When Should You "Make the Switch"?

5:56 PM

This time of the year can be torture on teachers and students alike.  Spring has come (unless you live in the midwest where we are supposed to get 6" of snow this weekend!) and spring fever is sinking in.

But more than that, many teachers and schools are finding out numbers and sections for next year.  Teachers are being asked, or forced, to switch grade levels, due to enrollment.

I know many teachers get comfortable in a grade.  They know the standards forwards and backwards, in and out.  They LOVE teaching that grade level and can't imagine doing anything else.

But, sometimes change is necessary.  So, when do you know if it is time for you to "make the switch" and try something new?  I have found that being proactive with administration and saying "I'm ready," if you truly are, is a freeing feeling, versus being moved against your desire, which still might happen.  I have been in both situations.

You might be ready to switch grade levels, or buildings, and try something new if:

1) You are feeling burnt-out

I am not talking about simple ant-in-your-pants being ready for summer to come, but rather the true exhaustion that comes with burning out.  You are giving it your all and still not feeling like it's good enough.  Your enjoyment of going to work has dwindled.

Sidebar: I know teachers love their job, but we do get burned-out and tired.  This doesn't mean we don't still give it our all and try our hardest to be the best teacher possible each and every day.  So a teacher going through burn-out is still a great teacher!!!

Photo Credit: @itsdavo on Unsplash

2) You have an itch

The itch I am talking about is that little inkling or voice that's nagging at you with the "What if?" questions.  What would it be like to teach ____?  What if I was on a different team?  What if I moved from ___ to ___?

Moving grade levels could be the best thing that happened to you, it could also not work out the greatest.  But either way, if you are in charge of that decision, and have come to terms with the fact you might be trying something new for the next year, it can be very freeing; a weight off your shoulders!

3) Your life outside of school needs a change

Teachers pour their heart into soul into what we do; this can impact what we do at home or in our free time.  If you find your personal life suffering in some aspect, you might need a change.  Yes, I know that switching grade levels or whatnot can bring a whole new ball of stress or craziness to the table.  But, having that change can also positively impact your "other" life.  This might not happen for everyone, but once I accepted the change that I had been dealt (moving from 6th grade to 5th grade six years ago,) and really embraced my new role, my outlook on life and therefore the relationships I had with people during that time (I was a grumpy, cranky mess, as I was moved against my wishes,) improved.  I was a happier person, and my friends took notice!  It felt really great to be in such a positive place and have my support system cheering me on (even more so than normal) because they saw how happy it was making me.  They fed off my positive vibe!

Photo Credit: @markadriane on Unsplash

I don't have all the answers for teachers who are struggling with deciding if they are going to switch grades, or dealing with being moved against their wishes.  I do know, though, that acceptance and taking control of the decision and aftermath felt much better than just letting it happen to me and feeling like a pawn.

What other advice or thoughts do you have about this topic?  Have you ever had to move or gotten the choice to switch grade levels?

by Sara from Draz's Class

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