Teaching and mentoring is an enriching career path. However, just like the coaching and mentoring you provide to clients and students, it is also a journey of learning more to improve your skills and expertise. In order to get the most out of your career, there are a few ways to boost your skills and experience to take it to the next level.
Check out these practical ways to do just that:
1. Further reading and research
Teachers and mentors are always learning. Whether that’s keeping up to date with the latest industry news or tweaking lesson plans to deliver better results, each helps to improve your delivery methods. There are a number of resources and research texts that are available for your specific teaching field. Staying abreast of anything that may impact the study of your subject is vital so you can quickly adapt to changes in the program. For example, if you’re teaching young learners, reading further about the changes and impact of quality early childhood education will assist in making lessons and learning as useful as possible.
2. Expand your qualifications
New and established teachers often take exams in the early stages to gain relevant licenses to teach. However, as you move on through your career, you may want to specialize in subjects or perhaps move onto further learning to develop your credentials. There are a number of courses to help you branch out, including online master’s degrees and specialized field qualifications for areas such as special needs education. Further training is also available in a range of courses for mentoring and coaching if you’re looking to take a more tailored approach to teaching.
3. Network with other professionals
Networking is one of the best ways to open up a wealth of information from like-minded people. It’s helpful to get insight from different perspectives and collate data to take your teaching career further. This opportunity also opens up teaching to real-world application, as you are able to talk and connect with people from industry backgrounds and higher education to understand the differences in learning objectives.
Socializing with people in your own institution is also a healthy way to boost your career. Everyone has a unique approach to teaching, so observing another’s lesson or inviting someone to watch yours can open up a channel of conversation for constructive feedback.
4. Get feedback from students
Feedback from the people you teach or mentor is one of the best ways to improve your methods and overall career path. It’s good to listen to both negative and positive aspects and assimilate the information to take the constructive aspects of each. It’s also helpful to go back over particular areas of study that students were successful in and even areas they were not.
This should open up insight into how to improve delivery and identify your strengths and weaknesses going forward. Remember to keep a log with everything from activities that worked, what sparked engagement, and areas that proved a struggle. These will build upon your techniques and help improve them for the future.