The school year is about to start, and for many people, they are not only starting a new year but could be in a new position and/or with a new organization. This can be a nerve-wracking process, but it also is an opportunity to create something new for yourself. Here are a few tips I have learned from moving schools and jobs in the past that I hope will be of some help to others.
1. Get to know the office and custodial staff immediately. When people say that the support staff is the backbone of a great school, they are not kidding. Spend time connecting with the office and custodial staff immediately because they seem to know where everything is and how everything works better than anyone else.
2. Connect with staff and students. Connect with the people you are going to be working with on a personal level. School should be a happy place, but it can also be emotionally wearing. We need people around us that we can laugh and smile with as well as reach out to where when we are struggling. Build your community.
3. Find opportunities where you can lead. I remember when I first moved to a school district as a teacher, and I asked one of the superintendents if there were any needs for leading technology initiatives within the district. Putting myself out there and showing that I had other gifts to share to the organization that went beyond my “job description” opened up doors that year and beyond.
4. This is a new start; take advantage of a blank slate. You may be going into a job where you know no one, and that can be intimidating. But it can also be something that allows you to create opportunities that you have not had before because no one knows you. I remember leaving one job where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be an education and decided to give teaching one more try. Doors opened up for me not only because I had incredible leaders, but more importantly, I changed my attitude towards my work. I now couldn’t imagine doing anything that didn’t involve education. A new start, for some, can be something that saves or rejuvenates a career.
Although I have had seen a personal impact of embracing the above ideas when moving to a new position, they also apply to old situations as well. The beautiful thing about coming back from summer break is that it can be an opportunity for not only the students to start new but the adults as well. Take advantage.