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Resources for Transitioning from K-12 Teacher to Trainer

transitioning form teacher to trainer

If teachers have their reasons for wanting to leave the classroom and find other opportunities where there strong skillset in instructional design can be transferred fairly easily into a new career, then the least I can do is offer my appreciation in the form of a few resources that may be handy in teacher to learning & development transition.

At Endurance Learning, we have two very high performing former teachers on staff, and we work with several others who have transitioned to the world of freelance elearning developers. So I’ve seen firsthand how a teacher’s skillset is readily transferable into the world of adult learning and professional development.

There is a learning curve that comes with the shift from classroom teacher to corporate trainer, but it is happening more and more. The teacher to trainer shift means an obvious change in audience (from classroom students to adult learners) and a sometimes less obvious (by maybe more jolting) change in organizational culture (from schools to for-profit or non-profit businesses).

Book about Going From Teacher to Corporate Trainer

teachers to trainers

Lisa Spinelli, who now works at the Association for Talent Development (ATD), published a book entitled Teachers to Trainers: Apply Your Passion and Skills to a New Career. This would be the perfect place to begin exploring if the leap from school classroom to corporate learning might be the right move for you. The book includes skills assessments, worksheets, write-ups of certification and certificate programs and recommended reading.

If you prefer to listen to Lisa share some of the trends and lessons learned as she was writing her book, you can also listen to the episode Preparing Teacher to Train I had the opportunity to record with her when her book first hit the shelves.

Podcast Episodes and Article to Learn from Others

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing several professionals who made the transition from teacher to learning and development professionals. In each of these episodes you’ll hear about their experiences making the transition out of teaching into the corporate training world.

LinkedIn Network of Key People to Support Teachers

While books and podcasts can be helpful resources to assist you in getting a feel for what to expect in the transition from teacher to trainer, building a network of people who can answer your questions, share stories and even help get your foot in the door at an organization is crucial. After all, your instructional design and facilitation skills may be extremely transferable, but there is way too much truth to the adage: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Here are a few people you may want to connect with on LinkedIn and even propose to have virtual coffee if they have the time:

  1. Lisa Spinelli. I mentioned Lisa and her book above, so she’s included here for obvious reasons.
  2. Shermaine Perry-Knights. Also mentioned above, also on this list for obvious reasons.
  3. Lauren Wescott. Lauren now serves as a manager of learning and development with Endurance Learning and came into her role without any prior experience developing or leading corporate elearning initiatives. She’s now a rockstar and might have some interesting nuggets to share about her journey if you connect with her.
  4. Lindsay Garcia. Lindsay is another manager of learning and development with Endurance Learning who worked in St. Lucie Public Schools (FL) early in her career before settling into her current role where she combines graphic design with instructional design to generate amazing elearning experiences.

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