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Change is challenging but good

Are you a NQT, a teacher changing schools or even just changing classes? Don’t let this last week be filled with fear. Be ready and excited for your new challenge just like Adam Watkins.

Towards the end of this academic year I found myself in a job situation predicament! I was still on a temporary contract at my school and had started applying for jobs ready for September not knowing the situation at school at the time. After many applications and very few responses I finally had two interviews on the same day! Typical! The first interview did not go so well and the outcome was expected… I was not offered the job. The second one on the other hand went much better and I was offered a permanent contract.
The following week I was then offered a permanent contract at my current school and was given some time to think things over and come back the next day with a final decision. I felt that I had already taken enough of a risk moving back home from Malaysia and was lucky to have snapped this job up as it was. I had already been there two years and was getting very comfortable there. I felt that I knew what I was doing and was on the up!
As a learning coach I encourage others to have a growth mindset and to look beyond their comfort zone so part of me felt obligated to practice what I preached. I also have a small fear of becoming complacent in my career and am always seeking new opportunities and paths, hence my stint overseas. After endless lists and a sleepless night I had made my decision. I was going to move schools and step out of my comfort zone.
It wasn’t until I started having meetings with staff at my new school and sorting things out for the next academic year that I realised how many resources and how much more I had to offer and how much I could learn from these people. I knew that I would face large challenges working with new staff, in a new department and teaching different year groups but I believe that even though these changes bring huge challenges that seem like mountains to climb at first it is for the better. It would have been the easy option to stay put but I am excited to meet new pupils, parents and colleagues. I am also a great believer in fate and want to see what doors open up through this challenging time of change.
If there is anyone in the same position as me then think about how much you will grow not only in your career but as a person- adapting to new situations and making new friends and networks along the way.
I once had a very very wise colleague whose words I took in vain before now and they were, ‘make it work for you’. I interpret that as taking an opportunity and getting every last drop out of it so I can continue to help others through my experiences and challenges in life.

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The author

Adam started his career after graduating from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David where he studied Primary Education. He has taught in Wales and overseas including Dubai and Malaysia where he taught in large private schools across primary and secondary. Adam returned to Wales a few years ago with his wife to start a family and is continuing his career as a Primary teacher and Learning Coach. He is an author and contributor to the Times Education Supplement and enjoys spending time travelling with his family and playing tennis. He is also passionate about curriculum development and innovative learning.

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