NNSTOY Talks about Career Pathways for Teachers
posted by: Ruthie | January 09, 2014, 07:40 PM   

NNSTOY is not the first, nor the last organization, to examine the problem of career progression in teaching.  When Metlife released their
Survey of the American Teacher last year, one of the more talked about findings was the desire among teachers to progress in their career without leaving the classroom.

The problem, as NNSTOY’s report points out, is that teaching is what is referred to as an unstaged career.  Once teachers enter the profession, there is little opportunity for them to advance without leaving the classroom altogether and going into administration or policy work.  When advancement opportunities are presented, such as being promoted to “master teacher” or “department head,” these roles are often nebulous and undefined and do not have as much impact on the running of the school as the teacher would like.

Essentially  teachers who are ambitious, high energy, and full of creative and new ideas, often find themselves in a position where instead of having as much impact as they would like, are instead spinning their wheels.  These teachers are the very ones that should be remaining in the classroom; However, they are also the ones most likely to become dissatisfied and leave for greater opportunities outside of the classroom setting.

Unfortunately, the lack of well-defined and hybrid career paths have a wide effect on education.  It means that teachers are often excluded from policy discussions at the school, district, and state levels because there is no infrastructure to make sure they are included.  Even in states or districts where there is such infrastructure, often teachers must leave the classroom for a time in order to take these roles.  Also, unlike other professions, teachers are generally uninvolved in research and self-regulation.

With these problems in mind, NNSTOY looked at recent initiatives to offer more leadership and hybrid roles to teachers.  These initiatives were evaluated based on their effectiveness and the problems they encountered.  The report ends by pointing to ideas that are just now emerging and the path that teaching could take in the future.

You can read the full report, as well as watch the panel from the report’s launch, at the
NNSTOY website.



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