To keep your career moving forward, it’s imperative to be aware of the critical issues driving change.
Whether you’re an early childhood professional or a school teacher, different dynamics are at play regarding future career trends.
However, some essential advice about increasing your chances of success when seeking a new role transcends both.
continuing professional development will become more important
Early childhood is one of the four fastest-growing professions in the country, according to the 2016 census.
But, there’s a significant pay gap between early childhood professionals and school teachers – despite having the same degree and being expected to do the same professional development.
The sector is pushing for this to be addressed. However, change can only come from the government or parents stepping in to pay the difference. Either way, it won’t be easy.
There’s also been a big push from the early learning sector to be seen as specialist educators rather than just carers, and quite rightly so – we know that those years are some of the most formative in children’s lives.
Efforts are being made to get educators registered with state boards, which will require completing professional development hours.
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primary school and beyond
The school sector is also going through a difficult stage. Over the next ten years, some country areas will not have enough teachers.
Schools used to get 40 suitable applicants per job – now, sometimes they're lucky to get two. And we also know that there is a growing shortage of general primary school teachers.
Professionals are leaving the sector in droves due to stress and workloads.
Teachers are teaching classes they're not skilled for - an English teacher may be teaching in science, for example - and this can cause several issues. Those who can teach multiple subjects to a high standard will be in demand.
tips for teachers in the job seeking – and interview – the process
For many schools and early childhood teachers, the profession is a vocation to find the correct position. It's wise to present a clear and attractive case to potential employers.
A strong LinkedIn profile is crucial. It's an excellent opportunity to convey what you've done in your sector and to articulate some key achievements, particularly about the curriculum and programming.
When it comes to interviews, do your research. Go to the school's or centre's website and learn about their philosophy and values. That way, you can formulate your answers based on what the school is trying to achieve.
For early childhood teachers, examples of how you've rolled out the early-years learning framework and the results you achieved are significant.
Suppose you are an early childhood teacher or a primary or secondary teacher. In that case, it's beneficial to demonstrate that you're bringing something else to the school or centre, not just the ability to teach.
You might have a music skills. You have some drama background. You come from a solid IT background – whatever it is, make sure you articulate it.
My final advice would be to go into that interview showing the panel that you want the job. We recommend preparing three killer questions to show you're keen, you're engaged, and you mean business.
The questions should display your knowledge of the school's or centre's values and be about how the school aims to achieve its goals – and discussing the answers is an opportunity to show the panel how you can help them achieve that future.