Moving teaching jobs

Teachers move to different teaching jobs for any reasons. Some actively look for new challenges and opportunities, others follow a partner to a different location and still others move from a state school to a private one. Whatever the reason for moving teaching jobs, it can be scary, if not downright terrifying.

Perhaps you feel, or felt, that it was time for a different set of experiences in a new school, or perhaps your new job was a step up the ladder. When you walk through the doors of a new school, you might feel like the new kid on the block and out of your depth. On the other hand, if you are a positive individual, you could feel an adrenalin rush and be excited about the new challenges in front of you. It depends on your psychological make-up and how adaptable you are when confronted with a new environment.

When you start at a new school, you will have to make yourself known to your new colleagues as well as your students. They may or may not welcome you with open arms. Students will compare you to their last teacher, and the comparison they make may not be favourable. However, if you are fair, sincere and have an excellent grasp of your subject, they will be able to adjust to your new style of teaching them.

You should not fall into the trap of agreeing with everything in order to appear likeable and to be sociable. Stand up for your beliefs and don’t let anyone (especially your new students) think that you are a push-over. Think back to the days when you were a new teacher, just out of a teacher training programme. Think about how you reacted then and learn from any mistakes you think you made in retrospect.

In the beginning, when you move schools you might feel that colleagues and members of the senior management team are scrutinising your every move. This feeling will pass once you become acclimatised to the new environment. Tell yourself that you are a very good teacher and believe it.

Believe that your new colleagues don’t want you to fail. If you do, their workloads could increase. Your colleagues will probably understand what you are going through, and they will be sympathetic and encouraging. If they aren’t, they should be! You can ignore those who are unsympathetic and form new friendships with more amenable colleagues.

If you feel that you have made a mistake in the beginning, ask yourself why you left your old job. You must have had some very good reasons for doing so. Ask yourself if those reasons are still valid. They probably are.

You might feel snowed under with work in the beginning, especially if you are teaching younger or older students, or if you are following a different syllabus. Don’t despair in the first days of term. Hang on in there. Things will get better. However, if you can’t adapt to your new teaching environment, start looking for another position. Remember that your old one will probably have been filled. Take a look at the ones advertised on our Talented Teacher Jobs website, but give yourself time to settle in to your new school. It’s just tough at the beginning of term.


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