Advanced Teachers: 5 Ways to Take Your Career to the Next Level 1

It’s the beginning of another school year and many teachers out there are asking themselves, “How can I move to the next level in my career?” It can be hard to navigate your career in a new direction. However, we will explore how to take your years of experience and wisdom and move into the next stage of your career.

Administration

You have likely thought about getting the additional education needed for your Administration License. This will mean additional schooling, but if you desire a move from managing a classroom to managing a school, this is the choice for you.

Online Teaching

Brick and mortar schools will always be necessary and needed, but there is a new game in town and it is online schooling. Whether public or private, online schools are growing at a fast rate and they are looking for experienced educators. These schools offer flexibility, often the teachers can work from home.

College

If you have earned a master’s degree or higher, teaching at the college level is a wonderful change of pace that allows you to advance your career. If you are interested in mentoring the next generation of teachers, this would be an amazing option.

School Librarian/Media Technician

Schools across the country are desperate for school librarians and media technicians. By earning an online master’s degree in library and information science, you can move your career into an extremely rapidly growing field. As a school librarian or media technician, you will work daily to assist students in reading curriculum and using technology. With many schools now 1:1 with technology, this field is exploding and looking for experienced professionals.

Political Life

There are many elected positions that would benefit from the expertise of a teacher, and not only in education. Who better to lead a congressional committee than someone trained to deal with 30 different personalities and behaviors? As teachers, we often overlook the day-to-day management skills that we perform, but these skills could easily transfer into a career as a public official.

If you are teaching and would like to advance into the next phase of your career, there are choices out there for you. If you feel like you are ready for a change of pace, look into the other options available in your area and what requirements would have to be met to get you there. Believe in yourself and your talents and take your career to the next level.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Connect with her on Google+and (@LizzieWeakley).


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com.

7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Teaching Reply

Teachers are compassionate and giving people who want the best for their students, and becoming a teacher is an exercise in selflessness and dedication. You give so much of your time and energy to your coursework, to the theory of teaching. Theory can only get you so far, however, and your student teaching will be the most important part of your education. Though most of these internships seem long, the time will fly by, and if you’re not careful, you may finish your student teaching feeling like you could have gotten more out of it. Here are 7 tips for making the most of your internship from the very beginning!

  1. Ask questions constantly

While it’s pretty obvious that no one going into student teaching knows everything from jump, the reality is that many student teachers are very shy about asking questions. Typically, people hold back because they don’t want to look ignorant or bother the supervising teacher. Don’t let that be you—this is your opportunity to ask every question that occurs to you. Asking questions is how you learn—and it’s much easier to ask a question during your internship than it is when you’re in charge of the classroom all by yourself.

  1. Try to get placed in your preferred grade level

Chances are, you already have an idea of what kind of job you’d like to get after graduation. If you like working with little kids and like a more active classroom juggling multiple subjects, you’re probably interested in elementary school teaching positions. If you’re a buff in one subject, high school might be a better fit.

Unsure of either option? Don’t worry. There are a number of online resources to help decide what grade level you should teach. You may also want to find a mentor – an older teacher who has been in your situation before and can guide you in the right direction. Be sure to get started on this process early though. The sooner you know, the sooner you’ll be able to start aligning your skills and strengths to fit your subject and grade.

  1. Don’t skate by

It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and avoid trying anything innovative during your internship, but you’re not going to impress or learn just by doing what you’re told. That doesn’t mean you should go rogue, but you should be prepared to share your own ideas with your supervising teacher and see if you can try out new lesson plans to practice building your own style and your own way of doing things.

In addition to using your creativity and initiative, notice what needs to be done before you’re asked. If you have a spare moment, look around you and see what your classroom might need. Your supervising teacher will appreciate this proactive attitude, and it can help you learn to anticipate needs while improving your reputation.

  1. Be flexible

Kids are anything but predictable, whether they’re 5 or 15. Go into your student teaching sessions with a plan, but be prepared to be flexible. Taking the attitude of flexibility will help you reach goals with your students without being married to the specific path you’ll use to get there. Students are different, classroom dynamics can be unpredictable, and it’s best to expect the unexpected.

  1. Take notes for the future

While it’s important to absorb and observe as much as you can in the moment, you also need to be thinking about the future. Your identity as a teacher is still being shaped, and you should take this opportunity to make notes about different teaching styles and ideas you encounter. Write down everything you can—whether it’s something you want to emulate or avoid. Try to observe as many teachers as possible so you can get a broader view of the different styles out there.

  1. Dive into the most challenging situations you can

You might think that playing it safe is the right play during your internship, but don’t forget: you’ll have the most support you’ll ever have in your teaching career during these months. This is the opportunity to jump into challenging situations and ask questions. Students with special needs, for example, aren’t unusual—there are 6.5 million children and youths age 3-21 using special education services in the United States. Other kids might not be utilizing these services, but could benefit from them. Use your student teaching to learn how to cope with difficult behavior and other challenging situations you might come across—don’t wait until you’re on your own with a classroom full of kids.

  1. Give feedback and be direct

You should always be professional and defer to your supervising teacher, but you should never keep quiet about what you need, or about any helpful feedback and ideas you have. Good supervising teachers will appreciate a direct approach and will be open to what you have to say. Don’t be a complainer, but speak up when you need something, you want to go over a concept, or anything else that could help you become a better teacher. Remember, that’s what your internship is all about!


Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers. Read more from Ryan: @TheBizTechGuru


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

The Young Minds of Tomorrow: How Today’s Teachers Can Inspire Their Students to Reach New Heights 1

One of the most important and difficult aspects for a teacher is motivating your students. Any unmotivated student is one who puts a lot of effort into avoiding educational challenges other than coming up with solutions to tackling them. When such a student is given an assignment he or she will be quick to complain, “Is it necessary for us to do this?” Teachers who work with unmotivated students are faced with two main challenges. The first challenge is for the teacher to find out what it is that actually motivates the student in question. The teacher, in this case, has to be able to identify scenarios that the student responds to positively. Such situations can be used to foster the student’s interest. The second and most difficult challenge for the teacher is to change the student’s mindset into believing that if he/she applies effort into academic tasks, success will actually come their way. The following three methods can be used by teachers to motivate their students.

Create Real Life Lessons

Unmotivated students normally wonder ‘Do I really have to know this?’ Teachers have to be able to help them see how these classroom lessons can be applied in their lives outside the classroom. For example, teachers can use motivational speakers or motivational videos found on social media to encourage students on real life situations that they encounter on a day to day basis.

Simplify Academic Tasks

Some students normally find assignments too overwhelming, they then put forth very little effort towards completing them. Giving the student one step at a time tasks will be helpful. Simple step by step tasks may help the student gain confidence in himself or herself.

Seeking Further Training

Teachers should seek to acquire more knowledge and skills on leadership in order to empower their students. Enrolling for classes such as a master’s degree in educational leadership or other educational related courses can be a start. The teachers can be able to apply the lessons learned to the students’ challenges and empower them into performing better. In return, the student is motivated to keep up the good job.

Teachers will find it important to develop and maintain good relations with their students for them to remain motivated. The teachers are required to go an extra mile in meeting individual student needs for the student to be able to realize their full potential and how to keep moving towards greater heights.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Connect with her on Google+and (@LizzieWeakley).


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com.

Learning about Learning: Using Your Schooling Experience to Succeed in an Education Career Reply

There are few careers more honorable and rewarding than a job in education. Being a teacher, school administrator, or other position takes a special sort of personality, as your actions and methods will directly impact how young minds eager to learn will develop. If you treated your college education with seriousness and dedication, then you are well equipped with the tools needed to succeed in an education career.

Embrace Technology

While physically attending classes on campus used to be the norm, many modern students opt to take classes within the comfort of their own homes. Whether you’re earning an online master’s in education policy or a degree in early childhood development, these programs make it clear that technology has a powerful part to play in education. For school administrators and policymakers, technology provides the perfect tool for both internal communication and maintaining a dialogue with parents. Everything from notices regarding events or closings due to weather down to issuing report cards can be completed through a web portal, similar to how such issues were handled during your own schooling experience.

The only limit to technology’s place in the classroom is your own ingenuity. Take advantage of tech to provide your students with a multimedia learning experience. Digital whiteboards, educational games, and similar enhancements to the curriculum will not only more deeply engage students, but they’ll also give students the computer experience they need to succeed in their own higher education experience later in life.

Continue to Learn

The most successful educators are those who remain lifelong students. Succeeding in an education career requires you keep the same open minded perspective you had during your own schooling experience. Whether it’s advice from more established coworkers, new teaching methodologies and ways to develop lesson plans, or simply staying sensitive to the needs of each individual students, putting yourself mentally in the position of a student again will keep your mind open to new perspectives.

Stay Adaptable

Many education professionals choose to specialize in a single area, be it an administrative role, teaching a specific subject, or other well defined career track. However, during the course of your own education experience, you were doubtless required to take general education requirements that didn’t relate to your career path. That said, this experience teaches a valuable lesson: adaptability. No school system, student, or faculty is alike, and you’re likely to encounter countless variables each academic year. Therefore, staying adaptable to the temperaments of your students or fellow teachers, changes to academic standards, new testing paradigms, and other mutable aspects of your education career can go a long way towards ensuring your success.

A Rewarding Experience

Working in education is about more than earning a paycheck. It’s an opportunity for you to improve the lives of the next generation, whether as a teacher or school administrator. Always remember that you too were once a student and continue to apply the lessons of your own schooling experience, as it’s a tried and tested path to career fulfillment and success.


Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

For the Educator: How to Improve Your Teaching Career Reply

Teaching is essentially learning in disguise. As we teach–as we learn–often our ambition magnifies. We find ourselves reaching for the stars, just as we encourage our students to do. If you’ve found yourself with a burst of ambitious energy, chances are you’re thinking about ways to advance your teaching career. Like many things in life, improving your teaching career will involve a lot of personal reflexivity, and a bit of hard work. The evolution of your career is a lifelong pursuit. It is important to think in terms of the long game, to carefully envision what you’d like to see for yourself, and to be open as that vision may transform in time.

Charting a Course

In order to effectively advance your teaching career, you need to determine what your ideal job looks like. This will require a bit of soul-searching. What is it about your job that you enjoy? Do you thrive in administrative roles? Would you be happy conducting and publishing original research? Are you happiest at the front of the classroom? Once you can imagine the ultimate job you’d like to have, seek a mentor who already has this type of work. You might connect with someone you already know personally, or you might contact someone via email who you’ve never met (LinkedIn can be a good source for this). You might even just follow someone’s career from afar. The point is to find a model, and to use that model to help determine what your possible next steps could be. Pick your mentor’s brain, learn from their mistakes, and benefit from their successes.

Getting Better at the Job You Have

If you want to move forward to better job opportunities, one of the tricks is to excel where you are right now. Exemplary teaching performance can lead to awards and honors, positive student evaluations for your portfolio, and internal advancement opportunities. Do some deep reflection on the areas where your teaching practice can improve. Evaluate your classroom, your lesson plans, your office: what are the emotional reactions you have to these elements of your work? These reactions will help you figure out how you can improve. If you can identify your shortcomings, you can make a plan to grow.

Improving Your Resume

It’s no secret that adding more lines to your curriculum vitae can have positive effects on your career. If you are interested in pursuing further formal education and/or specific teaching certifications, this can only help. However, you can also think outside the box in terms of brightening your resume. As the world goes more and more digital, for instance, technical skills are in high demand. If you’d like to improve in this arena, you might take online courses to become a certified Google educator, enroll in a Tech JumpStart course for educators, or attend a conference for online curriculum development. There are all sorts of skills that could aid you on your journey, and make your resume pop to potential employers. Think about what tools for educators that are available to you. The trick to keep learning, and to be creative with the process. Building your resume is crucial, but you shouldn’t feel like pursuing a doctorate is the only way to do so.

If you’ve done the personal and difficult work of determining the job you want, finding a mentor, figuring out how you can improve, and building your resume in creative ways, you are off to a great start. Now you’ll have to dig in and do the long and arduous work of improvement and change. Fortunately, you’re a teacher. You are no stranger to hard work.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Connect with her on Google+and (@LizzieWeakley).


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.