How can teachers network better?

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
Conferences can be powerful networking events for teachers.

In the Australian education sector, opportunities to attend conferences, seminars, workshops and other professional development experiences are rich and varied. In addition to the educational value these events can bring, the potential for valuable networking can also help ambitious educators connect with inspiring people.

But because networking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, drawing on these useful tips about how to expand your professional network may help.

Attend education conferences and workshops

There are many ways to network with like-minded professionals, with travelling conferences, such as EduTech, that take a diverse and broad look at things happening in the education space, to more targeted, specific events that may focus on particular aspects, such as single-sex schooling, arts education, or STEM-related learning.

Whatever event you choose to attend, meeting new people is a positive way to exchange ideas, and learn about innovative practices in education. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before you head out into the networking world – you’ll need it to store people’s emails and phone numbers.

- Advertisement -

EduTech, for example, makes connecting at their event even easier by enabling you to scan the QR code on people’s registration lanyards – for an instant download of all the important details that will enable you to connect at a later date.

Go with a goal in mind

Rather than just walk into a networking event without a plan, setting goals for yourself about who you want to connect with gives you a purpose. Perhaps you are hoping to make a connection with a staff member at a school you’d love to work at one day, or maybe you want to hit the speaking circuit and are hoping to find an experienced event speaker who could mentor you. By attending an event with a plan about who you’d like to meet – or who you think may benefit from meeting you – you can seek out relevant people and focus on making deeper connections.

Join professional associations

Joining professional organisations related to your teaching speciality is another proactive way to open doors to networking opportunities. These organisations often hold their own webinars and local events where you can connect with other professionals in your field. By becoming an active participant in online discussions and events related to your field, you can help your name be recognised and identify other people you’d love to learn from and share ideas with.

Use social media strategically

Social media gets some bad press, but it can be a powerful tool for professional networking. Create professional profiles on platforms such as LinkedIn, X and Facebook to connect with educators, administrators, and relevant organisations and associations in the education sector. Follow influential educators and educational institutions and comment on their posts. By engaging in social media conversations, you share resources, exchange ideas, and collaborate with a wide network.

- Advertisement -

Build better relationships in your own school community

Networking isn’t just about adding the most connections you can. Building meaningful relationships within your school community is essential and by connecting with colleagues, administrators, and support staff – as well as talking to families – you can make the most of opportunities within your local community.

Instead of feeling envious of colleagues’ success – think about ways you can learn from it. Mentorship relationships can be extremely valuable and help you achieve the professional goals that matter to you.

Consider professional mentoring programs

By seeking out experienced educators, you can access guidance, support, and advice as you navigate your teaching career. Many schools and peak bodies within the education sector offer formal mentoring programs that pair experienced teachers with newer educators. Aim to establish meaningful mentor-mentee relationships so you can benefit from the wisdom and expertise of experienced professionals – and share your own wisdom with others too.

Networking is about giving

It’s vital to remember that genuinely powerful networking is not just about what you may gain but also about what you can offer. When you are willing to share your own expertise and support to elevate others, you contribute to the collective growth of your profession.

Share This Article
Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]