When is it Time to Seek a New Position?

Michael T. Coleman
Michael T. Coleman
Elementary school principal; M.A. in K-12 Educational Leadership
Teacher sitting on a bench looking pensively into the distance.

When Should You Seek a New Job Position?

There are many people who wake up one day and decide that the career they are in is not meant for them anymore. Even the most passionate educators may find themselves feeling the exact same way. This is a feeling that is completely normal and should not be ignored. When we lose interest in our career, not only are we negatively affected, but so are the students we are teaching.

Job dissatisfaction can also lead to problems outside of the workplace. You may find yourself unhappy, irritable, or lethargic at home. The people around you will be negatively affected as well. These are all signs that it is time to seek a new position. Job dissatisfaction can occur when you are not interested in your job anymore, you do not feel appreciated at work, or teaching is just not what you thought it would be.

These feelings all signal that it is time for a much needed change. Perhaps your career goals have changed. Maybe you want to affect more change through a higher up position. The great part about being an educator is that we do not have to leave the education world just because we have decided that we do not want to teach in the classroom anymore. There are a variety of employment options in education. You just have to take the time to learn about them.

Positions Worth Considering

Teaching is not the only career in education. There are many other positions that one can have in the education field that do not involve teaching. Educators looking for a change should look at the different positions that people hold in their own schools and see if they are interested in pursuing the same.

Reading Specialist

If you still want to work with children in the classroom but not with an entire class at one time, a reading specialist job is an excellent choice. You will be working one-on-one or with small groups of children at a time to improve their reading skills. You will get to see progress first hand because you will be working so closely with a small number of students.

Speech-Language Pathologist

A speech-language pathologist is another wonderful position that has you working directly with children. Children may be identified by their parents or teachers as needing additional speech intervention. Your job will be to test them to see if they qualify and then work with the students throughout the school year. Speech therapy, like reading support, is typically one-on-one or in small group sessions.

School Counselor

A school counselor is another vital role in education. They provide the support and guidance for all students. Students and teachers would be lost without them. They provide one-on-one support for students and small group workshops on a variety of mental health topics.

Administrative Positions

If you are thinking beyond working directly with students, you may want to look into administrative jobs, of which there are myriad. For example, curriculums are constantly changing in education. Schools need curriculum directors at both the elementary and secondary levels. You need to keep yourself up-to-date on the newest methods, goals, and state requirements and be able to share these with the teaching staff.

EdTech Specialist

EdTech specialist has come to the forefront of education especially in this past year due to COVID-19. An EdTech specialist researches and finds the best technology for the needs of the students, teachers, and staff. An EdTech specialist is also the person to teach others how to use new programs and remedy problems as they arise. If you love technology, this is a great job to have and still be part of the school community.

Leadership Roles

Teachers may also decide that they want to take on more leadership roles. Teachers can transition to assistant principals or principals. After the required amount of leadership experience, they may also be interested in pursuing a job as the superintendent of a district.

Tips to Start Your New Journey

No matter what new position you may decide to pursue, you want to make sure that you are fully informed. Below are some tips to consider as you are investigating a new career in education.

  1. Write down and evaluate your career goals. By doing this, you may decide that you do not want to stay in education. It can also help you to find a new career that is the best fit for you.
  2. Make sure you research the programs for your desired position. You will most likely have to take additional university courses in order to be qualified for the new job. There may be certificate programs that you can pursue. There may be add-ons that you can do with your current teaching license. By taking the time to research these programs, you will learn how much time and money it will take you to land the new job.
  3. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons. Just like your current job, there may be aspects that you do not like in the new job. However, by weighing the pros and cons, you will be able to see if pursuing the new job is worth it.
  4. Take time to talk with people who are in that new job right now and find out what it is like firsthand. This will help you decide if the switch is right for you.

There are many alternatives to being a classroom teacher. You just need to find the right fit for you.

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