I switched jobs this year. I’ve gone from teaching 2nd grade at an inner-city charter school to teaching 1st in a small town (technically I haven’t yet started, but I do have a contract). I’m looking forward to the change because, wow, I needed it.
It seems that back in the day, a teacher tended to stay at a school for the long haul. I had I once had a principal tell me that now looks odd. A career, after all, is to some extent about growth and one does not want to be stagnant.
Here’s how I knew it was time to move on:
- Misery. This is a big one. I was depressed, stressed, and thinking incredibly dark thoughts. If you’re not happy, good grief, it’s time to go.
- Clashes with coworkers. You might not always like every last person you work with, but if the environment is generally bad, you might want to leave. I loved my team and many people at the school, but drama was happening just the same.
- You’re wondering about that greener grass. I was daydreaming about different schools, different environments, etc. Nothing wrong with going to see it.
- The writing is on the wall. Truth be told, I don’t know the destiny of my last school. But I had the feeling it was suffering. The school population had exploded, and it brought some demographics we weren’t yet prepared to properly handle, and we were trying too many things. If you think your school is going where you don’t want it go, consider leaving.
- You don’t like your kids. Another big one. As a teacher, you had better enjoy being with your students. I no longer did, not as a whole, anyway. Or, perhaps the kids would have been great on their own, but the combination was awful.
- You feel like it. Don’t be afraid to explore!