We have all been there. Our first year of teaching is not exactly a reassuring experience that supports our life dream of becoming an educator. We start to second guess ourselves and wonder if we did choose the right career after all. If you have thought this after your first year or continue thinking it even after 10 years in education, rest assured that you are not alone. But it will get easier. In fact, now is the time to develop leadership qualities for your teaching career so nobody will think of you any longer as the inexperienced educator just trying to hold on. Below is a list of leadership characteristics to work on and how to go about doing it so eventually even veteran teachers will be coming to you for advice.
Administration is always asking teachers to volunteer for certain events or sports programs. Most teachers will plead mercy and cite their busy schedule as the main reason they cannot be of assistance. The truth is that most of us just don’t want to take on the added responsibility. Next time an administrator comes to you to ask you to run Parent Night, step up to the challenge. What is the worst that can happen? Plus, now administration will know that you have the ability to take on challenges head on.
Further Your Education
Most of us start our teaching career with simply a bachelor’s degree in education. There is nothing wrong with this, and it can actually pay off. Quite a few districts will chip in if you decide to get your master’s degree, and attaining it is not cheap, so any money they are kicking in should be greatly appreciated. Choose a specific focus for your master’s. I decided to get my master’s in reading and literacy with a Reading Specialist certificate attached. After doing so, I was deemed the educator to go to when a student was having difficulty with their literacy skills. You could be that teacher at your school with some careful planning. Don’t just go for your master’s to get a level up on the pay scale, put the new degree to use and others will respect you for it.
When I say socialize, I mean with other educators, administration, parents, and kids. Don’t be a shrinking violet that is worried about having their voice heard. Getting your name and face out there is important to do in any career. However, make sure you are getting your name recognized for all the right reasons. Keep your socializing professional and hold yourself up to a higher standard.
Dress for Success
There is the old saying that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you currently have. Having a professional look can go a long way in the effort to gain respect from those around you. I had a parent come in for a meeting one day and the lady commented that half of our staff looked like they were either dressed for yard work or visiting garage sales. That statement stayed with me as I didn’t want to be viewed this way. If you are looking at developing leadership qualities, dress for success and impress everyone with your professionalism.
If you are interested in developing your leadership qualities even further, iAchieve may be able to help with the professional development workshops we offer. You are bound to find a couple professional development subject areas you will want to explore further.
Written by Ryan Crawley