An important lesson to remember is that a challenging job will keep you interested. When we start a new job, it is often challenging and difficult because we learn all the ins and outs of the new teaching position. This keeps us on our toes and makes our minds focused and sharp.
Over time, as we get comfortable in our positions, we tend to go on autopilot and become less engaged unless our jobs have professional learning opportunities built into them.
When you stop professional learning or on-the-job training, you become much more aware of other factors like salary, school budgets, resources, workplace morale, etc. When you become bored at your job, it is much easier to obsess over perks and money. This is why the ability to continue professional learning in your job is an important perk to any position.
As people, we crave new challenges. Sometimes we need to overcome failure and optimize the learning experience of going through failure.
Once we’ve mastered something, it will quickly become boring to us unless there is variety in it in some way that will continue to keep our interest and challenge us.
A school environment with a culture of sharing, learning, and mentoring will make a more enjoyable work experience and will keep you improving as an educator. No one should want to remain stagnant in their field. This will mean if you find yourself without a job for any reason, your skills would be lacking when you conduct a job search.
Professional learning will make you more flexible and adaptable when major changes happen – like budget cuts or shifts in technology or teaching methods. This versatility will make you more employable now and in the future.
An old belief in the professional world is old dogs can’t learn new tricks. If you are in a teaching position where professional learning is offered and encouraged, you will prove this adage false.
Continuing professional development in some form is imperative for your professional teaching career. This is why so many school districts make professional development a requisite for their teachers.
Although money and perks matter, they are not permanent. The skills and knowledge you learn through your work will stick with you for a lifetime. The education you gain can’t be taken away from you and can’t be measured. The skills and knowledge you acquire will allow you to attain the money and perks you desire more easily.
So, if you feel you’ve gotten yourself into a rut professionally, seek out new ways to learn. Get involved in school committees, special projects, or put in extra effort towards your professional development. If you feel you’ve gained everything you can get out of a certain teaching job, perhaps it’s time to move on.