What's the next step for your teaching career?

Uncategorized May 02, 2022

“Hey Dave, I’ve been teaching for 30 years and yet I always get the Sunday feeling, as do many other teachers I have worked with. No matter how much work you have done it never seems to be enough and it can frequently be overwhelming. I have loved every school I have taught in and every student I have met, even the trickiest ones and most definitely the toughest ones! But we talk about student wellbeing and don’t care for own own mental health. We talk about balance and yet struggle to address that with our own work/life. We listen to every stress and worry and anxiety but who listens to ours?”


The above is taken directly from a comment to one of my posts on LinkedIn (you can read the post by clicking here.

This is the time of year when many teachers are thinking about their career and where they want to be in the next academic year. Decisions are often influenced by stress and overwhelm, as well as by ambition and growth. So how do you step back and make sure that whatever decision you’re making is the right one for you right now? 

Put time aside to work ON your career. 

This is really important, not just for you as a teacher, but for everyone in their career. You don’t need me to tell you that teaching is a busy job and that’s often the thing that stops you thinking about your career. 

It is definitely not selfish to focus on yourself first. Imagine if you took time out to focus on you and what you really want in your career? Imagine that by doing that you create work you love with much less negative stress? Wouldn’t your students benefit even more? How would that positively impact on your family and personal life? 

So put that time aside for a meeting with yourself, even if its only 1 hour a month to start with. Book it in your diary. Make it the most important meeting of your month and don’t move it for anyone.

How do you work ON your career?

Use that meeting to work ON your career. Review what an ideal role is for you right now and compare that with your current role. 

An ideal role is made up of two things. 

  1. Your contributions: the skills and personal qualities that you enjoy using and the difference you make
  2. Your values: what work has to do for you to feel happy, fulfilled, or however you want to feel about work

Notice that there’s no mention of job title there! 

How does that help my career?

Once you know those things in detail, you can compare specifically how your current role matches that ideal role profile. This is really powerful in terms of your career.

  • It will help you identify actions that will make your current role better than it is right now
  • It will help you decide whether to stay in your current role and/or organisation, or whether to move on to another teaching role or an entirely new career
  • Whatever you decide, you will be able to compare future opportunities with that ideal so that you know, as surely as you can, that any move you’re about to make is likely to be a good one for you

How do I work out my ideal job? 

That’s the big question, right? Most of us need help to properly articulate our ideal job to ourselves, never mind others. I’ve pulled together some of the top strategies I use with my clients to set you off on that road. It’s my free 5 day Get Your Career Unstuck training. 

You’ll only need to find 20 minutes sometime during each day to look at the video, read the article and take the actions. In terms of working ON your career, this is a great place to start. By the end of it, you’ll have a clear understanding of your ideal role, know how closely your current role meets that, and have the first step to take on your next career journey.

You can access it here, and please do share with colleagues and friends who will benefit: www.davecordle.co.uk/challenge

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