Working as a teacher can be very fulfilling, but there may come a point when you want to do more. Maybe you want to teach at a higher level or have more of a say on how courses are dispensed. In either case, you might have started considering opportunities for advancement, and there are many in the education field. However, you must know what it takes to fill these positions first. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do if you want to advance your teaching career.
Further Your Education
Furthering your education is important not only if you want to advance, but also if you want to continue to be efficient and relevant as a teacher. This will be essential if you want to move into a management position or find better work as a teacher. Some institutions will demand that teachers have at least a master’s degree to teach, and you can expect to be paid much better in those positions.
So, if that is your goal, we suggest you take a look at some accredited online master’s in education UK courses. These will allow you to keep your current position and get your education on your own time. Getting a masters will give you so many tools that will allow you to stand out as a teacher in your current role and have access to all sorts of opportunities either in your school or at the district level.
This could also open the doors to opportunities outside of the classroom. You may be asked to work as a consultant or work with various organisations looking to train their employees. You’ll be able to be more creative and flexible in your teaching approach, and will not have to be confined to a school setting.
This is also a great option if you want to step into research. Others use their formation and expertise to move into public office positions. However, know that the content of your postgraduate course will vary depending on the institution, so pick one that fits your personal and professional goals.
Look for Non-University Courses
You should also know that there are a variety of non-university courses that could be helpful to you if you’re looking for advancement. The NASUWT teachers’ union, for instance, offers courses and consultancy to new and experienced teachers. One of the benefits of these courses is that they will allow you to broaden your skillset without having to make a significant investment. This option may not give you the same qualifications as a masters, but it could help you stay in touch with new methods and trends and make sure that you don’t fall behind.
Besides that, these courses may help you with things that may not be directly related to coursework. Some courses focus more on health and safety, for instance, while others may help you improve your leadership and organisational skills. You also have ICT literacy courses for those who find themselves struggling with new information technologies.
Become a Star Teacher
At the end of the day, it’s the teachers who shine the most who will be the first to be considered for promotions into leadership roles. Numbers don’t lie, and teachers who can elevate their students’ results do not go unnoticed. While you may not be promoted to headteacher, you might be the one that will be tasked with mentoring new hires, or you may be asked to be in charge of a particular programme. You may have more say on the curriculum and have more pull if you see something that you’re not happy about. You might even be called to work over the summer so you can actively help with writing it. These experiences will not only boost your reputation but could lead to a better salary as well.
You should also take it upon yourself to engage students outside of class. The best way to do that is to hold special events. This could be a debate match or a robotics contest. These ideas could not only make you a star at your school, but they may also generate some buzz with the local press. Management will appreciate this increase in visibility and the windfall that comes with it, and they will remember you if there’s a leadership position they feel you would be qualified for.
Get Active in School Life
You will also need to become a model “school citizen” if you want to get the good graces of the people working around you. You need to participate in faculty meetings and not simply go through the motions. You also want to treat them seriously, get there on time, and don’t act like you think they’re a waste of time.
Good school citizens are also able to get their point across about certain issues without blaming everyone while staying generally positive. They are also ready to pull their side of the load and work on less glamorous duties like chaperoning. This will get the attention of the headteacher who will appreciate both your honesty and your willingness to do work others tend to avoid.
By being actively involved in the school community, and doing so with a smile, you will show that you are committed and engaged. Not only will you present yourself as a prime candidate for greater roles, but you’ll also be able to reap many privileges you may not have thought about. For example, you might have your recommendations for the school budget listened to more carefully. Being able to directly affect budget decisions can make a world of difference in your work and the results of students. As well as this, you might be able to get swift approval if you want to attend a special conference, for example.
If you want to develop your career as a teacher and position yourself for greater roles, then we suggest that you look at all these options. The most important thing is to show that you are ready to go the extra mile and consider furthering your skillset.