Teachers Share How They Knew They Found Their “Forever” School
Teachers Share How They Knew They Found Their “Forever” School

Recently we posed this question on our WeAreTeacher Facebook page: “If you are one of those lucky teachers who has found your forever school, how did you know? What were the signs?”

Well, our teacher friends responded with gusto! From amazing administrators and supportive teams to a sense of community and putting kids first, the signs were clear. Here are some signs that may tell you you’ve found your forever school.

You can tell you’ve found your forever school by the way it makes you feel.

I walked in for my interview, and it felt like coming home. Everything just clicked. It felt like I was a part of the family from the moment I walked in the door. I can be myself and am treated like a professional who knows her job and is appreciated for it. —Lynn R.

"I walked in for my interview and it felt like coming home. Everything just clicked." —Lynn R.

You know it’s your forever school when you feel valued. You can walk the halls holding your head high, feeling confident. —Cindy M.

I feel that I am valued, appreciated, and loved by teachers, parents, students and admin all for just being myself. I certainly try very hard to be the best version of myself for them all each day. But the fact that just being there makes me feel good is what does it for me. —Amy R.

I knew I could trust people and I felt accepted and appreciated. —Beth B.

I feel like I belong. I’m treated like a professional and feel like I am of value to the school. And I’m getting my spark back and my passion back. Truly, I haven’t felt this good teaching in a very long time! —Aimee R.

The positive vibes drew me in.

The positive culture and climate were very appealing to me. The staff and faculty enjoy being there and have fun with the students. I knew as soon as I saw all the fun they were having I wanted to be part of that school. —Shana M.

When there is lots of laughter! It is also pretty special when you can see and hear the ocean from your classroom and the playground. —Hollie R.

I could be myself. I had fun at work. My hard work was appreciated. It felt like family. —Karen A.

My teammates and I frequently say “Love ya!” when we leave at the end of the day, and we mean it. We all came back in person after COVID even without word of a vaccine because even though we were scared, we refused to let the others face it alone. —Maggie S.

"My teammates and I frequently say “Love ya!” when we leave at the end of the day, and we mean it." —Maggie S.

Amazing administrators make a huge difference.

I truly believe that admin makes or breaks your teaching experience. I’ve been extremely lucky to always have leaders who believe in me and remind me that family and health come first. They know that excellence does not come from guilt, shame, or fear. —Carlee E.

"I truly believe that admin makes or breaks your teaching experience. I’ve been extremely lucky to always have leaders who believe in me and remind me that family and health come first. They know that excellence does not come from guilt, shame, or fear." —Carlee E.

Administration goes to extra lengths to create a wonderful school climate that is just FUN! After winter break, it is such a long haul to the end. My principal has arranged food trucks and beverage carts and games for the faculty. —Michelle S.

Staff come and go, but the trust and respect we receive from administration are above and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. —Joan C.

It’s important to have great leadership and to feel supported. I love my principal. —Becca C.

I have an amazing principal who encourages me to think outside of the box and colleagues who are passionate about their jobs! —David A.

When you find an authentic sense of community, you don’t want to be anywhere else.

At my first interview, I loved the warmth and authenticity of the teachers. The campus was so inviting, administration trusted teachers as professionals to do their job well (including creating their own curriculum), and you could just feel the sense of community oozing out of everything. —Tessa S.

I drive an hour to work, and when everyone asks why, I always say, “I LOVE the people I work with and the community of the school.” It’s worth it when you love it! —Krysta T.

You’ve found your forever school when the community embraces you. Parents praise you and want their children in your classroom. —Shelli C.

I wake up every morning, and I am happy to be going to work; only it doesn’t feel like work—it’s about the people in that village! —Jo E.

What matters most to me is the kids, and my school puts kids first.

I knew when the WHOLE staff from the top down put kids first. Everything we do is through the lens of: Is it best for kids? And our admin also looks at it through the lens: Is it best for my staff? Kids, then staff, then everyone else. —Maria T.

"Everything we do is through the lens of: Is it best for kids? And our admin also looks at it through the lens: Is it best for my staff? Kids, then staff, then everyone else." —Maria T.

I knew that the principal, teachers, secretary, custodian, and everyone else involved in the day-to-day activities, were a team, working together for the best for the kids. And I knew that I wanted to be a part of that team. —Mary F.

The moment I realized that the teachers did what was best for kids no matter how much extra work it was. Also when I realized that everyone believed all students were their students, not just the ones in their classrooms. —Liz M.

When I found a place that put kids and relationships above everything else. —Carl M.

Being part of a supportive team is the only way to do this job.

When I realized I’d rather take a pay cut due to budget reasons so I could return to the school. I felt support from my coworkers there. Great teams are tough to come by. —Jaime A.

From the first day I walked in, I felt comfortable. Everyone is so nice, approachable, supportive of each other and willing to help anyone out. They are truly there for the kids, and there are no slackers. Everyone is super hardworking. It’s just the best place; I love it. —Lisa P.

The administration is committed not only to the students and parents, but the staff! All of us. We feel appreciated and heard every single day. We may not always agree on every decision, but we respect each other and love each other like family. It’s been 15 years, and even on the hard days—especially on the hard days—my work family makes it worth it! —Elaina F.

My teaching partner is like my bestie, and we work incredibly well together! —Sara A.

My forever school feels like family.

The staff felt like a second family. Everyone rooted for each other and was authentic. I enjoyed my job, my students, my bosses, and my faculty. I loved it so much I commuted, and it wasn’t a big deal. The majority of the parents were also amazing. —Nicole P.

Everyone is so willing to help out wherever needed. I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends here, and they feel like family. —Heather L.

It is my home, and the teachers, administration, staff, and our students have become my family. We are always there for each other, in good times and not-so-good times. I have always felt supported and appreciated. —Elizabeth K.

The staff was, and still is, like a family. All grade levels know each other and work together. I’ve been at the same school since my very first year. I am now completing year 23. —Kathy R.

It was the feeling of acceptance and value I got from the staff, administrators, and families. It just felt like home, full of support, sharing, and positivity. —Nikki M.

My coworkers have stood by me through good times and bad.

When most of the staff, including the janitor, drove two hours to come to my wedding. Family- love them! —Cindy C.

I was hired right before my grandma passed away on Aug 1, 2019. One day I went to school to do more setting up, and there were condolence cards and a gift from a few of the teachers. I had not even met any of the teachers yet! I sat at my desk and cried. That’s when I knew I was where I should be. —Barbra A.

"I was hired right before my grandma passed away on Aug 1, 2019. One day I went to school to do more setting up and there were condolence cards and a gift from a few of the teachers. I had not even met any of the teachers yet! I sat at my desk and cried. That's when I knew I was where I should be." —Barbra A.

I knew I was in the right place when I was diagnosed with cancer, and the powers that be altered my schedule to accommodate my treatment. Others checked on me to make sure I was doing okay, and the students were mindful of my situation. This would never have happened at previous schools I had been a part of. —Brigitte B.

How did you know you had found your forever school? Share in the comments below. Plus, check out Teachers Share What’s Keeping Them in the Classroom.

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