Transitioning from Educator to Administrator: Job Search Tips

By Kiara Y.R. Kim, Resource Development Assistant

Administrative roles are important in the overall management, functioning, and strategic direction of educational institutions. These roles can encompass a wide range of responsibilities that may involve overseeing operations, implementing policies, or managing resources to ensure the overall success of the educational programs and institutions.

Whether you are an educator seeking to broaden your impact on a larger scale, drawn to leadership and mentorship for educators, or motivated for professional growth, embarking on the path from educator to administrator is a journey that demands both ambition and strategic navigation.

In this unique blog series, we explore the pursuit of administrative roles in the field of English Language Training (ELT). TESL Ontario collaborated with six (6) hiring managers representing various sectors of the Ontario ELT landscape, who stand ready to share their experience, advice, and wisdom along this transitional journey. This third installment of the series is designed to provide some practical tips and solutions to your job search.

Five Job Search Tips from Hiring Managers

Tip 1: Seek Guidance: Reach out to someone in a role slightly above yours, who might be willing to provide mentorship. They may also be aware of potential opportunities or offer insights to guide your path.

Ask [your] direct supervisor for advice as they may be aware of opportunities.” Interim Associate Director

Shadow someone who is one step above you and work closely with them.  This will give you the insight, skills and confidence to move up to the next level.  Also, make those above you know that you are interested in pursuing opportunities to prove yourself.” Department Chair

Find a good manager to mentor you. I was fortunate to have had several excellent mentors and I learned a lot from each and was inspired.” Manager, Continuing & Community Education

Tip 2: Gain Operational Insight: Educators who understand the broader operations of their institutions excel as administrators. Take the time to learn about the reasons behind institutional procedures and policies.

Teachers who have the ability to “see outside their own classroom” often make the best administrators.” Director of Studies

Tip 3: Attend Networking Events: Building professional connections provide opportunities to share industry knowledge, gain new insights, gain confidence, connect with people in various industry occupations and institutions. Engaging with industry organizations, professional events, and conferences are great ways to stay connected with the industry.

​​Seek out opportunities at local organizations, network at professional events and conferences, including online PD sessions.” ESL-LINC Coordinator

Tip 4: Stay Informed on the Industry: ELT is an ever-evolving and dynamic field. Apart from networking events, staying informed on industry trends, practices, and demands independently is crucial to staying relevant.

“… visit CCLB and Tutela sites and stay on top of communication such as newsletters, subscribe to alumni newsletters from TESOL providers, and, of course, make use of TESL Ontario’s Career initiatives!” ESL-LINC Coordinator

Tip 5: Embrace Leadership Opportunities: Consider taking on leadership positions. Administrative and managerial roles require leadership as they are responsible for a variety of tasks that influence the people, operations, functioning, and strategy of a program or organization. Building, practicing, and demonstrating your leadership ability can enrich your skill set and enhance your candidacy.

Accept a variety of leadership positions even if it does not financially pay off at first.” Associate Chair

Transitioning from educator to administrator requires intention, dedication, and a well-planned approach. By incorporating some of these shared tips with your own aspirations, we hope that you can confidently embark on this transformative journey.

Visit the TESL Career Centre for essential resources designed to help you navigate the English language education employment landscape. 

The Career Connections: 2023 Career Fair and the Career Booster forum took place as part of the 2023 TESL Ontario Annual Virtual Conference that was held on November 9th. While you may have missed it this year, please consider joining us next year for our TESL Ontario Annual Conference and Career Fair.

Kiara Kim is the Resource Development Assistant at TESL Ontario for summer 2023. She is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, Mississauga, with an HBSc in Anthropology. Throughout her undergrad, she worked actively within university programming and various community research projects in fields of anthropology of health, historical archeology and English language education. She is looking forward to furthering her intersecting interests in research and education.


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