I’ve just rediscovered a list a made when trying to decide if I should take my current job as Director of Studies at International House Bydgoszcz. I listed the pros and cons of taking the job.
- Next step
- New skills
- I have ideas for the school
- Good team there, communicative
- Lots of systems in place already
- Supportive network in the area, including previous DoS [Tim]
- Importance of quality at the school
- No visa needed
- Development opportunities
- Do I have the right experience?
- No senior teacher experience
- Prep time (courses) [don’t remember what this meant, but I guess I felt I couldn’t prep my own lessons fast enough?]
The thought process
I spent two days shadowing the Tim when deciding whether I wanted to take the job, and the main thought I had was ‘there’s no way I’ll be able to do that’. Various different people had to talk me into doing the job, including the previous DoS (at least twice), the senior staff at the time and somebody who would go on to be my ADoS. Ultimately, my excitement at the quality of the school and the opportunities for me overrode my feelings that I wasn’t ready.
I’ve now been here for three and a half years, and am planning to stay for at least a couple more. There’s no denying it was a steep learning curve, but the help and support I got from the team here, and still get from them, made it all possible. I still occasionally have moments when I think ‘I can’t believe I’m making these decisions that affect people’s lives’, but those are generally moments of wonder now, rather than moments of imposter syndrome, if that makes sense! There’s also the occasional ‘When did I get this grown up’ moment. 😉
Yes, it can be stressful at times, and yes, it’s probably triggered my health problems at times, but I have learnt so much, worked with so many fantastic people, and really feel like we’re just getting better and better as a school all the time (not to say it wasn’t already a great school before!)
If people are telling you you’re ready, you probably are. Don’t let your inner voice stop you!