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How to Navigate a Career Change Into Education as a Teacher

how to navigate a career change into education as a teacher

To successfully navigate a career change and become a teacher, you’ll need a teaching focused resume and cover letter that showcase your transferable skills. The decision to change careers can be life-changing and daunting, but with some preparation, you can carefully navigate these stormy waters.

Before you switch career paths, be sure to do your research and make sure you are making your decision for the right reason. You probably had to go through a course of study and develop a range of skills to be successful in your current job.  You’ll have to demonstrate a new, specific set of skills to succeed as a teacher, and you may also need to return to school to complete or update your education to be ready for the change.  Be sure to weigh these factors in your consideration if you decide that teaching is the right career path for you.

Becoming a teacher will require the same effort. However, being an educator is worth it! Educating students of any age allows you to share your knowledge, be a good mentor to others, and set individuals on the path to success. Great educators help students succeed, and successful students become people who make positive contributions to their communities.  In this sense, being a teacher is a great investment in your community’s future and well-being.

Take a look at the above reasons for making a transition, and ask yourself, is this why I want to be an educator? You need to be absolutely positive why you want to enter this profession. Some people go into teaching figuring that it is an easy job, with weekends and summers off. This is emphatically not the case.

Though you may have some time off over the course of summer and winter breaks, you will give up spare time during the school year to attend conferences, develop lesson plans, and provide additional one-on-one assistance to struggling students. You will also have to coordinate with other staff members and meet with parents. As such, this career requires exceptional communication, interpersonal, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.  You’ll need to be (or become) a gifted public speaker, a negotiator on behalf of your students, a productive contributor to your department and campus, and a juggler of multiple priorities.

How dedicated are you to this job?

  • Are you willing to come in early, give up lunch hours, and/or stay after school to offer extra help to students in need?
  • Are you driven to help each and every student to reach his/her fullest potential?  Will you maintain this drive even on days when your students don’t fully appreciate your efforts?
  • Will you strive to develop your own skills to ensure you stay current to be the best teacher you can be?

These are questions that really need to be analyzed and answered.

Reflect upon your past and determine why you would be an effective instructor.

  • Do you have patience with the people around you? Are you comfortable answering the same question several times?
  • Do you have the ability to communicate ideas to different styles of learners, including those who comprehend new information via auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic methods?  Does the idea of getting people with different learning styles engaged in an idea together make you feel excited?
  • Have you ever taught anyone before, either formally or informally?  Did you enjoy sharing new information? Did other people seem to pick up on the subject matter you were attempting to teach? Was that process exhilarating? Or were you glad when it was over?
  • Are you able to design creative and exciting lesson plans?  Do your ideas keep people engaged with the group and the subject matter?
  • Can you actively engage the learners and keep them focused?  Can you help a person who is uninterested in a subject persevere to become successful in that subject?
  • How do you react in situations of turmoil?  Does stress roll off you like the water off a duck’s back? If not, how do you establish boundaries and make sure to care for yourself?
  • Will you be able to keep the classroom under control?  Can you think of strategies for getting a larger group of people to focus on the task at hand and persevere to understanding together?

Upon first glance, these questions may not seem to relate to your experience or your present position, but if you dig deep and look at your current job responsibilities, you will find you have many transferable skills you can enjoy using in a new career.

If you are enthusiastic about teaching, energized at the prospect of a career change, wish to give back to your community, have a passion for instilling knowledge in others, and are set on helping students succeed, then education is the right choice for you!

Are you ready to become a teacher? Do you want to make sure that your resume highlights your transferable skills and demonstrates your ability to be successful in the classroom? Check out our resume development services here.

You can also explore our e-books, which are full of interview questions, resume writing tips, and classroom management suggestions here.