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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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Smooth Transition

Changing jobs can be stressful. Lets face it. No matter what you know from the previous job, you will always face a learning curve when entering a new position.

I am facing that learning curve as we speak, as I have recently accepted a new position teaching gifted students at a school in Tampa, which also happens to be in a different school district.

The situation has inspired me to brainstorm creative, calm ways to make your transition from one teaching job to another smoother and more effective. Let me share some ideas that have worked for me this week, then, you can help me by adding your own thoughts at the Innovative Teaching group at http://community.educationworld.comcontent/smooth-transition-1


Its so important to establish relationships with people that can help you and take you under their wing until you can fly on your own. The best scenario, if possible, is to seek the help of the person who served in the position you now hold. For example, the person who worked as the teacher of gifted last year still works at my new school. You better believe I sat down with this person and had them tell me everything that can about the job. I took notes and quizzed them like I was an investigative reporter! I figure if I can learn from their mistakes, I wont make so many myself.

If you dont have access to the person who held your job, try to find someone at the school who possibly worked the job in previous years or has similar responsibilities.


Again, it comes down to relationships. There are always people at your school who know everything and have access to everything. I find its usually the principals secretary and front office secretaries who hold the key. Establish a good rapport with them by helping them and being friendly. This way, you have a go-to person when you need information. Custodians, librarians, technology specialists-these folks all can make your transition and your time on the job easier or harder, depending on the kind of relationship you establish with them.


Yes, smile, a lot, even when you feel stressed. People like other people who appear happy and friendly. Co-workers will want to help you more when you are upbeat and positive.


Relax and know that it will work out. When you are relaxed, you will perform better and get more accomplished. Remember, this probably isnt your first job change or your last. You will eventually eliminate the learning curve and be successful. It takes time to learn new skills and information.

Also, take time to rest. Whenever you are starting a new venture, it can be mentally and physically draining. To counter act that, you will require more rest, which means getting to bed early and limiting other major tasks.

In summary, creating a smooth transition to a new job requires establishing relationships with the right people, learning from the experience of others, remaining calm and rested, and having patience as you eliminate the learning curve. These strategies have been helping me as I make the change from one education job to another. However, I know there are more ways to smooth out the transition so please share them at the Innovative Teaching group today!