The same thing should be said about our job, no matter what we do.
I see a lot of teachers talk about how they are burned out in the first few years but I wonder if it is because they haven’t found the right fit. Imagine wearing a pair of shoes all day that were the wrong size!
Just like clothes shopping, we might have to try a few different places before we find the right fit. Sometimes spending a couple of years in one place help us determine what we are looking for because when we first become teachers we are so thankful to get a job that we don’t think about whether it fits us or not.
I worked at my first school for three years. I learned about working with colleagues. I learned about having an administrator that I respected was important to me. By reflecting about my time at this one school, it helped me look for a better fit for the future.
For six years I worked on getting a better fit about my second school. During this time, besides honing my teaching skills, I was able to learn more about professional development and allowing myself time to grow in my career.
My third school was a great fit. I really liked my principal and he encouraged me to take a leadership role during this time. I was able to look at my values and realize how important they were to me. My values were a big part of how I saw my job and myself in that position. When I left there, it was because the administration with a new principal had different values from me and I wasn’t willing to compromise on them.
My last school was a fabulous fit! The principal encouraged me to spread my wings even more than I imagined and I took a major leadership role in my department. I was able to help the department become better and well known for its student success and paperwork accuracy.
If you notice from each job to the next, I was constantly trying the place on for size and seeing if it “fit” me. Sometimes it takes more than one school and a lot of patience.
I hope that new teachers don’t give up so easily when times get tough. It may just be that where they are isn’t the right fit for them. They need to look at other places and try something new. Each new place should be a better fit than the last one.
Hopefully, they will find the right fit like I did. Maybe that is why I love my career so much! Maybe that is why I didn’t burn out so easily like my colleagues. I’m not sure if that is the reason but I know it worked for me and it made my career a success.
How do you go about finding the right fit for you? Please share!
cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by espelina: http://flickr.com/photos/espelina/14202413/