It happens throughout your teaching career, you change something and have to start over again. It is eye-roll-worthy and exhausting, but it happens. New teachers, teachers who move, who change grade levels, or content assignments all go through this. You can choose to embrace it or dread it, but it happens often in the field of education. Face it, content is king and suddenly, you don’t know much!

How to survive when content is king and suddenly, you don’t know much:


Make connections with positive people who are willing and able to help. Sounds logical right? But this important to get right. You do not need gossip, you do not need negativity – you need help. So really pick a person who is able to help you. That could be a person on your hall or someone online.

You know how to make friends on a hall, you’ve done that since college. But do not just pick a person you like, but one who will challenge you and keep it professional. You want to grow into the role you have; who can help you do that?

Online is actually easier. Please tell me you are already on Twitter if you are a teacher. If not pause on reading this and immediately check out Twitter Basics for Teachers. {Seriously, I’ll wait} Twitter, for teachers, is a mostly positive place where you can find some kindred spirits quickly, drill down to content with some specific hashtags for professional learning networks (PLNs) rapidly. It will grow to be one of the best tools for teachers in the midst of change.


However you make connections with colleagues, how you interact with both the adults and the students is in a tenuous place when are experiencing change.

Sometimes the way we talk to people can kill the message we have to deliver. So be mindful of your delivery, even when you are stressed, even when you think you are messing up. Others would love to forgive you not knowing something, but first they have to like you. Be careful that how you speak to people represents how much you care for them and not how frustrated you might be.

When a colleague helps you or makes an effort to be kind, be mindful of how you can acknowledge that kindness. Reciprocation does not have to be equal in value to be appreciated. Consider ways you can show the people you need help from how much you appreciate them.


It is tempting by year ten or twenty in Education to stop learning, especially if you have not changed teaching assignments in a while. When change comes you have no choice. So turn inward, like you would to a student, a remind yourself that there is always more to learn. Remind yourself that no one expects you to be perfect right away, and that in education we value growth over a fixed mindset. And keep reminding yourself of that until you believe it.

Your capacity to grow will be what is on display since you do not yet have mastery of the new content/grade level. Be as gracious with yourself as you would with a student. And remember that your growth mindset (or fixed mindset) is on display as you learn a new position. How do you want to teach your students and colleagues to learn?


If you have not found yourself in this position yet, you will. A career in education almost assures you of change at some point. If you want practice look around you for the new teacher, the teacher who has just moved into the area, the teacher changing assignments after how many years. And hopefully observe and learn from them in advance.

What other tips do you have for dealing with change at work?