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Is Working in Schools Right For Me

Is Working in Schools Right For Me

Working in schools is often regarded as a highly inspirational and incredibly rewarding career choice. Indeed, while teaching and related professions are both noble and deeply fulfilling, it’s important to understand whether your personal strengths and passions are a match for a school employee. Are your personality traits, skills, and values a match for this industry? Here are a few key pros and cons to consider when considering employment within a school.

Working in Schools may be right for you if:

  • You’re passionate for your subject area. Possessing a love for your subject area is not a must-have, but it can certainly make the job easier and more meaningful. Imagine sharing your passion to inspire the next generation of scientists, writers, or artists!
  • You’re a natural motivator or mentor. There are countless opportunities to provide guidance and inspiration in a school setting. And while great leadership skills have a place in all roles, if you’re particularly gifted, school administration might be in your future.
  • You have great communication and relationship skills. Working in schools means constant exposure to different kinds of learners, ages, and backgrounds. Being able to provide clear directions is vital, as are both written and verbal communication. It’s also important to bring emotional intelligence and social sensitivity to the varied relationships you’ll experience at school.
  • You’re organized and resourceful. All school jobs require a fair amount of preparation and administrative work, as well as multitasking and time management. Expect to do more with less while being adaptable and flexible to inevitable changes to curriculum, schedules, or procedures.
  • You’re naturally patient and resilient. A demanding workload combined with a caretaker role means that being able to manage both mental and emotional stress is paramount. It’s helpful to have a quick bounce-back rate and a healthy dose of good humor.
  • You would benefit from a school schedule. While the flexibility of daily routine or vacation timing are lower than the private sector, those with children at home may enjoy having work hours that reflect school schedules, making childcare and transportation easier to manage.

Working in schools may not be a good fit for you if:

  • You can’t stand children. This one is obvious ­– but on the flip side, if you’re only in it for the children, that can also be tough for non-teacher or administrative workers who find themselves pulled away from working directly with students.
  • You don’t want to work with people. Schools are centered around relationships between teachers, parents, students, support staff, and administrators. If you prefer to work alone, working in a school is probably not for you. Furthermore, being able to accept support from others is vital. While some find the support system within schools to be a dream scenario, more independent workers may find the team environment challenging.
  • You’re extremely shy. While there’s nothing wrong with a little shyness, teachers and other school staff are constantly expected to engage in public speaking, reach out to parents, and interface with colleagues. Overly timid or quiet individuals may struggle to find their way in a school setting.
  • You’re impatient and/or you hate change. Patience ­– with children, adults, and circumstances ­– is a must-have in the unpredictable school setting. If you know that you struggle with impatience or the idea of frequent change makes your skin crawl, perhaps a more steady or predictable job role may be a better fit.
  • You’re too If you tend to take on the stress of others as your own and have difficulty setting emotional boundaries, working in a school setting, particularly around children who may come from difficult backgrounds, may exacerbate this to an unhealthy level.

Knowing your strengths is key to finding a professional home in any industry. While there’s no one-size-fits all solution, we all have unique gifts, natural tendencies, and quirky personality traits that make us better suited for one career path or another. If reading through the traits listed here resonated more familiarity within yourself than red flags, finding work in a school could be a perfect fit.

To find your ideal job in K-12 Education please visit www.olasjobs.org/jobs

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