On Moving On

So apparently this guy thinks people should plan to quit their jobs each year unless it’s the best job ever.

His point – as far as I see – is to commit to evaluating one’s job each year. Are we happy? Are we doing something worthwhile, and is this the best possible choice at this point in life? If not? Then…perhaps it *is* time to move on. But at first glance? I’ll admit my toes curled.

The post got me thinking.

Change is good, important, necessary at key points in one’s career. I’ve left a job myself after evaluating my situation.

But a new teaching job every year? I. Can. Not. Imagine.

I can’t imagine this mindset. I’m a teacher. Relationships are my currency – with students, with families, with colleagues. It takes me two to three years just to feel fully adjusted with a new staff.

Within the same jobs, I have shifted across rooms, across grade levels, across schools. The feeling of uprooting and replanting may be invigorating for folks in some careers, but in teaching?

I am good at what I do because I have do it many times. A curriculum is never the same from year to year. It evolves, becomes refined, and it improves as my understanding of teaching and learning improves. I can’t do that if I am switching from year to year.

Like many corporate folks, trial-and-error is a big part of my job, and the ability to reflect and retool strengthens my craft. Sometimes the opportunity for another try comes within a day or so as I rethink a lesson or a conversation. Sometimes, such as when I teach a whole unit, that opportunity is delayed until I can teach it again – up to a full year.

The opportunities for growth, for enjoyment, for self-improvement and challenge are absolutely everywhere in teaching. If a person needs to quit a different teaching job year after year because s/he doesn’t find fulfillment, then – and I say this out of compassion – the problem may not be the job, but the career.

For my part, I will, as Chris Guillebeau says, “proceed with confidence” that I am in the right place.


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