As we move toward spring, most teachers are forced to concede that the 2020-21 school year was the greatest challenge ever in their professional lives. First of all, it was a challenge to teach. And second, this year proved to be a daunting obstacle to career progress. Suddenly, the possibilities of career advancement seemed to fade away – whether that progress meant choosing a teaching specialty, becoming a school principal, becoming head of a department, or finding a job in a different school or school system.

So, What Are Ambitious Teachers to Do about Advancing their Careers?

Despite the many roadblocks that have been thrown in the path of teachers’ career progress, some interesting new programs have recently been introduced that support career advancement. More interesting still, ambitious teachers can take advantage of them over the coming summer months.

Let’s explore some of these programs and what they offer.

The Summer Principals Academy at Columbia University

The Summer Principals Academy is a graduate program committed to developing school leaders and promoting equity and excellence in education through courses and administrative internships. The program allows you to earn your M.A. or Ed.M. over two consecutive five-week summer sessions, while continuing to work in your current teaching or administrative job if necessary.

Teacher Certification Programs in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street

The Bank Street School, located in Manhattan near Columbia University,  offers an extensive array of programs for early childhood educators, both online and on-campus, including options for general education and specializations. Many of these programs prepare you to complete the teaching certification process, including taking certification exams and completing other requirements.

Edutopia Summer Learning Opportunities for Teachers

Edutopia offers a gateway of information on a large selection of programs for both students and teachers. One example is the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, which offers teaching workshops around the world. There are many programs to choose from, so be sure to investigate.

And a List of 30 Companies that Are Hiring Teachers for Summer Jobs

If you want to add new skills and experience, there is also the possibility of learning by taking an interesting job over the summer months. “30 Summer Jobs for Teachers, From Summer Camps to Delivery Services,” an article on, offers a list of 30 companies that are actively hiring teachers for summer jobs.

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Your participation will help guide future research, programming, and discussion on how best teachers can prepare their students for 21st-century careers. Take 2-3 minutes to share your thoughts.

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