To secure a rewarding career change to education, you need to discover and efficiently use the critical steps necessary to move forward.
Are you ready to advance from possibly a state of “stuck in a rut” or “bored” in your present profession to a desire to do what’s necessary to build a joyful career change to education?
If you are a first-year teacher and wondering how to write your resume or CV, look no further. Check out this in-depth blog post specific to writing a new teacher resume.
What is your reason for wanting to make a career change to education?
There are many reasons why people decide to switch careers: perhaps they are unhappy or unfulfilled with their current jobs; they are looking for more challenge and excitement, or maybe it is just time for a change. Regardless of the reason for wanting to try a new career path, you must know that there is nothing wrong with making a switch and attempting a new venture, particularly when it comes to transitioning into something as fulfilling as entering the world of education.
Educating others can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It takes a special person to be able to make a connection with students and present information so learners of all styles can absorb and remember it. Regardless of the career, you are coming from; others will tell you that instructors can make a real difference. It is important first to discover if you have what it takes to be a teacher and then you must convince potential school district hiring authorities and school principals of the value you can bring to the position.
How to Determine Your Dream Education Career
If you’ve decided, you want to make a career change to education; that’s great! But your decision making doesn’t end here. You need to figure out exactly what you want in your career in the education sector, and to determine what area of instruction would suit you best. And, most importantly, to ensure that you do, in fact, want to move forward with this career change to education. The Guardian has an informative post on what you need to know if you are thinking of changing careers into teaching.
1. First of all, you need to evaluate what you want and what you don’t want for your career. You may wish to specialize in an area you enjoy and are passionate about doing. Narrowing your job target will help you to target the options you selected in your resume and cover letter.
2. Research the various sectors of education where you can pursue a career based on your skills and proficiency. If you are good in teaching, complete some preliminary research in this area and find out whether you can find opportunities that can help advance you professionally.
3. Identify the unique skills you have which you can use as leverage when seeking out an employment opportunity in education. When making a career change, the skills you have that can transfer into teaching are important to highlight. These are called “transferable skills” and will help you to land interviews if they highlighted and written correctly throughout your resume and application letter.
4. Networking is important if you want to get your career in the right direction. Your network contacts can lead to a lot of potential job opportunities in education, and it can be extremely useful to uncover what you want to pursue.
5. Consider the assistance of a career mentor; they can help you evaluate the right direction and ask you thought-provoking questions to get you thinking. They have the right expertise and can help you avoid the common career pitfalls.
6. After talking with a career mentor, evaluate whether there are other career opportunities in the education sector you never thought of pursuing. By taking the time to research you should also determine any areas of interest outside the school system.
7. It is important for you to realize that you are in the preliminary stage of establishing your career in education. It is, therefore, important for you to enhance your experience relevant to the job position you want to pursue in this field.
8. Complete career training and skill development will help further your chances of employability. For instance, you will most likely need to complete teacher training of some kind before being able to apply for teaching positions. Most teaching positions require current teaching certifications. You may wish to check into the alternate route program which many individuals have used to enter education.
9. Learn the basics of job hunting because this is important in realizing the direction of your career in education. The way you present yourself to potential employers will matter a lot in determining whether you get the job or not. You need a focused resume and cover letter that target the teaching position of interest.
10. Think about adaptability and the importance of being flexible. Just like with any other career options, education is also a multifaceted industry and it would be helpful if you are willing to pursue other career alternatives when the position you want is not yet available. For instance, if you want to become an elementary teacher, you may first need to take a substitute teacher position or a teaching assistant job until you gain more experience in the classroom.
How to Make a Career Change to Education Quickly, Without Mistakes or Setbacks
Deciding where to start your new career will depend on your current education and work experience. If you are looking to transition into the role of educator and have absolutely no relevant training or experience, then you will need to start from square one: earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. If you already have a Bachelor’s Degree, but in a different field, you may opt to complete a second major or follow an alternative route program. State certification or licensure is usually required as well.
Once you have completed the necessary schooling and passed all related exams, analyze your work experience and determine any positions you may have held that are relevant to teaching. For example, maybe you led instructional courses or training sessions as a business manager or coached a little league baseball team, or perhaps volunteered for an adult literacy program. If you possess no formal classroom experience, then these are the types of positions you can showcase to demonstrate your ability to teach.
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On the other hand, if you have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, then most likely you will have participated in classroom observations, finished a teaching practicum, or served as a teacher’s aide/assistant. Any instructional or classroom experience that you can highlight for potential schools is invaluable.
Next, you must dig for relevant teaching skills and keywords to include in your resume.
Ensure your resume positions yourself for a career change to education.
Ask yourself, what skills or talents have I developed that will enable me to be an outstanding teacher? Look back to your schooling and past career(s). For instance, communication, problem solving, time management, and leadership skills are necessary for establishing a productive learning environment. As well, you should possess patience, creativity, commitment, and compassion to understand and accommodate the unique needs of your students. These are all qualities that you must showcase for potential schools.
After you have determined everything relating to the above categories, it is time to put together a complete resume and application letter package.
By highlighting related education, work experience, skill sets, and personal traits, you will be able to capture the reader’s attention and appeal to the needs of his/her school or district. You may also want to write a philosophy of education statement, also called a teaching philosophy – a brief document detailing your beliefs about instruction, classroom environments, helping students, education as a whole, and your teaching goals – as many administrators will ask for one before the interview.
After Your Resume and Application Letter Are Targeted
It’s time to make a career transition to education by submitting applications.
You may want to search through the newspaper, take a look at your local school district’s website, or use a teacher recruiter site to find positions of interest to you. Apply to as many jobs that are relevant to your teaching area, minding the strict deadlines of course. The more resumes you submit, the better chance you will have of receiving a call for an interview.
When called for an interview, research the school and its district ahead of time so that you can prepare and tailor your responses to interview questions. You should prepare for the opportunity of meeting with a school administrator, or perhaps a panel of individuals (if you make it past the initial screening).
After the interview, make sure you send a thank you letter after promptly.
A career change to education IS possible if you equip yourself with the right plan of action. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be off to a great start to finding your second career.