Instructional Designer Jobs For Teachers
One of the most common questions I get as The Teacher Career Coach is about Instructional Designer jobs for teachers. I know from experience what a great fit this career transition is. That’s because this is my current full-time career after I left the classroom. The skills I gained from being a teacher, plus new skills that I learned throughout my transition have given me the confidence to open new career doors and I couldn’t be happier.
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So, What is an Instructional Designer?
Instructional Designers are a very integral part of the learning process. They are tasked with redesigning courses, developing entire courses or curriculums and creating informative training materials. They also create and design teaching manuals, student guides, and workbooks. Instructional designers can bridge the gap between learning and technology to create an engaging educational experience. If you have an eye for creativity but still like the structure of a lesson plan, then this can be a meaningful and satisfying career path.
How Do I Get Started?
First, you’ll need to have a lot of technological experience, such as knowledge about content management systems (ex. WordPress or Drupal), learning management systems and search engine optimization. This job is also very independent. So if you prefer working solo over a team atmosphere, you will probably be suited or this work. That’s not to say that you won’t ever work with a team as an instructional designer. But, a lot of ID jobs are remote and it will be just you. These positions do have room for growth and hiring managers value experience more than certification. But, it’s a good idea to gain some basic knowledge and learn some of the specifics.
You might want to check out some digital courses to learn the skills, terminology, and expectations of this career. Here are some I recommend:
- Instructional Design Foundations and Applications
- Infographic Design
- Digital Storytelling
- Inclusive Design
- Instructional Design Foundations Applications
To help you gain confidence in your qualifications, I recommend you learn what transferable skills teachers have.
What Skills Do I Already Have That Will Transfer?
A lot of times we psyche ourselves out about if we have the right skills to move into another career. (Check out my blog on Impostor Syndrome). You’d be surprised to know that the skills you already possess as a teacher can easily transfer into a career for instructional design. For example, your writing and editing skills on any document, curriculum, etc. counts and will definitely come in handy because you are creating learning programs that are meant to be read. Your lesson planning and curriculum knowledge have already given you the experience to be adept at curriculum development and creating learning modules.
If you have had any exposure to any education technology, such as Learning Management Systems, course development software, teacher training programs, and learning or parent/teacher communication apps, then you are not walking into this field blind. Most classrooms and schools are technological hubs and teachers have become very savvy at keeping up.
Most importantly, your creative thinking skills with the ability to think of new ways to produce a new concept or idea, and your ability to translate challenging materials into easy to understand lessons are very valued attributes that will serve you well.
What Additional Skills Will I Need?
Teacher skills are great and will absolutely transfer, but it will be helpful to have specific skills that are directly related to instructional design. First, research, study and gain an overall knowledge of learning theories and instructional design models. Familiarize yourself with the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) model, which is a methodology for instructional design. Research, study and gain an overall knowledge on popular adult learning techniques and methodologies, such as Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy and the 3 Domains of Learning (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor). Research, study and gain an overall knowledge of project management skills.
How Can I Gain Experience for My Resume?
If you want experience ASAP, I’d suggest building a digital course for additional income and to use on your resume, freelancing, etc. If you are less experienced, you may want to look for “associate” instructional designer or junior instructional designer positions, etc. I’d also suggest getting some exposure designing or at least using an online educational program or instructional technology programs and e-learning authoring tools.
Implementing a Program
Another way to gain experience is if by chance your school is considering implementing a program you are familiar with. Then you can offer to run demonstrations for the rest of the faculty. You can also look for freelance opportunities as well. Get creative, volunteer, and do what you need to, but being able to list your experience paired with these popular programs will be very helpful: Articulate; Canvas or Blackboard LMS; WordPress; Thinkific (Try it for free!) and Adobe Creative Cloud.
A second career for teachers can help you fluff up your resume experience. One of the ways I landed my job as an instructional designer was because I was able to add my websites, digital courses, and TPT stores to my resume. Not only does it build your credibility as a professional, but you are able to create passive income while you are learning. A win, win!
How Pitch Myself to Potential Employers?
An elevator pitch is a 30 to 60 second summary on your experience that you can rattle off by memory once you get in front of the hiring person. You’ll want to talk about your education, your experience, why you want to an instructional designer and you can add to your future employer.
Elevator Pitch Example
Here is an example of an elevator pitch for a prospective instructional designer: “I recently graduated with a Master’s degree from UT and have been working in the education field for 7 years. I’ve really enjoyed the instructional design aspect of teaching, combined with project management. I’m actually looking to transition into something outside of education and more in line with Instructional Design. If your company is ever looking for a go-getter who is an experienced Designer, please keep me in mind!”
Be sure to practice your pitch so you know it by heart. This will instill confidence in you and instills confidence in you to the person you are pitching.
Next Steps If You Are Interested In Instructional Designer Jobs For Teachers
If becoming an instructional designer is something you are interested in learning about, sign up for my waiting list as I am in the process of creating resources to walk you through the steps!
If you have enjoyed what you have read, you can find more tools, tips, and testimonials at Teacher Career Coach to help you get started on your new journey. In my online course, you find out how to improve your resume skills, possible career paths for teachers, how to overcome negativity, and so much more. As always, sign up for my free newsletter to stay connected to a community of like-minded teachers and former teachers looking for amazing careers beyond the classroom.
If you’re ready to jump and get all of my resources immediately, join The Teacher Career Coach Course today. Check out the Teacher Career Coach reviews to hear what other teachers are saying about this course.