Why you’re not ready to get on the bus
It is emotional
You are considering leaving a long-term relationship that has, usually, been a happy one, from which you have learned a lot and grown. Spending time deeply reflecting on what you have learned, how you have developed as a teacher or leader and what it is you really want to go on to do is emotionally really testing.
But it is also a very rewarding process and can be hugely cathartic. Clearing the decks, taking stock and gaining clarity on your next move, whether it is to stay or to go, is something I believe we should all do regularly.
It is tough
The “should I stay or should I go conundrum” can give teachers a continued headache, and as much as the thought pops up that you should be preparing for the next appropriate internal vacancy or external move, something much more pressing pops up alongside it – like the planning for tomorrow’s maths or termly reports, or the update you need to complete for your mid-year review and the decision remains unmade.
If you believe, like me, that teaching is more than just a job, then you have a responsibility to constantly reflect and improve your practice. How often do you take the necessary time to do this? I wonder how many of you actually take the time to prepare thoroughly for your performance reviews, let alone use these reflections to update your CV? Do this, and you will then have the groundwork prepared for when opportunities open up, often unexpectedly, and often internally, and you will be in a solid position to clear the decks, focus and to take the best advantage of them.
It takes time
Writing a good CV and application takes time and usually a good 3 or 4 drafts. Getting the pitch correct in terms of selling yourself without sounding arrogant or egotistical; ensuring all the details are correct and dates are aligned and easy to read; matching your skills and experience to the job description or person spec you have been sent is not always straightforward, so you need to take time to get that right.
It takes commitment
Deciding what your next step should be is a challenge in itself, and achieving it is not always easy either. Sometimes the job on paper sounds perfect, but you visit the school and it doesn’t feel right, or your commute is just too difficult, or it is in a country that wasn’t top of your places to work – I could go on. Finding your best “next step” takes commitment.
You may not get the first job you apply for. Or the second. You may not get the third, but let me remind you that getting your next great job takes commitment:
- How much feedback have you asked for from these previous interviews?
- How much time have you spent re-writing your application to match it to the person spec you have been sent?
- How much research have you done about the schools you are applying to or the individuals who will be interviewing you?
- How much effort did you put into your appearance?
- How much time did you leave to get there on time and with time to get yourself settled and calm before the interview?
- Did you prepare a portfolio to share with prospective employers?
Some of the candidates who also went for the same interview as you will have done all that and one of them got the job!
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