Career Goals for Teachers (With 11 Examples)
Updated March 16, 2023
Setting goals can be an effective path to career growth for any professional. Teachers and educators can especially benefit from setting specific goals for themselves not only to advance their careers but also to strengthen their skills.
In this article, we discuss why teachers set career goals and we list 11 examples of common goals for you to consider.
Why create career goals as a teacher?
There are several reasons why a teacher would set goals during their career. One reason is that they want to advance their career. The teacher could want to seek a different position, a position with a higher salary or a promotion. Setting goals might help them to achieve this new position.
Another reason is if they want to become better teachers. This could be for career advancement reasons or because the teacher wants to perform better at their job. Setting a goal gives them a specific improvement to aim for so that they can more easily measure their progress.
Related: Setting Goals To Improve Your Career
11 teacher career goals
Below are some goals a teacher might set during their career:
1. Teach a new course
There are several reasons why a teacher may set a goal to teach a new course. One reason might be to add more interest or excitement to their work. Teachers who've been teaching for many years may want to teach a new course for a change in their routine.
Another reason to teach a new course is to add to a resume. Teachers with experience in a wider variety of courses may have advantages in the future, such as job stability and career options. Finally, a teacher might want to teach a new course because they have an interest in the subject. This allows them to pursue their passion and teach something that interests them.
2. Teach extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities are teams, groups and organizations of students. Often, they need adult supervision or leadership which teachers typically perform. For example, a teacher might coach the school's softball team or act as an adviser for the debate team. Teaching extracurricular activities gives teachers another opportunity to interact with students. Some of the benefits of teaching an extracurricular activity include additional pay and added experience to their resume.
3. Explore new teaching methods
New teaching methods can help teachers provide better instruction to their students. Also, it can help make a curriculum more exciting for the teacher, especially if they've been teaching the same material in the same way for a while. When a teacher feels they could improve their instruction, they may set a goal to find a new teaching method and implement it. For example, if a teacher normally teaches a subject through a lecture, they may explore some methods that directly involve the students that they can use to teach it instead.
4. Advance your education
Some teachers wish to advance their education by earning new degrees or completing additional courses. Common reasons for wanting to do this include career advancement, better pay or the ability to teach a different subject. For example, a teacher might earn their master's degree in education administration if they wish to become a school principal or take a computer programming course if they want to provide programming classes to their school.
5. Develop skills
A teacher might want to develop their skills in a certain area. For example, a teacher may decide that they want to improve their imaginative thinking for the upcoming school year. To improve this skill, they may spend extra time generating new ideas for their classroom or sharing ideas with other teachers. Developing their skills allows teachers to not only improve their ability to instruct students but can also help them improve their resumes for future employment opportunities.
6. Improve student grades
Teachers often strive to improve their students' grades overall. For example, they may look at the average grade for their students at the end of one semester, then set a goal to improve this average by the end of the following semester. To improve student grades, teachers may explore new teaching methods or consider the current difficulty of the course.
7. Mentor new teachers
Many teachers don't begin their careers teaching full classes. Instead, they might start as teaching assistants or part-time teachers where they teach smaller groups. During this time, they learn how to lead full classes from experienced teachers. A teacher who wants to help future generations of teachers may make it a goal to work more with those who are becoming teachers. They might do this by requesting a teacher's assistant from the school administration or allowing a teacher in training to occasionally lead the classroom while the experienced teacher supervises.
Related: How To Be a Good Mentor in 12 Steps
8. Integrate technology
Technology provides teachers with new ways to provide instruction. For example, a teacher might use a touchscreen projector to provide interactive lessons or make use of different apps on school-supplied smart devices. A goal for a teacher may therefore be to research some of the latest technological developments in education and work to integrate some of them into their curriculum for the year.
9. Establish a better work-life balance
While many schooldays typically take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., teachers can find themselves working beyond these hours. Teachers use the hours outside of school to prepare lesson plans, grade tests, teach extracurricular activities and meet with students. If a teacher finds that they're spending too much time on work, they may create a goal to establish a better balance between their work and personal life. For example, a teacher could start using their lunch breaks to grade tests rather than saving this for the weekends.
10. Create a teaching portfolio
A teaching portfolio is a collection of the materials teachers use in their lesson plans. This could include worksheets, pamphlets, presentations or tests. A teaching portfolio can help teachers showcase their teaching style when applying for a new job. Potential employers may want to see a portfolio of a teacher's work to better understand their teaching style or how they would approach a topic. A teacher might make it a goal to create a portfolio if they're thinking about looking for a new job or want to prepare for that possibility.
11. Network with other education professionals
It's often useful for teachers to network with other education professionals. Through networking, teachers can learn about new career opportunities or how to improve as a teacher. If a teacher feels they want to interact with other professionals to have a greater sense of support and community, they might set a goal to start networking more. There are several ways they could do this such as attending teacher conferences or becoming more involved with extracurricular activities at their school.
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