I’m new-ish at my school this year (last year I was a long-term substitute in the same position). There have been lots of changes and mandates this year, so the climate is quite stressed. I’ve noticed that I’m not as happy teaching as I have been in years past and I’ve been trying to figure out why.
Today I figured out that one of the reasons is my colleagues, though it seems quite harsh to put that idea out there. Many people complain about all of the new changes that have been made. I know change is hard, and I don’t always like change either, but I have grown to learn that change is going to happen whether I like it or not. I have learned to trust the system, knowing that things will work out the way they are supposed to.
Knowing that I can trust the changes that are made, I’m having a hard time dealing with the negativity. I’m still trying to find my place in the school. I find it hard to find like-minded people who are willing to give things a chance. I can only spend time in my classroom so long before I need some adult interaction. When most of that interaction is negative about the school, I want to escape. It’s beginning to become a vicious cycle.
What I find so interesting is that our latest change- having three of our teachers become instructional coaches full or part time- is meant to benefit everyone in the school, teachers and students alike. I think it will really help address our instructional issues and has the potential to positively impact student growth. There has been so much push-back though; many people finding issues to complain about before we even get started.
I’ve also realized that I think coaching would be an ideal job for me, which makes hearing the negativity that much more difficult. It’s hard to hear negative things about a position you would really like. I know that if the positions are available again next year, and I get hired to fill one of the spots, I will likely be up against the same criticisms.
I believe in the efforts my school is making and am pretty sure I could be happy there, but I am finding myself continually wondering whether it’s the right place for me or not. I don’t really want to start job hunting again- I’ve done it the previous two years- but I also want to be happy. How can one be an optimist in an environment full of pessimists and still thrive?