Find yourself dreaming of an administrator’s office instead of the current classroom you share with your students. It may be time to start thinking about moving toward a successful transition from the classroom to administration.
These are relevant job search tips for making a career change or transition from being a teacher to an assistant principal or principal, making the switch to an administrator’s role easier.
Embarking on a career transformation will involve setting goals, researching, managing your time, and overcoming any job search obstacles along your job search journey.
Before you have your new nameplate engraved (come on, you know that’s the FIRST thing you would do!!), let’s determine if you have the credentials to be a viable candidate for an assistant principal, head of school, curriculum director, or any other coordinator or leadership position.
6 Tips to Transition from Teaching to Educational Leadership Easier
1. Update Your Credentials
The school district(s) you’re targeting may require a graduate degree or certification in a specialized area, such as school administration or educational leadership. If returning to college is in your future, don’t think you must put off your dream of an administrative role until it’s complete. Many school systems offer administrative internships or will move you into the position full-time even while you’re completing your studies.
2. Think Outside the Classroom
When compiling your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, you should focus on creating a “big picture perspective” of your responsibilities and accomplishments. If possible, don’t quantify your successes regarding the classroom population; focus on your impact on the school or district.
This way, your resume and cover letter will concentrate more on administrative skills such as leadership, teamwork, dedication to the school community, and involvement with committees and school improvement projects. The key is to market your transferable skills.
3 Uncover Transferable Leadership Skills And Accomplishments
This is one of the essential parts of a career change to educational leadership.
Transferable skills are strengths and areas of expertise you can use in multiple careers. You can “transfer” them to different fields, making you versatile and desirable to potential schools. Even though you may not think you have the skills necessary to become an administrator – look hard enough and realize that uncovering them will be easier if you ask the right questions.
For a career change to the principalship, take time to correctly uncover transferable leadership administrative skills and abilities such as:
- Communicating ideas to others via different mediums
- Working with individuals on a one-on-one basis, as well as in a large group
- Establishing a comfortable and inclusive environment where every person feels welcome
- Setting goals that you and others should aim to reach
- Evaluating others on their performance and behavior and offering constructive feedback promptly
These qualities are not exclusive to the classroom but would work perfectly in an administrator role.
The key to making a career change is marketing your transferable skills in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile during the job interview. You will list past job responsibilities and relevant achievements when developing your resume. When describing those two items, remember the above skills and others you think are needed as an educator.
For instance, if you led a seminar in your office, do not just state it; explain it: “Organized and conducted a workshop for 30 staff members detailing new sales goals and initiatives.
Conducted a question and answer session and encouraged open brainstorming among the employees.” This accomplishment demonstrates that you can communicate with a large group, answer their questions, and promote public discussion – all essential to leading a challenging class. Highlight achievements like this in your resume and cover letter.
Even if you think your day-to-day tasks are irrelevant, scrutinize them and identify components that would transfer to the classroom environment.
For instance, if you led a seminar in your office, do not just state it; explain it: “Organized and conducted a workshop for 30 staff members detailing new sales goals and initiatives. Conducted a question and answer session, and encouraged open brainstorming among the employees.”
This accomplishment demonstrates that you can communicate with a large group, answer their questions, and promote public discussion – all essential to leading a challenging class.
Highlight achievements like this when writing your resume and cover letter. Even if you think your day-to-day tasks are irrelevant, sift through them and identify components that would transfer to the classroom environment.
Showcase other qualities for your reader, including communication, organization, time management, analytical, and problem-solving skills. If these traits apply to you, list these skills in the introductory paragraph of your resume. Keeping the information in your resume accurate is paramount. Like the example above, you can also allude to these skills while detailing accomplishments.
Your cover letter should also contain all of the above. You want to grab the reader’s attention immediately and let them know that even though you are a career changer, you have what it takes to be a phenomenal educator. Communicate, “I have developed skills A, B, C, and D, and am looking forward to putting them to good use in the school community.” Highlight three to five related achievements, demonstrating that you are well-suited for a leadership position.
The qualities and skills you discovered will be needed when it comes time for the school administrator interview. When the interviewer asks, “Why do you think you would make an excellent school principal?” you will be able to answer quickly with a list of related educational leadership skills.
4. Get Involved In Relevant Community Work
If you’re not already actively participating in the Parent-Teacher Association, school committees, and special task forces aimed at school improvement or raising student achievement, now’s the time. Your contributions will demonstrate that you are doing what it takes to support your district’s key goals and objectives. It also shows you are willing to go above and beyond your role to ensure a thriving learning community.
Not only is volunteering a reward in itself, but it is also something you can add to your resume. Participating in community activities shows potential employers that you are committed, hardworking, and an active team player in the local population. Furthermore, as a career changer, highlighting your relevant volunteer experience is an excellent method for demonstrating applicable skills and hands-on experience, especially if you have minimal formal leadership or mentoring expertise.
Depending on your level of involvement and how relevant your role was as a leader, mention your volunteer experience in your cover letter, reinforcing your commitment and hard work. When it comes time for the interview, remember to discuss your community involvement and the skills you use relevant to that of a leader/supervisor.
5. Read and Research
Look for educational journals, magazines, and Internet websites to learn more about contemporary education’s dynamic changes. Find out who is getting recognition for creativity and innovation, learn about the programs and initiatives they’re implementing, and consider opportunities to incorporate similar changes in your school or district.
To be considered a leader in a school community, you must show that you have done your homework and are well-versed in all the latest teaching methods and issues affecting the present education system. A hiring committee will want to know what you can bring to a school, so it’s a great idea to research some innovative strategies and programs. You can review many career change articles here.
6. Spread the Word Via Job Search Networking
Testing a second career option is exciting and may require stepping outside your cozy zone. Talk to your school principal, assistant principal, and other administrative staff to let them know what you’re trying to accomplish. Most will gladly offer advice and suggestions, and some might even offer to mentor you.
Your current contacts could provide a wealth of information and resources that could immensely help you in your future aspirations in administration education. So it’s definitely in your best interest to tap into this incredible resource to network with others. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is current and focused on your vision and the goal you would like to achieve.
Bonus. Enlist the Professionals
Finally, call us when you’re ready to take the next step. Enlisting our resume and cover letter writing expertise will have you in the principal’s office in no time!
One of A+ Resumes for Teachers’ areas of expertise is uncovering clients’ significant achievements, skills, and strengths to showcase them in a visually appealing resume, cover letter, and leadership philosophy to generate interviews.