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What are people doing who leave teaching?

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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I love your question: "Do people really NOT understand how difficult teaching is and how much teachers have to offer in the workplace?" It is so true! We have SO MANY transferable skills, but they are not recognized as such. I am lucky to be employed at all, though I don't want to be a teacher any longer. However, I went on an interview last week, for a job outside of teaching, and the interviewer actually stated, "I'm confused. So many people that I talk to want desperately to find a teaching job. Why are you trying to get out of one?" I wanted to respond, "God forbid a person realize that teaching is not all it's cracked up to be. Not to mention, education professors inflate college students' minds with ridiculously idealistic images of teaching." I want to shout to the world, "I am more than JUST a teacher. Please don't make this one profession the extent of my identity. I deserve a chance to explore other opportunities; I am NOT required to be a teacher for life."


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Wanting out
Old 02-26-2012, 03:15 PM
 
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I can relate to so much of what is written here, and it is comforting to 'hear' others struggling as I am. Like many of you, I used to love teaching. It has felt like a 'calling,' but I'm beginning to think that I may just not be suited to the job any more. I bring a lot of emotional expectations to the job, like wanting to feel needed, approved of, and loved (by my students). Years ago I got a lot of this that I craved, and everyone who knows me as a teacher thinks I'm great- at least until this year at a new school. I finally left a bad position in a school after being there for seven years. There were a lot of emotionally needy, academically low students, and not enough support at the school, and mostly I did not enjoy it. But it had some good points and I liked my colleagues and I always feared getting into a worse school, so I stayed year after year. Well, bad move. I think I just gradually started putting less and less effort and began to 'wing it' quite a bit. But on the outside, since we (it was a team teaching situation) were pretty much left to do what we wanted, my principal thought we were terrific and we had the respect of our colleagues and student and parent support. But the kids who were SOOO NEEDY/neglected just WORE me out emotionally! Anyway, I switched schools finally and now I am teaching K instead of 4th grade, but you know what? I am still worn out. I hate that now I feel so much pressure for their writing to look great, for them to be READING, etc.

I have always thought of myself as a teacher, period. I have constant fantasies of leaving, always counting the days until vacation. I think I might not be suited to this anymore. I hate working outside the walls of school, though when I am there (early and late) I don't mind the work. But I carry around this feeling that I'm burdened with all that I could be doing to prepare for the week/month/year.

I love hearing stories of people who have left teaching! I enjoy your relief vicariously. I would prefer to regain my love and dedication, but not sure how (I'm already in therapy and that has helped, and may yet prove to be the solution to my anxieties and dissatisfaction).

I, too, am in my forties, and right now - especially in this economy - I can't imagine what I could do.

Thanks for 'listening'!
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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I have been teaching high school for 8 years and have wanted to get out for the last 3 years. I see a lot of posts that state that they love the kids but just can't take the administration and mandated state requirements. Truthfully, I can't even stand the kids anymore. They are emotionally draining and disrespectful. They really just don't care if their work gets done, and I honestly do not have the motivation to push them. This is the first year that I have purposefully tried to have as little to do with my students as possible. I just don't want their drama and whining (high schoolers). My head kills me everyday, my stomach is upset, I want to cry on the way to work and I feel like I am too "teacherlike" with my own kids and not enough mommy. I HATE this job. I am seriously looking for something else and I hope that I will be able to find another profession. I have enjoyed reading these posts and am glad to know that I am not alone in my feelings.
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Need a career change
Old 03-05-2012, 04:53 AM
 
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Good to know I am not alone. I've always wanted to be a teacher ever since middle school. I choose teaching because I liked history and I saw the wonderful things that my history teachers did in middle/high school and wanted to be just like them. I started teaching in 2005 and since 2006 have been wanting to leave education. I went back to school and re-tooled with an MA degree in Political Science. Then the economy tanked. Been stuck teaching. Been assaulted twice by students fortunately, administration has been supportive. I really just cannot take this job anymore. I am beyond burn-out.

The kids are annoying, the pay sucks, the profession is not respected, and the testing is too much. Teaching has basically stunted my career growth and development. I started teaching in my early 20s and am now almost 30. I look at my friends and see how well they are doing and wonder why the heck I chose this career to begin with. While I am fortunate to have a job I feel I can do better. I am looking at going back to school in Information Technology/Cyber Security.

The ironic thing is that apparently I am actually pretty good at my job. I was awarded middle school teacher of the year (2011-2012) in my district and have had always boosted test scores each year. Last year I had a 90% pass-rate in my subject matter.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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I was in tears upon reading this. I thought I am the only one who have expressed dismay over a lot of things that trigger some good teachers to quit teaching.

I was a public accountant here in the Philippines when I made a decision to teach. I left my corporate job and started to teach in 200x while working for a masters' degree. Circumstances led me to go back to the corporate job again two years after when my father passed away and I was let go by the school since I do not have a masters' degree that time.

A year after, I found myself back in the academe after I finished my masters. I have seen a lot of politics here. It's like you have to be respectful of tenured teachers, or you should not show up too much of your talent for it will intimidate those senior faculty who feel threatened with your entry. Worse, I applied for a full-time faculty post but to no avail. Senior faculty members throw accusations at me which resulted to my non-renewal of faculty contract. It was painful for me to leave, since I finished my graduate studies at that same school that I really love the most.

I got accepted to head another academic institution the next school year but a month before school year ends, I was informed that they are not going to renew my full-time status because they are rationalizing the academic units where my unit was merged to other units. Somehow, it made me sad because of the things that I have already did to institute reforms to this unit. Good thing, I was able to teach part time here while I accepted another offer from a university.

I thought my search for a teaching career was over after landing in this university. I received high marks for teaching (that I usually receive), completed research papers and presented them carrying the name of the university, and the students really love me so much, just as I love them because of how I did my "ministry" as a teacher. But then, the sudden change of administration led to a more intense bureaucracy in our unit, which prevented me to become more productive in my academic career because the new administrators are already intimidated with me ever since. Worse, our faculty salaries has not been upgraded to what it should be. I just have to be patient, but a lot of intimidation against us and the lack of support from the administration really affected me. Much to my dismay, I have to make a decision of leaving the university and the academic career after 6 years of dedicated service as a teacher.

Now, I am presently working as an independent practitioner providing accounting and consulting services while working for my PhD. I am also in the process of gearing myself back in the professional world that I also missed.

I am saddened about bureaucracy in the academic workplace, the 3-year probation before getting the tenure, the no-pay during summer term for probationary faculty, and the lack of support to achieving teachers whose intentions are to provide glory to the school because of the presence of intimidated teachers who care about their tenure and who do not wanted to be overpowered by young faculty. I am sad that good teachers have to go.

(There was one colleague of mine who was removed from the full-time roster a term before he gets his tenure. Now, that colleague of mine settled as a part-time faculty while working part time as a direct seller of food products that he sells to other faculty. He was depressed.)

Teaching for me is a noble profession. I love teaching so much. Somehow, I already miss those classrooms and my students who are dear to me because I know I have made a difference in their lives. I will miss my academic work because my work made a contribution in the field. But somehow, the signs have come along my way and it is time for me to make a decision to leave. It's like someone that you really love but you have to let go. I will miss teaching, but not being a teacher if this is the only thing that you will get after all your hardwork. It was a learned experience for me. I do not want to become miserable forever.

Like in other posts, life is too short to be miserable.

Sorry, I have to wipe my tears now.

I just have to set my eyes on the better future that lies ahead of me. I wish the same for all of you who are considering or have left teaching.


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I have no life anymore
Old 03-10-2012, 07:16 AM
 
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I am only 7 years from full retirement. I was an eternal student, loved education! I began my teaching career as a PE and Health teacher. I knew that if there were budget cuts some day that I might lose my job, so I returned to school for additional certifications. I have a MA in EdLd and an Elementary Education certification, and then an additional 30 grad credits after that. After several years of teaching, I was moved from PE to strictly Health. I am an active person, so I wasn't happy about the move at first, but I worked hard to build an amazing Health program that I became very passionate about teaching. Students and staff and administration loved it! However, when budget cuts came, despite my seniority and achievement, my multiple certifications landed me in an elementary education position, teaching all subjects. The demands here are insane! I work 10 hr. days and weekends too. The technology demands are killing me. My brain is not wired that way. Everyone has been amazed by my smooth transition, perhaps they thought of me as a one trick pony/dumb jock? It did not come without sacrifice. I gave up my summer to learn the job, my nights and weekends, but most of all, my life outside of work. I never see my family anymore. When I do, I am distracted by thoughts of work. I send myself messages from work to home and back again with reminders of things to buy, do, develop, etc. My husband is a special education teacher who is also eager to retire. Our health has taken a serious hit in the last couple of years. Could stress be contributing to our health problems? As a former health teacher, I would say most definitely. We love children, teaching, etc. What we don't care for are the people at the top making decisions about what a highly qualified teacher looks like, or how no child can be left behind, or how every student must make adequate progress, or how we are responsible to stop bullying, apply and use technology in all aspects of teaching, and the list goes on and on. Where does parenting factor into the equation anymore? Why have educators become vilified?
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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Update! I have had two interviews this school year for non-teaching, college degree requiring jobs. Both interviewers did not see why I wanted to leave a secure seeming job. Both jobs paid less than teaching and required more hours of (more mundane) work. This is the thing. Yes, I want out, but not so badly that I will take longer hours and less pay without knowing I will be happier and more fulfilled in the work I do. Because I do enjoy the act of teaching, and the interaction with many of the students. So is it just good enough to stay but ignore my misery? Hubby says I need to look at different schooling/certIfication routes because I will not find a better job with my degrees. Frustrating, and it's almost April. I dread signing the contract for another year yet know I will be happy to know I have a job
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I understand
Old 03-27-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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I have been teaching for 11 years and I am really tired. I am so exhausted that I can not enjoy my own three kids. I have found myself getting angrier and angrier. I am taking it out on my family and that is not fair. I teach 7th grade this year and I hate it.

I am tired of administrators delegating administrating jobs to the teachers and not understanding that we have no more to give. We were told that if we could not say we were giving 110% then we were not doing our jobs. When asked how to fit all of the new responsibilities into our day, we were told that we had keys and could come to the school on the weekends to get caught up. She said it was called going the extra mile.

I would like to think it was just here, but the last school I was at did the same. I am also looking at different jobs.
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in a similar position
Old 03-28-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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Have you considered becoming an actuary? With strong math skills and a business background, it sounds like it'd be a good fit.
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It's a difficult decision...
Old 04-04-2012, 08:21 PM
 
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I am considering also leaving the profession after just three years. The job consumes my life. I want my life back! I want to have my own children and have the time to spend with them without the feelings of guilt that accomany not putting in the extra effort at school. I gave it a few years thinking it would get easier each year. Talking with the teachers that have been teaching for 12-25 years, asking the question, " how do you be a successful wife and mother AND a great teacher?" The answer to my question was simply this, "some weeks I am a good wife/mother, and some I am a good teacher." I just can't handle the stress from extra hours, no family time, and feelings of guilt when I don't volunteer for everything. I want to balance my life as a teacher, but I haven't been able to do this successfully yet. So, I am going to pursue something else while I am still young and able to "live on peanuts." I am scared to leave because I care for my students and I love my teaching team, but I know that my health and family life matters more to me than a job. What a great experience teaching has provided me, I have learned so much and gained so much respect for teachers. I love teaching, I love being a part of the learning that takes place, I will miss this so much! I will miss listening to the darling stories that they are writing. So fun! I have taken time to set my priorities, and my family (future kids included) is more important to me than any job. I hope to find a job that I enjoy and my hope is to no longer take my work home with me, mentally or physically. I would appreciate any ideas someone could lend me about creating a resume that will grab the attention of any future employer.


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A means to an ends....
Old 04-07-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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Dear friends..

Respectfully on the same page

However I find it weird that very few posts discuss interaction with their union..


Heck I have dreamed of union rites for the countries I worked ...
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On the edge
Old 04-19-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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After 27 years of teaching English, I am three years short of a pension if I stay and five years short of a pension if I go. The "expert" at today's meeting spent over an hour lecturing about the ineffectiveness of lecture, dropped some buzz words, cited other people's research, and told us that we would be considered great teachers if we posted Venn diagrams on our walls. The state has cut funding, ended collective bargaining, and is forcing me to compete against colleagues with whom I have collaborated. Suddenly, the half-salary buyout sounds pretty good. Luckily, my wife is working and can provide me with healthcare. We may starve, but I can't do this for three more years!

To all of you in similar situations, I found a greeting card just for us!

"Some people think letting go is the same as giving up. It's not. It's releasing those things that are no longer right for you or your happiness. It's making room in your life and in your heart for something new. It's believing-like I do- that you are a special person who deserves nothing less than the best." -Carlton Cards
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Thinking of returning
Old 05-08-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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Wow this post is long! I taught for nearly 3 years at a Catholic primary school. I became so depressed I was put on medication and eventually left. I always blamed myself for not having enough training to feel confident in my abilities and also my boss as she was very hard to work for. I can see now how common it is to feel the way I felt. I returned to administration work in a legal. office and while this is easy it is taking a toll on my self image and bank account. The depression did not leave. I was loved by my students. I was gentle and kind most of the time. I love literature! I love art! I taught juniors and I miss it because it gave me self esteem - while destroying it at the same time. I look at my friend on Facebook who are still teaching and I get so jealous and feel like such a failure. The lawyer I work for who is nice (but treats me like I have a mental impairment!) thinks I left teaching because I needed more of a challenge! My goodness I am feeling very sorry for myself lately . Good luck to all! Thanks for sharing your experiences, it really helps .
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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I have read almost every message on this post. Thank you so much for making me feel like I am not alone. I am having the same problem as most of you. I have worked in the school system for 11 years as a teaching assistant and tutor while I finished my teaching degree. I have worked in special ed and with some of the neediest students in the school. I was hired in Oct. to take over for a teacher who quit after 21 years she could not take it any more. She was given a very needy class full of students who were on meds and had major problems however this was suppose to be a regular education classroom. I took over the class and was hired to finish the year out. It almost killed me. This was my first time having a class of my own even though I have worked in the school for so long and have worked with special needs students these children should have never been put into the same room. Far to many problems in one classroom. The classroom was out of control when I took over and they expected me to work some kind of magic and transform this room. I took over the class on a Tuesday without any training or help from anyone in the school I was given keys and told "Good luck". I later found out that the teacher who quit had been put on medicine herself when she was in this room. Because she was a teacher at this school for 21 years everyone loved her. No matter what I did it never seemed to be good enough for the other teahcers. They talked about the previous teacher in front of me all the time and said how much they missed her. At every inservice meeting or any meetings we had all year her name was left on the sign in sheets and mine was never put on there. I would have to mark out her name and write mine in. They never even put my name on the door they took hers off and never put anything else back up. All of this on top of 6 new state observations I had to go through. And at the end of the year I was told that they were not going to hire me back, they only needed me to finish this year. I just found out that one of the board members children graduated and will have my room next year. I guess that explains my name never being put on anything they only needed me to hold the spot for someone else. If this is how the school system works I want out. All of my students and parents loved me and I stayed late and worked weekends all the time to give these students the best year I could and it still wasn't good enough. My question is I just finished my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and have a ton of student loans is there any thing else I can do with this degree if I get out of teaching. Any advice would help. I also would love to continue school and eventually get a PHD but in what. I need to make enough money to pay the student loans off and have some left to live on.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:20 PM
 
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I relate to the frustrations. I taught for 30 years and the demands kept growing and growing. As mentioned, very few of the demands supported the time I needed to be creative and effective. I also worked six days a week. Fortunately my years of experience did provide time in which I was able to integrate best practices I observed in other educators or meaningful workshops or course work. (Oh, while working on my master's, it was seven days a week.) The significant issue here is we are not creating an educational system that puts the students first. . . ever. The top down hierarchy places teachers and consideration of their responsibilities somewhere at the bottom of a heap. Those outside the classroom dictate a number of initiatives continually. In the end, I am glad I was able to retire at 60. All those years in education, enjoying teaching and working with devoted colleagues, the students, and their families finally ended when other opportunities arose. All I could think was, "The same cart of new notions keeps rolling by, putting new wheels on it no longer disguises it."
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Took the leap
Old 06-02-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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Update! I did it! I decided that a retired successful teacher is more marketable than a failed teacher. I took the early retirement buyout and the additional payment for unused sick leave. I sold a car, the boat, and the vacation home that we never used in order to divide the money into monthly "paychecks" while I look for work. I can take my early retirement pension now if I need it, but it doubles if I wait five years. Yes, I need to find a job, but I don't need to find a career. I said my goodbyes, enjoyed the cake and punch, and threw the commorative plaque in a drawer. Deciding to go was tough, but it was the right choice for me. The icing on the cake is that a reduction-in- force colleague gets to return to school in my position! Good luck to all of you whatever you decide to do.
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Congrats!
Old 06-08-2012, 10:51 PM
 
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Congrats!!

I got out earlier this year, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. It is sick how the system makes us prisoners of retirement plans and pensions.

Glad that you escaped the prison system.

Good luck to everyone else out there on the brink, not knowing how they're going to get through another year, another week, who have had it, but know not what to do.

The Chinese symbol for Crisis is "Opportunity blowing on a dangerous wind".

Start thinking of your current job as temporary (in my case it kind of was since I had been riffed and then hired back). Fake it; don't give 100 percent to your current job (it's not like they're paying you what you're worth anyway), if you give 100 percent, you will have nothing left to give to working yourself out of the system, working on a resume, taking free trainings, marketing yourself. At the very least, pick up an endorsement and work yourself out of regular classroom teaching and into a specialist position where you don't have to see the same kids everyday, and generally the pressure isn't as great as when you are THE classroom teacher/teacher of record.

I'm out, but still return to this blog because of the empathy, solace, and hope I found in it.
I feel grateful to have made it out.

Wishing you all the best and hoping you take care of number one and listen to yourself when you've had it.
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Quit the Classroom Three Times
Old 06-14-2012, 09:15 PM
 
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Hi - I've got a weird story - so weird that I dare not take credit for it all. Honestly, it was all divine. I started teaching in 1994, but soon realized that I couldn't handle it and take care of my own kids and hubby. I don't know how to 1/2 do anything, so the daily grind broke me down. Consumed my evenings and weekends, threw me into a depression every Sunday night.

After two years of teaching middle school English, I left (Quit #1) and started in insurance sales (I was AWFUL - I very nearly got fired). Then I went to corporate training/HR for a retail chain. The job actually paid less than teaching, but I could close the door and be done with it at 5:00, which (to me) was priceless. About 18 months later, it was clear to me that the store was on the downside (they eventually closed) and (in all honesty) I did miss the kids. This time I got a job in a very different district (large urban) teaching high school. I realized that (for me) teaching high school was waaaay better than teaching middle school. I also realized, for the first time, that there's something spectacularly wonderful about having the summers to look forward to - it's what we've all done since kindergarten. As a side note, I had to swallow a bit of pride before taking that second teaching job because all of my teacher friends were like, "You never should have left." I felt embarrassed to come back. I even felt like a bit of a failure, second-guessing my ability to make it in the "real world" outside of our very sheltered education-bubble where (at that time) no one ever got fired, and we all enjoyed a great deal of perceived job security.

Fastforward 2 years - after teaching in the large high school, I caught the entrepreneurial bug and decided I wanted to tutor privately from my home while I finished working on my Master's Degree (Curriculum and Instruction). My kids were young, and my marriage needed some serious TLC. I could not keep up classroom teaching (Quit #2). The business did well, and the kids I tutored showed marked improvement, so much that the local elementary school began to notice. Next thing I know, that school hires me to work 4 mornings a week with some of the kids who haven't been identified as special ed but definitely need some kind of help (pilot program). The pilot goes well, and they ask me to stay as an employee to continue with the program. A very sweet deal. That went well for about a year, then the grant ran out and I decided to stay and teach with that district another year (5th and 6th grade). By the end of that year, I finished my master's degree. There was no way I was going to stay in the classroom after I had that big 'ole certificate (Quit #3).

Started applying for jobs in curriculum and got hired as an English/Language Arts consultant for a branch of the state education agency. It was GREAT. As it turned out, the fact that I'd taught at elementary, middle, and high schools made me a PERFECT candidate for this K-12 job. I worked there for a few years, built up a lot of contacts, made a lot of friends with school districts. When I left there in 2006 (Another QUIT - but not the classroom), I started my own educational consulting business (I also still do a lot of contract work with the state agency, too). Six years later, I have the flexibility I've always wanted - it's been so flexible I've actually had time to write 7 published novels (I can't tell you about them because I don't want my ed. consulting clients to read what I'm about to write). Needless to say, this "non-job" is the longest I've ever held a job!

What I learned in all of this: A) Don't feel bad if you want to leave the classroom. Maybe the classroom was YOUR training ground. I believe that once you've been a good teacher, you can do ANYTHING. Who knows - maybe you're going to be an entrepreneur, an author, a speaker next??? There's no rule saying you have to stay in one field for 30 years.

B) It's important for you to realize when you've lost the passion because, trust me, your kids already know it. And as a consultant, I can tell when I'm working with teachers (not many - but some) who flat don't want to be in the classroom. They're burned-out, overworked, cynical, and poisonous. These people need to leave the classroom for the sake of themselves and their students. I know because I was one of them.

C) To quote one of my favorite authors, "You only have grace when you're in the right place." If you're not where you're SUPPOSED to be right now, no wonder it's so hard!

Best wishes to you all as you follow the career and personal path for you.
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I am consultant, too.
Old 07-16-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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I worked for one year as a teacher for a nonprofit organization at an inner city school. I taught kindergarten students, while I obtained a Master's degree. I realized that teaching was a super easy job, and I need mental stimulation. However, I couldn't find another path, so I moved back to my hometown. While I looked for employment elsewhere, I substitute taught for five years, while I tried to find a full-time position, either in education, nonprofit administration or business leadership. The schools were awful, full of leftist individuals, who count not teach. Finally, I decided to apply for a religious education position in a private school. The school's principal hired me for marketing and fundraising instead as a consultant. One year later, I have numerous contracts with schools across the nation. The beautiful thing about the position is the salary. I have great flex-time, I travel across the U.S. and I make $187,500 a year; $75.00 an hour x 50 hours. I finally love my life.
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private schools are no better
Old 08-05-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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I've read most of the posts on this very long thread and I noticed that nearly everyone taught in public schools. I am here to say that private schools come with their own misery. I have taught high school math at a small, independent school for eleven years. We are fully funded by tuition and donors, which allows us to not have as much red tape and government bs. We generally have small classes and few discipline issues. However, our admin is just as clueless, we have no union and our pay and benefits are worse than in public schools, we are expected to be at the beck and call of the kids and parents in the evenings and weekends, we have a long list of evening and weekend events to attend, and we are at the mercy of parents with large checkbooks- especially in this economy. We are expected to individualize for each kid no matter what the range of ability levels in the class. Now the classes are getting bigger because they don't want to replace teachers who retire and the ones left are expected to do more with less. There is no transparency and half the time the kids know what's going on at the admin level before the teachers do and we look like fools.

Every year the students get weaker and lazier and I have to force feed them math, but then they blame me when they have low AP scores. I am expected to make math "accessible to all" even though these kids refuse to do fractions without a calculator. I could go on and on, but my point is that if you hate it in public school don't assume that private school will be any better. You simply trade one set of frustrations for another.

I too was told that I could do "lots of things" with a math degree because people would just assume I was capable. Not true- they want experience. I plan to go back for training in IT, my original major, or find something else. Like many others, I just want a job that I can forget about when I go home. The summers off are just not worth it anymore.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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After several years of teaching (love/hate relationship, for all the reasons listed in posts above), I moved to another state. It has been over two years since I had a contracted position.

While I am slowly coming to the realization that I may not find another position, it is a rough decision, to simply let go.

And yet....

I love teaching. I love kids. I miss the paperwork (sometimes!), the lesson planning, the staying up until 1:00 and rising at 5:00, the 12-hour-days spent grading/recording/writing notes to parents on Saturday and Sunday.

The money was NEVER a consideration; I made more my first year than my last.

So, while I sit here in tears, mourning my own loss--I send love and hugs out to each of you, deep in your own struggles. May you find what you seek.

~D~
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update- loving life!
Old 09-16-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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Update- I am now working in a bakery creating yummy goodies that people love! I am appreciated and come home with no work to do in the evenings or on weekends. I've already received a raise! Pardon the pun, but life is sweet! My advice is to teach as long as you love it. You will know when it is time to move on. There is life beyond the school door. I promise!
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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I have been reading the posts about leaving teaching and I can agree with everyone.....I have been teaching 11 years and CAN NOT see myself doing this forever. I agree that I love the vacations, holidays etc etc., but as a mom of 3 young kids...I always feel overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of work that teaching requires. I even feel that sometimes I don't give my job 100% because I want to spend time with my family. I recently had to take a family leave because our son was injured and I have found that being away from the classroom has also made me realize that teaching is not for me. I am stress-free, enjoying my kids and spending quality time with my crew without a huge stack of papers in my lap. I absolutely LOVE working with kids, but teaching is SO demanding it definitely is NOT a 9-3 job like everyone assumes, but rather a job that is NEVER-ENDING. Our work as teachers is NEVER "done." I'm a bit afraid to change jobs, not sure what I will do, but I was very happy reading these posts because I know I'm not the only one out there feeling this way!!! Now to decide what to do..........
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:38 AM
 
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I've just been reading this thread and I too am contemplating a career change. I have been teaching for nearly 9 yrs in a secondary school (yrs7-11). I have a Bachelors and Masters in English from a top Uni and I love teaching, like the kids I teach and am a popular member of the school community. In a recent OFSTED my lessons was given 1-OUTSTANDING, I am also earning at the top of the payscale (MPS). However, even though I have fewer students per class from when I first started out, am more confident and have a fantastic group of colleagues and the support of SMT, I am completely exhausted. My plan is to save enough money to take a year off to travel, write, read and be a mother to my child. After that the plan is to return part-time and supplement this with private tutoring. In my city this is big business there are many ex-teachers who run tutoring businesses.

In the UK teaching is going downhill daily, between performance management reviews, book-checking, exam results, lesson planning, assessments and endless tick-boxing there is no room left for meaningful/effective teaching. We are governed by middle-management, senior management, exam boards, parents and the kids themselves. There are so many good teachers leaving or going part time it's shocking. And now with the recession and the last governments agenda to have 50% of the population uni-educated there are countless grads going through teacher training because they have no other choice- a decision reliant on finances rather than the desire or passion to become a teacher.

I know I will miss the sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes when you see your students progress, but I know that as a mother, at this moment, my own child is my priority. In terms of career changes I know that teaching is all I know. Whether it's teaching adults or kids in education or business that remains to be seen.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:37 PM
 
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I'm sitting here like a zombie thinking, "Who cares about summer vacation!!!!! I just want a single weekend free without school work!!!!!" Lord I'm tired.
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Went to part time and LOVE it!
Old 12-06-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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I am in my 10th year of teaching and this year made the decision to go part time (2 1/2 days a week) teaching RTI Math, rather than full time in the regular classroom! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it!! Two and a half days a week is the perfect schedule. Also, the change from regular ed to teaching math interventions is exactly what I needed. I became a consultant with Thirty-One a few years ago and my business has grown so much that I knew it was probably time to invest more in my Thirty-One business than my teaching career (as I was making 3x my teaching salary). BUT...I did still love it (although I was exhausted) and wasn't really ready to walk away completely. So, when this opportunity came up, I grabbed it!! So, maybe that's your answer. If you are simply exhausted, but still love what you do...why not give part time a try! It really is the schedule I so needed and I feel rejuvenated again!!
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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Hi lads, in my third year teaching in ireland, no interest and got moved into a new class for the 3rd year in a row. Would be interested to know what job you find yourself in now amie
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thanks for your messages...
Old 01-08-2013, 04:52 PM
 
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When I was in second grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I overcame my obstacles, and put my all into it. It has been my life's passion. I love setting up the room, making the posters, watching the children "get it." I love inspiring them to be life long learners. I like planning (even on my own time). I like buying new books and materials for the classroom and coming up with inspiring experiences. I even like grading and thinking of ways to help children approach problems in a different way. (Keep reading...)

I am in year 16 - there have been many personal and professional rewards! I get hugs at the end of the day, notes and messages of praise from colleagues, administrators, and parents. But, I have about had it!

Last year was my best year of teaching (with kids not the politics and red tape). This year has been my worst. It isn't just one thing - it is what all of you describe. Very complex. I too work 11-12 hour days plus many hours on the weekends. And, I spend a good deal of vacations planning for what comes next. The administration keeps finding more busy work for us. The number of meetings we attend has greatly multiplied. We have reading to do before the meetings and follow-up "assignments" to do after - all of this on our own time. You know that great lesson you planned until 6 last night, you can't do it - we have an assembly tomorrow - and one next week. Why are you behind in math? Why aren't you getting the reading unit done in 4 weeks? What do you mean you don't have time to teach? It has become impossible!!!!! I used to love having a student teacher. I can't in good faith recommend that a student teacher go into this job.

I know that I am not the only unhappy teacher. Almost every teacher in my building is unhappy - many who have taught even longer than me are seriously looking for a way out. And, they are the hardest working most caring people I have ever worked with! We say maybe we should start our own school - maybe we should!

I feel guilty for despising something I used to love so much - for hating the reality of something I used to just dream about! But, here I am. When searching the Internet for "new jobs for..." or other similar phrases, teachers is always at the top of the list. Is it because Google knows I am a teacher or because there really is a mass exodus right now?

Bottom line, I can't teach full time and be expected to complete all of the "administrative tasks" that also are full time - many needing to be done on a moment's notice.

But, like the original poster... I need other options. I will be on the lookout for sure.

Probably, I will hang on and give next year a try. 20-25 more years????
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It isn't your imagination
Old 01-10-2013, 07:36 PM
 
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Dear Whatcomesnext, It isn't your imagination! Teachers are leaving the classroom in record numbers, and enrollment in teacher training programs has drastically declined. The job has become virtually impossible. The irony is that we "retirees" are in demand to return to the classroom and fill in for those who are departing. I loved teaching for twenty-five years and hated it for the final two. Leaving was the best thing I did for myself, my family, and my students! We all deserved better! Good luck!
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Considering leaving
Old 01-17-2013, 03:08 AM
 
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I'd really like some input from the folks on this board. I am in my 7th year of teaching and am quite unhappy. I've taught it 4 schools in various positions and have been quite dissatisfied throughout. I work hard and do my job very well, but there are aspects of the profession that bring me a lot of frustration-disrespectful kids, the huge amount of paperwork I have to bring home nightly, etc. Mostly, I find myself feeling incredibly sapped of energy by day's end. I only start to feel like myself again on the weekends. I was going to wait until the summer to resign, but I found a job that seems like a dream come true in many ways. It is for Outreach Administrator at an animal shelter. I'd very much like to have this job and think it might help vamp up my resume so that I can advance either at the shelter or at another local non-profit. What I want advice on if whether I should go for this. It's a big life change, but one that I think would bring me a lot of joy. I spend much of my time working on animal welfare, and to have a job in that field would be fantastic. It's quite a pay cut, but my partner is willing to help me out a bit financially so that I can do this. Thoughts? A little background as well-I'm 38, female, own a home and do not have children.
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Go for it...
Old 01-23-2013, 11:05 AM
 
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Hi. I would say, go for it. I left a few months ago. I will take a big pay cut most likely when I find something permanent. However, I know it's worth it. Even though I'm only doing temporary work, I'm far less stressed. As for your resume, include lots of things which are admin-related. As teachers we do lots of admin work, especially since all these ridiculous changes have taken place. Mention how you attend meetings, collaborate with other teachers and admin, respond to emails, use computer skills, etc. Good luck! :O)
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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It's good to hear so many people say what I've been thinking. I have been teaching for 10 years and this past Aug. we took a transfer for my husband's job. I'm taking the year off to be home with my son who will start Kindergarten next year. I have not been this happy in years! Of course, we are making half what we made last year, but it has been a worthwhile trade.

I realize now, how stressed I was in my previous job. I was grumpy toward my husband and three kids, I was rarely home because I was teaching three history classes a day, three Lang. arts classes a day, tutoring after school, coaching a varsity sport, and running extra curricular activities on weekends. Once a week I would order dinner in to my classroom and stay until about 9 or 10pm to get caught up with paperwork, IEP's, etc. I remember a staff meeting where our Superintendent told us that he was going to ask us to give even more, because we had to make cuts. I thought, "How can I possibly give more, when I don't even have anything to give to my family?" My kids love that I am there for them, now. When they talk about my previous job, they usually state, "You were never home...you were really grumpy....we never did anything." How sad is that?

So, like many of you, I am in a place where I need to decide what I'm going to do. I've been pursuing a hobby of mine, photography. I have always been passionate about photography, so I started a professional course. I have been doing photo shoots with families, high school seniors, etc. I'm not rolling in the dough, but it does supplement a little bit. It brings me great joy to be outdoors, with grateful people. I can control the product; I can control my schedule. I can control so much more than I could in education. I am a good teacher, I know that, so I look for opportunities to teach; for instance, I teach Sunday school at church. Who knows what opportunities lie ahead, maybe some day I will be able to teach photography classes at the local community college.

I say, find something you are passionate about and research job opportunities that relate. Happiness, harmony, and family are never worth sacrificing for money, plus life's just way too short to go through the motions, not really savoring it.
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Still twisting in the wind...
Old 04-27-2013, 01:24 AM
 
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After 22 years, I am so discouraged to just walk away from my chance to get my full retirement. I can't hack another 8 years. I can't. I'm letting my husband down. He's in his 10th year. Our mortgage is almost paid. But I can't do this anymore. I fantasize about killing myself all the time. He lives for the weekend and doesn't let it get to him. I have grand kids. I should be anticipating a happy retirement. I feel like such a failure. I wish I'd have quit when I was young enough to start over with something else. I wish I'd found this board back before I ruined my health. I wish the choices weren't so stark. I wish I could just put in my time, collect my pay, and not feel so demoralized and wretched. But I can't. I feel trapped and doomed. God help us all.
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Get out- Now!!
Old 04-27-2013, 03:29 PM
 
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No one, Run- do not walk- for the exit! I was there! The only thing that stopped me from driving in front of an oncoming train was the thought that it would destroy thelife of the train engineer. Consider this: When you reach the point you seem to have reached, you will make a mistake that will destroy what is left of your reputation. You have skills and talents that are marketable. It is terrifying and demoralizing, but there really is life beyond the classroom door. I promise you!
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Almost June!
Old 04-27-2013, 09:46 PM
 
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I've been ready to leave since the first year I started. I'd actively been trying to get out and get a degree in another field the past two years, and I've finally done it. I'm in a program to become a librarian. Colleagues keep asking me if I'm really going to leave and "Do you really want to start over somewhere and give up your job?" Yes. The only thing I'm afraid of is looking back at the end of 25 years of teaching because I was too scared to leave. Now I'm just counting down the days and just knowing that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel gets me through the school days.

I've seen co-workers deteriorate in their jobs, I've seen their health go downhill. I've felt the constant migraines myself, the dread in the pit of my stomach because I have to go back to work. A crappy paycheck isn't worth all this stress. I want to work with adults. I want to like my job. I don't want to teach to a test or be evaluated by administrators who have NO IDEA what teaching is like anymore. All they care about are numbers and data. 100% of my students must be passing, otherwise there is something wrong with me (obviously!) and I must explain to them why kids are failing. Maybe because they don't bother coming to class and when they do, they don't bother doing the work. That may be why. So sick of this job, I regret the day I ever started.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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Countdown 52,
Are you going to be a school librarian or a public librarian? I have talked with my husband about going back to school for library science to become a school librarian. I feel it would be easier without all the grading papers all hours of the night and weekend, lesson plans for all subjects (I teach elementary school), etc. I love the kids, but the rest of the job is killing me. I have had so many problems with my health since I've been teaching (7 years now). I am afraid to go back to school because it's going to cost around $20,000 and librarian positions are so few and far between. I'm afraid I will put all the time into it (the college says most people complete it in 3 years) and all the money into it and then not be able to get a job. Are you worried about that? Have you talked to anyone that has done this and has been successful in getting a job?
Thanks, Miserable in VA
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Torn.......
Old 05-17-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Months later I am still so torn with what to do....

I taught second and third grade for a few three years at one charter school and then took a job teaching second in yet another charter school. I dealt with a very drama ridden school that had a lot of unprofessional people working in admin. I'm talking teachers having to share restrooms with students, kids not being discplined, affairs amongst admin, etc!!!!!!!!!!


When I started so many of the kids were so behind, had horrible behaviors, and made things difficult. When I sought for help I recieved none. I also had desires to work in curriculum directing so when I let this be known, my principal allowed me to do that for a few weeks while my para taught the class. When I was told they didn't need a new curriculum director, I didn't care and threw myself back into the classroom and worked super hard. I invested so much of my time and even my own personal money to make sure the kids were reaching their highest potential and getting resources they needed. And well...it worked. The kids and I were bonding more, behavior problems were diminishing, and my kiddos had really good test scores.

Long story short, another teacher with a personal vendetta with me(for whatever reason) told the principal I was deemening the kids. He never came to personally observe me, get my side of the story or even talk about a plan of action. Basically I was forced to quit based on "complaints" which I never heard about until that day. I had the option of having horrible references and was threatened to have it on my record or quit so I couldn't file for unemployment. After I quit I found out from other staff that this has happened before! Karma is somewhat taking it's toll because I know his staff(which was already small) also hates this place. Half his staff already has jobs at better schools next year. Mind you this all happened in December. I have been subbing in a district now and have had good reviews from teachers and even principals. Sadly, I still have not gotten any calls for interviews still. I am starting to lose hope. I have applied for about ten districts because I really want to avoid working in a charter school again.

I am still so scarred and hurt by what happened that I often question if this is the career for me. I am still fairly young, no kids yet, getting married next year but I have no money to spend on going back to school.



Thank You!
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I've been on the other side...not greener
Old 07-05-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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I was in the corporate world for years before I got my teaching certificate. I was in marketing and advertising and was making pretty good money. BUT, along with that good salary came higher level positions and more responsibility. I was on-call all the time, I had to work late and cancel personal things due to work crisis. I had to work weekends sometimes, etc.... And whoever thinks only teaching has annoying authorities and high pressure and deadlines, think again! I've had the most pig-headed, rude clients that thought they were hotshots just because they were marketing managers at 3M, Dell, IBM, etc... I've had bosses that were hot heads all the time, and I've worked with creative punks fresh out of college that thought they were God's gift to this earth. I saw it ALL, I promise! It was many years of blood, sweat and tears....

So when I switched careers mid-life, I was prepared. I had already seen it all. I had always wanted to teach, but never took the initiative to switch. This is my 3rd year of teaching (after many years of subbing), and for me, it is worth it!! Do I bring work home and sometimes stay up to midnight entering grades online? - YES. Do I do planning on the weekends? - YES. Are there too many meetings? - YES. Have I had rude parents that acted like jerks? - YES. But I can tell you that I HAD ALL OF THESE THINGS IN MY OTHER PROFESSION, TOO! Every profession has its problems and frustrations - it's work. That's why they call it "work", and not "fun".... I would much rather work in a classroom with children all day than adults all day. My 3rd graders actually think I'm cute, funny and can't wait to see what we're doing every day! (and I cannot say that about too many adults I've worked with all those previous years!)
I've worked with such annoying bosses and coworkers in my prior career that I can tell you that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side!

I LOVE teaching. Are the curriculum changes, meetings, district policies and testing my favorites? NO, they're not. But I am rewarded by those students and parents that come to me (almost on a weekly basis), and tell me how wonderful I've been for their child, how much they've learned, and how much their kid loves school now! I HUG those parents and say "THANK YOU, you just reminded me why I love teaching!"

...so I've been on the other side. I value my job as a teacher and know that if you have any kind of other job with responsibility (so not low-level), you will have to work extra hours and you will work with difficult people sometimes. And you will NOT get all the same holidays and breaks off with your kids, if you have kids. My 2 kids love that I'm a teacher now - I have so much more time with them. Yes I grade papers while I'm watching them play sports, yes sometimes I do planning after they go to bed at night, and yes sometimes I get tired and frustrated - - BUT I AM WITH MY KIDS MORE and I'm happier than working in an ad agency!

OK - that's my dish on this subject!
To each their own - good luck to all of you searching for something that fits you )
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:10 AM
 
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To Annette95: I'd say wait a few years. Talk to me again in five years or so years. I don't know what your school policies are, but it's not the grading or planning. For me it was the fact that I had no power in my classroom. How can I teach anyone anything when I'm not allowed to fail students? How will they listen to anything I say if they know there are no consequences for it? Their behavior SUCKS, to put it very mildly. If you love this job, good for you. We need people to teach, since so many of us are leaving. But I would never recommend anyone make a career out of it, and that is just my opinion.

miserable, I know my district had a program for teachers who already had a master's degree to get certified to be librarians. You should go to your Region office and inquire, because they are the ones that have those alternate certification programs, not the district offices. They had several, they had one for librarians, they had one to be certified as an administrator. I'd check. It's faster and much cheaper than going back to school completely. I've only been away from teaching since June 1 (and it doesn't really count because right now it's still summer vacation) but I'll tell you that the day I handed in my letter felt like a huge weight fell off my shoulders. I don't regret it.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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I went from classroom teacher to obtaining a teacher librarian endorsement and being a school librarian for a couple of years before applying for a librarian position in a rural public library. I don't have an MLS, but I was able to become a certified librarian in my state by testing into certification. The district I left almost two years ago just had more budget cuts and the first to go were the librarians, so I feel good about the decision I made to move. I don't miss working in the schools; however I do miss the benefits like social security (which I don't have now) generous vacation and leave time, better health insurance benefits which I paid less for. I know it depends on the area; I am in a under served rural community where salaries are low. It has been a step back financially, but a step ahead for my overall well being. Info below on state library certification:

http://ala-apa.org/certification-new...ertifications/
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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I've been reading and following these posts. It made me feel better that I was not alone. I left teaching after just a year. I know it's too early to say that, but I did. I like teaching. I just do not like anything that comes with it. I just could not handle the rudeness of the students. They were unbelievably rude. They refused to do work, they whine about work, and then later, they blame you for giving them a fail grade.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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OMG, I can't believe I found this thread! I was a high school Social Studies teacher for exactly two years. I couldn't stand it, though I was considered a very good teacher, especially for a new teacher. So, I went back to school and got my Library degree. I was already in my early 40's. After working in a public library for two years I went back into education. I thought being a school librarian would be better, and it was for a time. I worked middle and high school. All of that working history was in an urban environment. I am now in a wealthy suburb about to start my second year as an elementary school librarian, and I want to quit so badly. If I could afford it, I'd leave this profession today! Between the work load, the insane evaluation requirements (artifacts anyone?), expectations to be on every committee in the district, rude parents, kids who are systematically being taught to NOT think, and the lack of any help, I don't know if I'm going to be physically, no less emotionally able to pull it off again this year. I want out! This is my 11th year in education and frankly, education is just awful. I wish everyone the best of luck, and to those who think being a school librarian is the answer, think hard, very hard about that.
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live your life
Old 09-27-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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26 years of teaching mostly Math to Middle Schoolers and still loving it especially when they see they can!!!!!!5 classes of 30+ students/class....and 2 classes of grade 11's life skills....30 hrs/wk teaching (2 free lessons/week),but 45 hrs/wk at school and not on proper pay scale as the school cannot afford to pay more....fuel eats away 25% of my net salary!!!!! However I believe every person must decide for themselves and follow their dreams.....you have a global village at your doorstep and do not miss out on seeing the world!!!!!! Every few years I pluck up the courage to venture overseas and it does not always work out but hey I do not want to look back and regret never having tried!!Teaching is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.I think we are often frustrated but too scared to leave our comfort zone.There are days that I want to just get away but then I've always made it my motto to always start the day with the attitude that it's a new day and to be positive.Teachers as in most jobs,I suppose,(where you have loads of people working together) can easily impact upon one another's positive/negative attitude......if only governments/owners/directors etc of schools would realize....happy teachers are most of the time great teachers!!!!!!!Our 1 week of Spring Break in Cape Town is almost over and getting energies sorted out for the last haul
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Blahhh!!!!
Old 10-03-2013, 08:16 PM
 
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I've been teaching/coaching for six years now. I was just moved from one area of teaching to a low functioning special ed. class. I was furious because I was lied to about the circumstances twice in one day. There have been administration changes this year, more so than any other years since I've been teaching. It shows because these people are complete lying morons. Simply said; PATHETIC! Time for some honesty here, I started teaching specifically so I could coach sports (teaching was the way to pay bills, while I did what I loved). Now, after this last situation occurred, I started soul searching and asking myself what was going on in my head? It comes down to this-- I only teach for two reasons. To take care of my family (paychecks), and the time off. I don't even teach so I can coach anymore. Why? Because I could coach without teaching (I just wouldn't have the salary to take care of family). I know it may be sad to some of you who read this, but must admit that I am currently apart of a solid percentage of teachers who are in it for the same reason. I guess this is more of a confession of sorts, but it does not change the fact that I resent my position more and more each day.
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It's incredible that this post has continued
Old 11-30-2013, 03:55 PM
 
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for so long. All these posts are exactly how I feel. I WANT OUT OF TEACHING!!!! But I can't seem to get up the nerve to actually do it. This is my 13th year and I guess I keep thinking it will get better. I keep thinking each year it will get better. That maybe I won't work as hard or bring home as much work but that is NOT the case as you all know!!! I really hate all the hours of planning I have to do in order to teach all subjects in 5th grade. It is so much work. I am tired of having no life! I feel I am good at teaching but in order to be good or excellent I have to put in so many hours 7 days a week. Yes this profession is consuming me. I feel motivated after reading all the posts to take a step in the direction of leaving teaching. I am not quite sure how to go about leaving teaching, where to find a job, and what type of job? But somehow, someway I will figure it out!! God bless to all of you!
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:14 PM
 
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Firstly, I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in high school. Every college course I took was with that goal in mind even as I pursued a science degree. BUT. . . after 3 years of teaching high school science I am fed up with the incessant demands on my time! After teaching for seven periods a day, creating ALL lesson materials because our district thought a "classroom set" of textbooks would be a good idea, making copies, grading, writing assessments, writing lesson plans, attending meetings, bus duty, puting together materials for kids who are sick, or in ISS, making copies, setting up lab materials, puting away lab materials and a plethora of other minutia I am sick and tired of working 60 hours a week. If I assume I only work 40 hours per week over the course of my contractual days, I would earn less than $20 per hour, but as it is I earn about $12 per hour and I accrued significant student loan debt to reach my dream of becoming a teacher.

Why is it okay and legal to offer us a contract that clearly requires significant overtime to meet the most basic requirements of? The system is flawed beyond repair. I wanted to teach so I could spend time with my children during their breaks but I feel like I'm just not even there for them during the school year. I see how innefective the classroom structure is in general these days with administration involving themselves in grading and state testing and all I really want to do now is pull my kids out and homeschool them so they can actually reach their full potential.

Unfortunately, that's financially out of the question right now so it looks like its back to school for me. The question is, how will I manage two more years of teaching while I retrain? Anyone else gone back to school for retraining while stll teaching?
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:09 PM
 
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I can't tell you how good it made me feel to read this thread. I left teaching kindergarten in a Catholic school last year. I had taught for 7 years at this school, but had also taught years ago before I had raised my children. I have been feeling guilty about quitting a steady job (I finished the year though). Only other teachers who have lived through the stress can understand how it sometimes even begins to affect your health. I loved the children but couldn't deal with the politics, the bureaucracy, the discord, and chronic exhaustion (mental and physical). I wish I could tell you I have a wonderful new job already, but it don't yet. It was a risk I took and luckily my husband is employed and I was able to take that risk. I have been applying to many jobs in different fields, but no luck yet. I am grateful that I stumbled upon this board because I needed the feeling that I was not alone in my decision. I wish good luck to everyone going through the same thing
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:32 PM
 
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Well, it is comforting to see that I'm not the only one who has burnt out. I've been teaching for 18 years, and now all I can think about is the glorious day when I can submit my resignation to the HR director. Unfortunately, as some of have said previously, I can't just up and leave due to financial obligations. I have sometimes said that I feel like I am "whoring after a paycheck". Things have been especially bad the last three years. Last year, I taught four preps across three grade levels, plus PE twice a week, with one and half hours of prep time per week. The students were rude and uncooperative, the parents were confrontational, and the principal was brusque and unsupportive. Teacher moral was trashed, and several spoke to me of their desire to quit the site - often through tears. To top off this school year from hell, a parent is taking me to court because I had to restrain his child from exacerbating a physical confrontation with another student. It wasn't always like this; until three years ago, I worked at a site with a great principal, high teacher morale, and excellent standardized test scores. Our reward was to have that site closed due to budget cuts. Since then, I've had to change sites twice in two years and teach seven new subjects.

Like others have said, I love teaching, but I hate the teaching profession. I am facing the coming school year with barely concealed dread while desperately looking for other career options to pay my underwater mortgage. I know others have successfully transitioned out of the classroom, and I hope I will soon join their ranks.

Thanks for letting me vent!
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I Hate It!
Old 09-22-2014, 04:43 PM
 
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I love to teach. I hate everything else. We have not had a pay raise in at least seven years. Our insurance continues to go up, so we are now losing money. We are a Title One school and we are getting less and less nice families. Our governor took away our tenure in 2011. I know that there is worse out there, but I am afraid that I agree with the teachers that say that suicide is an option. I am miserable.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:24 AM
 
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Hello everyone! I spent like an hour last night reading all of your posts on this very long thread... it was time well spent. It was therpeutic for me, since I'm feeling many of the same things as the rest of you! I graduated college wanting to 'save the world' and make a difference. I've always loved music, and I've always loved kids, so being a music teacher seemed to make all the sense in the world. This is now my 6th year teaching music in a Title I elementary school, and I can't believe I've lasted this long. The kids have been really tough, but they have their sweet moments that seemed to make it worth it for a while... or you hear about their home lives, and it just throws you into the mama/ savior complex, and you want to be the only constant thing in their life, and maybe it'll help them to grow up as a more well-adjusted person... My 1st year was truly horrific, and it did get a little better after that, but I thought it would continue to get better, and it just hasn't. I am completely exhausted every day, having no energy to do anthing other than sit on the couch and watch TV. I'm irritated and depressed. I cry a couple times a week because it's just so stressful. There have been nights where I'm still awake at 3:00am, just crying, because I'm so dreading going to work the next day. I often am thinking, "Could I call off for the afternoon? ... How many sick days do I have left?" I always use up all my paid leave every year, and then go over it... I think my immune system suffers from all the stress! Some days I'm not even sick, though, and I just call off because I need a mental break! When my husband asks, "How was your day?" the honest answer on most days is, it was bad! I have a bad day every day I go to work. No one should have to live like that!

The kids' behavior is awful, the administrators really don't know what's going on in my classroom. They rarely ever come by, and I don't get any acknowledgement for what I do. This is the hardest I've ever worked in my life, and the work is never done! I'm never caught up it seems... if something goes wrong, it seems like admin automatically assumes I did something wrong and their first reaction is to blame someone. The parents are ridiculous, barely educated, with several 'accidental' kids from different fathers. Many times I've tried to call home and the number they've provided to the school has been disconnected, no one answers, or it's the wrong number. A few of the parents are supportive of our efforts, but many of them aren't. I've gotten, "I just don't know what to do with him anymore," "Well that doesn't sound like MY son," "Well what did you do to the other child? He says the other boy started it!"

I've thought of trying to get to a more 'normal' school. We do have some nice, rural schools in our district, but they are tough to get in to, and there are not that many music positions. Even if I could move to another school though, some things would stay the same. All the testing is ridiculous! Even in 1st grade music, I have to give 3 mandated written tests per year. Many of my students come in to 1st grade barely being able to write their names! As early as 2nd grade, I'm expected to teach my students how to do rhythmic dictation (I play a rhythm, and they write it down using the correct notes and rests). In my opinion, that is NOT an age appropriate skilll! We should be singing and dancing and having fun in elementary school music class! Enrollment in chorus, band, and the arts electives in middle and high school has dropped severely in the past several years. I think the testing is the culprit. If you don't learn to love the arts as a child, why would you choose to take more of those classes as a teenager? They change the curriculum EVERY YEAR. How am I supposed to wrap my head around all these changes?

I completely agree with all of you that said that teaching is only a small percentage of what we actualIly do. I am a secretary, a correctional officer, a surrogate parent, a counselor, a data analyst...

Suffice it to say, I am looking for a different career! I have thought about administrative assistant jobs, realty, tutoring, or nannying. Right now I think I'll puruse nannying first. In our area, if I get lucky, I think I can get $18-$20/ hour with my qualifications, which is a huge pay cut from teaching. It's worth it though if I feel like myself again! Teaching has worn my personality down so much that I don't even do the things I love to do anymore. My husband deserves to have a happy wife! We don't have any children yet, but I don't want to be so burned out from teaching that I react to my own children with frustration. My resume won't have to change that much for a nannying job, I think, but definitely if I turn to a different field, I will need help re-writing my teacher resume to fit.

Good luck to all of you, and if you have any new thoughts, please post! I really enjoyed the posts from people who are now 'on the other side' and loving it! That is really inspiring me. Did any of you break your contract and lost your teaching certification? That is scaring me the most, because I won't have going back to teaching as a fallback plan... but maybe I don't want it in the first place!
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I feel your pain!
Old 11-01-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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I am Title I also! It's terrible... I think Title I teachers should get a huge bonus for putting up with all the extra crap, when teaching is hard enough as it is! It's tough being burnt out after only a few weeks in the school year. I went into this year with so much optimism and new ideas... but they aren't working. How is your year going now?
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:25 PM
 
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I have reached my limit. The work load for teachers has tripled or quadrupled since I started teaching 25 years ago. I work seven days a week and every evening. I never eat lunch in the teachers lunchroom, I'm too busy working. I'm tired of parents complaining that their child has to put up with another child in the room with behavior problems. So do I! I'm tired of it being my fault that that child misbehaves. Never mind that he/she came to me with these issues and that they don't misbehave NEARLY as often now as they did in August or September, BECAUSE I HAVE WORKED HARD TO GET THEM UNDER SOME CONTROL, but they are the ones that make the choice to disrupt, not me. I'm tired of going to a meeting at lunch on Tuesday, another before school on Thursday and again during my planning time on Thursday and Friday. When am I supposed to get any work done? By the way, that 30 minute plan time is a joke. By the time I go to the restroom, get something to drink, and call a parent or return some emails, my time is up. Thus, the reason I have to work after school hours. I don't mind working many hours so much, but when you add to that, all the stress from complaining parents, administrators telling you that this has to be done by the end of the week or make sure you have small groups for all kids AND teach six subjects at the same time on 20 different levels and do duty before or after school, and on and on and on....AND BE SURE THAT OF ALL YOUR STUDENTS PASS THE ALMIGHTY TEST!!!! It wears you out. I want to find a job where I can sit at a desk and work quietly from 8-5 each day and not take anything home except my purse. I'm looking for ideas for a new job. Does anyone have any good ideas? I'd appreciate it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:06 PM
 
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I know you posted about your second year of teaching a few years ago, and talked about leaving for your masters or becoming a curriculum specialist. I would LOVE to know what you ended up doing, and how it went. I'm literally in the exact same boat as you (2nd year, and have the same possible plans). I feel so stuck and hope that you can help me out. Thank you in advance.
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just waiting it out
Old 03-11-2015, 02:31 AM
 
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I do love teaching. But like everyone else, I don't like the profession anymore. But I worked really hard to get here and I don't want to quit now. (I went to school at night while working during the day and raising my family.) I have 5 1/2 years until I can retire with full benefits so I can't see quitting now. I'm just trying to focus on my students ... to a point. I let it go when I get in my car to go home at 4:30. I go in early 6:30 to make MY OWN PLANNING time, since the 40 minutes they give me is insufficient for the work they, admin, expect me to get done. I make sure I am ready to teach lessons, put grades in, and contribute to content meetings weekly. If the rest doesn't get done, well, I'm sorry admin....give me about 4 hours one afternoon and I'll gladly get it done!
Again, just waiting for the next 5 years to go by and enjoying teaching my students! The rest is garbage!
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:16 AM
 
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I hope you are ok now? I've been thinking the same things (many years later). But you're in my prayers, and there is life, real life, outside these teaching doors. Go live it and let God guide you.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:18 PM
 
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It's amazing how many wonderful teachers are out there wanting to teach children, and it's even more amazing how many of those wonderful teachers are too exhausted and too discouraged to do just that. I was one of them! Nine years ago, I embarked on my teaching career with a zest I hadn't experienced in any other profession. I loved my job, I loved my students, and I loved the people I worked with. As our county continued to change what wasn't broken but was simply the next "best thing," I told my principal: "Mark my words, you will see great teachers leaving within five to seven years." I've seen that happen and I know teachers who would leave in an instant if there was a path to a paycheck.

The 2013-2014 school year about killed me. I suffered an exhaustion that is really indescribable and the result was that my family suffered, I suffered and what was worse, my students suffered. I knew I needed a break. Because I love to teach children, I decided to take a stab at expanding my private tutoring business and before I knew it, I was overbooked and had a waiting list that, a year later, is still growing. The freedom and flexibility to actually teach standards - REALLY teach them rather than fluff over them in an effort to prepare for a test - unlocked a different kind of passion in me, and I leave all tutoring sessions knowing that I have made a difference in my student's learning experience. I know I am a value-add to my students' educational experience.

If you are truly looking to leave or even take a break from the classroom, think about tutoring. I'm fortunate that my husband has decent health benefits, so that was something I did not have to factor in to my "what to do with myself" question. And, I am in a situation where working after hours is a non-issue. The bottom line is that I am in charge of my life while doing what I love most: teaching! I earn almost three times my teaching salary and I work no more than 20 hours a week! If I have something going on, my schedule is mine! My new problem is figuring out how to slim down my schedule, but that is a problem I can handle a little more comfortably because it's my battle not a system battle! Tutoring...you'd be amazed!
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:17 PM
 
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I taught for a short period before I had kids and didn't like it. I now have two and thought I would give it a try again. I like the idea of teaching, but I feel I have lost myself and I do get frustrated with my kids after a long day teaching kids who don't care. I don't know what to do myself. :-(
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:08 PM
 
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This is my sixth year teaching and I am tired. I teach elementary and I just had a baby so for awhile I thought having a baby was the cause of me feeling like this. Its not. I just finally realized that this job is exhausting and consuming and I want out. I never thought I'd post this but I have. Don't get me wrong, I've had some great times teaching, its just that they are few and far in between. I'm finally getting out.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:12 AM
 
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I've been asking myself this...I'm just tired of all the junk that goes along with teaching. I just want to TEACH my kids! Getting really discouraged...
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:34 AM
 
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I'm with you, there. At age 41, I left my career as an RN, which is equally stressful, and truly life and death decision making. I now feel trapped in education, because in my neck of the woods, I now make as much as I would as a nurse. My kids are still in college, on my insurance, as is my semi-retired husband. 4 more years, and I can retire, but will have to work full time since my retirement wI'll be a fraction of my yearly salary. Those of us who are not in corporate America are hamsters in an endless wheel. Get out while you're going if that's truly your path

Last edited by Lindy77; 11-29-2015 at 08:35 AM.. Reason: misspellings when published, but not when I recheckef
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:06 PM
 
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I am in the same boat as all of you, and I was so glad to find this thread. I am half-way through my second year of teaching and I am hating it even more than last year. I just turned 23 and I feel way too young to be dealing with everything I'm doing right now. Wearing all the hats of teaching is exhausting and I have no idea who I really am. I am planning on taking some time off after this year and deciding what else I could do. I am very interested in teaching abroad and continuing to teach later on, I just don't feel ready for this adult life right now.

What I do want to bring up is that all of you sound like such amazing teachers and it really blows that so many teachers want to leave the profession. It isn't fair to us after all the time and money we've spent getting to where we are and it isn't fair to our future students who will be stuck with crappy teachers if we leave! Not saying that I know many crappy teachers, but it just worries me that down the line if so many teachers leave because we are unhappy, there won't be many left and the situation will only get worse. I don't know how to begin changing the education system, but clearly there is something wrong with the way our society and government are running the education system. I think the change needs to come from within.

I really liked one idea mentioned of staying in education but finding other avenues. I would love to work with curriculum and instruction or do something else to help the teachers that are managing to stick with it. Bless all of us who have even made it this far and helped the students we have taught. I do want to make a difference, but I can't stand being so unhappy so much of the time and dreading going back to work. I know there are changes I can make like moving areas or changing grades before giving up entirely, so think of other options! Best of luck to everyone.
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:24 PM
 
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Hi I am so glad i found this thread. I have taught nine years. I had a baby and spent this year subbing. I tried to get a job last spring, but my former principal gave me a bad reference. I was hired by two schools but they reneged on the contract stating, "My references were weak." I am scared I won't be able to secure a position next year. I am good at teaching, at wearing the hats and dealing with student drama. I am good at my subject matter ELA. I am not so good at shutting up and putting up. Last year, I had 65 sophomores in a class for two hours and then would switch and get another batch of sophomores. I was also very pregnant. The principal was a mean bully to put it lightly. The district has removed him from his position, but it seems like as a teacher you can never advocate for kids. Its hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. This is all I know how to do. I feel like I was called into the profession from age two. My mother taught for 38 years and is on the Teacher Hall of Fame. My aunt is still teaching. Very depressed about this career I worked so hard for being in the gutter ... but hearing everyone here speak out is really therapeutic; thank you for validating my feelings.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:30 AM
 
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I hear you loud and clear. In Ohio we have SLO's, ETPES and the mess of walkthroughs and multiple evaluations. The job just is not fun anymore. I am a music teacher (Band) and my subject has been scheduled out of existence (for the most part) I am expected to make miracles happen, and I am out of miracles. I am tired of being told how to do my job when I have limited contact time by stupid administrators. I just loved being written up on an evaluation for not strictly adhering to the goal on the board. What a joke!!!! My health has suffered with weight gain, severe insomnia, severe depression, and have ended up on administrative paid leave. After 19 years of service in an urban school my career has been wrecked. I am hoping to get disability, but that is not easy to do. Teaching is a nightmare I need to wake up from. I am going this afternoon to drop a resume off at a local radio station. Enough is enough!
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:47 AM
 
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I posted in this thread in November 2014 when I was first seriously looking into quitting teaching. I was a sixth year elementary music teacher at that time. Little did I know things would get even worse! A couple days before winter break, my principal observed me (insult #1 - any decent administrator wouldn't observe a teacher right before winter break). Well, she gave me an "unsatisfactory" rating because I had dared to sing songs with the kids for fun- and they were enjoying it! The nerve. I thought there must be some mistake. After all, our music curriculum has a standard for "singing songs with a purpose" (holidays, seasons, about the community). I requested a meeting with her, and she told me that it didn't matter what I was going to say, because she "doesn't change her mind." The unsatisfactory stood. Furthermore, she informed me that I was not allowed to sing any song from there on out unless it was directly teaching a music theory concept. She then put me on a ridiculous work plan because my lesson wasn't "rigorous" enough. Uh, what?! And I was tenured! The previous year I had received excellent evaluations. Every other music teacher I knew sang holiday songs and showed videos the day or two before winter break! In one week's time, my principal wanted full page typed lesson plans, with each music lesson including testing and higher level questioning, for the upcoming SIX weeks. Don't get me wrong, I had lesson plans! I had a binder of all of the lessons I do in a year with all grade levels, typed! But I've never been asked to include higher level questioning and testing in EVERY lesson down to KINDERGARTEN. It was absurd. She was trying to bury me in paperwork. That was the absolute last LAST straw! I refused to do the ridiculous assignment, and put in my resignation. I found a nannying job in April 2015, broke my contract, and lost my teacher certificate. I don't care one bit, though, because I'm never going back.

I've been a nanny now for over a year. I make about half of what I did as a teacher, but I don't care. I love feeling like myself again! I love having time and energy to pursue my interests again. I love being happy, and being able to smile, to sleep, to have friends. And guess what? I've only been sick TWICE all year. As a teacher, I was sick constantly. I really think the stress and the depression was seriously impacting my health! My life is worth so much more than money. Quitting teaching was one of the best decisions I've ever made! So if you're at the end of your rope right now and wondering- is there life after teaching? - there is! Take the risk, go for it! Take back your life. I've never regretted it or missed teaching for a second.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:39 AM
 
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The only careers that caught my (personal) interest:
museum educator, humane society, zoological park, aquarium, wildlife refuge, and bird sanctuary employee, summer camp counselor

I've been doing some research and making a list of possible alternative careers that I find interesting. Thought this old post would be RICH with different ideas, instead 99% of you just wrote LONG stories on how you all want to leave and I had to DIG for the few people who actually gave some ideas!! I understand venting, but GEEZE guys PARAGRAPHS of your story just to say "Idk what i'm going to do, I'm going to leave", way to drown out the topic!

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Old 10-21-2016, 08:22 PM
 
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I don't know if I'm late to this party but here goes nothing. I'm a 4th year teacher and I hate my job. Don't get me wrong I love my kids. I love interacting with them and seeing them understand math, because many hate math when they walk in, and I LOVE math.

However, I feel like a caged bird. I grew up having jobs that let me go get some coffee, meet someone for lunch, take a pee break. I Can't even use the bathroom when I'd like to. I have to wait for our breaks which are every 2 hours and there isn't enough security guards to take care of your class if you need to go. And they forbid you bother them with that task.

I'm constantly judged by how my students perform on their interims and EOCs, but they walk into my class without knowing how to add, subtract or how to even tell time on a clock. I don't mean to complain, I care about my kids sooo much and I root for them but it's HARD.

But all of those things are minor in comparison to the prestige, or lack of actually, that comes with teaching. My students have told me I make less money than garbage men, that teaching is a worthless degree. I've had seniors tell me that they don't want to be teachers because they don't want to be broke.

I know all the cheesy, sappy quotes about how we're changing lives! Or how teaching is the most rewarding career! But the truth is, it's rarely valued. We are looked upon as the lowest of the lows. And it's sad! Frankly I've considered going back to school to study something math-related but have become a scaredy cat! I'm scared I'll miss the hours, the summer breaks, that the curriculum will be too difficult and I think of my newborn and how much I love my time with. BTW I'm on maternity leave and I haven't been this happy in YEARS. I just wanted to vent because I understand most of you! The struggle between the perks of this job that lock you in are so good that they drag you down like quicksand, all while keeping you super broke! Here in Miami, a single teacher is denied a mortgage loan from the bank. Sigh. Ok I'm done
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destination2 destination2 is offline
 
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destination2
 
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 22
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I hear you
Old 10-16-2018, 08:02 PM
 
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You may need to take a few days off. Teaching is very stressful as you said. Do yourself a favor and take some "Mental Health Days". I hope that will help and take some time to reflect. You sound like an awesome teacher, just do your best for the kids but don't hurt yourself in the process.
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Stevejay
 
 
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Stevejay
 
 
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Staying In but Another Route
Old 11-29-2018, 12:59 PM
 
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I left a nightmare of a situation at one particular school. I sub right now and will be transitioning into E.S.L. education. I would teach in college if I could, but I don't have a masters degree. I am several years away from retirement, so I am soldering on with my current teaching endeavor in ESL. In a month, I will be cutting back on subbing to about 3 times a month. Subbing is rough. I am too late in the game for a completely different and new field outside of Education. I will be okay.
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