Education and Training: Master’s degree; teaching administrator license
Average Salary: $56,800
Job Outlook: Very good
Coordinators – instructional coordinators or curriculum specialists – help with teacher training, developing new educational programs, choosing classroom textbooks, and developing curriculum that meets state standards. Many coordinators specialize in finding new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, and most have their specialty in a broad subject area, like math, science, or language arts.
To do their work, instructional coordinators will check out the latest research on instructional techniques and ideas, and they’ll evaluate their school’s current curriculum to see how well it meets newer standards. They must have good communication skills, since they often meet with committees, groups, and even individual teachers to see how the current curriculum is working and how it might be improved.
Besides all this, instructional coordinators often review potential new textbooks and exercises to recommend to the teachers. They often coordinate and conduct teaching in-service programs as well, where teachers learn about the latest developments in curriculum development, teaching techniques, and technology in the classroom.
Education and Training Requirements
Most instructional coordinator jobs require at least a master’s degree in education, if not a doctoral degree. Coordinators must also have a state teaching or administration license. College students aiming for a teaching coordinator position should take extra courses in curriculum development, academic administration, and teaching methodology. Coordinators must take their state’s licensing test for state school teaching or administration, depending on the school district.
Like most teaching-related positions, those with instructional coordinator jobs should be prepared to do plenty of continuing education, including classes in the latest technology for teaching and teaching techniques. They must also be self-motivated in staying current on the latest research and state standards for their area of expertise.
Getting the Job
Typical teaching coordinators hold actual teaching positions and/or administrative positions before becoming coordinators. They need first-hand experience of how teaching in a classroom setting works, and they get that through actually teaching. They often move into their role from a master teacher or department chair role, depending on the school district’s setup.
Instructional coordinators need to prove good understanding of curriculum as well as strong interpersonal skills before they can apply for a coordinator position. Promotion within school systems is common, but teachers can also apply in other systems if they have the necessary education and experience.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
The outlook for teaching coordinators is good. As technology and teaching techniques change, instructional coordinators will become more necessary, even if actual teaching jobs decline. Coordinators with experience in math and reading curriculum are probably going to be in particularly high demand.
Instructional coordinators often move into higher level administrative positions in a public school system. They may also use their expertise to work for actual curriculum development companies or in other private industries.
Working Conditions and Environment
An instructional coordinator position can be somewhat stressful, and it often means working long hours. Since schools often share instructional coordinators within a system, some travel may be required for most coordinators. They often work within a central office system, however. Instructional coordinators must have excellent interpersonal skills, since they’re accountable to school administrators but must also interact with teachers.
Salary and Benefits
Instructional coordinators make an average of $56,800 per year. Those in the lowest bracket make just $31,800 per year, and those in the highest make more than $93,200 per year. Earnings depends largely on the school system where the coordinator works, but it also depends on experience.
This full-time position normally comes with vacation and health benefits, though instructional coordinators normally do not get the summer off like teachers do.
Where to Go for More Information
For more information on instructional coordinator positions and training, check out these resources:
American Association of School Administrators
801 N. Quincy St., Ste. 700
Arlington, VA 22203-1730
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
1703 N. Beauregard St.
Alexandria, VA 2231-1714
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