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I don't want to be a teacher anymore
Old 08-19-2019, 12:02 PM
 
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I hold my hands up and give in. With tears in my eyes, I confess that I am going to be another statistic. I'll be yet another teacher that has left the profession before the 10th year. I really thought that my new job would be the answer to my prayers. But it's not. Even though I'm at a "better" school district, it's the same-old same-old in so many ways. I've tried for 7 long years to make this work for me, but I've finally accepted that teaching does not make me happy and is not what I want to do long-term--at least not in K-12 education. I am good at my job. I've had exemplary ratings for the past 5 years and have been given leadership positions. But I just can't take it anymore. I can't deal with the following:

- abusive parents
- student apathy
- poor student behavior
- paperwork, paperwork, paperwork
- all of the free work that I do (I was here over the weekend planning and copying)
- always having to teach and plan for 3-4 preps
- the low pay
- the lack of work/life balance
- the constant pressure
- the Sunday night dread
- the stress

All of these things are just too much for me. I'm only 29 years old and I feel like I'm going to have a stroke at any second. I see my friends living their lives and happy with their careers. I put on the facade that everything is going well for me when it's really not. Even though I'm great at this job, it is not my calling. I have accepted that the system is broken and that I'm only one person. I can't fix everything. Education is not what it used to be.

So now what do I do? I'm going to make it through the school year because I have no choice (I need a job, insurance, etc.). My Bachelor's is obviously in Education and I have a Master's in English. Do I have any hope of working somewhere else and getting a position that is above entry-level? I don't even know where to start.

Please understand that as I type this, I'm crying. I'm feeling like there's no way out and would love for someone to tell me that I'm wrong. I have to get out of this career before it costs me my sanity.


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I'm sorry
Old 08-19-2019, 01:16 PM
 
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For some reason this year I'm hearing an awful lot more teachers talking about quitting. This is the closest I've ever gotten to doing it. Something's gotta change. This job is supposed to be tough but it's not supposed to be toxic.

Hang in there
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:34 PM
 
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Years ago my DH went from teaching English to recruiting for a private school to supervising claims processors for an insurance company. In doing the switch from from education, he highlighted skills on his resume. Great communication skills, written and oral. Organization. Meeting deadlines. Record keeping. Supervising. Training. Etc.he had a very successful career with the new company..

Start working on that resume and send out applications. You could resign as of end of the semester. There's no reason to stay in a career that's no right for you, even if you are good at it.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:45 PM
 
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I am so very sorry you feel this way! Teaching can be so stressful some days! I had a day of tears and a day of wanting to throw in the towel. The system is broken!
But, please do not sugar coat life outside of teaching. I became a teacher in my early 30's. I was so unhappy in my job! I had no control over my schedule! I was in a job where I was hired for one thing and then utilize for other things. I had to travel weekly. I had to leave everyone behind from M-F and only had weekends to live life. I went through my 20's with not really a date because of my work schedule. I spent so much time alone and crying.

Teaching is a broken system! I have been laid off as a teacher 5 times in a row. I got a job at a new school that is an hour a way. The school is HORRIBLE! I teach first grade and I had a student throw the trash can at me, throw her pencils at me, throw personal items at me, go through and throw my purse, tear up her papers and other's work (that they actively were doing). I got so mad! But then I get a note from a parent about her son is so happy in my class. How he has grown so much already. I got hugs on our way out and told I was the best teacher in the world.

The system is broken! But we can still make a difference in the lives of others. if you feel teaching is not for you, that is one thing. But, don't sugarcoat the world outside of teaching. I have been there. Many of the things you listed are big issues there too! Just come in different ways. I think it is safe to say our world is messed up for working people!
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:28 PM
 
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Many community colleges require a master degree in the subject area taught, or a master degree plus 18 hours in the subject taught. Maybe check and see if that is something you are interested in doing?


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Old 08-19-2019, 03:56 PM
 
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Iíve only been teaching 12 (maybe 13, I canít remember) years, and Iíve seen a shift and further break down of the system. The things you listed are totally out of your control, and no amount of ďhanging in thereĒ will change them. If my life circumstances were different, Iíd be getting out as well.

Donít look at it as being a statistic. Look at it as a learning experience that was necessary for you to find your place. Good luck to you, and I hope your year goes as smoothly as can be expected.
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:57 PM
 
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I feel you! I waited to long to get out. I have 2 more years after this year. Then, I’m retiring a year early. If I had to do it again, I’d be a stay at home mom first. Next, I’d look for federal, state, or city job. Something where I Could move up the ladder. I’m in a smaller town. Not much opportunity here. I don’t recommend teaching to anyone. It gets worse every year. It’s certainly not what it was 20 years ago. Best wishes!
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:59 PM
 
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I am sorry that you are going through such as tough time. I am just starting my 32nd year at the same high school. There were times I didn't love it here exactly, but then an overbearing principal would be replaced by a fabulous one, and things were fine again. Despite constant turnover recently, I have a number of great colleagues; we support each other. Can you not find a support system at your school? I still love teaching. As a young teacher, I was often stressed, but with experience I found a better work/life balance despite a heavy workload. I teach English and foreign language, had up to 8 preps, and almost always teach a combined class (two language levels in one class). I often teach summer school, and for many years I even taught during my prep time and tutored after school. I know I am part of a dying breed. Not many teachers stay for 30-40 years any more. Most of my younger colleagues get their administrative licenses to get out of the classroom and to earn more money. I know I am underpaid, but with good financial habits I still saved enough for retirement. I do think of retiring, but any time I consider it, something is pulling me back.

I would suggest finishing the school year and looking into other options in the meantime. I know teachers that quit and did other things, discovering that life as a lawyer or nurse was no less stressful and afforded even less time for their children. On the other hand, one young teacher who quit after a decade now has a successful word working business. Another became a musician, a third left teaching to work full time for the union until he retired. Good luck, and I hope you will find your way.
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Career Office at Your College
Old 08-19-2019, 05:31 PM
 
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When I was considering leaving teaching, my uncle who worked at a major university, hooked me up with their Career Office because my college was very far away from where I was living. I underwent a battery of tests designed to show me what jobs my aptitude would be best suited for. Interestingly, they showed I should stay in teaching, but look for a different job. You of course have already done that, but it is entirely possible that your tests would show possibilities you never considered.

With your English and educational background, perhaps working in a library or in communications might be possible. You might also be suited for something in public relations. Educational sales might be another area.

While I am sorry to read of yet another fine teacher leaving the profession, your reasons are valid and I don't see the conditions getting any better. The lack of personal time is real and the paperwork continues to be crushing. I retired after 42 years in education, but towards the end, the stress and pressure caused me to leave two years earlier than I had originally thought I would.

Best of luck to you. Life is too short to be stuck in something if it isn't making you feel happy and fulfilled.
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I agree
Old 08-20-2019, 05:30 AM
 
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with NJ Teacher - what about looking into a library position? I don't know where you are, but could you go and get credentialed as a library media specialist? I did that for 10 years (in NYS). Good luck!


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Old 08-21-2019, 10:13 PM
 
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I quit teaching the 2017-2018 school year. I had put in 6 years and was around your age now. I decided to quit and take the plunge.

Now I'm a marketing director for a medium size firm. One thing teachers always say is teaching is all they can do, and one thing always true is even the worst teacher has a level of ingenuity, creativity, spark, passion and organization far above most people.

There was a huge adjustment time going from education to business. Am I as fulfilled day to day as it could sometimes feel being a teacher? No. Was there an adjustment period? Yes. But I am happier, healthier and know in my heart of hearts I made the right choice for my sanity.

I say make a game plan and get out. Your skill set is far superior to what you think.
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Thoughts for you
Old 08-22-2019, 02:32 AM
 
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You are young so I am wondering if you could possibly get certified in an area where you are not in the classroom. I read a reply that suggested becoming a librarian. There would be a lot of things you would not have to put up with if you gained certification in another area such as a librarian or speech pathologist. It is just a thought. I feel for you because teaching is not for the faint of heart.
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