There is no area of work that is more rewarding or important than education. No matter what level of education you are working at, you will be shaping the future as well as helping students along their own pathways and hopefully inspiring them both inside the classroom and out. Everyone remembers their favorite teachers from school, but if you want to make a difference in the education system, then you will need to know how to succeed in a field that can be stressful, challenging, and competitive. With this in mind, read on for a few career tips for educators that will hopefully prove to be useful.
Make Listening A Key Skill
As an educator, you obviously need to have excellent communication skills, but often educators focus too much on their spoken and presentational skills. While these certainly are important, you will also find that listening is just as important yet often an overlooked skill. Those who possess excellent listening skills will help those that need it, form stronger relationships, and gain a better understanding of every pupil.
Work on Your Weaknesses
Like many things in life, the best way to improve is to work on your weaknesses. As a teacher, you need to identify the areas that you could improve by asking for feedback or self-reflection and then finding ways to improve these areas to become a better all-around educator. If you struggle with your presentational skills, for example, some courses can help with this, while if you struggle with lesson plans, there will be helpful information online or ask advice from a teacher that you look up to.
Find A Mentor
Following this point, you will also find it helpful to have a mentor in the early stages of your career. A mentor can provide advice and support in the early stages of your career and help you to improve in the right areas; plus, you can also learn a lot by asking them questions and even observing them in the classroom. Being an educator can be hugely daunting early on, but when you have someone with plenty of experience in your corner, it can be a tremendous source of support and give you a big confidence boost.
Look into An Online EdD
Many educators have aspirations of rising to leadership roles in education, and this is certainly a great way to make positive change at a high level. A Doctor of Education (EdD) is the perfect qualification for this that will prepare you for leadership in many areas, such as K-12 school leadership, Postsecondary administrator, curriculum specialists, and other careers that help you shape and impact education organization. You can also take an online EdD, which will provide greater flexibility and make it easier to fit your studies into your teaching schedule.
See Each Pupil as An Individual
In terms of teaching in the classroom, it is vital that you see each pupil as an individual and understand that everyone has differences which means that not everything will work for everyone. This means that some pupils may need to change your approach with and perhaps give them extra support without it taking time away from other pupils. It is also helpful to understand each pupil and work together with their parents to find the best way to help them find success in the classroom.
Learn How to Earn Respect
Perhaps the biggest challenge that educators face – particularly early on in their career – is earning respect in the classroom. Of course, you will want to be liked and develop positive relationships with your students, but it is also important that you command respect so that they will behave, and you can carry out your lesson plans effectively. It depends on the age group that you are teaching, but typically you will gain respect by showing respect to students while still being stern when needed. You can also command respect by bringing positivity to the classroom, having a passion for what you teach, and engaging the pupils.
Look After Yourself
It is hard to be positive, active, and engaging in the classroom if you are not looking after yourself. You need to lead a healthy lifestyle and look after both your physical and mental health as an educator, and this can make a big difference to your career and overall wellbeing. It can be hard with such a stressful job, but you need to be able to keep your work and home separate, lead an active and healthy lifestyle and do what makes you happy in your spare time.
Much like in any field of work, it is always helpful to develop a large professional network, so you should try to network at every opportunity, both online and offline. When you can develop a large professional network, you will benefit from a better professional reputation and have more opportunities to present yourself. For example, if you want to climb the ladder and reach leadership levels in education, it will put you in a strong position if you know the right people, but you need to network and maintain these relationships actively.
Plan Lessons but Have Flexibility
Preparation is key to success in the classroom, which means that a lot of your work will take place outside of it while developing lesson plans and structuring the syllabus. Therefore, while you need to be able to develop strong lesson plans that will be engaging for students and develop their knowledge, you also need to have some flexibility and understand that every lesson will be different. This means that you may need to change your lesson plans on the fly to ensure that everyone understands the material and finds the content engaging.
Hopefully, these career tips will help any educator to improve their skills and set them on the pathway to success as a teacher; whether they are just starting out in their teaching education or are thinking about how to further their education and career.