TEACH Connecticut Logo
Connecticut
LoginSign Up
Your Career Starts Here
As a teacher, you'll grow your creativity, collaboration and leadership every day. Where will teaching take you?
Your Career Starts Here
As a teacher, you'll grow your creativity, collaboration and leadership every day. Where will teaching take you?

The places you’ll go

As an educator, you’ll have many paths to a fulfilling and meaningful career that highlights your strengths. Explore the paths you can take, and meet Connecticut teachers who have done it!

Classroom Leadership

Teachers lead by formally and informally influencing their school communities. If you love life in the classroom, you can grow your career without leaving it, and help improve and refine education for student success.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) views all of its teachers as Teacher Leaders. These are the collaborators who undertake various roles supporting their colleagues and school communities, working to strengthen and edify one another. They are the trailblazers who work to improve the outcomes and success of each and every student. Teacher Leaders shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.

  • Teacher Leader

    The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) views all of its teachers as Teacher Leaders. These are the collaborators who undertake various roles supporting their colleagues and school communities, working to strengthen and edify one another. They are the trailblazers who work to improve the outcomes and success of each and every student. Teacher Leaders shape the culture of their schools, improve student learning, and influence practice among their peers.

  • Student Support Specialist

    These specialist positions, like counselors and social workers, advocate for students and families in all areas, including academic achievement, social development, preparation for college and future careers. Use your teaching experience to grow in to positions like:

    • Remedial Reading/Language Arts Specialist
    • Speech and Language Pathologist
    • School Counselor
    • School Psychologist
    • School Social Worker
    • School Marriage & Family Therapist
  • Peer Observer

    In this role, a teacher can offer additional instructional support and feedback to colleagues upon request by a teacher or administrator.

  • TEAM Mentor

    TEAM Mentors support beginning and student teachers in developing the skills of effective teaching. In this role, you can engage in conversations about great teaching, share teaching practices and strategies, conduct observations and promote reflective teaching practice.

The life of a teacher leader

Ryan Parker is an eighth grade English teacher and district consultant in Manchester. He teaches teachers how to teach with a focus on culturally relevant pedagogy and restorative justice. 

Ryan's Path

School Leadership Roles

As an educator, you’ll have many opportunities to grow beyond your classroom responsibilities. Your professional path may expand into positions where you oversee everything from the budget to the performance of the entire teaching staff. Check out these school-level leadership gigs and what they entail.

Principals:

  • Set an academic vision and supervise staff to reach it.
  • Build school culture and establish relationships with students, parents and the community.
  • Provide professional development plans for teacher growth.

Assistant Principals:

  • Report to the principal and assist in realizing a shared vision for success.
  • Principal/Assistant Principal

    Principals:

    • Set an academic vision and supervise staff to reach it.
    • Build school culture and establish relationships with students, parents and the community.
    • Provide professional development plans for teacher growth.

    Assistant Principals:

    • Report to the principal and assist in realizing a shared vision for success.
  • Head Teacher/Dean of Students

    Head Teachers or Lead Teachers work in a hybrid role at the elementary level. In secondary schools, a head teacher is often called a Dean of Students. They support the school leadership (like the Principal) to achieve the school goals.

  • Department Chair/Team Leader

    Department Chairs and Team Leaders help lead the work of academic departments—like teams of science, language or grade-level teachers. 

    They help the team implement curriculum and innovative teaching practices, or manage the business of the department. These leaders often serve as a liaison between the teaching faculty and administration.

  • Instructional Leader/Expert

    These content experts analyze classroom data and help teachers implement new programs, strategies and methods in the classroom. You may especially have opportunities to be an instructional coach or specialist in an area of academic need, such as literacy or math.

  • School Governance Council

    This council consists of teachers, students, parents and community members who help the principal guide the school in areas where it needs improvement and celebrates the school in areas where it does well.

The making of a school leader

Read how Manuel Zaldivar Barahona grew his career—from elevator operator, to paraeducator, to teacher, to assistant principal!

 

Manny's Path

District Leadership

You can broaden your reach as a leader and make a lasting mark on the whole community. Work with a school board to be part of the policy and decision-making of your district, or grow into an academic leadership role that guides academic excellence across multiple schools.

Teachers can collaborate with administrators and the school board by serving on regular committees that help continually improve education throughout the district.

The Leadership Committee discusses issues and concerns (both academic and behavioral), develops and revises district policies and procedures, and provides input on initiatives and district priorities.

The Curriculum Committee is made up of administrators, teachers and community members. They review and approve curriculum and texts, and make recommendations  to revise programs, add new programs and modify policy.

The Professional Development and Evaluation Committee (PDEC) consists of teachers, administrators, union representatives and office staff. This committee develops and defines the professional learning opportunities in the district in addition to informing improvements to the teacher evaluation and support plan.

The TEAM Coordinating Committee consists of mentor teachers, administrators and union representatives who plan, oversee, implement and monitor the district’s Teacher Education and Mentoring program. 

  • District Committees

    Teachers can collaborate with administrators and the school board by serving on regular committees that help continually improve education throughout the district.

    The Leadership Committee discusses issues and concerns (both academic and behavioral), develops and revises district policies and procedures, and provides input on initiatives and district priorities.

    The Curriculum Committee is made up of administrators, teachers and community members. They review and approve curriculum and texts, and make recommendations  to revise programs, add new programs and modify policy.

    The Professional Development and Evaluation Committee (PDEC) consists of teachers, administrators, union representatives and office staff. This committee develops and defines the professional learning opportunities in the district in addition to informing improvements to the teacher evaluation and support plan.

    The TEAM Coordinating Committee consists of mentor teachers, administrators and union representatives who plan, oversee, implement and monitor the district’s Teacher Education and Mentoring program. 

  • Technology Coordinator

    If you enjoy exploring the latest learning technology and educational apps, you may find yourself coordinating your district’s technology resources. The Technology Coordinator is an appointed teacher who manages technological resources and offers training and support to colleagues.

  • District Academic Positions

    From Academic Director to Superintendent of Schools, most districts have several academic leadership positions for experienced educators with years of experience. If you enjoy looking at the big picture, managing large programs and leading a team, you may want to grow your classroom experience and your leadership skills.

  • Teacher Advisory Council

    The Teacher Advisory Council is a group of peer-selected teacher representatives who meet monthly to discuss issues and concerns that impact teaching and learning across the district.

Setting a vision for the district

After Daisy Torres became the first in her family to graduate college, she went on to teach in the community where she grew up. Now, she's the Director of English Learner Services, Dual & World Language Programs for Hartford Public Schools.

Daisy's Path

Policy, Advocacy and Academia

Further your commitment to education by sharing what you know with new audiences. Your career may naturally lead to a role where you are advocating for an issue, pursuing policy positions or moving into academic research.

Sometimes full-time or sometimes alongside your teaching responsibilities, serve with your union in leadership roles (typically elected) to address teacher concerns, negotiate contracts, and serve as a liaison between your school and the union.

  • Union Representative

    Sometimes full-time or sometimes alongside your teaching responsibilities, serve with your union in leadership roles (typically elected) to address teacher concerns, negotiate contracts, and serve as a liaison between your school and the union.

  • Higher Education

    Love to learn? You can further your studies by obtaining a PhD. With a doctoral degree, you could become a researcher, a professor, or a national leader in your field.

  • Policy Staff

    If you’re interested in state or national policy, you might serve on education committees for the state or grow into roles at the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the U.S. Department of Education or the legislative branches at the state or federal level. In these roles, you may help research and inform educational policy decisions. As a CSDE Teacher Leader in Residence, you can be selected to try out work in state policy without giving up your district position. 

    Your career could even take you from the classroom to the head of public education for the state, like Connecticut's Commissioner of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona.

  • Advocacy Work

    Many organizations exist to ensure that all children receive the education and services they need to succeed. You can bring your experience to organizations that work towards early childhood education, public health and wellness, science education and more. With teaching experience, you can bring an educator's voice to the table.

Advocating for students statewide

Miguel Cardona began as a 4th grade teacher in his hometown of Meriden. From there, he became Connecticut's youngest principal, a district Superintendent, and now the state's top education post—the Commissioner of Education. 

Once a teacher, always a teacher!

Miguel's Path

Education Products and Services

The skills you learn as a teacher can prepare you to develop products and services for teachers and schools. Whether you balance multiple ventures while teaching or decide to apply your skill elsewhere, teaching will prepare you to excel. Consider these few paths as a sampling of possible opportunities.

Create an organization that produces solutions and products to address an unmet need.

  • Startup Founder

    Create an organization that produces solutions and products to address an unmet need.

  • Social Entrepreneur

    See a societal issue that needs attention, and lead an organization to help create movement and social change.

  • Account Manager

    Use the relationship management skills you hone in teaching to build relationships and manage portfolios of work in a variety of sectors.

  • Analyst

    Use your analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities to tackle and make sense of hard problems.

  • Sales Lead

    Take the persuasive skills necessary in teaching and apply them to any sales job.

Take your passion anywhere

Kelly Villar fell in love with the Iditarod sled dog race the moment she learned about it. After incorporating it into her lesson plans for almost 19 years, she applied to become the 2020 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail!™ 

Follow Kelly's journey from teacher to trail blogger and curriculum designer!

Kelly's Path
Design a Roadmap
A career in education is anything but static. It’s filled with growth, options, and opportunities. Keep exploring and a get a personalized roadmap to think through next steps that fit your stage and…
Start
Design a Roadmap
A career in education is anything but static. It’s filled with growth, options, and opportunities. Keep exploring and a get a personalized roadmap to think through next steps that fit your stage and…
Start