Career Mistakes

1st February 2013 at 00:00

Not giving the new job enough time

I moved from a small, cosy, coasting secondary school to a big, confident place with a human dynamo head and highly capable staff.

I had been promoted but it felt like the opposite. I was a fish out of water. Time and again I contemplated walking out and going home to my family. Teach long enough and you will meet people, including headteachers, who have done exactly that.

I stuck it out, though, and five years on I was chair of the staffroom committee, conductor of the staff-student choir, supported through an Open University degree by my colleagues and generally enjoying what I still see as the best time of my whole career.

What's the right thing to do?

Each school is a closed environment with its own culture. Entering it will always bring some awkwardness, uncertainty and doubt.

Do not stress about it. Be yourself, engage with everyone, do not listen to gossip and above all buckle down and do the job they have given you, and all will be well.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today