If you want to hear the more conversational audio version of this post, you can listen to this podcast episode below:
It could be that you've been at the same school for a long period of time. It could be that you've been in the same position for a long time, and perhaps you're not as challenged in the right way and are now feeling restless.
You’ve worked hard to craft your lessons and schemes of work / curriculum, you’ve tried out lots of techniques with teaching and learning and behaviour management; you're in the flow but now you've reached a point where things are kind of… easy. Not easy as in “barely working” easy, but more like not as challenged or excited as you once were. You’ve achieved what you initially set out to do and now maybe you’re looking around wondering what else? What's next? Where do I go from here? This can be a sure sign that you've outgrown your role or the school and it's time to challenge yourself at the next level.
It's like when you're a kid and you reach a point in your life where look at your parents and you realise they don't know everything after all! Well, the same kind of thing can happen at work - you can look at how your manager runs things and question their approach, or you might think that you would do things differently if you were in their shoes. Or perhaps you're putting ideas forward and they are getting knocked back by your seniors which is getting you frustrated and preventing you from progressing and improving. The key point to note with this sign, is that you may not realise it, but you're starting to imagine yourself in this role which is a big indication that you might be ready soon!
It can be sad when you reach this point! You could start thinking that you've lost your mojo or that you just don't care anymore, and in a way it's kind of true, because you may have outgrown your role. Think back to when you first started the job you're in now: you probably felt quite excited, you had big plans about what you were going to do with your classroom and in your lessons, you were probably spending hours of your free time thinking about it too. At the time it felt like a pleasure, as it usually does in the beginning. But after a while, you can start to get a bit jaded. It's not nice to experience this because you still love your job, but you’re not feeling as excited about it as you once were - this is a sure sign that you have outgrown your role now. Think of it like this: you’re a plant whose roots have grown so much that you can’t grow anymore in the current pot you’re in. You've filled it out. You've maximised your skills as much as you can where you are. You need to be replanted in a bigger pot where you have more room to grow and new things to learn. It's a sign that you're ready to bloom to a new level!
I know I am starting to do this for my mentee! I have been mentoring her for a few years right from when she was a trainee teacher and I can feel she’ll be ready for the next step soon and I’m encouraging her to take on certain things that will help her progress. I can sense she’s a bit afraid though and isn't willing to put herself out there yet, but I can see she’s definitely on her way. What is interesting, is people do the same for me sometimes! So look out for confirmation and comment from others around you who can often see your potential before you start to feel it within yourself.
Maybe you’ve signed up for some Professional Development and training on how to succeed at the next level. Maybe you’re taking on more responsibilities beyond your current role because you want that challenge. It's showing that you’re kinda interested and you're dipping your toe in the water. Maybe you're also talking about it to people? Maybe you’re window shopping some current job ads and seeing what's out there? Or you're researching what some of the job descriptions might look like and what kind of things are expected of you?
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