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Leaving the Classroom Episode 10: Struggling with Confidence

#careertransitionpodcast #instructionaldesignconfidence #leaving the classroom podcast #leavingtheclassroom #newinstructionaldesigner #teachertransition May 09, 2023


Leaving the Classroom: A Transitioning Teacher Podcast

Struggling with Confidence

In this episode, I am addressing on of the top teacher concerns about transitioning to Instructional Design! "I’m really struggling with feeling confident in the project management side of things. I am nervous about not knowing how to properly interview SMEs, having no clue about how to set up a budget or project timeline, and even deciding whether a training is needed. Am I the only one?? I’m just terrified I’ll get a job and have zero clue what is going on."

Listen to the episode here:

Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn 

Enjoy the podcast transcription:

Welcome to leaving the classroom. I'm Kristi Oliva. And I am so excited you are here.
Today I'm talking about one of the biggest struggles teachers deal with when thinking about leaving the classroom. And that is their competence. But before we get to that, I just want to take a minute to talk to you about why this podcast means so much to me. I'm a former teacher, which is where this whole idea for this podcast came from. Because when I was teaching and finally got fed up with the way I was being treated by the administration, at my specific school, the parents at my school, how there was just no consequences for the actions of not only the parents, but the students I was fed up. But I still had no confidence in my ability to do anything else. And so I kind of was freaking out, like, what am I going to do.

And I've told this story in a previous episode. But all this comes down to that I did not have the confidence. And even when I joined IDOL courses Academy to try to begin my transition out of the classroom, I really didn't know if it was going to work. Because this was a completely different career change. And I lacked the confidence in myself and the confidence in my abilities to do anything other than teach. And I think that this is ingrained in a lot of teachers to think that there's not much else you can do. So when I joined IDOL courses, I just worked my butt off, getting all the assignments done building my portfolio, getting my resume ready applying to jobs. And, you know, got a little discouraged when I wasn't landing a job right off the bat, and then finally did.

And then my confidence was lacking. Even in that job, I was so scared that I would not know what to do, or how to do anything. Even though I had been prepped through IDOL courses Academy, I learned the tools, I theoretically should know what I'm doing. But that confidence was not there. But honestly, looking back now and now mentoring for IDOL courses Academy and helping other teachers, you know, transition out of the classroom build their portfolios. I'm just so thankful for the journey that I went through with Idol courses, not only the confidence that have built in me to be able to tackle this new career. And this is why I give back and still am mentoring for adult courses is because I love helping those teachers do exactly what I never thought I would be able to do, which was do something to be honest, better than teaching not better in the fact that it's more morally good or good for the society or anything, but it was what was best for me.

I've never been more confident now in my skills. I've gotten back some of that new teacher confidence that I had, you know, where I just felt so peppy, and felt like I could take on the world. I've gained that again, in my 40s transitioning to a new career. And so that's why this means so much to me this podcast, mentoring for IDOL courses, and just being an advocate for IDOL. So I just wanted to share that with you. Because it really does connect to our topic today, which is the confidence to leave the classroom and take on the corporate world.

But truth is that teachers are some of the most talented, patient, creative, organized, amazing individuals on this earth. Yes, you. I'm talking to you, Ms Grindstaff you, Ms linquist you, Mr. Blakely, and you, Ms Harrison. Those are all real teachers that I know that may someday if not now, be ready to get out of teaching and you are talented, patient, creative, organized, amazing, incredible professionals.

 I say most likely, right? I know that there are some teachers that do feel appreciated. But I know that there are many more that do not. And the teachers that I mentor in IDOL courses, constantly talk about this fear. It's the number one thing I hear and most of their fears come back to a lack of confidence. So let's talk about that.

I get a lot of questions about what instructional design will be like and how teachers can feel ready for that role. So I'm going to read to you a message I got from one of my mentees in Idol courses, bringing light to this same fear. So here's what she said, I'm really struggling with feeling confident in the project management side of things nervous about not knowing how to properly interview, SMEs, which are subject matter experts having no clue how to set up a budget or a project timeline and even deciding whether a training is needed. Am I the only one? I'm just terrified? I'll get a job and have zero clue what is going on. And I'm not going to share who this is from. But this is so common, I could rewrite this and so many different phrasings and this is the exact question I get over and over and over.

And I bet many of you teachers can relate, probably feel the same from time to time. Maybe really often, when you're thinking about leaving the classroom. Can you do it? First of all, I want to say that what you are feeling is very common. I felt it when I first started out and I still sometimes do honestly, you know, teachers can get used to becoming experts at their craft. And there's comfort in that you know what to expect? Yeah, we don't know day to day what to expect with our students. But we have control over what happens in our classroom to a certain extent, right, we live in this in this little bubble that is our classroom. And I gotta be honest, I sometimes still missed that it was really nice to be like, This is my territory, and I control what happens here. But when you join the corporate world, it is different. And even after you join the corporate world, and are there for a while, there will still be so much new and unknown. Granted, you will feel comfortable in time. But if you are growing in your role, and the company, you will reach new levels, where you will end up lacking confidence again, and just have to research your way through.

For instance, I've been in corporate for three years now, as I said before, but I've grown, I've gotten promotions, I've switched roles, I no longer am an Instructional Designer. Now I am a program manager, which is a project manager. So there's always a new and exciting level, and responsibilities that come with that, that give me that uncomfortable feeling all over again, that feeling of what am I going to do I had it last week, I broke down in tears, I called my best friend. And I was just like, I'm feeling that feeling again. And I think what we need to do is just recognize that feeling is going to come and we just have to work our way through it. We just have to feel our way through it and figure out what do I need to learn? What do I need to get? What skill do I need to accomplish to move forward through this feeling to get through the feeling, you're not gonna be able to get over the feeling or never have the feeling again, but you can get through it? Have you ever heard the phrase new levels, new devils? I mean, the moral of the story is that you will get comfortable being uncomfortable and adjusting to the new. Now I know this is not the perfect answer. But it is the answer.

Everyone if you do research on specifically even women, but I know I'm speaking to men in this podcast as well that when the everyone experiences what they call impostor syndrome, which is basically the feeling that, you know, are they going to find out that I don't really know what I'm doing. But guess what everybody feels that way, you know, I have a really great manager and I'm able to confide in her, you know, that I feel this way sometimes. And she and she's been in corporate her whole career. And she immediately assuages that by saying, I feel it too sometimes, you know, and I think it just comes with the territory. And for me, I've come to embrace it as if I don't feel that from time to time, then I'm not growing in my role and in my career, so I take comfort in it now.

Now listen, if you are ready to leave the classroom, IDOL courses Academy is what you need to add in order to enter the instructional design field. Sign up using my code Classroom100 And get $100 off enrollment. It's time to take control and make the career change that will change your life. It changed mine. See you next time. That's all for this episode. But you can find more at or subscribe to the podcast. 

Send your stories or your questions to [email protected] or share them with me on Instagram  @leavingtheclassroom.