ice, making them see you as a friend, which is a great way to get closer to your students and perform your all-around teaching role better.
Focus On Improving Your CV
Progress is a must in every field. No matter how much you love your current level, you’ll need to move forward. As you deliver your teaching duties, ensure you find ways in which you can enrich your CV. It can be as simple as taking up leadership positions in your teacher association groups.
Consider Teaching-Related Side Gigs
Considering side gigs can never be a miss if your schedules are flexible. However, ensure your side gigs are related to the teaching field. It gives you more experiences to enrich your perspective about the people in your teaching role, helping you try new solutions for career advancement.
Generally, the teacher’s job doesn’t get any easier by day, especially as the education sector navigates the realities presented by the pandemic. But these tips can make your teaching advancement journey a little more manageable.