Teachers in crisis.
If you’re an educator who has been pondering to leave the field in some way, this article can help you learn how to begin to transition. Whether you want to continue to work in education, or if you want to change your career path completely, the tips below can help you get started on a new journey.
According to a Labor Department report obtained by the Wall Street Journal, teachers quit the profession in 2018 at the highest rate of any year on record. Roughly one million public education workers walked away from the classroom in 2018, and many career experts claim that number will continue to rise.
Also, over the past 40 years, most people who became teachers were female. The share of female college students majoring in education has shrunk from 32% to 11%, according to MarketWatch.
As I’ve seen throughout my career as a teacher, and a college academic advisor, the number of students choosing to go into teaching has also dropped nationwide.
In the UK, according to The Guardian, around one in five teachers (18%) expect to leave the classroom in less than two years. Also, two-fifths of teachers, school leaders, and support staff want to quit in the next five years—blaming out of control workload pressures and excessive accountability.
Reasons teachers typically leave the classroom can include a lack of administration and parental support, budget cuts, concerns about school violence, overwhelming expectations, and even the battle to gain students’ attention due to mobile phone distraction.
Teenagers and their mobile phones can cause great distractions in the classroom when not used … [+]
And, many educators’ salaries are so low that they have to work a second job.
Also, due to technology, it can be a challenge to separate school and home life, as many educators are dealing with around the clock communication needs, and on-demand time from students and parents.
Many teachers state they are tired of standardized tests that have curbed creativity, the arts, gym, and music.
The expectations have become almost too much to bear.
When Teachers Are Unhappy
One critical concern that always stands out to me regarding teaching: if educators are not happy, our students won’t be happy either. The effect of this dramatic loss can not only change a student’s love of learning—but can have a dramatic impact on the economy over the years to come.
What Teachers Can Do
If this sounds like you, and you are not happy in your current role as a classroom educator, it is only fair to both you and your students to consider other career options.
For this article, I spoke with Lynda Spiegel, who is a specialist in resumes and creating LinkedIn profiles.
Spiegel, once a teacher herself, runs Rising Stars Resumes, where you can find her offerings, a plethora of information, guidance, and sample resumes for almost every industry.
According to her site, Spiegel has spent the last 14 years as a Global Human Resources executive, and she understands how recruiters and hiring managers view a potential candidate’s resume.
As a recruiter, she has experience posting jobs on LinkedIn, so she knows how to write a LinkedIn profile that will improve the chances of being found by a target employer.
Teacher Transition Resume Tips
Here are some tips Spiegel shared with me for educators who want to transition from the classroom to corporate. These tips have been edited and condensed for reading purposes.
Understand The Difference Between Academic And Corporate Resumes
Candidates for jobs in the corporate or non-academic and non-profit organizations need to articulate their value proposition – what, in a nutshell, they can provide in terms of what a company or organization currently needs.
Leave Out Terms That Don’t Apply For A New Role
When you pivot to a new career, you need to eliminate terminology from your prior role.
Focus On Transferable Skills
First, read the details in each job posting that you’re considering applying for with a critical eye.
You may know that you’re perfectly capable of handling the requirements, but if you have no experience with them, you’re not likely to be considered. This is the place you need to focus in on for your resume—where you can include things you’ve done in addition to classroom teaching.
For example, while all teachers are, in a sense, trainers, companies are mostly interested in peer-to-peer training. If you’ve done this, that’s a plus to highlight. For another example, if you’ve participated in organizing trips, that may be useful for teachers who want to get into travel or event planning.
Turn Your Specialization Into A Corporate Asset
Every teacher is qualified to get hired as a curriculum consultant or with an edtech businesses—and this is an especially good option for elementary education pedagogues.
High school teachers can leverage subject matter expertise by looking for work in a related field, and then highlight those projects you’ve developed in your resume.
Robotics teachers can describe the 3D-printer project they assigned, while literature teachers aspiring to editorial work can reference the school literary magazine they’ve advised.
Don’t Forget To List Software Competencies
While most corporate settings don’t use edtech software, you should list these skills on your resume, along with every other application in which you’re familiar.
After all, the skill of being conversant in any software is a transferable skill that companies need.
For more information about transferring into a different profession, or if you want to stay in education while working outside classroom walls, be sure to follow Spiegel’s work on LinkedIn, check our her site for resources, and you can join my teacher support group on Facebook for further support.