During your educational career, there may come a time where you discover you want to do something in addition to or different than what you are currently involved in. This want for change is not necessarily because you don’t love what you currently do, but because you are looking for a new challenge.  We recently talked to Assistant Principal at Air Academy High School, Elizabeth Walhof, about her nontraditional career path in K-12 education and how she ended up finding the career that best fits her talents. During this conversation, she gave us some great tips for anyone looking to make an education career change. 

3 Tips for Making an Education Career Change

It can be difficult to know where to start when you begin looking to make an education career change. Realizing you are ready to start tackling a new challenge in the education world is just the first step. Elizabeth Walhof gave us 3 great tips on how to launch this process once you know you’re ready.

1. Examine your Strengths and Weaknesses

Elizabeth suggests beginning your education career change by discovering what your  strengths are and where you want to develop those strengths. In addition, you should recognize your weaknesses and areas of education you may not enjoy as much. 

When beginning her education career change, Elizabeth discovered her strengths included working to develop teachers and edtech, as well as team building. She also recognized that disciplining was not one of her strengths, which helped her to eliminate educational roles she may not fit best in. 

By evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, you will have a clear direction of where to begin when making an education career change.

2. Connect with others who share your interests and passions

After you recognize your strengths, it can be helpful to participate in organizations that care about what you care about. These organizations give you the opportunity to be noticed by the people who work in the field you hope to.

Elizabeth especially suggests connecting online or face-to-face with the people in these organizations whenever you see fit. Taking advantage of these opportunities and involving yourself will help you to get noticed in fields you are passionate about and hope to make an education career change in. 

3. Be Willing to Learn and Grow

Elizabeth suggests that although you need to acknowledge what your specialties are, you should always be willing to continue to learn and grow. When making an education career change, you want to focus on what career path you may enjoy most. However, you should not want to close off opportunities that could end up being a great growing experience. 

There should be a balance between pushing yourself to learn new things, while going in a direction that excites you.

An education career change can be an overwhelming process. To make your experience more enjoyable, we put together this SlideShare deck of our 3 tips for making an education career change.

There are always opportunities for growth and change during your career path. Although it can be difficult to begin, these 3 tips from Elizabeth can help you navigate the process, from identifying a need or want for change to making the connections needed to execute this change. Whether you are adding an additional role or changing your role altogether, making an education career change should be an exciting experience to grow.

Listen to our full conversation with Elizabeth Walhof

On this episode of Tackling Tech Podcast, powered by Dyknow, Brett McGrath talks with Elizabeth Walhof, Assistant Principal at the Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs. The two discuss the current state of the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic and how her school district is moving forward. Elizabeth had a nontraditional career path from a high school teacher, to working at the District Level, and now back at the school level as an Assistant Principal. She shares what she’s learned along the way and advises on how to make meetings and communication more efficient.

Learn how to create effective PD strategies at our first Professional Development Summit on May 29th!

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