So, you think you are good at technology? You can use the latest, trendy tech tool out there and feel comfortable. You can even assist co-workers with said tech tools. If this is true for you, you may be ready to jump into the world of tech coaching. Tech coaches, aka Digital Learning Coaches, Technology Integration Specialists, etc. are a vital part of school districts in the area of teacher training and encouraging higher-level instructional practices. In this post, we explore 3 steps to follow to successfully score a position as a tech coach.
3Step 1 – Know Your Why
When considering applying and interviewing for a tech coach position, be sure to know why you are really pursuing that route. Make sure you have a mindset of growth and motivation that’s driving you to new endeavors. Becoming a tech coach may or may not be the right path if you are escaping a position due to burn-out or frustration of current conditions in the classroom. As with many positions, being a tech coach is more than just a job. A tech coach is a position that requires dedication, patience, and motivation. So why do you want to be a tech coach?
2Step 2 – Getting Qualified For The Interview
As you consider moving forward to becoming a tech coach, qualifications are a very important consideration. Just because you know tech doesn’t mean you can coach tech. As the old saying goes “Do you have what it takes…..to coach tech?”
The first aspect we will mention are actual qualifications, as in certifications or endorsements. As with any resume, the more certifications you have, the better your resume will stand out. We’ll get to resumes later, but you need to make sure you will have what you need to put on it. Check with your district and/or state to find out what certifications they require. Also, put out some feelers inquiring what the vision is for the particular district and position. It’s all about networking. Funny how tech terms apply.
The next qualification that we will discuss is experience. The position of tech coach is a teaching position. Most districts and states require teaching experience as well as background knowledge in educational technology. You will probably need more than a year or two of classroom experience and familiarity with the classroom technology to excel in a tech coach position. Volunteering to help colleagues through collaboration opportunities will develop valuable experience as well as a reputation of trust and respect. Proving yourself as a local tech support can confirm that the position of tech coach could be right for you.
The last qualification is you.
The last qualification is you. Reflect upon your own strengths, and weaknesses. We are still self-evaluating and preparing for the resume phase, so don’t be afraid to tout your knowledge. Tech coaching involves teaching students, teaching adults, advising on new tools, and encouraging the proper use of various technologies into the application of learning. Remember, technology is an unusual subject matter to teach when working with a wide range of ages and comfort levels; from student to teacher, user to administrator, beginner to experienced.
1Step 3 – Prepare Your Resume
Remember, the resume is the first thing future employers will see, so keeping it updated as you learn and develop will simplify this process and give you a huge advantage as you prepare for obtaining an interview. Be sure to list any and all badge certifications, ambassador programs, and professional training opportunities provided by EdTech companies. Though these certifications/badges may not be a requirement for the position for which you are applying, they go a long way in demonstrating your experience and willingness to learn. The resume will also need to include anything you feel illustrates what type of coach you will be. A digital portfolio located on a website or blog is also recommended to gather anything else that you feel displays your strengths as a teacher and experience with educational technology. Nothing nails a job easier than an awesome resume and portfolio.
One last piece of advice coming from my own journey through the years of being a tech coach is this: Find a mentor. Look for a tech coach you respect and start learning from their journey. Ask them questions, practice interviewing, and volunteer to assist them in some training sessions. There is nothing like experience to nail the job position you desire.
If I can help you in your journey, contact me here at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @sv314dws. You can also find Jeff Bradbury and I via The Ask The Teach Coach Podcast or on Twitter at @askthetechcoach.
Best wishes on your coaching journey!