Academic Positions Worth Considering

Andrew Passinger
Andrew Passinger
Middle-Senior High School Assistant Principal/Pandemic Coordinator; M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, Gifted Certification
School books sit on a teacher’s desk in front of a chalkboard.

Becoming a teacher can sometimes be looked at as a traditional career path, but what about some of the non-traditional groups in education? Significant positions in education require people who can help lead, who are certified for numerous categories, who are considered major building blocks in districts around the country but can be overlooked in the school system, from pre-kindergarten through grades 12 and higher education.

Adjunct Professor/Lecturer

When someone is asked about college professors, adjunct or part-time roles, such as lecturers, can slip the mind. These can be perfect opportunities for educators to try out their fields of expertise through prepared lectures following an outlined syllabus. Even more importantly, these adjunct professors or lecturers can expand their prospective academic careers with the opportunities to try out the role of professor and to expand their academic knowledge and experiences.

These often contractual positions have deadlines and limitations, sometimes with benefits, to allow educators a chance to dip their feet in the water. It does not necessitate a major commitment for those looking to try out their skillsets in the academic classrooms. Adjunct teachers can have numerous responsibilities in helping students be successful, as well as represent high-level academic content.

Student Affairs, Student Services, Student Success Professionals

Those who wish to support students in their academics and career pathways can look at the roles that Student Affairs categories offer. There is a distinction in this category with Student Affairs emphasizing academics and development, while Student Services focus on services to help students achieve goals they have set in place.

In the high school settings prior to entering the post-secondary world, the responsibilities of Student Affairs personnel are to concentrate on personal development, and academically, in advisement, counseling, or career services. Their focus is to help transition students between high school graduation and their entrance into college. This is not necessarily considered a counseling position, though counselors may fill these roles.

Educational or Instructional Coaching

If someone wants to be a part of the educational world without being in a traditional position, they can also look into educational or instructional coaching. This area allows for deep research into the strategies and skills teachers should be provided in order to be a top-level professional in any grade. Instructional coaches do exactly that: they coach teachers to integrate best practices.

Educational coaches can team-teach a lesson in order to model a strategy; they provide the research that so many educators don’t have time for in between lesson planning, paper grading, and all-day teaching. Educational coaches may be required to provide professional development to a staff and faculty on in-service days. They also may be in charge of developing webinars or digital lessons as models.

Educational Grant Writers

Those who love education and want to help support school districts can become grant writers for a district as a non-traditional job. Money is one of the most sought-after elements of education, whether private or public. In this position, the focus is on technical writing and following exact directions. A detail-oriented skillset is required, because most grants are dismissed due to the lack of details or refused based on simple technicalities.

This position also requires the ability to deeply research and communicate with appropriate administrators in the district. These grants, when completed successfully, can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to schools. These jobs are extremely significant, as well as educationally involved in a different manner.

Educational Policy Expert

This job option is one that requires extensive knowledge about the educational system, from bottom to top. This is an area in which a person who is excited about education but does not want to fill the traditional roles, can succeed. It requires strong communication skills and ongoing educational policy research.

Numerous focal points exist in this career: professional development, the analysis of data reports, studying connections between policies and student achievement and growth, research regarding socio-economic statuses in school districts, writing professional articles pertaining to teacher effectiveness, the impacts of policies and legislation on students and standardized testing, analyzing inefficiencies in teacher trainings, knowing the barriers in educational equalities, etc. Those professionals who wish to follow this career choice must be serious individuals who consider themselves to be agents of change.

Become a Librarian

Library affairs is a perfect job for those who love books, have strong organizational skills, and enjoy communicating and sharing knowledge in multiple ways, all while desiring to fit into an educational community. This situation requires strong management skills, futuristic thinking, and pop culture awareness in order to best provide library services.

This position has evolved over time, though, from books to digital literacy to computer technical work. Solid research skills are a must in this area. Not only are these participants in charge of operating all library services, from book checkouts to organization of new and used books, but also updating databases, preparing budgets, maintaining a current library, and developing, evaluating and administering library programs.

After-School Program Director

This avenue provides those who love to interact with kids a chance to grow socially and develop their interests. This career requires collaboration with coaches and teachers to develop a strong program for a school and district, yet the ability to work in independently when everyone leaves for the day. The time frame is focused after school, but not an entire second-shift work schedule, so it may be more appealing for those who like to work later in the day. The job requires an open mind and a solid curiosity in varying activities in order to accommodate all interests of the students.

Every single person interested in helping others from pre-kindergarten to higher education has the ability to dive into the educational system. This does not mean that every individual must be a teacher or staff member, though. The world is full of other opportunities to watch students grow outside of traditional roles such as teacher or counselor; these are only a few of the careers a person may choose to directly affect a student for life.

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