4 Career Advancement Insights for K-12 Educators


| by Moreland University

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Strategies for Educator Career Advancement from Moreland University Alumni

In the evolving landscape of education, career growth is a concern for educators at all levels. Teachers serve as department chairs, mentor teachers, and curriculum designers within their schools and districts. Moreover, teachers are leaders who advance into roles as instructional coaches, deans, principals, and heads of school. 

A recent panel discussion featuring distinguished alumni from Moreland University—Dr. Kerri Valencia, Amanda Serrano, M.Ed., and Dr. John Baker—offered practical insights for educators seeking to elevate their careers. Let’s look at four takeaways from these real-world success stories as guideposts for shaping educational career trajectories! 

Diverse Entry Points and Career Adaptability

The panelists emphasized that a conventional or linear pathway into education is not necessary for a fruitful career. Career transitions across different sectors enrich one’s skill set and offer fresh pedagogical perspectives. Highly effective teachers have entered the classroom after successful careers in business and finance, tourism and hospitality, healthcare, military service, technology, skilled trades, and the arts.    

According to Moreland University faculty member Amanda Serrano, M.Ed., “My school director came to find out that I was previously a studio artist and he requested that I get involved in the middle school design program. I ended up designing the facility, working with architects or a whole team other teachers and specialists.” Such adaptability enables educators to resonate with a broader audience and adapt to various teaching environments. 

Credentialing and Ongoing Professional Development

An unambiguous message from all panelists was the indispensable role of proper credentialing and continuous learning. Depending on the school setting, legal requirements across different states and countries may require that teachers be certified or licensed. Moreland University offers a suite of programs that not only prepare candidates for initial U.S. certification through its 9-month, online teacher preparation program,but also provide avenues for ongoing professional development and master’s degrees for traditional and non-traditional educators  

Ongoing professional development music make direct connections to teaching and learning, helping teachers see immediate impact in their classrooms. According to Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kerri Valencia, also a Moreland graduate, “When I started taking the modules in the TEACH-NOW Teacher Preparation Certificate Program, immediately I was able to use what I was learning and try it out in the classroom the next day, and then go back to my cohort and talk about it every week.” It is critical that programs and course content be immediately integrated into classroom instruction, prioritizing real-world relevance of the curriculum for career growth. 

Mentorship and Community Engagement 

The significance of finding mentors and becoming part of a professional community was a recurring theme. Networking within these circles can serve as a catalyst for career development, offering avenues to refine pedagogical approaches and achieve professional goals.  

Institutions including Moreland University provide this integral community setting, along with mentorship opportunities tailored to individual needs. Dr. John Baker, Moreland graduate and career-changer, shares the impact of the support he received from the committed staff as well as his professional learning community (PLC) at Moreland: “Everybody knew what they were doing, and they were just learning how to do it better. All they cared was my name was John, and I wanted to get a K-12 teacher certification.” Dr. Baker highlights that Moreland focuses on a common mission: 

“Teaching teachers around the world to be resourceful problem solvers and tech-savvy educators through an online, collaborative, activity-based learning system designed for tomorrow’s students in a dynamic and diverse world.” 

Versatility and Institutional Support 

The ability to function effectively in multiple educational roles and settings underscores the need for flexibility and institutional support. As the educational landscape grows increasingly diverse and complex, versatility in skills and approaches becomes not just advantageous but essential. Educators who can adapt to different curricula, integrate technology, and pivot teaching methods are often better equipped to meet the varied needs of their student populations.  

The responsiveness and student-centric approach at Moreland University act as a force multiplier in career development. Educators’ ability to be versatile in their instructional practice is often magnified by the level of institutional backing they receive. Moreland University stands as a paradigm in this regard by focusing on preparing tomorrow’s teachers for tomorrow’s learning world with…  

  • globally relevant curriculum with mindful integration of educational technology, 
  • comprehensive institutional support through academic advising and dedicated technical support,  
  • ongoing institutional improvement to align with the latest educational research, 
  • and lifelong support for graduates as they transition throughout their careers. 

To delve deeper into these topics, watch the recorded webinar embedded below. This resource will enrich your understanding and offer additional context. 

Career Advancement with Moreland University

These suggestions and considerations stand on the foundation of lived experiences of seasoned educators. They offer a practical roadmap to navigate the intricate ecosystem of educational careers, underlining the promise and possibility that await those willing to invest in their professional growth.  

If these insights resonate with you, consider furthering your education and educational career with Moreland University. Our programs are designed to equip educators with the skills, credentials, and community they need to flourish in today’s dynamic educational landscape.  

Elevate your teaching practice and expand your career horizons by applying for one of our programs

Joseph A. Pearson, M.S.Ed. 

Professional Development Specialist  

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