Even though it is just February, teachers are beginning to think of the next academic school year. Some are contemplating leaving the profession for various reasons; some reasons are outside their circle of control like salary and yet other reasons stem from the position they currently hold at a particular school. If the latter is the case, instead of leaving teaching why not consider transferring to another school or school system and get a fresh start? We need qualified teachers with experience. Not all schools are alike, so, “don’t quit, find your fit!”
We know that schools within a system vary greatly. Some tend to be community-oriented while others are more transient, some tend to struggle and others are high flyers. Some schools promote teacher leadership and others have managers for principals. Each school has their pros and cons and when a teacher starts to see only the cons, it may be time to move forward.
When teachers are dissatisfied at their current school they tend to share their unhappiness with colleagues and this can be detrimental to the school’s culture. Sometimes the dissatisfaction comes from the actions of a new principal or department head. It can be hard to let go of the way it “was.” It is human nature, I suppose, but when teachers are “marking time” versus enjoying their jobs, perhaps a change of scenery will reignite the educational embers.
If moving does not seem to change the attitude, then maybe a move within the system (teacher to administrator or public to private or high school to college or vice versa) is the way to continue to serve others. If all else fails perhaps retirement or a profession change will ignite “life embers.” There is no rule that says once a teacher always a teacher. Your happiness or satisfaction gets a vote in all of this, don’t sell yourself short.
We all know somebody who took that step into the unknown. Did it help them? Are they happier? Will they continue in the profession because of the move? Asking questions to people who have gone before may be just what a teacher needs to stay put (and make the best of it) or move. Ultimately, being informed is critical to making a decision.
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Alison Thetford, M.Ed