Teachers want to develop themselves, they want to grow in their careers, and leave a greater impact on their school and students.
However, when there is no visible ladder for growth, and the teaching trajectory is flat, it can leave teachers feeling stagnated, unable to ask for support, or deciding to switch professions. Many teachers also hesitate to showcase their successes and draw attention to their strengths, which inhibits them from gaining recognition and career-advancing opportunities.
If you’re an educator, are you thinking about your growth in your career? Do you set goals for yourself, and a plan to achieve them? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself and and reflect upon, in the new year:
1. What do I love most about my work?
This is your WHY, your reason for becoming a teacher — and it’s an important thing to remind yourself on the days that feel challenging.
2. How have I grown in the last year? How would I like to grow?
Try to think of something you thought was challenging before, but that you’ve seen an improvement in yourself through deliberate effort. Think about where you want to be as a teacher, and set your SMART goals.
3. Who are the people I can turn to at work for support?
It can be difficult (in any profession) to have meaningful relationships in the workplace. However, having a support network that can relate to your needs can be of great benefit. Find one person that you can support, and be supported by, at your school.
4. How can I broaden and deepen my professional networks within my school and the education community?
Reach out to different people who can help you think through your growth as a teacher. Whether it is connecting with teachers that you admire, someone who can mentor you, or a superior who you can talk to about higher opportunities — a professional network will always come in handy.
5. How am I taking care of myself?
And finally — are you taking care of your needs for your inner well-being? Do you make time for a hobby, your physical health, and your family? Find your pillars that keep you going, and keep them strong!
As a first step, these questions can help you introspect about what it is that you really want for yourself as an educator, and how your professional environment can facilitate your goals.
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