I recently spoke with a recruiter who brought up a few points that I found interesting. The recruiter recognized my experience and acknowledged that I had the qualifications for the position and would likely do well in it. A few concerns were raised. The recruiter felt the position would be a step back and that I would be bored with the role. I asked for clarification. She pointed out that the position only required 2-3 years of classroom experience and that was mostly who filled the role. I have 18 years of experience and am seeking a career change. Here’s what I wish she understood…
Someone with 2-3 years of classroom experience barely has experience relevant enough to offer any understanding of the classroom. If that is all you have, you did not make it long enough to develop professionally. That is not a slight, but a truth. It takes at least 3 years for an instructor to get acclimated to the demands of k-12 education. It is not easy. Most teachers will tell you that the first year was awful and they don’t know why they stuck it out. They didn’t figure things out until the 3rd year. I stuck it out because I refuse to fail. Lasting 18 years is the result of diversifying my experiences. I was fortunate to teach in rural, suburban, and urban (inner city) teaching environments. Opportunities for curriculum and course design were given to me. Developing and coordinating programs to increase achievement and graduation rate were a part of my inner city adventure. My job description, although still in the classroom, was changing on a semi-regular basis and I embraced each opportunity. That change kept me in the classroom during times when I was ready to walk away. I learned how to manage a classroom, deliver content, and make a difference in my organization. Now I seek a career change and bring to the table a variety of educational experiences and a skill set that is easily transferable. I know that I will not start out a manager level, but I hope that through hard work and dedication I will eventually be able to make a difference in the organization that will give me that opportunity.
Why should a company hire a former teacher?
They have a lot to offer. Think about it. A veteran teacher can offer instruction and explanation that is clear, concise, and relatable. Multi-tasking is an everyday requirement for teachers. Juggling multiple projects will not be a problem. Planning, both short and long-term, is essential to the success of a teacher and a new hire to any corporate role. As an excellent researcher, both as a historian and educational specialist, I am able to quickly find what is needed. Analytics is also a part of the teacher’s role. Today’s schools are data driven and instruction is frequently adapted to improve areas of deficiency. That brings me to one of the most important skills and characteristics of a good teacher, adaptability. Flexibility and the ability to adapt at a moments notice is essential. Technology fails. Students fail to grasp an essential concept and instruction has to be quickly adapted. Schedules change regularly. Finally, teachers are trainable. New technology, requirements, and assignments change regularly. Implementation requires training, and exploration of whatever new tool is the requirement.
As for being bored in a new position, I am seeking a career change and have done so with great research and thought. Interacting with adults on a daily basis and working with technology is what I am seeking. I assure you there will be no boredom with the new adventure. I will not miss a classroom of 35 students all with different learning abilities and instructional needs. I will not miss my 21 minute lunch taken with 200 of my favorite students where I am interrupted numerous times for “I forgot” requests. I am ready for a new career challenge and I am ready for a new opportunity to grow. If the pace is slower than the classroom, I am embracing it. If it is just a fast and furious, I will still embrace it. It is the choice that I am making. If the salary target is close, the other benefits will far make up the difference. I am ready to be out of the classroom and accept all the differences that come with it.
Recruiters, if a candidate has the required qualifications and seems like a good fit, give them a chance. If the only thing holding you back is your perception of them being bored in the role…let the candidate decide after more investigation. Let the candidate decide if the compensation and benefits are enough to pull them away from their current position.
Give a veteran teacher a chance.
For more information on why teachers make excellent additions to a corporate team, check out the following:
Thanks for reading. Remember: Live life. Give joy. Be at peace.