How to Help a Teacher Get Out of Their Rut

Sometimes all it takes is a little guidance and encouragement from their peers to reignite the passion for teaching in a teacher who may be experiencing a career plateau.

There are times when certain employment activities reach a plateau. In most cases, downsizing, re-structuring, mergers and acquisitions, long years at the same school, or boredom in midcareer might result in a plateauing of progress for teachers (and principals). People who have done well in the past and are high achievers sometimes lose their spark. They become disillusioned and frustrated. Their morale and productivity decline over time. Here’s how you can help a staff member get out of their rut…

1. Talk to them about their goals and objectives.

If a teacher is stuck in a rut, the first thing you should do is have a conversation with them about their goals and aspirations. What are they looking to achieve in their career? What kind of growth do they want to see? By having this conversation, you can get a better understanding of what they’re hoping to accomplish and how you can help them get there.

2. Help them identify their passions.

Part of the reason why someone may be in a rut is because they’re not sure what they’re passionate about. If this is the case, sit down with them and help them brainstorm a list of things they’re interested in. This can be anything from a hobby they enjoy to a cause they care deeply about. Once they have a better understanding of what they’re passionate about, it’ll be easier for them to find motivation and purpose in their work.

3. Encourage them to take on new challenges.

One of the best ways to help someone get out of a rut is to encourage them to take on new challenges. This could mean anything from learning a new skill to taking on a more difficult project. By pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone, they’ll be able to grow and develop in their career.

4. Connect them with other like-minded individuals.

If someone is struggling to find motivation, connect them with other like-minded individuals. This could be done by setting up collaborative time with someone they can relate to. By surrounding themselves with people who have similar interests, they’ll be more likely to find the inspiration they need.

5. Help them create a plan.

Once you’ve helped a teacher identify their goals, it’s time to create a plan of action. This plan should include short-term and long-term goals as well as a timeline for each goal. By having a plan in place, they’ll be more likely to stay on track and achieve the success they’re looking for.

If you have a teacher who seems to be stuck in a rut, use these tips to help them get back on track. By taking the time to understand their goals and assist them in finding their passions, you can play a pivotal role in their career development.

Author: Dr Jake Madden

Jake Madden (Dip Teach; B.Ed; Grad Dip: Leadership; M. Ed: Leadership; EdD; FACEL; MACE) Dr. Jake Madden is currently the Principal, St Edward’s Primary School, Tamworth. He has enjoyed a successful teaching and principal leadership career over the last thirty years building teacher capacity through the development of learning in the contemporary world, the promotion of flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century learner and curriculum for global mindedness. Jake is a leader in the notion of teacher-as-researcher and is widely published in this area, authoring and co-authoring books and a number of journal articles showcasing his experiences and research into leading educational change.

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