Best Way to Avoid Becoming a Doormat as a New Teacher

Starting a job at a new school, either as a new or experienced teacher, can be quite challenging. Not only will you feel the pressures of having to prove yourself in a new environment, you will also most likely want to be accepted as soon as possible as a team member.

Many new or young teachers end up doing too much to try to be liked. They are often unsure how to assert themselves, especially when dealing with more experienced staff members, and as a result are over keen. While sticking your neck out and being willing to do more than your share shows dedication, it can also mean that you stretch your­self too thin. Every teacher’s workload is large, but for an NQT or young teacher in the early stages of their career, there may be added pressures to perform to high standards.

New Teacher Best Way to Avoid Becoming a Doormat as a New Teacher

What is essential is that you are doing your job to the best of your ability regardless of how popular you may be among students and staff. If you begin to adopt the ‘can-do’ attitude too much, you may find that people merely take you for granted. For example, volunteer­ing to help out with after school clubs is both beneficial to your career and to your reputation. Offering to help out with too many after school clubs will just mean that you leave yourself with far less free time and risk pushing yourself to exhaustion.

Similarly, do not feel like you have to accept further responsibilities just to become part of the team. If your colleagues think less of you because you decline to help out with Year 9″s ballet production, remember this is their problem not yours. Providing you are fulfilling your role as a teacher and giving your best, you should never feel like you have to impress people just to be accepted into the crowd.

Top tips to avoid becoming a ‘doormat’

  •    Learn to say ‘no’. If you are being asked to do far more jobs than your peers, it is reasonable to suspect you are being taken advan­tage of.
  •    Don’t feel pressured to act in certain ways just to gain popular­ity – your personality is separate to your teaching ability.
  •   Avoid becoming a ‘Yes Man”. Stand up for your rights and beliefs   don’t be afraid to disagree or offer a different opinion.
  •    While older members of staff may have more years of teaching experience, this does not mean they are better people than you. Give your peers the respect they deserve for their achievements, but remember you have your own to be proud of too.

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