A year ago we decided to move: the administrators’ timeline at our school is before summer for the year-after-next.
It was a very tough decision to leave behind a great school and this life that we love so much in Japan but the timing is right and although I find the current admin role rewarding, I’ve been missing students and the lab too much.
After seven years in amazing Kansai, and a middle -schooler on the horizon, we felt it was a good time to make a change.
Around about the same time, Sam Sherratt posted this. I completed the form, and didn’t think much more of it. I missed the podcast episode.
The summer was anxiety-ridden. I was looking for a return to a non-admin role and so knew it’d be months before anything was posted. In the unknown, I worried a lot about what I was doing to my family. Did I mention we’re at a really good school with a great quality of life in beautiful Japan? The anxiety was accented by the pressure from the Search associate to prioritise admin roles (even though I was looking to get out), as a single-income family.
Then I remembered Sam’s tweet and followed-up with a DM. He pointed me in the direction of Kavita Satwalekar (InnerSenseCoaching), a life coach used by ISHMC. I’ve been through Cognitive Coaching training with Ochan Powell and I think it opened me up to opening up. We got in touch and Kavita guided me through a dilemma coaching session, one of her first online. It helped unblock my thinking and get to grips with what I really needed. There was a sense of relief and I was able to ignore the admin jobs and focus on what was important.
Luckily we’re in the visa process for a new life, but moving on is hard (did I mention Japan is awesome?), and it brought me back to the podcast. For the first time since the coaching session I listened to the episode featuring Kavita, and I recommend it to anyone on the recruiting trail, in transition or any school administrator with a heart.
If you have an hour, I recommend listening to the discussions between Sam, Cathy Brown, Chad Walsh and Kavita. Without spoiling it too much, listen out for conversations on:
- Do we truly understand what stress is and how it interacts with us? Why do we need external forces to realise this?
- How do we truly take care of others and ourselves in a community where we’re in each others’ pockets? Who’s taking care of those who are taking care of you?
- What can we learn from observing ourselves through ideas from the book “Don’t sweat the small stuff at work”?
I find it interesting that they discuss how the survey results suggested a strong desire for a (totally impartial) life coaching role in school communities. Personally I’m glad I followed the lead and invested in it.
If you’re coming up on recruiting and in a dilemma, give the podcast a listen and think about coaching. It might help. It did for me.
Thank-you for your comments.