Get cape …

courageTwelve months ago we were just coming up the end of our first half term at a new school and I’ve been thinking about how easy it has been to forget how tough it all was and was saddened the other evening to see a couple of tweets from teachers asking about when they could put their resignation letters in. Working in schools is different to anything I’ve ever experienced but **coughs** years later I’m used to it all now and genuinely love what I do. It takes times to get used to new surroundings, a new school or even a new career

I’m not even sure the following will help but even if one person gets some comfort from it, this post will have served a purpose. Moving schools is like an unwritten rule in teaching that no one talks about … it really is tough! Remember it is not you! In time, you’ll get that even though the processes and policies are different – it’s not the school at fault, it’s not the other staff – I’d like to say it’s also not the kids but they’re also having to deal with change and in time they’ll get used to you … Change is tough for everyone involved. The overriding factor is that it is DEFINITELY NOT YOU!

It gets easier! I PROMISE! That’s not to say my new school feels exactly like the previous one – I now know that any subsequent school (not that I’m looking to move on!!) will be different too. At the previous schools relationships were founded when I was at a different point in my life and maybe I was a lot more … ummm … I don’t know how to explain … the people there saw me in a different way, in that they saw me develop from a newbie teacher and the journey along the way, and so they had no pre-conceived ideas.

A couple of things in no particular order:

  • Find someone you can trust and don’t be afraid to let your guard down – it’s good to do sometimes but be careful of trusting the first shoulder that is offered for you to cry on. Try to find someone who moved schools before and understands how tough it is – unless you’ve been there you just won’t “get it”.
  • In terms of the students – they will grow to love (ok maybe a bit much!) you. I found that half term was a milestone – it was almost as if they went away for the week and came back and saw us still there and thought “oh sh1t! You’re still here … I’d better get used to it!” To illustrate this I have just seen a previous student in the supermarket and he was beaming as he said “Hello Miss” and then proceeded to tell me all about college. You would never have believed he would want to open up to me. What we are doing as teachers is opening doors for these kids to go on and better themselves – To fulfil their potential. Sometimes it is easy to forget that … results day I was actually in tears with one student as I looked forward to teaching her so much – she was my shining light. Find a student or a group of students in each group that you teach to their ability and the rest of the group will rise to it or not as the case may be, but most will come along eventually.
  • Take the time to relax and stop thinking about work – it will drive you mad! It is important to remember that our friends and family are the most important thing in our lives (Twitter and blogging also helped me) …MOST IMPORTANTLY our job does not define who we are as people. It defines how we pay the bills! It is sometimes easy to forget this, especially given the hierarchy that exists in schools. Surround yourself with positive people … negativity is infectious! My husband would often be my sounding board but at times even he just didn’t “get it” and I came away thinking that I was being silly in the big scheme of things … when in fact all I needed from him wasn’t to offer me advice but to just listen to me whinge. I was lucky (not sure I’d have admitted it at the time) in that most of the time I had Seager to go running to, so can only imagine doing it on my own.
  • The year will be very humbling for you but for me, now looking back I think it made me evaluate my practice more than I have done in a very long time. My teaching had gotten routine and lazy as I didn’t have to think about behaviour management but last year year I’ve got right back to grass roots and I am now in a situation where I look forward to thinking about my teaching and how to approach certain topics. Of course I still have bad days, but you brush yourself off and try to make tomorrow “awesomer” than you’d planned! (yes! I know “awesomer” isnt a word)

IT DOES GET EASIER … give it time.

cape

2015-10-15T17:37:07+00:00 October 15th, 2015|Blog|

8 Comments

  1. Mark Horley October 15, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you. I started at a new school in September and the last 6 weeks has been the toughest since I started teaching 4 years ago, possibly the tough since I started work 18 years ago! Just to hear someone else say it’s really tough is helpful. I have felt like I have forgotten everything I learned in the last 4 years at times. There have been several days I have come home thinking I’m not going to stick it out until next July but it is getting easier and I am just starting to enjoy it again. Don’t give up!

  2. Jacqueline October 15, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I am nearing the end of my first term at my new school. Been teaching for yonks and this has been the biggest change for me. Really up to the challenge but starting a new school is tough. This blog has given me reassurance that it is not me. I love the growth mindset of the cape.

  3. admin October 15, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Mark. It gets easier. Never the same as before but easier and in some ways better. Just different. Hang in there. x

  4. admin October 15, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Jacqueline … It felt a little like airing your dirty laundry when I first started to admit I found it tough but the response from others letting me know I wasn’t alone was like you say reassuring. Look for the little victories in every day x

  5. aonymous October 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I also changed school last September. It was a huge decision for me and has been the toughest challenge of my teaching career. As the year went on things did get better (as you promised me!!) but I opted out and again this September have changed again!! I really felt that the way the school was managed and ran was not in the best interests of the pupils or teachers who were flaking from a huge workload. I worked every evening and all weekend and it was finishing me off!! I am now incredibly happy, invigorated and love each day. Family have noticed a real change and I truly believe it has positively improved my teaching. I am passionate about teaching and maintaining high standards every day and this role now allows all of this.

    If a school is not right for you then I would urge anyone ( after giving it a go) to change. It could work out for the better. I visited the school prior to interview and also had another tour ( to see a “working” school ) on my interview day and all of this helped me in my decision. Good luck to everyone making a change! Go for it!

  6. JustMathsMel October 18, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Absolutely agree! Sometimes its just not the “right fit” move on and find somewhere where you can flourish! Glad to hear its worked out for you – really pleased. x

  7. Get cape … | The Echo Chamber October 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm

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