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How to Successfully Transition to a Teaching Career

Someone who wants to transition to a teaching career.


Edit date and time Maybe you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do in the corporate world. Or perhaps you’re just ready for a fresh start in a new career. Or it could be that teaching is something you’ve always wanted to do.

No matter your career scenario, if you’re considering a transition to a teaching career, it makes sense to step back and plot your best strategy.

There’s robust demand for mid-career professionals looking to transition to a teaching career.

With much real-word experience in their area of expertise, professionals stand to have a lot of knowledge they can share. Here are a few things to think through as you consider making a transition to a teaching career.

How to Transition to a Teaching Career

What’s your expertise?

Determining what you want to teach is a great way to utilize your previous career in a new teaching career. While some teachers, such as elementary school teachers, will instruct on all subject areas, high school or college-level teachers usually have one specific area.

For example, if you were a writer previously, or have strong writing skills, perhaps teaching English will be your forte. Lean on your previous experience and your natural skills to focus your teaching specialty.

Decide who you want to teach.

Each educational level has varying requirements when it comes to knowledge, commitment, and certification. Here are some different teaching roles—some typical and some not so typical.

Elementary Teacher

Elementary school teachers often teach multiple topics to students. Elementary schools can range from first grade, all the way through fifth or sixth grade. These roles are mainly on-site in a school setting.

Middle School Teacher

A middle school teacher may teach just one or two subject areas to pre-adolescent or adolescent students. Middle school, or junior high, is often sixth grade through eighth grade.

High School Teacher

High school teachers focus on one area of expertise, such as English, math, foreign language, business, etc., making it ideal for people with a lifelong career in a specific industry. This teaching role can be done in a virtual capacity.

Adjunct Professor

Adjunct professors work on a part-time and potentially temporary basis. This type of setup can make it ideal for those transitioning to a teaching career and can be a great way to try out teaching without a long commitment. Adjunct teaching can also be a great side job.

Tutor

Tutoring can be a great way to share your expertise and ease into teaching. Tutors often work one-on-one with students, though some may tutor a group. Many online, remote jobs can be found as well.

Museum Educator

This type of role engages museum visitors by providing learning experiences, either in a casual manner, or in a classroom-style setup. Museum educators often need a degree in an area such as history, science, or art.

Corporate Trainer

Corporate training is a great for those who want to teach adults. This role works in a business environment to train and teach employees skills, strategies, or systems in a particular industry.

Seminar Instructor

A seminar/lecture instructor can utilize their knowledge in a core area to provide instruction and knowledge to adults. Seminars are often one-time meetings and are typically focused on one topic.

Certification Instructor

Coding bootcamps, certification programs, and healthcare companies are just a few areas where instructors can teach those looking to learn a new skill. You’ll need an expertise in order to help others get certified themselves.

Consider online teaching.

Online teaching can be a great way to transition to a teaching role. It’s a steadily growing industry—one report indicates that the online education market is expected to reach $132 billion by 2023 and will grow at a rate of 28.55% from 2017 to 2023.

Education and training was also listed in the top six remote-friendly job categories. With online platforms, it’s easy for teachers to work one-on-one or in group settings with students virtually. Online teachers will need to be tech-savvy and have good communication skills. Depending on the role, you may need more around-the-clock availability to answer questions and messages from students.

Try it out.

Working side-by-side assisting and shadowing an experienced teacher is a great way for job seekers to transition to a teaching career. Although many classroom assistants work on a voluntary, unpaid basis, there are also many paid opportunities to work as a teacher’s aide or assistant teacher as a way of trying the career on for size.

Often, there are minimal educational and experience requirements for teacher’s assistants, but they can play a huge role in enhancing the learning experience for students and helping classrooms operate smoothly.

Consider online tutoring as well. Through video chat or messaging, remote tutors provide one-on-one learning support for students of all ages. This can be a great way to try on your teacher hat and see if it is a good fit.

Get certified.

If you’re not already certified, earning a teaching credential is a must to broaden your options for transitioning to a teaching career. Check out the certification programs offered by many colleges and universities that specifically target people seeking their teaching credentials; programs are offered in traditional academic settings, as well as online.

A teaching credential (in addition to a bachelor’s degree at minimum) is required by virtually all public school systems and by the vast majority (though not all) private schools. Many states also require prospective teachers to pass the Praxis series of tests that measures core skills and knowledge.

Rework your resume.

Now is a great time to re-do your resume to highlight what you’d bring to the table as a new teacher. If you have any potentially relevant experience in training or supervising others in a learning environments—in a corporate setting or with other types of business—make that a prominent feature of your resume. Putting together your career change resume offers a great chance to focus on your transferable skills.

Successfully Transitioning to a Teaching Career

FlexJobs specializes in jobs with flexibility, so if you want to find a remote, flexible schedule, part-time, seasonal, or freelance teaching job, we’ve got you covered. Our education and training job category is broken down into five subcategories:

Changing careers can be scary. By planning your course of action and doing your prep work, you can be on your way to a new teaching job very soon.

CONNECT TO FLEXIBLE TEACHING JOBS >>>

Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com

A version of this article was originally published on December 4, 2017. 

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, FlexJobs Staff Writer

Adrianne Bibby is a staff writer at FlexJobs, the premier website for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job postings. Her writing focuses on work-balance issues, finding joy in your job, and using life experience to transition to a more meaningful,…Read More >

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