As the new school year fast approaches, it’s a great time to reflect on your education career’s current state. It’s vital to continually visit your career goals to ensure you remain on track professionally. If you have been stuck in a rut recently or just going through the motions professionally, it’s time to revisit your goals and take proactive steps to boost your education career goals for the coming school year.
Career Revitalization: Does Your Education Career Need A Boost?
Five Steps to Revitalize and Love Your Career in Education
1. What did you accomplish last year?
Reflect on what your last school year looked like. What were the challenges you faced? What were your most significant accomplishments? What did you learn as an educator? What special projects did you participate in? What positive strides did you make with your students?
This exercise will help you get outside your head and see what you’ve accomplished as an educator. It will also help you know what you want to achieve or do better.
So first, make a list of your accomplishments from last year. Then, make a list of any projects you took part in. Lastly, make a list of the challenges you faced.
To help you come up with accomplishments, think back to any challenges or problems you faced, remember what actions you took to fix the problem, and then write down the result of your efforts. This exercise is called C.A.R. (challenge, action, result).
Accomplishments may involve strides you made with a problem student or a learning-disabled student, standardized testing improvements, standards you met through new strategies, new classroom management plans, lesson plans that were more productive with students retaining information, etc.
Review the list thoroughly once you have your accomplishments, challenges, and projects. What do you notice? What are the trends on your list? What does your list tell you about your education career and where you place your priorities or most of your time and efforts?
This list will help you understand where you have been focusing and prioritizing in the past and where you may need to place extra focus and attention in the future to meet your job goals better. It will also help you see what has been working for you more clearly and what areas to improve.
2. Develop a plan of action
Ask yourself: “How can I ensure that I am a better educator at the end of the school year than I was at the beginning?”
The above is an essential question; it is the question that all educators should ask themselves to ensure they always give their best to their students.
To help you develop your plan, first, identify your weaknesses. Maybe you struggle the most with classroom management and problem students. To help you improve in this area, perhaps it’s worth taking a professional development course, seeking advice from colleagues, or looking online for new classroom management ideas.
Remember to get better at something; step out of your comfort zone. Embark on learning new skills and trying different methods or things. Getting started with a total career revitalization may be challenging but a lot easier and rewarding when you see the knowledge, experience, and success you gain.
Don’t procrastinate – embark on a career revitalization. If you don’t make changes, things won’t get better.
How to Develop Your Plan of Action?
• Identify your problem areas, gaps in your knowledge, or areas for improvement
• Figure out how to improve these areas and take immediate steps (professional development, courses, seminars, books, online resources, mentors, collaboration, etc.).
Maybe you have considered transitioning from education to entrepreneurship and need to research to see if it’s viable.
3. Reach out to your network
Your network of colleagues, friends, and fellow educators can help you achieve your education career goals. Don’t forget to reach out to them and not be afraid to ask them for help. Their collective knowledge and skills can be constructive.
For instance, if you are about to teach a class with several E.S.L. students, you may want to contact their past teachers and specialists to gain insights, tips, and other resources to help you better meet their needs during the school year.
Your network can also help you find new exciting teaching opportunities, support your job search, or serve as a recommendation when applying to a new school.
Remember: your network is a two-way street.
To reap the most benefits from your professional network, you must also be available to lend a helping hand to anyone in your network.
To nurture and grow your network:
• Attend conferences and professional teaching events
• Join LinkedIn, complete your profile, and make connections. If you need help writing your LinkedIn profile, reach out for assistance.
• Find out how you can be of help to those in your network
• Reach out to those in your network and create fruitful relationships
4. Foster your professional brand
If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘professional brand,’ this refers to who you are and what you stand for as a professional educator. Once you know what you’d like to be known for as a teacher, you can take steps to upgrade and cultivate your unique brand.
First, reflect on your previous school year and determine if you’ve taken steps toward improving your professional brand that must be incorporated into your job search documents. Items such as courses, seminars, new teaching methods, etc., are all items that make up your brand and need to be added to your resume and other documents.
Next, decide what steps you’d like to take to cultivate and improve your brand in the upcoming school year.
• What do you want to be known for as an educator and in your school community?
• What professional development could you complete?
• What special projects could you take part in?
• What new skills could you gain?
• What work accomplishments could you showcase?
Once you have items to enhance your professional brand that must be added to your online profiles, remember to incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile, resume and cover letters, website, online portfolio, and elevator pitch.
5. Foster a healthy work-life balance
Many educators who enter the field struggle with finding a good work-life balance. As a result, several educators burn out and leave the profession after only 3-5 years.
If you are working yourself crazy and have no spare time for anything outside your classroom life, you must re-evaluate your work-life balance. Career revitalization is the answer.
Organized professionals who ensure they have enough quality downtime for things they enjoy tend to be happier, healthier, more productive, and more satisfied with their work lives.
Separate your career from your home life. Take less work home with you. Make concerted efforts to be out of the building by a set time each evening so you aren’t working around the clock. Giving yourself strict time limits will force you to be more organized and efficient when working.
Don’t forget about your hobbies and family. Make time for your hobbies, activities, and family time each week so that you can enjoy your downtime more. These activities will do wonders for your outlook and mood toward your work.
• Establish healthy work habits that will work well for you and give you a fair amount of spare time to do what you love outside work.
• What does an ideal workday look like for you? What steps can you take to make that a reality?
• What hobbies and activities would you like to make time for? What type of family activities or date nights would you incorporate?
After taking the time to reflect on and complete the above five steps, your education career will be ready to get the boost it needs.
Are you looking to make some career moves? Or are you seeking to make a career change? How about transitioning to an instructional coach position? Maybe you thought about writing a resume to become a curriculum developer to spice up your career. Take the steps you need to; you will be happy you did.
If you want to ensure that your resume and cover letter help you stand out, we invite you to check out our resume writing services. We’ll ensure that your education resume stands out for all the right reasons for hiring managers and applicant tracking software.
Contact Candace Alstad-Davies directly at email@example.com or toll-free: 1-877-738-8052.