There are times in your career that looking in the rear-view mirror and reflecting back is a good thing, particularly when it comes to remembering achievements in the balance of endless pursuit of goals.
But not when it comes to changing careers.
This is especially true when it comes to being an exiting teacher or school leader.
Irrespective of lengthy service and unfaltering commitment, there will be highly qualified professionals slipping out the back doors of schools like phantoms this summer.
No gifts or cards.
No leaving speeches.
No acknowledgement or appreciation.
Just a silent exit.
Oh, excuse me, hang on… no, not a silent exit. The school has accosted you for the return of the laptop, hand-over notes, and your id card. And you’ll be lucky if you still have access to emails by the end of the day.
So, you leave wondering what was the point, questioning why you ever bothered to make the sacrifices.
But as you drive home with that hollow feeling, take a look in the rear-view mirror and be glad that this treatment is behind you. It only confirms you have made the right choice.
Your rear-view mirror shows a small narrow view.
It has significant limitations on seeing the bigger picture of what’s around you.
It only shows what has gone, not what lies ahead.
Now take a look out your windscreen.
It has an expansive view stretching far into the distance towards your new destination.
It shows where you are going, providing opportunities to see everything in front of you.
The obstacles are clear and you can choose your best path around them.
All journeys require a forward view out the windscreen to progress safely and purposefully; rear-view mirrors are only ever a brief backward glance before fixing your eyes firmly ahead.
To all teachers and school leaders slipping silently out the back doors this summer, I wish you well in your onward destination.
Travel safely to your new roads.