The following blog post is a guest post written by Ask the Tech Coach Podcast co-host Susan Vincentz based on a recent episode of the Ask the Tech Coach Podcast. Please visit Susan's full article on her website.
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.
Step 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?
Step 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. 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.
Are you a Tech Coach looking for a complete guide to landing your next career move?