If you want to advance your teaching career and progress out of the classroom and into the administrative ranks, you must act accordingly. No one is going to advocate for your advancement more than yourself, so consider the following six tips to help you gracefully transition from the classroom to administration.
1. Realize the Expectations
After spending a short amount of time in the classroom, teachers realize the time requirements involved with the profession. It’s important to note that while the expectations are different for administrators, a transition out of the classroom and into administration doesn’t necessarily mean fewer hours spent on the job.
The following list outlines the not-so-obvious differences between teaching and administrating:
- Time. Administrators often spend more time at work than teachers. Although the nature of the work is different and the work day may be more relaxed and flexible, administrators also hold duties that require extra hours spent on the job.
- Student contact. Administrators spend fewer hours with students, and their contact with students is less direct and personal. While administrators should continue to advocate for students with their every decision, the up-close-and-personal daily relationship with students is traded in as a teacher progresses into administration.
- Scope. An administrator in education has an important role to play. However, the scope of the administrator’s role is different from the scope of the teacher’s role. Administrators work with many students and parents on a surface level, but the job doesn’t require the amount of depth with as many individuals as it does in classroom teaching.
2. Let Your Passion Show
With all the heat on education lately, it’s safe to say passion is (or should be) a requirement of the profession. Never forget everything you learned in the classroom — and don’t be afraid to let your passion show. Your work should always be reflective of students’ best interests, and it’s important to let that enthusiasm shine through as a teacher and an administrator.
A genuine and outward passion for your work will be noticed and help to advance your career more quickly. Plus, excitement for your work is contagious, so others will appreciate your dedication and positive outlook.
3. Share Your Goals with Colleagues
Don’t hide your plans to progress through the ranks and become an administrator. While some teachers scoff at the idea of ever leaving the classroom, schools require good administrators. And there is no better person to fill that role than a former teacher who remembers his or her days spent in the classroom.
Sharing your goals with colleagues will help you position yourself as a motivated individual with plans to climb the ranks. Furthermore, you should express to your colleagues your good intentions of helping to blur the boundaries between teachers and administrators. Working toward the common goal of keeping the students’ best interests in mind, both teachers and administrators play pivotal roles in shaping educational intuitions.
4. Track Your Progress as an Educator
You must be able to track student learning if you want to showcase the positive impact you’ve made in the classroom. Doing so will not only prove your competence but also show the measurable progress you’ve made in the classroom.
5. Research State Certifications
There too often is an almost visible boundary between teachers and administrators. While the certifications are different for both jobs — and they vary depending on your state — it’s important to recognize the need for greater, more efficient communication and relationships between teachers and administrators.
Be sure to research what you need to do to become certified as an education administrator, create an actionable plan for becoming certified, and then work toward meeting those goals and securing a job.
Most importantly, remember your days spent in the classroom if you want to be a successful administrator who completes meaningful work with the students’ best interests in mind.
6. Never Forgot What You Learned in the Classroom
A career in education is one that requires lifelong learning and constant reflection. It’s important that administrators never forget the valuable lessons they learned in the classroom. As an administrator, you will make important decisions that reflect the institution in which you work. Furthermore, your decisions will directly affect teachers and students.
Administrative work is challenging in its own right, but if you remain true to the teacher you first were, you will be well on your way to a successful new position.
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