Session 323: Teaching Career Ladder

Thursday 6th October 2016

Following on from a close #UKEdChat poll, this week the discussion explored tips and guidance on positive teaching careers and climbing the professional ladder.

Six questions were released during the session:

  1. How happy are you with your teaching careers to date? Why?
  2. What are the challenges for climbing to the next step in your career? What do you need to do?
  3. If the next step of your career involved a location move, would you consider it? How far would you travel?
  4. What advice would you offer to colleagues who are just starting out on their career, based on your experience?
  5. Have you seen the wheels falling off the careers of colleagues? What did you learn?
  6. What is the ultimate goal in your teaching career?


The session began slowly with a question about whether UKEdChatter’s were happy with the progression of their careers thus far. Naturally, not everyone wished to discuss this, and many of the answers were framed in the third person and hypothetical. The discussion touched on a lack of positions being available and the importance of school culture and colleague/SLT support in progression.

The discussion moved on to obstacles to progression. Some of the above were repeated again. Some chatters mentioned that the day to day got in the way of looking at one’s career in the longer term. Moving out of one’s comfort zone was also mentioned a number of times.

The chat moved to discuss moving home to progress. Most participants said they would, or have, for the right position.

The advice offered to colleagues just starting out was varied, so see the archive for a full view of the replies, but the advice included to live a little before teaching, expect pressure but don’t let it get to you, and to look after yourself. There were many of the same suggestions for things to learn from seeing careers of others, not progress as they should.

The chat closed with a question about the ultimate goal of your career. Answers ranged from making a difference, remaining happy, and, of course, retirement. Teaching is one of those careers which can take you to unexpected places and one can have many goals at the same time, or they can vary day by day. Sometimes it is not about the destination, but the journey.


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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat. “Mastery is an unattainable illusion”

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