A Career Primed for Growth
Learn how your decision to step into education sets you up to pursue varied and exciting career paths.
Learn how your decision to step into education sets you up to pursue varied and exciting career paths.

Expand Your Leadership

Hone your skills, build expertise, and help fellow educators in their journey. As you become a seasoned teacher with skills to share with others, you can grow professionally without having to fully give up the opportunity to remain in the classroom working with students directly.

  • Grade-level Chair

    Act as the liaison to the administration on behalf of the group; set up and facilitate regular meetings to collaborate on curriculum, assessment, and policies; provide support to the other teachers and help to create a positive atmosphere.

  • Master Teacher

    Help create a professional community of support and growth; share and model best practices, provide coaching to new teachers, open your classroom for observations, and advise school or district leaders.

  • Mentor Teacher

    Mentor a student teacher who is still in training or an early-career teacher, and help them with anything and everything by co-teaching, coordinating joint or reciprocal observations, providing feedback, co-planning, and more.

  • Instructional Specialist

    Become a literacy or math specialist and support other teachers at your school by modeling great instruction, providing coaching, helping with instructional planning, and facilitating skill-building sessions.

  • Advanced Certification and Schooling

    Go back to school to earn another degree or join an elite network of expert teachers by earning National Board Certification.

     

School Leadership

Thrive in leadership roles at your school. The opportunity to grow beyond your classroom responsibilities are numerous. Your professional path may expand into positions where you oversee everything from the budget to the performance of the entire teaching staff. Check out these school-level leadership gigs and what they entail.   

  • Counselor

    Advocate for students in all areas, including academic achievement, social development, preparation for college and future careers.

  • Teacher Coach

    Through observation of classroom practices, provide evidence-based guidance to help fellow teachers achieve improvement in certain areas.

  • Assistant Principal

    Report to the principal and assist in realizing a shared vision for success.

  • Dean of Students

    Work with others, including counselors, nurses, parents, and the principal on behalf of student interest while helping to create a positive school climate.

  • Principal

    Set an academic vision and supervise staff to reach it; build culture and establish relationships with students and parents; provide professional development plans for teacher growth.

Education Products and Services

The skills you learn as a teacher can prepare you to develop products and services for teachers and schools. Whether you balance multiple ventures while teaching or decide to apply your skill elsewhere, teaching will prepare you to excel. Consider these few paths as a sampling of possible opportunities:

  • Startup Founder

    Create an organization that produces solutions and products to address an unmet need.

  • Social Entrepreneur

    See a societal issue that needs attention, and lead an organization to help create movement and social change.

  • Account Manager

    Use the relationship management skills you hone in teaching to build relationships and manage portfolios of work in a variety of sectors.

  • Analyst

    Use your analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities to tackle and make sense of hard problems.

  • Sales Lead

    Take the persuasive skills necessary in teaching and apply them to any sales job.

Policy, Advocacy, and Academia

Further your commitment to education by sharing what you know with new audiences. Your career may naturally lead to a role where you are advocating for an issue, pursuing policy positions, and/or moving into academic research. Here are a few opportunities that you may consider:

  • Union Leader

    Sometimes full-time or sometimes alongside your teaching responsibilities, serve with your union in leadership roles (typically elected) to address teacher complaints, negotiate contracts, and serve as a liaison between your school and the union.

  • Policy Fellow

    Fellowship positions allow you to deepen your knowledge in a particular area, such as educational policy or practice, and serve for a fixed period. Some fellowships you may be qualified for as a teacher include TeachPlus and US Department of Education fellowships.

  • Policy Staff

    There are a number of policy positions that you might consider at a Mayor’s Office, a County Office of Education, a State Education Agency, U.S. Department of Education, or the legislative branches at the state or federal level. In these roles, you may help research and inform educational policy decisions.

  • Advocacy

    There are a number of organizations that exist to ensure that educator's voices are heard and considered as decisions are made about education - one example is Educators 4 Excellence (E4E).

  • Academic

    Further your studies by obtaining a PhD. This pursuit may lead to many outcomes, including researcher, lecturer, or professor.

Design a Roadmap
A career in education is anything but static. It’s filled with growth, options, and opportunities. Keep exploring and a get a personalized roadmap to think through next steps that fit your stage and circumstances.