So, you are comfortable. You know your students, you know your staff room, you have sorted your planning and resources, your artistic genius covers your classroom walls – but something is off. You feel restless and ready to fly the nest.
You need to make sure you are ready, and you are planning to leave for the right reasons. Self-reflect on your time, your current position and where you see yourself going before making the decision to hand in your resignation.
How can I be challenged?
Are you finding the role challenging? Do you need more?
If you are feeling your skills could be utilised further and you are no longer working to the best of your ability (it happens to the best of us when we are no longer motivated and need a change) a fresh start in a new school can reignite that passion and your aptitude for teaching. You could also have such an impact in a new setting, and making a difference feels great, right?
We know that the choice is not an easy one. You have developed relationships within your current role. The classroom is yours; you have put time and energy into making it that safe space and you have had an impact on your students – it can be real tough call to make.
Although, in reality, if you ignore that sense of guilt from the commitment you have to your school, you need to decide why it is not right for you anymore if you are having those feelings of moving on.
As humans, it is natural to change and have that need to pursue to the next chapter. If you are looking for more within your role and you are unfortunately not receiving that support or the opportunities are just not available, you need to think about yourself.
Where do you see yourself?
Where do you want to be? If you’ve decided you need more of a challenge and have more aspirations, but you are already working to the maximum responsibility you can, maybe you see yourself as a member of the senior leadership team?
If this is the case, you need to consider the steps of how to get there. Are you doing everything you can in this role? Is your current school going to give you that opportunity?
You may not be ready to be senior leadership just yet, but a new venture may be the steppingstones for you to get there. You need to track your goals and tick off those achievements. Have you considered becoming a lead teacher of a subject? Becoming a lead teacher of a Key Stage? These options are potential examples of helping you progress and develop.
On the contrary, this may not be reachable in the right now. Seeing yourself in that leadership goal in the future and achieving that promotion may not be the responsibility you are looking for in life at this moment.
We would recommend looking at your surroundings. Could you develop your role by moving to a bigger school, with vaster sized classes? Would you like the opportunity to work in a school that works outside, is more diverse?
Expanding your experiences by teaching in different environments or contexts are all development and adds further skills to your practice.
If you are finding yourself wanting to change up the environment, you can always speak about promotion opportunities if you secure an interview with that appealing new setting.
How can I progress?
Ok, so you have found the ideal school – however, that role is taking a step back?
You may already feel you have a huge amount of responsibility in your current role and moving jobs feels like you need to start over again to get to where you are now.
We would recommend to not rule-out applying for roles that seem like they are step down from where you currently are. If you find a position that will give that further value and gain experience elsewhere – it may be the right choice.
Have a think about it…
You are currently a Head of Faculty in small school and this role is ‘only’ for a TLR with key stage responsibilities, however, it is a much larger school. This is going to provide you more opportunities to progress and develop your management skills further. So, in the long run, it is going to open doors rather than be a ‘step down’.
If you would like further advice if you are looking to resign within a leadership position, we have found a helpful article here.
When should I resign?
It seems easier to leave at the end of the academic year, however the perfect role has come up mid-way through a year…
If you know you have found the perfect role, there are some advantages of leaving mid-year.
The Summer term is usually more of a quiet period, so if a role does come up during this time, see it as a positive. You can settle in and get to know your new environment and when September arrives, you have strong knowledge of the school’s procedures and rules for the new academic year to begin.
You may be offered your dream job in October – now this is a little more difficult as it is the first term of the academic year. However, ensure you speak to your current school and come to an agreement. You should not pass on something that you know is the right choice for you.
Always remain professional and assist with both schools with the transition if the time of year is showing its difficulties. We are sure the school you currently work with will understand you need to think about your future if you are helping in the best way you can.
For further advice with term times and handing in your notice, look at our helpful blog by clicking here.
When should I talk it through?
Before handing in your notice, ensure you have thought about your personal situation, the steps above and have conversations.
It may be worth booking in an appointment with your current headteacher, senior leadership team or manager and ask for some advice. Find out where you stand on development and timescales, so you have some idea of where you stand. Talking through what you are thinking may help you with your decision.
They may be able to offer advice on how you can develop or how your role could change.
You should not feel concerned about speaking to your leadership team as all good leaders want the best for their staff. If you feel you are unable to do this without repercussion, maybe the school is not right for you? However, most should be supportive and willing to help.
Contact recruitment agencies that specialise in the education division as they speak with numerous different schools, settings, and ways of learning every day.
Dunbar Education work with a wide variety of settings and specialise in a vast number of sectors within education and would be happy to offer careers advice.
Our consultants are #proudofwhatwedo and are only a phone call, email, or video call away to provide their Dunbar knowledge.
So, if you are ready to take the next step in your career development, why not let us help and contact us today.