A sensible move?

28th April 2006 at 01:00
Q: I like my current job and I have a permanent contract. The school is pretty high pressure - there's lots of paperwork. But a job has come up (for next year) at a school where I enjoyed a placement during my PGCE. I liked the school, the staff and the children and I feel I could be happy there. It's closer to home (a 10-minute journey, not the hour-long trip I have at the moment) which is a key factor - the shorter journey would really improve my quality of life.

Would it look bad on my CV if I was to leave this school after just a year? I'm thinking of going into educational psychology, in which case I'd only need two years' classroom experience.

A: Moving schools after a year isn't too bad for your CV, but if you're not unhappy at your present school, you need to think through the pros and cons. How will you feel if you don't get the new job? Will your relationship with your colleagues change if you apply?

Changing schools is always an upheaval, and starting again is always a lot of extra work. If you're only going to stay in teaching two to three years, I wonder whether it's worth all the effort of applying and moving - that's if you're successful.

You need to weigh up what is so much better about the new school than your present one, other than the journey. Being a teacher may be quite different to being a trainee there. And while a 10-minute journey to work sounds great, it also means you're likely to see parents and pupils out of school.

Would that bother you?

Some teachers dislike this and prefer a decent length journey as a time to put some mental as well as physical distance between work and home. Think it through.

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