How to take control of your teaching career
Apr 25, 2022
Have you intentionally designed your career pathway as a teacher yet? Have you developed a personalised professional development plan to get you to your goal?
For most teachers, the answer is no.
Most teachers choose their career because they want to make a positive difference in their students' lives. They want to help them fulfil their potentials, and have successful futures. This is a very meaningful purpose to have.
Unfortunately, however, 1 in 3 teachers quit within their first 5 years of teaching here in Australia.
There are many reasons for this, of course, but one of the main reasons is that teachers become disillusioned and lost within the system. In trying to keep up with the day-to-day demands of teaching, they lose sight of why they became teachers, and what it is that they wanted to achieve.
This is why it is so important to become more intentional about our career pathways as teachers. If we want to stay in control of our careers and ensure that we are achieving our chosen mission as teachers, in line with our individual values and beliefs, then taking the time to design a personalised career pathway is critical.
As Alexander Hamilton said 'If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything'. If you leave your career to chance then you will become the instruments of other people's agendas, and you won't be able to fulfil what it is that you really want to achieve. This is why we must always ensure that we are being extremely intentional with where we put our time and energy, so that we know we are heading in the direction that we have chosen for ourselves, therefore maximising our impact and fulfilling our potentials.
So how do we go about designing our career pathways? The first thing is becoming aware of just how many options are out there for us as teachers. Many teachers believe that there are only limited roles - you are either a classroom teacher, or you go into a leadership role. However, there are many different directions we can go as teachers within the education industry, and many different areas that we can specialise in if we choose.
The second step is becoming self-aware. Gaining clarity on what our values and beliefs are, and what we want to achieve during the course of our careers, will help us to define our mission as a teacher. Once we know this, we will be better able to identify what career pathways fit in with our mission as a teacher.
Third, we need to identify our individual aptitudes - that is, what we feel we are good at, as well as our individual passions or interests - that is, what it is that we most enjoy about teaching, or what we are curious about. When we can see where our passions and aptitudes overlap, there-in lies the clue as to what kind of role we would be most suited to. From there it is simply a matter of pinpointing a role that matches up with what we have learnt about ourselves.
Once you have figured out what kind of role within the education industry you would like, then you can go about designing a pathway that will best help you to achieve your goal. This can include finding a mentor, and developing a personalised professional development plan, amongst other strategies.
If you currently feel a bit lost or uninspired, then you should definitely give this a go. You will find that once you have designed your career pathway, you will feel so much more motivated, purposeful and inspired.
If you would like guidance with designing your own career pathway, we provide this within Transformational Teachers, an online professional learning community for high-impact teachers. Here, you will gain access to a wide range of professional development sessions, teaching resources, coaching and community. We guide you through a unique 7-step program designed to help you maximise your impact and become a transformational thought-leader.
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