People ask me all of the time… what should I do to move up in my career? There are several “levels” in education. Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Assistant Principals, Principals, and then a plethora of positions on the central administration level. Regardless of where you are and what you do, I truly believe following the tips below will help get you promoted.
Be the best where you are
If you are a teacher, be the best teacher on your campus. Put your all into teaching. Make sure your students are performing to their potential. This will take lots of time and effort in learning the art of teaching. It will take lots of research on best practices of teaching. It will also take lots of time getting a deep understanding of your content. However, if you are the best at what you do, if you are successful where you are, then people will be willing to give you a chance at the next level.
Put your head down and work
Do not focus on making it to the next level. Do not focus on making it to the next level. Do not focus on making it to the next level. Putting your energy on making it to the next level means you are taking energy away from your current responsibility. Focus on the #1 tip: being the best at where you are. Put your head down and go to work. Stay focused on your current assignment and being great.
Volunteer to take on tasks where there is a need
I hope this doesn’t sound contradictory, but while you work at being the best where you are, take a look around your campus. What is missing? Do you see something that needs improving? If so, figure out a solution and fill that need for your campus. Go to your principal and ask if you can help in that area. Again, you must have mastered tips #1 and #2. If you go to your supervisor and ask to take on more and haven’t done a great job where you current are… they are going to shoot it down because in their head, you need to focus on your current role. Also, if you are new to the campus, you might not want to start the year off by asking how you can move up. Start off by being the best where you are, then begin to be a great team player by filling a need on campus.
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.