The research is in – moving schools helps teachers stay in the game!

Is it good for a teacher to move schools? Search Associates ANZ moving box

Research about whether moving schools is good for teachers, conducted by Dr Hugh Gundlach, an initial teacher education lecturer at Melbourne University, has shown that teachers who thrive in their careers often move schools and take on different roles within the education system. Based on a meta-analysis of over 200 studies and a survey of more than 1,000 Australian teachers, Gundlach found that those who stay in the profession the longest do not necessarily remain in one job for a long time.

Why does moving help?

Teachers who move to different schools and roles enjoy learning and developing in different contexts, which sustains their motivation and enthusiasm for the profession. 
According to Gundlach, teachers who remain in one role or school for a long time tend to become disgruntled and dissatisfied with aspects of their job. By contrast, those who seek out new opportunities and challenges are more likely to thrive and feel positive about their careers. Qualitative data shows that teachers enter the profession because of a passion for teaching and learning, rather than simply enjoying lecturing.
Therefore, it is important to provide a career structure that offers variety, growth, and different responsibilities to keep teachers engaged and motivated. 

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The biggest move of all

There’s a huge variety of choices for teachers to keep them motivated. Teachers can move between different types of roles, schools and locations. They might go from independent to government schools, from the city to the outback, etc. Teaching overseas is another option that can be an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience for educators who are looking to expand their professional horizons. In addition to the personal and cultural benefits of living and working in a different country, teaching abroad can provide opportunities for career growth and development that may not be available in one’s home country.
If teachers had the option to do a secondment to an international school for 1-3 years, knowing they could return to their old position, they would surely benefit themselves, both schools and their career overall. Dr. Hugh Gundlach

How does a move overseas help?

Is it good for a teacher to move schools? Search Associates ANZ three girls walking with suitcases

One of the main benefits of teaching overseas is the opportunity to work in different educational systems with unique approaches to teaching and learning. This can be particularly valuable for educators who are interested in exploring new teaching methodologies or learning about different educational philosophies. Those who want to be challenged to think differently about how they approach their craft.

Teaching overseas can be an incredibly rewarding experience for educators who are passionate about promoting diversity and inclusivity in the classroom. Teaching students from different backgrounds also requires teachers to be more adaptable and flexible in their teaching styles, which can help to develop their skills as educators.

There are plenty of opportunities for leadership and professional development. Many international schools offer rapid advancement for ambitious teachers interested in leadership roles such as department heads or curriculum coordinators. They also offer professional development opportunities that may not be available in one’s home country, such as training in the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum or other internationally recognized qualifications.


“While a fear of the unknown or the irksome prospect of starting at the bottom all over again might put some teachers off seeking out new roles within the system, those that “really thrived” and spoke positively of their careers made it their mission to keep learning and developing in different contexts,” Gundlach said. “Teachers love learning – they don’t just love teaching.”

We recommend that teachers consider their options carefully and don’t move too often, with 3-5 years being a suggested average. If you’re interested in exploring teaching opportunities overseas, Search Associates ANZ can help you find the right position to further your career. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you take your career to the next level.

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