My own experience with changing jobs has not been a good one.
I had been working at one school for eleven years and was well into my twelfth year. That is quite a feat for a foreign teacher here because for various reasons there is usually a high turnover of foreign teachers and most of us don't stay at one school for more than two or three years, if that. While there were quite a few things I did not like about that school and working there, I was generally happy there.
One day about four or five years ago the teacher whose desk was beside mine in our office asked me why I was still there. I asked her she was asking and she said, "Because this school is a prison." She was speaking figuratively, of course.
I told her that even if things were bad at this school, there was no guarantee that things would be better at another school. In my mind it was a question of staying with the devil I knew.
What prompted me to start looking elsewhere about a year ago was athe fact that my teaching hours were down. Six or seven years ago I had about eighteen hours of class a week; one year ago I was down to seven. It was not due to my abilities as a teacher, though: The school just had fewer classes. With people around here having fewer children now and some people not having any at all, there are just fewer students to go around. So enrolment is way down from what it was before.
For someone who got paid by the hour (or class), fewer classes was not good. Fewer classes means less money and for someone who also has a wife and two children to support, that is more not good.
So I started looking around and was offered a full-time position at another school. I originally thought that with the long working hours and from a gut feeling I had about the school and the job that this was not a good idea, but my wife talked me into it. She was enticed by the prospect of me having a full-time job (after working basically part time for eighteen years), a guaranteed salary, and the chance of an administrative-type job in the future. She thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
In hindsight, I should have listened to my gut.
I am not happy with my new job and often find myself thinking that changing schools was the worst decision I have ever made. I don't like the school, I don't like the environment, and I don't like the students.
I like the money and the job security, but I don't like my life right now. I often think to myself that the money is not worth my sanity.
To fully describe and explain what it is I don't like about my current job would take too long and I doubt anybody really wants to read about that. Let me just say that at my old school when I finished my classes, I was able to forget about my classes and work. I could turn off being a teacher and just focus on myself and being a husband and a father. Now I can't.
Right now my mind is on my job, on teaching, and on my students all the time. I can't think of anything else. Even when I’m playing soccer with my son or doing something with my daughter or even riding my bicycle, I'm thinking about work and dreading having to go back. And because I’m always thinking — and worrying — about it I have lost my ambition to do almost anything and have lost interest in a few things I used to enjoy doing. Quite often when my son wants me to go play soccer with him I don't want to and only do it to fulfill my obligations as a father. I even sometimes have trouble getting on my bicycle.
In short, I really regret changing jobs and schools. If I had one wish right now, it would be to go back to my previous school. But with more money.