5 Tips to Network Like a Pro

Teachers play an incredibly important role in our society and are instrumental in facilitating the creation of a bright future.

By providing the tools needed to become intelligent thinkers and problem-solvers, teachers pave the way for future innovation at the hands of students.

As lifelong learners, many teachers also choose to pursue professional development opportunities to learn new skills or to expand already-existing knowledge. If you are interested in professional development, consider these options.

Complete Graduate Degrees Online

Many teachers choose to pursue graduate degrees after a few years of teaching in a classroom.

Doing so allows teachers to expand upon prior experience to further develop skills under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

Attending classes at a university can be nearly impossible due to a teacher’s busy schedule, but online degree programs offer an alternative route.

Classes provided by institutions like Bradley University allow teachers to balance higher-level education with an existing teacher career.

Attend Professional Development Clinics

There are hundreds of educational organizations across the country dedicated to creating a strong network of professionals and providing information and resources to teachers.

These organizations sometimes offer large-scale professional development events that provide clinics and lectures focused on a teacher’s specific subject area.

Examples include clinics that feature a notable educator in the field, weekend conferences with a large spectrum of specific topics, or online presentations and workshops.

Research what your local educational organizations have to offer and consider attending an event or two!

Visit and Observe Notable Educators

You can learn so much from observing the methods of other successful professionals in your field. These experienced and well-trained teachers have all kinds of knowledge, strategies and curriculum material to offer in the interest of helping other teachers be successful.

Take some time to identify some potential mentors in your professional community.

Reach out and ask permission to observe a class or lesson. You may be surprised how welcoming and excited other educators are to connect and learn from each other!

Join a Professional Learning Community

Professional learning communities allow educators to collaborate with others in the field of education with the purpose of developing new skills related to teaching. These communities vary in size and can focus on broad-range topics or very specific topics.

For instance, if you are an elementary music teacher, you may choose to join a professional learning community of other elementary music teachers to discuss topics related specifically to the unique needs of your curriculum and the age group of your students. 

Expand Your Knowledge by Reading

There are thousands of qualified educators who have condensed the wealth of knowledge gained from experience into books available to you to read at your convenience.

Building a library of education-related books allows you to learn more on your own time. You can find books that address a specific topic or follow the writings of an author you respect and admire.

If you do not prefer to read entire books, consider reading articles found in education magazines or periodicals.

The realm of possibilities is endless for educators wishing to improve themselves as professionals. Use this guide to get you started in finding a professional development opportunity that is best for you!