The responsibility to guide and inspire and influence numerous students makes teaching a challenging career.
But, after several years of classroom experience, many teachers prefer pursuing other career advancement roles that allow them to extend their influence and earn better salaries.
Are you a teacher looking to grow professionally? If the answer’s a Yes, keep reading to learn more.
Compelling Reasons for Career Advancement?
Like other professions, a teacher’s pay scale varies depending on their teaching level, experience, educational background, type of school, and more. Typically, high school teachers are hired at a higher salary than elementary or middle school teachers.
Also, a teacher’s salary usually increases for each year that they work. Teachers with multiple years of experience receive incremental pay raises and, hence, have higher take-home salaries than those who’ve just entered the profession.
At the same time, teachers with advanced educational qualifications and experience are more in demand than freshers. Experienced teachers have the potential to earn higher salaries and apply for leadership or administrative positions more often, as they require specific skills and experience.
Although many teachers enjoy working with children in a one-on-one classroom environment, it’s typical for these professionals to look for career growth opportunities so that they may take on new duties outside of teaching.
For instance, certain positions, such as those in curriculum development, training, and administration, enable educators to significantly improve the standard of instruction at an institution while continuing to practice their teaching skills.
These positions require advanced educational qualifications like an MS Teacher, a master’s, or a diploma. As the educational landscape evolves, teachers with experience with curriculum development make more money than those who only went as far as an undergraduate program.
Teachers with a progressive mindset are always eager to advance their careers by earning a postgraduate degree and attending seminars and conferences to keep themselves up-to-date regarding emerging teaching strategies.
This way, they not only sharpen their teaching skills and deepen their subject matter competency but can also serve their students better.
A survey revealed that having a meaningful job or employment is often the most significant source of happiness and, thus, is a vital part of our overall life satisfaction.
According to Payscale, if you love teaching enough to make it through graduate school and earn a degree in leadership and administration, you’re more likely to join the 95 percent of education administrators who think their job makes the world a better place.
Advancement Opportunities For Teachers
Advancement opportunities for teachers may involve transitioning to a new role or taking on additional duties while remaining in the classroom with students. Here are a few options for your to consider:
1. Specialist Roles
There are various roles of specialized teaching positions available nationwide. Literacy or reading specialist is a pervasive one. You will work with young, struggling readers who need targeted intervention in this role. You may also support classroom teachers in exploring literacy issues related to elementary, middle, and high school students.
As a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) specialist, you will curate specialized coursework for individuals or small groups of students unable to meet course standards. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities in STEM occupations are likely to increase by approximately 11% over the 2021-31 decade.
Sometimes, districts hire curriculum or instructional development specialists who evaluate existing programs, develop and implement new ones, propose improvements in particular areas of instruction, conduct professional development workshops, and provide coaching and mentorship to young teachers.
This role is perfect for teachers who want to teach fewer classes or take a break from traditional classroom teaching.
The specific responsibilities of these positions may vary depending on the institution you work for and your degree of expertise. Still, a specialist typically provides targeted support to teachers and students alike.
However, to qualify for a specialist role, you require teaching experience and a master’s degree.
2. An Education Administrator
After spending considerable time in a classroom, you may want to transition into a job at the administrator level. If you do, the responsibilities will include,
- Performing administrative tasks like scheduling, recordkeeping, and budgeting
- Developing and implementing programs
- Ensuring the school complies with all the educational laws
- Setting and meeting educational goals
- Taking initiatives that improve the school and the quality of education
- Hiring, training, and advising staff
- Counseling students when needed
- Facilitating curriculum development and instructional support modules
- Handling public relations with people (staff, parents, students, educational regulatory bodies)
This role will allow you to wear many hats: the problem-solver, the program manager, the educator, and the guidance counselor being a few of them.
3. Lead Teacher / Grade-level Chair
This is a departmental leadership role in which you’ll act as a liaison between teachers and the administration. You’ll facilitate regular meetings to discuss curriculum development, assessment practices, and school/department policies.
4. School Principal
Principals are responsible for creating an academic vision and providing their staff with assistance in ways that enable that vision to materialize, regardless of the age range of the school’s students. They play a pivotal role in developing the entire culture of a school by forging close bonds with not just the instructors but also the students and their parents.
To support teachers’ professional development, principals might also provide training resources and organize professional development seminars and workshops. Additionally, some schools have assistant/vice principals who help the principal with their duties.
5. College Professor
For some school teachers with a few years of classroom experience, applying to an academic position at the collegiate level is the next logical step, particularly if they have a master’s or another advanced degree.
As a college professor, you will be required to teach a variety of courses in your field, which will highlight your subject-specific experience. For instance, a math professor would teach statistics, linear algebra, and calculus courses and possibly even facilitate a doctoral seminar.
In addition to their regular teaching duties, college professors are responsible for
- Creating high-quality, well-rounded curricula that adhere to departmental and college standards,
- Counseling students on the classes they should take to achieve their educational goals, and
- Collaborating with colleagues to create or modify degree or certificate programs.
6. School Counselor
Teachers who seek a way out of in-classroom responsibilities can switch to counseling.
Professionals in this capacity act as advisors. They help students understand their social, behavioral, and educational needs and overcome personal challenges to progress academically.
As a school counselor, you’ll be required to hold regular one-on-one or group sessions with students to provide counseling and cover the following aspects.
- Preparation for college and future career path
- Emotional awareness
- Conflict resolution
- Friendship/social skills
- Substance use disorder
- Behavior, choice, consequences, and accountability
- Dealing with grief and bereavement
- Respecting and appreciating differences
To improve the student’s educational experiences, you’ll also work closely with teachers, administrators, and parents. You’re eligible for this role if you have a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, education, social work, or a related subject.
Whether your objective is to transition completely out of the classroom, make a significant shift in your career, or take on a few extra duties while resuming your post as a classroom teacher, there are various opportunities for growth within the teaching profession.
The question is, where do you want your career path to lead you? No matter the end goal, earning an advanced degree will open doors to more advancement opportunities, higher salaries, and increased satisfaction and help you achieve your teaching career goals.