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Kristina Rider’s Journey From Teacher to Instructional Designer

What were you doing before Instructional Design?

Like some of you, I was a teacher in the public K-12 system. I have over 23 years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach. I also have a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology, but feel it really did not prepare me to move out of K-12 education. 

In July of 2020, I decided that I was going to begin the change from teaching to Instructional design. Imposter syndrome being what it is, I was hesitant and did not feel that I had the skills to transition. I was wrong!

What made you decide to join Applied Instructional Design Academy (AIDA)? Did you have any hesitation about joining?

I stumbled across Jill’s Freedom Through Remote Instructional Design Group about a year ago and began digging deeper into instructional design as a career. I was looking for as many free resources as I could find to fill gaps between my teaching career and instructional design. I found myself going into one rabbit hole after another. 

After some research into various instructional design courses and programs, I came back to watch Jill’s 5 Day Instructional Design Jumpstart workshop. I quickly realized how much Jill had to offer and could see her true passion to help others. I started to pay attention to her posts. I tuned in every day for the video presentation and learned so much about Instructional Design in the corporate world. 

Part way through the week she had mentioned her mentor/coaching program. I checked it out and like some of you my heart sank. Being a teacher with two boys nearing the end of their high school years and entering college, how could I afford this program? I prayed and crunched some numbers and decided to invest in myself. It did not come without sacrifice!

What was your experience like in Applied Instructional Design Academy?

In August 2020, I became a student of the Applied Instructional Design Academy while also continuing to work full time in the classroom (teaching face to face and distance simultaneously). I set out to fully transition from teaching into the corporate ID world by the end of this school year and I did just that. Jill’s program has provided me opportunity to develop my skills as an ID. It is organized and most importantly supportive. 

I continued to work full time as a teacher during this pandemic year while completing the program. Some weeks I could spend as much as 30 hours while working full time and others I spent 2-3 hours.

The best part of this course are the coaching calls. This was the most valuable part of the program in my opinion. Several times each week, Jill and her team are available for group coaching calls. We use these calls to show our work and get valuable feedback from Jill and fellow members. It is a chance for you (and others) to share what you have been working on, to ask questions, share struggles, or simply listen to the ideas of others.  You can attend as many calls as you want. The feedback is priceless for our learning samples, resumes, portfolios, interview questions, and everything else you can think of. I will often attend a call simply to listen and gather ideas from others. 

I have also been focused on completing the credential program. The credential is a structured part of the program that guides you through learning, evaluating, and applying what you have learned. You receive valuable feedback on your work (such as building storyboards, design documents, and learning modules). You earn badges and learning credentials that let employers know you have been through a rigorous program to prepare you for corporate work. Jill has thoughtfully put tasks in the program that are meaningful. Nothing is busy work or a time waster in this program. The steps for the credential will really help you grow as an ID professional. 

Jill (and the Success Advisors) are awesome! The value of the feedback, and the exposure to real-world corporate Instructional Design work, gives you knowledge you can apply immediately to build your skills and give you the experience that employers are seeking.

Jill has a genuine passion for helping others in their path to becoming an instructional designer. Her coaching/mentorship program offers many helpful pieces.

What are you doing now?

I finished the school year as a teacher and am now happy to say that I am an instructional designer. Now for the next challenge—do I accept the full-time position offered or work contract to contract for more freedom?

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