I want to thank everyone who writes into Proteacher. It helps to know that I am not alone in my frustrations, joys, concerns, and teaching methods.
However, I am seriously looking at getting out of teaching. I have been teaching for 6 years--working on my 7th. I currently team-teach with someone I respect and admire. Unfortunately, the demands of the job are just too great. I work 6 days a week. If I try to take the "whole" week-end off I am behind in paperwork, planning, etc. All of the new assessments coming down from the Federal Government are not helping teachers become better at teaching. Nor are they helping students gain skills that they didn't have before. Frankly they create more work for me and less time to actually teach. What am I supposed to give up to be able to administer all of these assessments?
Teaching in current times is very different than it used to be. The way things are going in education makes me want to homeschool any children that I might have in the future. I am also overwhelmed by the number of hats that I must wear--teacher, parent, nurse, social worker, and assessment administrator. I could certainly go on about the work load, unfair demands, administrators who want to look good and so on. But, I think that I want to look into another profession. My question is to all of you out there--what other professions have people left teaching for? I am interested in other things, but having not done them I would appreciate hearing some of the different avenues other people have gone down. Thanks!
It sounds as though you've always been a teacher. I wasn't. I became a teacher at age 40+ and my only child was in third grade. I see the demands of teaching exactly as you do. However, I cherish having the same vacation time as my son. This is a gigantic benefit, and it keeps me sane.
I had worked for many, many years in another career. I had worked in the computer field and in banking. I'm looking ahead to three years from now when my son has finished high school. I'm trying to convince my husband that I should leave teaching then. However, teaching holds you captive because your pay increases every year. If you do have plans to have children, and vacations are important then you'd need to stay. Why? You won't be at the same pay level, have a promise of a job, or the security of knowing the curriculum you teach.
I haven't answered your question. I think there are any number of jobs out there for you. However, it's a life style decision. Do you cherish your vacations? If so, you won't match the time off and salary earned in any other profession. Best wishes with your decision making.
I'm in my second full year of teaching, and I honestly don't know if I can make it a career for my entire working life. It's so exhausing, and sometimes that outweighs all of the things I love about teaching. It's what I've wanted to do since I was little, though, and I don't know what else I would do.
I'm thinking about graduate school so that I can get a master's in curriculum and instruction and then teach at the college level (supervisor for student teachers, methods leader, etc.). Or, I wouldn't mind being a curriculum specialist.
I've thought that if I leave education altogether, then I would work in an office. I have some experience with that, and I think I would enjoy it.
I have posted before about my feelings of teaching and I have been doing it for more than 12 years. The last few years have just not been fun - the demands on kindergartners and the teachers are INSANE and this year I just had enough of all of it. I took a leave of absence and I know it has only been about a month or so but it was the best decision I ever made - I have been able to step back and take a good hard look at it - the stress is GONE in my life - I actually HAVE a life again with no working all hours of the night and day making lesson plans/games/materials. Being a K teacher I have always been very artistic and creative so I began handpainting items and making center game activities and began to sell them over the internet - it's not the same as my teacher salary but my change in life is unreal!!!! I do something I really enjoy, I have time for myself and my family and I don'r spend the first hour of the time my husband returns from work complaining about parents and rude students.
I have had quite a few friends go get their masters and have become adjunct professors at colleges, others have left the profession and worked for large educational textbook companies (this pays BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!) and they love that they still feel part of the classroom but don't have the headaches...others I know actually applied for working at the Mailbox magazine - it's based in the Carolinas I believe - but what fun if you can relocate! another big one I have heard is working in customer service or as a team leader at a company - someone who helps plan out or present workshops for other employees.
I know one who left teaching. She is selling insurance, a tough commission-only job. She left teaching, even though she loved it, because she couldn't get a full-time teaching job. She was a sub for years, and sadly realized that she would not be able to survive, financially, on a sub's pay. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach, even though it's not always the most ideal job. (I've had worse, too.)
I am pretty seriously thinking about leaving after this, my 7th year. Why? I just want to be home. Plain and simple. I am blessed in that we can afford it and I understand many of you can't. I work at a great school, the parents are 'pretty good' this year's class of kids is my smallest ever So why am I leaving? Their are so many things needed to be done at home. My home is not 'homey' it is just the place we go after work/school are done. I will only have a few more years with my daughter at home and I need to make them her best. My child is my priority. (Not to say that they are not to any of you, I just can't do both the teacher and the mommy thing at the same time)
I have been teaching for fourteen years and I am becoming increasingly unhappy. This year my district decided to cut a fourth grade acroos the board and I now have 30 children. I get an assistant for 1 hour a day. I feel like I am continually grumpy and unhappy at home with my family and at school. I am to scared to make a change and frankly can't afford it right now. Please if anyone has encouraging words I really need to hear them now. I love teaching but it is so frustrating,
I know a few teachers who have left. One works as a corporate trainer, and she teaches adults whatever the company wants. I know someone who monitors student teachers who are in town (but too far for the university). I know two who sell real estate.
I left teaching after the 2003-2004 school year (mostly because of a job shortage after moving). I am currently working in a social service non-profit doing case management and teaching life skills. I was actually hired for the job because the agency needed a life skills curriculum developed, so they felt like a former teacher would bring in some skills that someone trained in social services might not have. (My undergrad degree was in sociology and interpersonal communications and I do have a small background in social services prior to teaching)
So, I'm teaching in some respects, but it is much more flexible, and the most students I have at any one time is 12 (which happens once a week) - the rest of the time it's a one on one or 1:2 tutoring setting.
In general, social services agencies that work with kids are looking for people with skills that teachers also need to have (compassion, ability to listen, firm boundaries, not afraid to confront/discipline, etc.). If you are still interested in working with kids/teens, but are just tired of the classroom setting/teaching expectations, you might want to consider looking into openings in your area.
I'm a teacher and haven't left the teaching profession. I feel that at this point I have enough time to put into my career...no husband (that will change in April though!) and no children. My fiance and I don't want to wait too long to have children after we are married.
I often wonder how teachers teach all day with 20-30 kids, and then go home to their own children all evening. Sometimes I'm so exhausted that I drive straight home and lay on the couch. That won't happen when the children start coming! I don't want to be crabby or have a poor attitude towards my OWN children because I'm exhausted from working with other children all day. I sometimes wonder if I will stay in the teaching profession once I start having children.
Last year was the worst ever of my teaching career (it was my fifth year). Even my principal noticed I was not happy, but we decided together that I'd do one more year and see how it went. And you know what? It's been one of the best years ever (knock on wood!). Sometimes I think it's a bad case of being burned out. I switched grade levels this year and that was all it took, but I do know everyone is different.
As for being a teacher and having your own kids? It's not hard for me to go home to my own children--they don't talk back to me, they're a little older, so they spend time in their rooms (not always in my face like in the classroom), and there are only 3 of them, not 20!! There are days when I'm completely exhausted, but if I'm that tired, I can have them come and sit with me on the couch to spend time together. True there isn't an opportunity for an afternoon nap, but you do get used to it.
I totally understand. I'm trying to find out what other avenues I can take. My frustration is that I'm so specialized. I have an advanced degree in music and studied at a top music school. Jobs in music are scarce and teaching in the public schools allows me to make a pretty decent living and still play my music. I thought kids and parents would be appreciative and that it would be fun to "make music' with kids. However, I find that the older they get (I teach 1st - 8th), the lazier the kids and parents get. There is very little support for putting concerts, field trips, festivals, etc. together. People rarely say "thanks" or give me any feedback. I feel like I'm doing a job that no one communicates with me about. Also I'm tired of the snotty attitudes from many boys and some girls in 7th/8th grade. I feel like I could be happier just playing my music and finding something else for a day job, but what? I can't afford to quit to earn another degree. What skills transfer to what fields? How can I change my resume and what jobs can I apply for?
Well, good luck. I have several friends in the same position and we're all researching stuff right now.
I'm in the middle of my second year as a teacher. I teach social studies at the secondary level in an inner-city setting. My students love me and I am in fact one of the more popular teachers in the school. I get very high marks on my assessments, and in fact this year's first year teachers look to me for guidance because I handled last year so well. I am very well respected, but I have never worked so hard in my life. I am the "gym rat" of our staff. I get to school every morning before 7:00 and it is rare if I leave before 7:00 PM.
My colleagues always tell me that I have to leave earlier, but they never tell me how. I just don't know how else to do my job effectively. I'm the type of person who can't put forth half of an effort. If I'm doing something, then I'm going after it and doing the best I can possibly do. This is how I approach teaching. I am constantly rehashing lessons, calling parents, filing lessons, observing colleagues, posting grades, documenting IEP modifications, writing quizzes and tests, writing assignments, etc., etc. . . .
I can't keep this up. I miss my wife. I miss my life. I hate it that the only people I converse with on a daily basis are children. I miss being able to stop by the local pub to have a couple of beers and to play a game of pool. I just can't do such things anymore.
I don't care about the summer "vacation." I would love to be able to simply check out at 5:00 and forget about the school day. To be a responsible teacher, however, you just can't do that.
This leads me to my current state. About once a month, I find myself scouring the Internet for websites dedicated to helping current teachers transition away from the classroom. I find next to nothing - just a few message board threads like this one.
One thing that will no doubt prove to be a detriment to my career transition is that I have a degree in History Education. So, basically, I'm a historian. Last time I checked, the business world isn't exactly scouring the countryside for historians.
After I graduated, I couldn't find a teaching job for two years and I filled my time by working for a phone company, and let me tell you I hated that more than being stabbed in the eyes. I have worked in construction and in retail. I have worked in business-to-business sales.
One of my biggest problems is that I have never known what I wanted to do when I "grow up."
So, my question would be this - what can a history major do if he isn't an educator?
I'm a first-year teacher (first grade) who's seriously considering quitting. I'm on my winter break right now, and I'm SO HAPPY, not having to think about school, or the kids, or lesson plans, etc. I'm trying to pretend like I don't have to go back in January. I just can't tolerate the rude and disrespectful children, the obnoxious parents, and the fact that it's impossible to teach and have a meaningful life outside of school.
I've thought a lot about what else I might be able to do, and here's what I've come up with. By the way, my undergrad is in music education, and I have a masters in education.
work at the humane society
web designer/graphic designer
accompanist for a choir
work at a bookstore
work at a library
work at an educational publishing company
teaching music/art/sewing/design to adults
academic advisor at a university
As a historian... here are some things off the top of my head:
work at a museum
work in the history dept of a university (maybe in the office??)
I'm sure there are lots of things that you're qualified to do, that you would enjoy. I'm convinced that there has to be something else for me besides teaching. I don't even care if it's a little bit boring, as long as I can forget about it at the end of the day, and have an actual life. I'll be married soon, and having kids, and I want those things to be the focus of my life. Not my job.
Good luck!! Make the right decision for you, and don't feel bad about it, whatever you decide to do.
I am also a teacher looking to leave the classroom behind. Like Luke the Historian, I teach history and language arts, and am considered a better than good teacher. I love the kids (i teach 7th and 8th and LOVE my grade level) and they seem to love me too. I do well on assessments and have been "promoted" to level leader (more work, same pay). But I have NO time for all the things I want to do with my family. My kids are in their teens now, with one leaving for college this coming fall, and I long to be home more, to cook family dinners more, to garden and sew and just relax and be availabel to them. But, like Luke, I cannot get the job done with the time allotted to me in the workday. It comes home with me every single day and every single weekend. I am always exhausted and lately have begun dreading Mondays. My blood pressure is way up and my happiness level is way down.
In addition I have to face a controlling administrator with a short fuse who tells me they love my work, and then blows up when I am one day late returning a supply request form to the office. I walk on eggshells from the parking lot to my classroom. Once I am there, I am happy, but getting past the office literally frightens me. Sadly, the copy and supply room is directly across the hall from the office. I have been known to wait until a day when the administrator is gone to make gazillions of copies and get all the supplies I have been needing. Doing this requires planning in advance so I can stay ahead with copies of where I am in teaching, and still not have to interface with the office staff. The administrator also has not observed my in the classroom literally for years, so how would they even know what kind of teacher I am?
It's time for a change.
In my investigations I have tried to find ways of using my people skills and multi tasking abilities in a new career. I work in a private school so my current pay is radically lower than in public schools. It won't be hard to get a raise when I leave. I could earn more waitressing, I think, than I do teaching.
Possible choices have included going to work at our regional resource center for educators, earning about $35-50K a year depending on skills and degree levels. I have been stunned to learn that a two year associates degree in dental hygiene pays out an annual salary of roughly $70,000. A museum education specialist (might be a good choice for you Luke!) pays roughly $45,000. Real estate appraisers earn about 40K. I could proofread full time for $36K. Heck, even a Container Store floor level salesperson earns more than I do! Maybe a customer service trainer, earning about $43,000 a year? I am also considering getting certified in a specialist area, like a dyslexia therapist, and working with a special population doing just tutoring: no faculty meetings, papers to grade, or long hours there.
Usually you hear of people leaving the professional world to become teachers. There's just not much guidance out there for teachers looking to become professionals, especially without starting all over and getting a whole new college degree.
First, look at staying in teaching, but changing where you do it or what you teach. Think about teaching overseas, a different grade level or subject. Consider being a school counselor, vocational teacher or school media specialist.
A different environment or venue might be a better avenue for your skills. If, for example, you want to explore teaching overseas, the conditions and monetary awards can be much better.
There are some 250,000 school age American children attending school overseas, many of them the kids of military parents and American-based business people. The classes are small-usually less than 25 students. Most schools focus on academics and teachers say discipline problems rarely occur because parents set high expectations for their children. Salaries range from $20,000 to $85,000.
U.S. Department of State Teaching Overseas (www.state.gov/www/aboutstate/schools/oteching).
Consider teaching adults instead of children. Or moving to another industry. Teaching skills are very transferable. The ability to write and explain ideas has led teachers into business. Strong communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to monitor projects and people can make teachers effective managers.
In addition, some teachers have become top notch sales people.
After googling variations on the phrase "why music educators leave", I finally stumbled across your post.
I am currently in my 4th year of teaching in a nationally-recognized public high school music program. We are well-funded, well-supported by parents and administration, and are fortunate to have a good team of educators working together.
Why am I considering leaving, then? The amount of work I have is absolutely staggering, and the expectations from students, parents, and administrators are unbelievably high. During the school day, I teach 2 sections of choir, 3 sections of voice lessons (and often teach make-ups during my preps and lunches), and 1 section of theater. Outside of normal school hours, I am also paid to direct/music direct our annual spring musical and direct/choreograph our show choir. These two groups add an average of 10-12 hours to my work week throughout the year. However, during this time of the year, I work up to 60 hours per week.
I also facilitate and direct the applied theater program. Furthermore, I am the adviser for our chapter of the Tri-M music honor society and I co-ordinate and organize all 10 voice rooms for the NYSSMA Solo Festival that we hold each year.
I'm burning out. 2 people could do my job and STILL be busy all of the time. I am frustrated by the entitlement attitude of my students ("I'm in your class and I have a pulse, therefore I deserve a 98 average."), the constant politicking/complaining of parents over participation in the musical, the show choir, and the honor society, and the general feeling that if I try to hold anyone to a higher expectation, my coordinator will not back me up. Furthermore, the amount of time I am dedicating to extracurricular affairs has squashed my own attempts at continuing to perform and fill my own artistic well.
I'm young and talented, and entered the teaching field with a deep commitment to work hard and long in pursuit in helping students acquire deeper skill in music making. Maybe times have changed (or maybe I have), but I am struck at how my students expect great things to happen with little to no effort on their part. Salary is not the issue, here...even if I was paid $70,000 a year for my current job, I don't think I would stay.
I am currently re-evaluating my career path and trying to brainstorm my ideal job. I have thought about moving to collegiate teaching, though it will mean returning to school for a doctorate. I have also thought about trying to start my own private studio, or possibly joining forces with another colleague of mine to open our own professional theater company. I am an educator by nature, but I'm not interested in dragging people along who have no momentum of their own.
If I Don't Find Another Career Before September, I Will Be One Unhappy Teacher. Eleven Years Is Enough Of Teaching! I Have An Mba And I Want To Combine The Two Worlds. However, It Seems That I Need Years Of Business Experience Just To Get An Interview. The Entry Level Positions Don't Offer The Salary Requirements That Will Allow Me To Continue To Live Respectfully. What Steps Have Other Teachers Taken To Get Into Corporate America Or Other Sectors Of The Business World?
I'm am like both of you, a music teacher who is overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, and all the other c*#% that goes with teaching. At the end of the school year, I applied for another school district but also looked at my options...
Most music teachers have an advanced degree and a K - 12 certification. Have you considered teaching music at a community college and private lessons for after school art programs? Those were both options I considered. I think teaching music to young adults would be a fresh change, and I believe the administrative difficulties would be less. Granted, it would not make the same amount of money as public school teaching. Starting out in community colleges as a first year college teacher usually involves teaching maybe 1 - 2 classes a semester, paid by the hour. But it is an option that we have.
I found your site while googling... I am in the same boat as you but live in the UK. I am currently figuring out how the hell I can leave and what else can I do... I thought a possible change of environment may help (or settle my mind as to whether to leave or not) and have tried to get work in the USA... not a lot of fun...
I bought a book today - "what can I do with my teaching qualification" to be honest.. its as handy as a chocolate teapot!
I also have been wanting to leave teaching. I have been teaching for 17 years and even won the Teacher of the Year award for my entire state. I
have taught elementary, middle school, and high school, and in high school I have taught ESL, regular English, Advanced Placement English, and now Theatre Arts as well. I transferred to a different school this year. It's a VERY urban school, and the kids are terribly disrespectful and don't want to listen. I do 5 minute mini-lessons (which are ignored by many), then give them work to complete in groups every day. I grade by calling them up individually to show me what is in their folder. I let them listen to the radio while they work, and they take the restroom pass whenever they need to (one at a time). Therefore, I have as little interaction with them as possible, and even though most of them do their work in the groups, I don't really call what I am doing here teaching, but I refuse to fight them. I am so fed up with being disrespected and feeling exhausted. I HAVE to get out. I HATE my job and feel depressed every morning. I HATE all the bureaucracy, the stupidity, and the awful environment. I hate being exposed to all the profanity, and I hate seeing how the kids don't appreciate all the things the taxpayers have bought for them. They are very destructive and ungrateful. It used to be the testing that I hated so much, but I am starting not to even like the kids (which is strange for me). I have always been considered an excellent teacher, and I have always had a good relationship with the kids, but secretly, I have hated this job more often than not. The problem is that I have tenure (awesome job security) and have no idea what else I can do. Every year I have hoped that it would be better, but it only gets worse. Can anyone give me any guidance? Thanks so much!
I graduated in 2001 with a B.S.Ed. in Secondary Mathematics. I originally was a business major, and now see the switch as one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
I took a job at a middle school, just after graduating, teaching 8th grade math and Algebra 1. Though the school was situated in a suburb, it has an urban environment, and is declining every year.
I became a team leader after my first year (which meant a lot more work, for a very small stipend), and was liked by all students and staff. The students in 7th grade always hoped to be on my team when they became 8th graders, and I was actively involved in many committees and extracurricular activities. However, I hated going to work everyday. I initially thought it was because of the area/district/school I was in. However, I began to realized that many of the changes I experienced were due to state/federal guidelines, etc and the ever-changing parent-student-teacher dynamic.
After 5 years, I began to search for a business career. I was always told I would be good in sales, and that there had to be plenty of jobs for someone with a mathematics background. WHERE ARE THEY?
Any sales jobs I found, are looking for people with experience, unless you are willing to take an entry level position. After working 5 years in the public school system, I really didn't want to make less money than I was already making. Lets face it....the pay check is already a slap in the face. Jobs requiring math backgrounds aren't necessarily looking for those with a math ed background.
So, I took a job at a local charter-cyber school. It seemed like a good transition. I work in an office building, with no students, and follow the school calendar. Other than being boring, it is very difficult to create and implement Algebra lessons online. I am not the type of person that is technologically inclined, nor do I have the interest in becoming one.
I come to work depressed everyday, reminding myself that this was a step in the right direction, and that it is only temporary. However, I can't seem to find anything! CareerBuilder and Monster seem to be a waste of time.
Does anyone have any ideas career ideas for a teacher that doesn't want to teach anymore, and still has 30 working years ahead of them?
It is unfortunate that the "powers that be" in education do not know how many, many teachers feel. I was just discussing this with my SIL - a teacher for over 30 years - and talking about how the profession and classrooms have had to change over the years. It is depressing. We are losing great teachers, and the kids are not benefiting from this system we have.
I will be leaving at the end of this school year too. I am looking forward to getting my life back! Fortunately, in addition to my teaching degree/credential, I also have a degree in graphic design. Unfortunately, there are very few jobs available in that profession, and those that are out there are either low paying (but I'm used to that as a teacher), or they require many years of experience for which many people are applying for. I don't know what I'm going to do. I've thought about something in corporate training, or something in marketing (using graphic design and teaching skill set).
I hope to hear everyone's solutions when we all find one!
Wow-this post has a long life. Very telling indeed. I can only offer my experience. I am on the other side of the fence. I have taken the leap. I'm on the other side! I love where I am now. I do not know why I waited so long.
My story is a little different. Career number 1-I was a ballerina. Career number 2-middle school history teacher. Then I stayed home with my girls. I could not get back into teaching. After 4 hard years. I did everything to get a job. Still, like many of you I loved teaching. However, it was all time consuming. It is hard to enjoy the weekend when you know that you have so much work to do.
I too looked for creative ways to utilize my teaching degree with little advice to offer for my efforts. For me, it became-what do I want to do -and how do I get there. I have decided to become a nurse.I could never have a desk job. I could not be happier. This is the place for me! Yes,there are times that I grumble about having to be in school again.
I do know that I will have amazing options. I plan to work 3 /12 hour shifts a week. I have resigned myself to wekends and holidays. My children are old enough that they will see me at part of the major holidays. I am also old enough to know that nursing will present its' own quirks. In any case, I will not have to do work at home!!!!
There are many opportunities in the medical field. You can get many certificates at community colleges in a reasonable amount of time. You could be an EMT in one semester. In addition, many hospitals will pay to upgrade your training. ADN to BSN.
You will be much happier when you make a plan and take action on it. You all sound very capable of making things happen.
While reading these posts I wondered about each of you. I wondered about your reasons for getting into this profession in the first place. I ask myself these same questions every day. "Why am I here?"
A wake-up call came on 12-29-06. A dear relative passed away suddenly. He was only 56 years old. I had just visited him four days earlier. He was having a few health issues but nothing that could not be addressed, we thought.
He's gone now. He had so much to do and so many plans.
I urge all of you. If you have dreams and you can afford to follow them, do it. Do it now.
I am planning on leaving the profession as soon as I can. Life is too short to be so unhappy all the time.
This was a warning. I know that now.
I have been thinking alot about your post. Sounds like alot of us have had losses over the break. My mother in law passed away yesterday. When someone close to my age as your relative that really makes you think.
You are so right life is too short to waste time.
We may do the RV thing and tour the country soon while we have a little older youth and health. We really only have one day at a time.
I am very sorry this happened and you will be in thoughts and prayers.
I was brought to tears reading these posts. I'm in my 15th year of teaching and I am leaving. As soon as I find a job. I feel ungrateful - I have a hell of a vacation schedule, an amazing salary, incredible benefits, and can never be laid off. And yet, I am miserable. I cry everyday on my way to work, and everyday during lunch. I used to love teaching. I have changed levels, schools, job roles, everything. I HATE TEACHING. I have a family, and yet I don't see them on weekends or evenings because I am worried about school and doing lesson plans, grading papers, making materials, etc. I know that I will have to make sacrifices regarding vacation and other items, but the last poster was right. Life is too short to be so miserable for so long.
I have no good advice for what any of us should do. I've been desperately looking for a job since September, with no luck. Good luck to all of us. Godspeed.
I have worked on a "traditional" work schedule (what the rest of the world outside of teaching does), and I always feel less exhausted, tired, discouraged, etc. with just 2 weeks vacation a year vs. the so-called extended vacations that teachers get. Just coming home at 5 or 6 pm and not having to think about work is a joy! And weekends are REAL weekends!
You're right-- the fact that this posting has had such a long history is very telling. What are we all doing?
I'm a damn good teacher, and I know it. It's only my second full year, but I think a good teacher knows what's up, despite the stress, the doubts, the thankless hours, the parent phone calls...
I know what I'll be doing tomorrow: I'll be spending another day working for the public school system that I guess I like to think will soon have an "a-ha!" moment. I keep thinking it will change. Tomorrow there will be less paperwork mandates in special education. Tomorrow my boss will tell me I don't need to mail interim letter updates home every four weeks to all 23 kids' parents on my caseload. Maybe tomorrow the assistant principal won't "pop" into my classroom to check up on student learning. Maybe all my kids will all show up with working laptops (like they're supposed to in this county) so I can maximize learning and tech resourcefulness (like we're supposed to, or else).
What is so broken that from top to bottom no appropriate and meaningful solutions manifest?? I don't want to blame the system because I know I'm part of it and could probably do more to change things, but I constantly feel like I'm surrounded by idiots: idiot administrators who micro-manage, idiot colleagues who think it's okay to teach false information-- who think it's okay to let kids go on to 12th grade without knowing how to speak (let alone write) a complex sentence-- and idiot parents who have bred. I loathe going to a workplace where most of my co-workers have zero depth or integrity. It's pretty much true: Those who "can't"... teach.
I'm rarely inspired, and I want to be in a workplace where the people I'm surrounded by want to do their best every day. I want to be in a workplace where my clients (families in this case) CAN be a top priority because I'm not busy trying to figure out how to PROVE to some anonymous authority somewhere that I have taught at least three SOLs today to my 12th grade students with emotional disabilities-- nevermind that last week I taught some kid to manage his own anger by using our senses of humor. Can I go home every night for the rest of my career being completely satisfied because at least I know that I'm making a difference-- even if my superiors don't know because it isn't always "a difference" that can be assessed? I don't know.
Anyway, now that I've vented, I'm currently pursuing a career in human resources and recruiting. I love people, I love providing exceptional customer service, helping match people with career paths that meet their expectations and match their strengths. After doing that for a few years and networking appropriately, I would one day like to found and operate a small business or non-profit that empowers youth to determine their own success long before graduation from high school by training them and/or hooking them up with exceptional business leaders and managers in the "real world" who are willing to take time and resources to build a young person's skill set and self-respect. What do you think?
After reading your post I found myself in the same position. I am a first year teacher and I have gone through a variety of emotions and feelings. I'm in my class now and really want to quit. I look at all these young faces and want to give them a passion for history. But I feel that my inexperience may be getting in the way. I have a military background, and have a degree in history. I was in the National Guard and while I was doing that, I worked in public history. When you say that the corperate world is not looking for historians, that is true. However, I feel the desire to get out. I too mis my wife and stoping by the pub having a few and playing pool. In Savannah, we have great pubs where there are a interesting variety of people who love to talk about local history. I almost feel like I don't know if I'm coming or going. What has made it tough for me are the parents who have no respect for what you do and will try to gang up on you. Secondly, the administration and the whole damn system just sucks! I want to make more money and I want to make a difference for my self and my family.
Godspeed to those who are searching, in time the Lord will provide for you.
One of the sad things about this is that people who have never taught
cannot possibly understand the problems teachers are faced with daily.
Teachers are truly overworked, underpaid, and stressed out. I've been
teaching for 19 years and can't imagine how overwhelming this profession
must be for a new teacher. People who haven't taught have the perception that we can all just magically show up 5 minutes before class
begins each day and be ready to teach. Nobody understands the time
teachers put in behind the scenes just to be prepared. One little 50 minute prep period doesn't come close to covering it. In fact I spend most of my prep answering e-mails to parents and filling out progress reports. Legislators and politicians don't have a clue. They all think the
problems in education are caused by incompetent teachers and can be solved by mandating more education for teachers or requiring teachers to take subject area exams. I have a masters in earth/space sciences
yet I have to continually take 6 credit hours of course work every 5 years and pay for it myself. I end up taking classes I could teach myself.
Now the state wants us to take a qualifying exams. I'm fed up with all
the nonsense, unfortunately I can't take the risk of leaving at a time when I have one kid in college and another about to enter college. It is very sad that so many teachers feel the same as I do. It wasn't always
the way it is now. No wonder we have teacher shortages, who wants to jump through all these hoops just to feel unappreciated.
I was browsing online for "other careers for teachers" when I came across your posting and what you had to say really touches me as I have been in your exact place and have managed to move beyond the classroom.
I taught mostly in the elementary grade for over 8 years and had reached a point where I just couldn't do it anymore. I loved the kids, but with all the demands put on teachers, the fact that my brain was becoming a third grade, and the desire to push my professional self to other challenges increased my unhappiness in the classroom. That being said, it did not affect my opinion of teachers, only my own attitude and passion towards a career I thought I'd love forever. In my heart I am still deeply a teacher, but for my sanity I had to take a hiatus from being in the classroom.
The journey has been long and sometimes tiresome, but I have had some of most awesome experiences along the way. I was a sales floor rep for Williams Sonoma (A BLAST!), a training coordinator for a department store (love the camaraderie), an admin for a start up company (BORING) and somewhere along the way I gained confidence in knowing I was good other things. Also, I found that networking was one of the best ways to explore where you want to go. I connected with people through a site called "Linked In" and told friends and family that I was looking for a new career path. Through them, the site, and their connections, I managed to make my way to the medical device industry where I am a project coordinator. I work with languages and medical content to create the packaging/labeling for the devices my company produces. It's a far cry from teaching, but I have found my planning and organizational skills that I developed there are invaluable and used on daily basis. Also, my ability to understand people and being compassionate has brought out a new perspective for many of my coworkers.
That being said, my journey continues. I don't miss the classroom, but I do miss education. I would love it if I could marry the two worlds and somehow have a foot in the education world but in a corporate environment. In fact, my best friend happens to work for Mailbox magazine and that kind of job (educational publishing) is an excellent example of such an environment. It's in North Carolina, but I have heard of many other companies around the country that produce educational products or materials. Until I find my next niche, I'm happy where I'm at.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope to hear where you end up.
I am doing my counseling internship, by counseling survivors of domestic abuse and survivors of sexual assault. I absolutely love my job but really, really miss teaching, as well. I initially thought I was going to become a school counselor, when I went back to grad school, but I think I've changed my mind. In the next few years, I would like to open a center for children with language-based learning disabilities that also has a support center for the children's parents, thus combining teaching and counseling.
I have been browsing for several hours over this subject and I am glad I cought up with this board. I absoultley love teaching. I am in my 5th year of teaching mostly 12 grade Economics. I look forward to going to school in the morning, and don't mind at all any extra hours. HOWEVER, my wife and I have three children and she is a stay at home mother. I am almost at the end of the line financially. The cost of childcare would not benifit my wife working so I am the soul provider. We are about 1 1/2 months away from foreclosure. I make 2,600 a month for 10 months in the state of Tennessee. I have been looking for a job for the past 2 months and I haven't even gotten a phone call. I have a B.S. in Business Education and a minor in Business Administration. I am also one class away from completing my masters in Instructional Technology. I could not afford to finish the last one. It has been almost a year. Anyway, does corporate America laugh at teachers who want jobs???? I mean I am being realestic on my search. Nothing fancy. Am I supposed to enter the business world as entry level? I am so frustrated, hurt, depressed, and scared. I love teaching and that is what hurts most of all. If anyone has any resources please e-mail me. Thanks and God Bless.
I too have a "hell of a vacation schedule". It consists of work, work, work. This is my 10th year teaching and I kept expecting it to get better, for one reason or another. Now I just want out. I love teaching, but HATE being a teacher.
I teach music full time and am buring out completely. I have had a successful home-based business for about 5 years that pays for my wife to be a stay-at-home mom. That's NOT happening on my teacher's salary. Anyway, if anyone is interested in what I have going on, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I plan to leave teaching at the end of this year as well, but thankfully, I know what I will do because I have an awesome plan b. Best of luck to you all! Hang in there!
Reading your posts has been amazing. I am sad that all of you seem to be experiencing what I have been experiencing too. It is so sad that we have let our law makers rule the roost and degrade our profession. It shouldn't be this way.
I too have wanted out. I find teaching such a grind that by this time in the school year (march) I really struggle getting up in the morning. One thing I have done is to seriously lessen the work I do. I do the minimum planning and keep correcting as nil as possible. At first I felt uneasy about this. I thought I was really not helping the kids. This made me feel worse. I hit a low last school year and applied to many jobs. I went on many interviews. These were really fun. I had one company take me out to dinner and it was fantastic. I couldn't believe that a company would go all out like this to get me to work for them. You might be asking: so why are you still teaching?
Fair question. Most of the companies were sales and I feared not selling and thus not making any money. I have two small children and a nice home. I just couldn't leave the security. Whimpy? You bet.
One thing that has helped me was actually becoming involved with my local union. Many teachers seem to be weary of their union when it's the one thing that can help them the most! Once I became active in the union, my principal turned on me pretty quick. This is a bit nerve racking, but he doesn't ask me to do anything extra either. He has to respect me and he has to deal with me. If I need a meeting with him, I get a meeting. As strange as it my sound I actually enjoy the position and it gives me meaning. I now understand that it gives me meaning becuase I help teachers who get abused! I have a reputation of getting $ for my grievances and the administration certainly doesn't like me. The teachers that I help thank me over and over again. This has become my reward. Maybe it's not what I set out to do, but it sure feels good helping them do their job! I think I have made many positive changes in my school. Basically, I have kept the administration from making teachers hand in lesson plans for an entire week before the week starts, I have blocked block scheduling that could have resulted in a reduction of teachers, etc. I do my best to make sure that teachers know their rights!
In the union, I have also made my best friends. These friends are true becuase like me they have chosen to forsake the rat race of trying to impress administrators. With this group I can laugh and joke. Before my union involvement I went to school, entered my room and dealt with kids all day. It was a lonely existence.
I still like the kids too, and this keeps me going to a degree. At some point however, I will leave the profession becuase I really do feel burned out. My union involvement has made it bearable though.
I don't know if what I did will make you folkes feel any better. It's funny, I have a student teacher right know doing her pre-practicum and I told her that this profession is great if she likes being belittled by administrators, politicians, and parents. I really can't tell a young person that this is a great job. ( it is a noble profession).
The one thing I wish could happen for the teaching profession is this: I wish the unions would get tough! I mean relly fight back against all the politicians. IT really is time for teachers to take back thier profession. Could you imagine a dentist or a corporate manager going through the same stuff teachers go through? I wish you all the best of luck, and hope you all find your dream jobs. Someday, there may not be anyone left to teach if this keeps up.
I cant believe how INSANE our education system really is. Im a super passionate teacher who will be leaving the profession after 8 yrs and 5000 students. Im scared but excited. People have always asked what Im doing at a middle school. THE KIDS ARE SO FUN!! Ill miss being cool everyday, but I wont miss the tension! Everyone is secretly miserable with fake overtones of compassion. NOT EVERYONE, BUT MOST.
I have taught Science, Biology, Physics & Electronics to Secondary students for over 20 years. This week I quit teaching - the job was simply becoming unhealthy. Too much to do in too little time. I have increasingly become unwilling to take work home to do - why should teachers be expected to take work home? I am now unemployed - my spouse has supported me (thank goodness); our household income drops to 1/3rd and I guess I will need to find another job (but not in Education). The sad thing is that many of my teacher friends who remain in teaching are so unhappy.
I found these postings to be validating and inspiring. I, too, am thinking of leaving teaching this year. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels the way many have described on this board.
I love teaching but 10 years in the classroom has taken a toll. I see it on my face. I look tired and beat all the time. I don't have the energy to have the enthusiasm that this job requires. But the biggest issue of all is that my relationships have suffered because of the amount of time I have to spend on keeping up with work.
I am inspired by those teachers who already took the step to get out because it can be very scary. I have invested so many hours into this profession. So it feels as if I'm throwing it all away. But that's not true. All the things that I have learned from teaching can only help me. I have gained skills I may not have otherwise had. I trust that God has something else out there for me because He knows how miserable I have been. I pray for all of you out there feeling the same.
I can't believe I found this! Unfortunately, it's about a year too late for me. I decided to leave teaching last June, 2006. I had taught for 7 years and was unhappy and wanted to pursue a new career while I was still young enough to do so. It is now one year later, and I am still unemployed. I have applied to publishing companies, museums, and just about every other place I can think of that I could use my teaching skills and experience. I can't even get interviews! It's like they see teacher on my resume and feel like I am not qualified to do anything else! I am desperate. I've even signed up with temp agencies, but they haven't found me anything either because I lack office skills. If anyone has any ideas or advice for me, please let me know! This is the most horrible experience I've gone through.
Spedteach98, the same thing happened to me several years ago. I didn't want to return to teaching, but when interviewers saw my resume, they seemed to think something was "wrong" with me, that maybe I had been a bad teacher and was leaving because I had to! It was awful. I moved to a different state, resumed teaching, loved my school at first but not any more-- those in power are all about egos, not education.
The fact that you came back to a teaching website indicates teaching might still be at the back of your mind...? What if you took a teaching job just to pay the bills, while continuing to look elsewhere? That's what I'm starting to do. The rent must be paid somehow; I don't know where you are, but in my part of the US, sped teachers are always needed. Teaching doesn't have to be the rest of our lives. Don't give up hope on a new life. You deserve to be well treated.
Side note: I sure wish there was a way to change what I call "Jane Eyre syndrome," where teachers are kept down with the servants.
This is posted to another thread, but fishing for responses; yes, it's real, yes, it's my daily bread:
"This is now my 14th year teaching in public schools; every year, there were times when I would say to myself, my head, no my whole nervous system, shattered, "What the heck am I doing?" I stayed in this work because I was part of a foreign language immersion program, not many in the US. I relocated from DC to Minnesota, a very hard move - DC felt like the perfect home. Since then and up to now, I rarely have a week go by that I don't think about suicide, or at least eating myself into a heart attack. I am now working in Arizona and can not stand the ignorance and arrogance of the people in the "Valley". I have taken an almost 20,000$ pay cut and seem not to have 5 days go by without some new issue: a kid - I give her a stomach ache - I'm too loud, etc. I have sterling credentials in 3 states and am on the Congressional Record in Washington for excellence in teaching as recognized by a former student. I have tried antidepressents for several years and reality still keeps me envisioning razor blades to the wrist and the lie about "not being able to sleep" given to my doctor with the dark hope of 300 milligrams x 30 of delivery. I have prayed for death.
I hate my job, profoundly. I may submit my resignation or ask for a leave after the 2nd quarter. I have noting left. I love the kids - I love teaching them - but my nerves are shot and my spirit is dead; I have no respect for 90% of the parents, I am done with "learning how to teach writing" courses x 5; I am done with "how to have a mutli-layed class with centers", I am done with working 50 hours a week,while needing to take advances on my pay through the bank because I can barely make ends meet. I am done with envisioning my own death through suicide because I didn't have to guts to say, "My life is G**'s and this thing killing me is not." I am done. Unless you are very self-sacrificing and I would almost say of a martyr-cast, with a secret dose of low-self-estime, perhaps teaching is for you. If you don't have what it takes - few really do without prescriptions- get out. This work can and does kill. Live life. I am queuing up to reclaim mine before this idiot state destroys my credentials, my mental and physical health, and perhaps my life. I am done with teaching for now, I have nothing left.
Make the decisions, C***** - that confirm your mental and physical health and reaffirm the blessing powers of your spirit. Otherwise, your compromising with the Devil and lying to your better self. I have done this for over a decade and it's a miracle I'm alive, albeit 100 pounds heavier."
I am a first year teacher who has finally realized that I can no longer continue to teach if I wish to keep my sanity. Like many of you, I LOVE to teach, but the discipline and administrative problems at my school make it impossible to do so. I am sad that I could not even make it one year, but I honestly do not believe that it will get any better next year. I hate to leave my kids behind at semester, but I feel that I have no choice. Thank you for your posts. I feel like less of a failure after reading them. Good luck to you all. We can still make a difference in the lives of others. The classroom is just one way to do so.
I guess I'm not alone. I'm currently in a PhD program in Louisiana, working on a degree in English. I've taught 6,7 & 8th grade, high school, adults, and now college students. I've also worked in the private sector.
For the first time in my life, I began to question whether or not I want to stay in teaching. I love the material, but I hate working with the students and administration. Students are a lot different now than when I was in college--they are disrespectful (sleeping in class, text-messaging) and unmotivated. The cheating is rampant--40-60% of students routinely copy material, if not entire papers off the Internet. When they get caught, I usually face a barrage of obscenities. The other professors care more about their pet projects than teaching. The politics get old fast.
I feel I'm wasting my time--that students don't want to be there. And I know it isn't any better on the secondary level.
I don't want to be in a career where I'm fighting with people all the time. I don't want to be surrounded by bad attitudes and conflict. I love the vacation--but that doesn't make up for low pay and a hostile work environment.
One place to look for employment is the computer industry. I might be headed back there soon!
Like all of you I have been teaching HS for nearly six years, going on to my seventh. I will finish my master's this year and I am so dissatisfied with my job that I want out. Now. This is despite the fact that we're a high performing school with one of the best payscales in the state and I'm only a few years away from top salary.
The best part of my day is the time I spend in the classroom. If I could keep just that, I would stay with this job forever. Alas, I have given up every shred of my personal time to do this job right and I am done now. It was refreshing to read your comments; to see my thoughts come out of your mouths. For a while I debated about whether or not I should leave. Is it better to stay and be a force of change? Philosophically, perhaps but it means even more work than I already have.
I do not know which direction I will choose. I do know that I can't face another year without headspace of my own. I'm tired of suppressing my personality. I'm tired of the overwhelming responsibility. I'm under thirty and haven't dated seriously in years because, even when I don't have work to do I have work to do.
It is too much to ask of anyone and I'm done now. Are our leaders aware of this problem-- absolutely. Do they care? Yes. Just not enough.
The biggest shame of it all is that the kids, and ultimately our entire citizenry, will suffer as a result.
I've been teaching for 11 years now and I hate it. The only good thing about teaching is the autonomy. I'm tired of teaching those who don't wish to learn. The conflicts with students/parents has become unbearable. I find myself being paranoid, wondering which parent is going to attact me next. I'm tired of the same circle of events: student chronically disrupts class, teacher disciplines student (not physically), student lies to parents, mad parents complain to administrator, administrator calls a meeting, teacher gets beat-down. Then I ask myself, why displine, it isn't worth it. Before you think that I can't handle a classroom, I have excellent classroom management and I can control a class without raising my voice. I just want peace. I'm tired of constant conflict, not being able to sleep at night, and losing my temper at home because of job stress. Oh, and I'm sick of "Why did Johnny make a C/B?" I want to scream "WHY DON'T YOU ASK HIM!" Students and parents alike think grades are given and not earned. Do your job well, challenge the kids, and parents will beat you down for it. Be easy on the kids and nobody bothers you. That's just not right!
I've always enjoyed being around kids and I still do. I'm a kid at heart. However, there are some students that I just hate! I'm tired of only dealing with kids. At previous jobs, I laughed all the time. Now, I seldom laugh. Summer doesn't matter to me anymore.
My brother-in-law works for a oil/gas corporation, he makes twice the money I do and gets a month of vacation. He's 10 years younger than me. He drives a new truck, I drive a compact truck with 300,000 miles on it. We both have a BBA. What's up with that? I can't even afford to go to doctor. Every year my insurance costs more and covers less. I CAN'T TEACH IF I'M WORRIED ABOUT PAYING BILLS! Oh, we don't even have a car payment!
No job is perfect, but I sure would like some peace and quiet. One more thing, I'm tired of secretaries thinking they're my boss.
Anybody considering teaching needs to be single with no children. That's the only way you can afford to live.
Teaching is just as hard in Ireland. Paper work and exams!!! I can't stand all the paper work, it's rediculous! It's my sencond year teaching. I feel numb and I can't put up with the loudness and pressure of a classroom. Kids are great, but it's so hard to differenciate among 30 children. I feel it's only fair for me to leave, but I don't want to be a "quitter' in other's eyes. I have enough leaving certificate points to choose any University course I choose, I'm 22, my interests include; music- (I rejected a scholarship to be an opera singer), and fashion.
I've just read what you wrote. It could pretty much have been something I wrote, word for word. Moving on, I have always had a very creative side and I want to get some benefit from it now that I know that I have to leave teaching. I have written children's novels, a TV sitcom, poems and songs, invented board games and TV programme concepts, sketched film ideas, designed buildings (in an unskilled way) and fiddled with many other creative projects without properly pushing any of them. I must do something productive and stop grumbling. I wonder am I the only one who thinks he is hugely creative with no sense of a way forward?
Hi, everyone. I was wondering if you had any advice for someone who plans to pursue a career in teaching (namely myself)? I just received my single-subject credential for the state of California. But after reading everyone's stories, I'm double-thinking whether this really is the right path for me. I guess it's better for me to know the truth now that I'm still young... Anyway, I hope you can lend me some advice.
I have been teaching for 18 years now. After the first few years of clinging to the textbooks - I finally learned how to integrate my lessons and create new resources. My students learned, they were excited about school. I taught social studies through art, music, literature, etc. We did science labs with measurement and formulas - tying together math and science... We linked explorers to science by learning how sailors used compasses and tied it to a study of magnets and magnetic fields... and then... I moved to third grade. All was still good - I did the same types of things, just not quite as advanced. The first two years were wonderful... and then Reading First entered my world. I could no longer use the novels and folktales and literature that I had for my social studies units because they didn't match the Open Court Units. As so much time was devoted to reading (90 mins uninterrupted, then 30 more mins of tier instruction...) I lost the time I had used for my science experiments and art/music activities. Suddenly life became two hours of reading instruction; 90 mins of math; and little broken bits along the way between PE and lunch that I managed to squeeze in a story time for me to read orally to my students.
Add to that benchmark testing, unit testing, fluency testing, and in my case - patience testing (because I was losing mine!)
I finally decided I could not do it. I either was tossing Open Court out the window and teaching - or I was going somewhere else. That's when my current job opened up... a pullout class for gifted students... No set curriculum, no testing, no grades, no attendance to take, no nothing but TEACHING!!!!! I love it! We actually learn, we read, we go on field trips, we watch educational videos, we play games, we enjoy school!!
When we were leaving for spring break, one of my second graders (who come on Wednesdays) pointed to the calendar and said, "I wish we could come to school here (pointing to Wednesday) and just be out Monday and Tuesday and then Thursday and Friday." When coming to your class ranks over Spring Break... you are doing something right!!
So... in a time when I know jobs are hard to find, and teaching is a fairly secure job (there are always kids somewhere who need teaching)... I'm staying where I am for the moment.
If I were to leave... it would be to start my own private school, so that I could TEACH - not test...
Hi! This is my first posting. I took a break from teaching about 10 months ago. I taught high school history for 4.5 years (mainly inner city) and focused on high risk youths. I did very well and never had any problems. I had a touch i guess. But when my husband and I PCS'ed overseas (his is active duty) I had hoped I could work for Dept. of Defense schools. I applied, emailed, and even called prior to moving and had no response. I arrived in Europe and was given the cold shoulder by the high school staff. Come to find out they didnt like that I was working on an advanced degree (more money), that I was a creative teacher (we did in class trials versus worksheets), and that I was friendly (many of them had been there 10-20 years and were burnt out). the kids were nice but they didnt care what happened b/c it was only about whose parents out ranked whose parents and the school didnt intervene. I worked in the school for a year as a sub and assistant before leaving in disgust at how they treated me and each other. I was burned out and had lost that fire that you need to be a truly good teacher. I now work as a government contractor and have finished a MA in international relations (my BA is history).
But I am looking for other jobs too and seeing how my teaching skills can cross boundries into other careers. I have been given some feedback from jobs as government analysts (uses history degrees!), management firms (we managed over 100 kids/day and multi-tasking), and businesses (people skills). Don't see yourself short b/c you only have a history degree. you can use your skills as a teacher to advance your career. Contact a career counslor or headhunter for help. I am seeing a career counslor now and have had MANY doors opened to me.
I earned my my teaching degree in secondary education and English years ago. I taught for 2 years in an adult program for two years after graduating, then I had to get a job that paid. I was a single parent with two kids, and a teacher's salary qualified me for food stamps. Shame. I ventured into corporate America, and all its associated ills, then into non-profit organizations, on to real estate. I've always maintained my credentials, because it seemed foolish to throw away all those years of college while I was 'experimenting' with other careers.
Since August, I have been working in the schools as a job-specialist/teacher for at risk high school seniors. I have to teach basic skills pertaining to attaining a job or applying to college. I have been shocked at the level of 'know-nothingness' among the students. I have 18 year olds who cannot read, write a complete sentence, or do basic math. Their attendence is horrible. One student has over 50 absences since the beginning of the school year. She can't wake up, and her mom doesn't force the issue. NOTHING happens to kids like her. She has failing grades in most of her classes, yet she will be allowed to graduate. Admin says it's due to NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. I only have a handful of students, and the pressure of dealing with just these few is amazing.
I ended up on this site, because I have been considering applying for a teaching position in my field (English) at a middle school (public). Your posts remind me of all the reasons, besides pay, that I've avoided returning to the schools. I'm older now, and pretty much a no-nonsense type of person, but I don't know if I want the strain. If the small classes I have now, and your posts, are any indication of what's in store for me if I obtain a teaching position, I don't think I'll last.
Wow, I just happened to come across this posting. I feel the same way but there are a few differences. I REFUSE to bring work home, I REFUSE to work after 3 pm, I REFUSE to bring work home on the weekends, the ONLY thing I might do is lesson plan, but that usually is taken from lesson plans posted online!! And do I follow my lesson plans, NO! There is not one teacher that I know that does, mainly its BS, just for administrators. I kick myself for choosing this career because of the pay, the pay is an insult to me when I have a masters degree!! BUT heck, if they aren't going to pay me **** then I am not going to do ****.. All I can say is that if your burned out, take days off. Take care of you! You are the most important before the kids. I am 25 and I am more than likely going to get into nursing in a few years, I am going to let the district pay back my student loans the next 2-3 years because I am in a critical shortage area. BUT I will probably start nursing school BSN this summer, 2009.
I teach in a middle school in a mostly low income area. It has been 11 years and I just can't take the paperwork, lessons, meetings, mandatory after school programs, disrespectful kids,non responsive or OVER protective parents , or the condescending tones at times from the 'powers that be'.
I know I am a good teacher with good intentions. I try to be fair with all kids, I'm always on time, never miss a meeting , and hardly ever take a sick day. It is also so frustrating to see other teachers slack off in all of those areas and never get a word said to them.
This job has me walking on egg shells whether it is getting everything turned in on time or watching everything you say to a kid cause 'Johnny' may decide to tell Mummy something totally different.
I desperately want to leave this job behind come June, but what else can I do??? I am elementary certified with a minor in music, that's it. I have searched high and low and need help. Please, any suggestions??
I can relate to what you are saying as well as many other people on this posting site. I have taught for 4 years and when my husband and I relocated to MN, the job market was so tough, that I ended up subbing for a year, went to 7 interviews, promised jobs and then get the call, "thank you for coming in but we have chosen another candidate." I have applied for so many jobs in the last 2 years, that I believe I have gotten around 150, "thank you for applying, but we have chosen another candidate" reply emails. After subbing and using all of our savings to try and give it another year, I have decided to leave it all behind and move on. I will be going back to the corporate world and being a help desk analyst (at my old company). The pay is basically the same, but with better benefits and 401K. I gave it my all, but sometimes, enough is enough. Oh, I found out from an inside source that the reason I did not get any of the jobs (one interview was even from a professional reference of mine!) was that they would have to pay me more money for my experience and graduate degree, then someone with no experience and a BA. In the end, it was all about the budget and not about the passion.
Honestly, this has been killing me inside making this jump again, (education field to corporate to education and back to corporate) but I feel so much better now. Thank you everyone for sharing, because it makes me not feel so alone in my thoughts and to realize that in the end, this is really only a job. Just like the next one we will all have and the next one. In the grand scheme of life, we need to take care of ourselves and our families/ friends. Thank you all again and God Bless!
I absolutely love this board! It is a Godsend. I am almost in tears with emotion to find that there are those who are like me and have my same feelings. No one at work dares to express these sentiments out loud. I am in my fourth year in high school and I have been ready to go since the second year. The first year was great and fun. It was an awesome challenge. But after that the effects of administration and parents started to hit and the honeymoon was soon over.
I never really complain about the students. They have an excuse to be ignorant. They are young and if you reflect on the downward slope of the morals and ethics of this country you can see why they behave the way they do. The only sad thing is that they will more than likely continue to be disrespectful throughout their adult years because they lack those at home to guide them. I believe that education starts in the home.
However, the administrators are full grown adults (at least in age) who have been around the block a few times in regards to the education field. It is depressing that in the end it comes down to politics and money.
I am disgusted with the teaching field and will without a doubt be homeschooling my children or sending them to a non religious private school. I have hopes to work at the college level fulltime where I believe I can be more effective with students outside of school, starting programs and partnerships with the public schools instead of trying to teach them in a classroom. Traditional classrooms do not work for all students and as soon as the public education system understands that the better it will be!
I am glad that so many of you feel similarly. It is a shame that it is sometimes the good teachers that get away. I tell people that I want to leave teaching for two reasons: one being stress, the other being that fact that I have to teach to the test (even though my principal says I shouldn't when deep down hopes that I do!) People keep saying that I need to give it more time. I have been teaching for 3 years already and still feel miserable. I dread going to work everyday, bust my butt everyday, and feel like all my efforts don't really matter. It just really stinks. I am looking forward to a day when I could go home at 5pm and not think about work. I really do not think that people have any clue what teaching requires of people.
I have a background in science research and did not want to pursue it as a career. I wanted to work with people. I still do. And I love science. I just hope to find something intellectually stimulating that involves people, but not the daily grind of teaching in a classroom with over 34 students in a class.
Good luck to everyone who is looking for something new. I plan on the new search in January.
I've been teaching for 19 years and here I am 12:42 a.m. looking on the net for a new job at the age of 50. I love the children every year that I work with; my life has been devoted to this job - anywhere from 10 to 12 hour a day during the school year. And, within the last two years, I've even kept a child during the morning to help out a family in a difficult situation and I'm tutoring another child this year twice a week - no pay in either situation. WHY? Just for the children. But, I think I've lost myself to the career thinking that I was going to make a difference. The difference I made was that I took away from my family and gave it to others. THIS WAS SO WRONG!!! Now, I cry inside - thinking - what about my family - what have I done!!! It's too late for me! But, not for you - put your family FIRST - always!!! Your babies will be grown and out of the house before you know it!!! I'm not trying to preach - but, have not regrets - learn from us. When I first went into teaching, a older teacher told me once when I felt bad about calling in due to my then baby (18 year old), "This job will always be here but your babies won't! Put your family and yourself first!" I never did learn how to do this. I hope you are able to.
Can you work from home? I know a volunteer mom who works from home as a medical transcriber. Just a thought!
Thank you for this post. The amount of hours I put into this job are insane! My own kids are 10 and 13 years old and I often think that I am losing precious time with them. I agree wholeheartedly with the others on this board that the summer vacations mean nothing compared to being able to leave your work at work at the end of the day and on weekends! I am a career changer and if I knew then what I know now I would have ran (not walked) ran screaming as far away from this profession as possible. Now I have student loans and more financial pressures etc. and it won't be easy to get out (especially with the economy as it is) but your post helps me to see where my priorities should lie. Thanks for your experience and wisdom...
Wow. I'm not crazy! I am in my 3rd year of teaching, and I have to admit that I have already begun the search for a new career. Teaching has lost all it's glory as the fun has been taken out of teaching, and the administration and parents suffocate me. I'm tired of lesson planning, grading, and endless paperwork for every tiny incidence that occurs along the way. I'm tired. Overworked. Underpaid, and exhausted all the time. I know there are many people who appreciate the vacation time, as I do too, although I have to admit that it's the least the system can do for the countless unpaid hours I work all year. Good luck to all who want out, as I have been looking for a year for a career that will offer my comparable or increased pay with the education and experience I have. No one outside of the field of education is willing to train you, and I can't affort a paycut to start over!
Since I have gotten out, I'd like to encourage everyone who has posted here.
I left this fall after I was injured by a student and no one did anything to help. It was just the last straw after years of being injured nearly every day by my special ed children, the ever-increasing paperwork, the teaching to the silly tests, and the micro-managing administrators.
For a couple of years I wanted to get out of teaching but didn't have the courage to do it. I had prayed about it a while. After I get hurt, I knew I HAD TO LEAVE.
And I am SO GLAD I DID.
I took a non-teaching job-- I am a nanny now. It was a big paycut-- I make half the money I did teaching.
HOWEVER. I am under practically no stress. I have no paperwork. No lesson plans. I have one child to look after. I work for a family that appreciates me and tells me "thank you" all the time. My job is much easier. There are no tests, no administrators, no PDAS, no staff meetings that last 2 hours on a Wednesday night. I don't do report cards on New Years Eve anymore.
I AM HAPPY.
So, I make less money and things are tight. That's okay. At least I'm happy now. People tell me I LOOK "so much better" and that my face is brighter. I feel like a weight is off my shoulders. So don't worry about the money... if you can. Just worry about finding something that will make you happy, and things will probably work out.
I am in my sixth year of teaching, and would really like to find a different career path. Like many of you have said, I too like teaching, but dislike being a teacher. All the demands on my time, and the many things we are expected to put up with. I really want quit at the end of this year. I'm scared to quit given the current economic times, but I really feel like I should be doing something else with my life.
Most of my family works for the civil service. My sister works for NASA, my mom was a secretary and my dad worked in budget. I looked on USAJobs today (I live in California, where the future of teaching is bleak at best and horrific at worst) and there are many teaching and training positions. The benefit of working for the government is that not only are you not required to work overtime, but you'll be encouraged to work only the 40 hours you're assigned.
Go to USAJOBS.org and see for yourself.
I'm frustrated with teaching, too. The kids are brats and the parents are worse. We receive no protection but are expected to do EVERYTHING, including raising kids who aren't ours.
Hello. Thank you for sharing. Your message from a year ago was very encouraging. I have been a teacher for 9 years. I am leaving and returning to school to get my masters in higher education affairs/
counseling. I know I will miss teaching for its in my blood. However, I believe that I will start a tutoring ministry at my church. I must make this change. As a result of the stress I have been ill. I was encouraged by what you wrote.
Dorothy, you are right. The kids are brats and the parents (esp. honors kids parents) are worse. However, having said that, as a veteran of 24 years in the public schools I think I have a little insight. Folks, did anyone not realize how this job would be. If you think NCLB is tough on the elementary folks you should try it in high school. Many of the problems listed, such as taking papers home, long hours come about because you are a first year teacher. I neve take papers home under any circumstances! If you do you will still have a stack the next day. Teaching is a calling-not a job. If your heart is not in it, or if you see kids as the problem instead of part of the solution, you do need to make a change. I see too many colleagues that whine all the time about paperwork, unfunded mandates, etc. What did they think teaching was about? Yes it is hard, yes it is exhausting, but things get easier (because you get better) as time goes by. I teach Physics and Physcial Science and I would not change my job for any salary (o.k. 1 million dollars-I'm there!) If you hate it, please change professions for yourself and most importantly-for the kids you would be teaching. Beacuse they are not all #$^%^ and the ones that are not deserve the best teachers-they are,whether we like it or not, the ones that will be paying YOUR social security.
Best of luck to us all! I give everyone a huge pat on the back to everyone for going into the world of teaching, if even for a season. The more knowledgeable people are about the current education system, the more of a chance we'll have of changing it. And unfortunately, it often takes experiencing something to really understand it. So leave knowing you are an expert on what needs to change and how best to use our resources to make that happen. Be sure and VOTE on all education issues - it's worth a try anyway.
I too am leaving teaching after 3 years. Love teaching HATE being a teacher. YEAH!!! SO excited. I did a trial run last year. took 1 year off after my 2nd year and found a job teaching test prep classes & tutoring. It paid as good as teaching & I worked literally 1/2 the hours - but it was a bit boring. It was still teaching, but at least no insane administrators, appalling policies/red tape, grading, lesson plans, etc. My 2nd year teaching I probably taught about 15% of the day although I had a full class load. I am a very hard worker & give 110% but I was buried in ARD paper work, meetings, and parent conferences. My TA taught many of my classes with admin. approval! Not that my TA was inept, but are you freakin' kidding me? You are pulling the teachers from the room to attend these blessed meetings rather than have them teach the children these meetings are about? WTF?? Well my 2nd year became unbelievably unhealthy for me. Wiped out, depressed when I would get home, crying on Sun. night dreading Mon. morning, literally thinking 'what if I just didn't show up?' It was all I could do to stay through the end of that year.
It's scary to leave, but WORTH it I am convinced. I decided to try once more this year before I left for good - I went from high school to first grade & to a private school. It's a bit better but I am going to take my 'good year' and retire on a relatively high note. Did you know that a sonographer (a 2 year associates degree) gets between $55-$85,000 a year? My BS was in Kinesiology so I have most of the prereqs. My plan is to find ANY job this next year & save & take the one class I need to apply. Hopefully by 2010 I'll be in class (shocking that I have a masters & have to go back to community college to actually make any decent money or have a normal work life - simply shocking). I'm not going to whine about it though. I'm going to take my loans & get the certification & be free of teaching! Set a goal friends & focus on it. Don't get wrapped up in the unfair treatment (little pay for the advanced degree most of us have & the unending hours we work, inept administrators, etc.). Just focus on the light ahead. You can do it.
you've written. It is so true!! "Just focus on the light ahead." I too am going to leave soon (probably not for a couple of years though since I need to pay off some bills first). I've taught for 12 years and I honestly don't know how I've survived it this long. I'm so fed up with senseless meetings, disruptive children that administration will do nothing about yet they expect high test scores?????, administrators who do nothing or are close to the line of being out and out crooks, worthless parents who should never have had children because they treat them like dirt and are too stupid to help them, and basically a system (education) that is broken completely and no one seems to be able to change it or want to change it. And I'm not letting teachers off the hook either. I have to say that I have met many so called teachers that should have never been given a licence to teach!! I guess it just hasn't been what I expected it to be.
I am so glad to know that I am not alone. I finished college at 47 in 2006. I was on my way to becoming a nutritionist, but that fact that there were no jobs in my area and it required an entire year of internship and my husband was chafing at the bit for me to bring in a paycheck made me decide to change my major elementary ed. Now I teach first grade and I am in hell. I waited tables while I was in school and I made an average of $600 more per month working about 32 hours a week than I do now working 55 hours a week. I HAVE MADE A TERRIBLE DECISION AND A BIG MISTAKE. The kids are nearly unteachable. I teach in a Title I school in the south. In other words I teach the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low. This year, my state, low in the nation, decided to pull us up IN ONE YEAR. So what they did was create more RIGOR in the form of an extra hour of a tedious phonics program EVERY DAY while the kids are squirming in their seats. They also changed the grading scale to the 10 point system... so they make the curriculum harder and the grades more flexible. What in the hell are they trying to measure??????? Then added a new math book that requires props for every lesson. To further complicate this, these plans and basals do not coorelate with our state benchmarks, so we teachers must jump all over the place teaching to the test. The kids are also BRATS. I COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE MORE MISERABLE AND DEPRESSED. I AM SICK OF WORKING EVERY NIGHT AND EVERY WEEKEND, NEVER SEEING MY FAMILY, PUTTING MY HUSBAND ON THE BACK BURNER AND BEING ANXIOUS AND DEPRESSED THAT I AM NOT DOING ENOUGH. When I was in school, I didn't like waiting tables because I didn't think it was meaningful work. But I didn't have any debt - because I didn't have this huge school loan, my weight was under control because I was using lots of energy in fine dining and I was never job stressed at home and thus binging everyday on sugar and chocolate (now I am 20 pounds overweight and miserable). My thinking has changed so much in the past three years. I think I am going to chuck this job/career that I have grown to hate and go back to fine dining - I was very good at customer service - and work on my novel and writing songs. I do not ever do anything that matters to me personally anymore. I thought that being off summers would be the best thing about teaching, but the first two weeks I usually cry, then two weeks before school starts I feel depressed and anxious about a new school year starting and all the tremendous work that has to be done. Then there is the insurance I have to have in case anybody decides to sue me when I am trying to help their child learn to read and write and the time I must spend in CEU classes, on my own time, to keep my certification current. I HAVE HAD IT. MY MIND IS MADE UP. I AM GETTING OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think you do need to get out. I'm very sorry that you are so unhappy, but in my humble opinion it seems that you went into teaching for all the wrong reasons. (Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I'm just going by the reasons you gave above). You deserve a job in which you will be happy and fulfilled, and those children in your classroom deserve a teacher who wants to be there. Best of luck.
These comments are all so interesting and fascinating. (The education field in general is so interesting). I graduated from college in 2004, then did a teaching-fellows program where I taught in a high-needs school district with no education training/preparation. (NOT a recommended path to follow---I had no classroom management skills, esp. at the age of 22 teaching at-risk youth teenagers--although judging by the lackluster education classes I did take, I'm not sure what would have prepared me). I really like the comment, "I love teaching but hate being a teacher," because that sort of sums up what I feel. I taught in a Title I, high-needs school district which was frustrating on so many levels...the school was in a very rural community, and it wasn't truly helping/educating the students. We weren't teaching them practical vocational skills; but we weren't really preparing them for college. Because we were a Level 3 school there was a lot of pressure to teach to Benchmark tests, to meet NCLB requirements, which was just terrible--school became even more boring/less meaningful to the students, and instead of educating them, it all became about testing.
Anyway, I moved back to my hometown and taught middle school electives for a year. Teaching middle school was okay; some of the students were wonderful, and I liked the creative control over the classroom. (I've always been lucky that I've had good administrations). But--the daily stress of coming up with material all day every day; grading; and disruptive/disrespectful students was a drag. (AND crazy parents). I actually think it might be a good idea for parents to pay a small fee for public schools--maybe people would respect schools more. Also, even though I don't want kids to drop out, the insistence of passing kids no matter what is a mistake. School just isn't for some people, and if it's not working, then those students should leave. Nothing wrong with learning a vocation or trade.
ANYWAY, so I had a job offer to continue to teach 8th grade English, and I found I was just DREADING it last summer. Just dreading it. So I resigned in late July, with no job lined up. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did. I got a job with a local non-profit that works in adult education. I took a pay cut (yes, sadly, even less than teaching), but I really love it. A positive teaching experience makes all the difference in the world, i.e., "ah, this is what it's SUPPOSED to be like." I teach classes now to adults and there's no grades, not much paperwork, and it's all about what teaching SHOULD be: I'm here to help you learn. That's it. That's what we're going to be spending our time here doing. In the fall I will be going to graduate school for a doctorate degree--I'm not completely sure where it will lead me, but I am super excited. And I'm SO glad I am not doomed to a life of teaching public middle school in the South.
Teachers: QUIT if you're not happy, you have a degree and skills and have shown levels of responsibility. (Although some of you really need to brush up on your spelling...I tell this to my students---I know we live in an age of spell check but if you can't spell basic words, people will make assumptions about your skill level, i.e., your literacy is borderline). You will get a job. I know I am in an easier situation because I don't have a family, but I'm confident that teachers can always find jobs, in government/non-profit/all sorts of sectors.
BTW...I don't know if other teachers feel this way....there are all of these ridiculous posters around my school with flowers and script that say really asinine things like, "teachers make a difference because teachers care" or apples with hearts and stars saying something like "I believe the children are our future." Maybe people *need* or appreciate these little "boosters" but I think they are really infantilizing....can you imagine seeing things like this in a doctor's office or lawyer's office? Teaching used to be a respected profession---can we bring this back somehow?
...but I don't believe you said that in your original post. Like I said, I was just commenting based on what you said (husband wanted you to have a paycheck, kids are "brats,", etc.). My apologies. I teach in a Title I school in the South, too, but I love my job and the challenges it brings, and I would never refer to my class as "brats." Thank you for clarifying, though.
There are no easy solutions. You have one you and you've gotta take care of you or u won't be good for ne1. Sooooo, do it like me, what's due, great, here it is. "Okay mom, which grade do u want for your kid, super, here it is, your loss my sanity gain. I warned ya!" You want a graph of how much data, super, I'll create one for you with dubious infor. because I've not time to wipe my a### in the toilet, let alone grade 95 tests by hand and analyze the results. Do right by your students and let the rest go. O, you want a lesson plan, what do you want on it, okay, here it is. . . and go on to teach what you know needs to be taught. You can please everyone and no one is trying to please you. Taking care of your sanity!!!! Take care of your family!!!!! In a war of attrition, you've gotta look out for you! When I started this, I stopped the 24/7 guilt trip and realized no one can do it better. This thread is proof. Teach your kids religiously but the rest can go to h*&%#$. If you agree, fine, if not, oh well, it works for me and I'm not complaining about my job or looking for another.
Are you or were you a perfectionist?? I am and that is what is killing me. I am tired of feeling like I am not doing enough when I am taxed to the max. Please tell me how to let go of the nonessentials. I would like to change and succeed in this situation.
The economy is awful right now but after 7 years of teaching I decided to get my MBA a the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. (A wonderful program by the way.) For my summer internship I was paid $83,000 annualized and a housing allowance to come and go as I pleased and drink coffee, along with working on exciting projects with professionals.
I will admit that I still really miss teaching. I taught overseas in a DOD school, I have also taught in the inner city, in suburban schools and I have been a Title I teacher. I have taught everything from 3rd to 8th grade. I love teaching but I feel stifled by the fact that no one really cares if I meet the so-called standards. I met nearly all their silly guidelines every year, yet nothing happened. Usually all but one of my students passed the tests even though they came in 2 years below grade level. I actually had one student who could remember his own last name and only read 4 words and I was supposed to get him to a third grade level? (Yeah right.)
Anyhow, although it is difficult to break into corporate, HR and marketing are really receptive to former teachers. An MBA from an accredited, full-time traditional program really makes a difference. One thing to consider is that many corporations are looking for people who are geographically flexible. Also, one person mentioned using their network and linkedin, that truly is a resource for the corporate world. Good luck. All I can say is approach your career with the same passion and thirst for learning that you started teaching with.
Thank you for the post. Most of the posts I have come across were from people wanting to leave the corporate world to go into teaching. I'm about to begin my 7th year of teaching high school Science. It will be my 4th year in a title 1 school. I've taught in rich neighborhoods, middle class neighborhoods, and not in an inner-city neighborhood comprehensive high school. I feel that every day, I come into work and put on a fake show for everyone. I'm considered a "good teacher" based on my observations by administrators. However, I have absolutely no passion for what I do. I teach my students things that they should have learned in 4th grade. I do lesson plans, grade, do labs, teach all levels from Developmental to Advanced Placement... and I am just dismayed by everything. Kids don't care about school. They don't care about education for the most part. They don't care about anything. The lack of care, disrespect for teachers, disrespect for each other, lack of administrators' care, corruption at the BOE, being asked to change grades so that the district will "look better" and receive more Title-I federal funds & waste taxpayers' money... the list can go on and on.
I keep my feelings to myself because many teachers have this "cult" mentality of "if you're not teaching, then what are you going to do?" as if there are no other career choices out there. Well, I have 2 Masters degrees. Economic times are tough - even for someone with a degree in Physics and lots of computer background. I have decided to take an enormous pay cut and become a full time student, again. I have decided to pursue a PhD in something Computer related and see if by the time I graduate, I can find an intellectually satisfying job where I won't hear a student saying "$%$# you" every other day. I became a teacher because I graduated from college around the time when 9/11 happened and there was nothing out there for me. I must have sent out 1000 resumes and only got 2 call backs. Substitute teaching was all that was out there. After paying $50000 to go to a "prestigious school" to get teacher certified + a Masters, I became a teacher and didn't like it since the 1st day I set foot in the classroom.
It is a miserable feeling. However, I refuse to wallow in misery. I am not the type of person to "settle" into a career because of tenure or because I've been here so long. I will take the leap and take the steps necessary to change my career.
It is difficult, but I am sure it will be well worth it. Don't stay if you're miserable. Life is too short.
After my 6th year of teaching, I'm nearly ready to throw in the towel. Only fear is holding me back.
When I first started teaching, I thought I was overwhelmed because, well, that was the lot for new teachers. I had always wanted to teach, but man-oh-man was that first year an eye-opener. I was always told it would get easier each year, so I stuck it out. No one wants to fail.
Well it hasn't gotten easier, just the opposite.
I love my kiddies. Love them to death, which is why I lie in bed worrying that Suzy has worn the same dirty clothes 3 days in a row. Paperwork and standardized testing seems so unimportant in comparison. But I have to do that, or I'll lose my job. So the children suffer.
That's why I've decided to get out. The kids in my class suffer because I can't find a balance. They deserve better.
It's fear of the unknown is keeping me from resigning. I've been in school as either a student or teacher for 25 years. It's all I know, but that is no reason to stay in a job that is tearing me apart, one little piece at a time. I empathize with everyone posting about sleeping problems, relationship issues, etc, because I have them too. My stress is overwhelming, and my health is suffering.
I've examined my passions and found that reading is something I love. So I've decided to become a writer. My original plan was to take advantage of my summers off to write a manuscript and build a second career while still working at my first. But it's becoming clear that even the summers aren't free, since I'm busy moving classrooms and planning for next year. I'm also catching up on family commitments that must be neglected while I devote myself to the job.
So I have set a deadline-- June 2010. If I am not any happier at my job, I have to quit and hope I can make it as a writer. Leap, and the net shall appear...I hope.
Best of luck to everyone trying to make the change. My thoughts and hopes are with you.
I've left teaching an am currently planning my next steps. Hopefully a non-profit will hire me in the near future. I am very happy. Very very happy. Loved the kids, always have, always will which is why I chose to leave. Didn't want them to have a teacher who is just so emotionally, physically, and mentally drained... all the time. Just do not want to continue to stay up until late at night stressing and planning, spend all my weekends planning and prepping, and spend large amounts of my money on resources. Since I left teaching, my credit card bill is the lowest it has been in years!!! What an eye-opener!
When I first became a teacher, I was young and idealistic: typical characteristics of the starry-eyed college student who wants to make a difference for the future and have a positive impact on the youth of today. Now here I am, 12 years later, and I feel that so far I have accomplished a lot of good for a lot of students.
So why am I looking for the back door?
Over the past 12 years I have watched the teaching profession evolve into a data-driven nightmare. The expectations are of such unrealistic proportions, that the stress level has become almost unbearable. It keeps piling on. The original, idealistic reasons I ever got into the profession have been overshadowed and darkened by the political agendas of whoever is in office. Everyone up top feels as if they have to justify their positions, especially in tight economic times where budget cuts abound. The result? We are made to chase our tails constantly. We are working ridiculous hours, attending countless meetings, analyzing data until our eyes go crossed, and all to make our bosses look good. Actual time with students has been minimized to such a small percentage of what our profession has become, it is no longer the center of our true job description.
This is why I want out.
Summers off? What a joke. For years that has been touted as a fringe benefit of the teaching profession. First, let me be clear that we are not PAID for the time off. What most teachers have to do is take their salary from the 10 months they are in session, and have it spread out over a 12 month period.
For those who don't have summers off, do the math. A great majority of people come home from work, and their work day is done. They click on the tv, or hit the gym, or go toss a ball around with their kids. Not teachers. Their work day often extends late into the evening: grading papers, planning lessons, analyzing data, etc. Not to mention the non-existent weekends. I am serious, grab your calculator.....when you add everything up, the time you give during the school year more than offsets any time off during the summer. Oh yes, I want out, I just don't know where to go, and I feel bad for the students, who end up suffering at all the turnover.
You know, the whole saying,"It's for the kids," or "It's about the kids," only goes so far and then one has to look at their own family and their own kids, and think about the sacrifices that they have to make for one to stay a teacher.
Like most posters, I've worn myself down. I'm making about the same money that I made in college and because of the resources we've been provided, I feel as though my hands are tied in terms of making a real difference. This year has been tough. My husband and I looked at how much I spent on the classroom and how many hours of unpaid OT I put in and had a serious talk. We decided that I could not spend more than 500$ on my classroom and that my OT must be limited to stoping work by 8:00 at night (this counts dinner, so it's not as bad as it sounds) and not working more than one morning on a weekend. Because of these limits, our marriage is thriving again, but I don't feel that I'm making the progress I want to be making. Our district has had budget cuts, so our pay is frozen and our resources are down. Not all of my students have chairs and books this year. They literally sit on the floor all day and share workbooks (some of which already have the answers written in them)...I feel like I am teaching in a third world country. I don't have the authority to change us to a less workbook oriented program. I have no authority to make changes, even when something isn't working. Maybe if enough of us leave, someone will be forced to change the system. It had never occured to me when I started teaching that I would not be able to change things that were clearly not working. It also never occured to me that since my kids are at a poor school, they just won't get basic needs met.
I'm not sure where I'll go. I'd love to get involved with something where I could help teachers fix situations like this, but I don't see myself as a successful administrator since I'm so jaded by the situation and believe that the current system is built so that it can't be changed from the inside. I'd love to find an organization that changes education from the top down. I just don't believe that one good teacher can make a big difference anymore. The one year I got a teaching award was the year I sucked up and followed the rules the most. It wasn't the year I was the most innovative, creative or passionate. I got the award for playing nice with the system. Not for being a good teacher.
Unlike other posters on here, I'm not a real people person. I'm a problem solver. I'm willing to work my butt off, but I need to see results and feel that things are moving in a positive direction. I'm not sure what kind of job would be a good fit for me. I'd love to look at data and figure out away to make things better. But what job would that be?
Well, it seems that I have stumbled upon some 'kindred spirits' here. I have been teaching full-time since 1999, so this is my 11th year, and I am completely ready to leave the profession. In fact, I was ready to leave 10 years ago, but here I still am...
I am a high school English teacher in Canada, and have been lucky enough to work full-time for the duration of my teaching career. Granted, I had to move to the UK for four years to even find full-time work, but I've had the work, nonetheless. For a while, I thought that maybe teaching in UK was what was so horrible. If you have ever taught over there, you'll know that the system is a complete mess. A 'National Curriculum' was implemented in the late '80s which also prompted a mass exodus of veteran teachers who felt that their creativity and freedom were taken away. Truthfully, that is what has happened. The UK government has completely screwed up their education system, where teachers who couldn't 'cut it' in the classroom have found jobs working on assessment committes (called Ofsted) which inspect the classroom practices of the teachers who actually are still there, teaching (and clearly have the skills that the quitters/assessors didn't have!). In state schools, it basically takes murder for a student to be expelled. There are numerous tribunals, meetings, etc. held where the parents and problem student can plead for another chance to stay in school. Legally, all students are 'entitled' to an education, even if they are jeopardizing the safety of other students. If you have your head screwed on right, stay away from teaching in the UK. And, the pay is pretty shocking, too.
In 2005, I left the UK to return to Canada, and took a job at a very affluent private school, thinking I had left hell for heaven. Quickly, though, I realized that many of the same problems persisted in my Canadian school. A private school is a business, so when a student does something wrong or offensive, the school wants to 'appease' the parents, and rarely are kids kicked out. Remember, in the business world, 'the customer is always right!' Especially if the parents are rich and make significant donations to the school. Administrators constantly make decisions behind closed doors, rarely if ever including teachers in decisions that affect them more than any other workers in the school. Ever year at the school, we've had more and more responsibilities dumped on us so that, really, our lunch hour is taken, and we are also expected to contribute to one major after-school extra curricular duty. How on earth do people with families do this job and still have their own lives? I'm quickly realizing, that as an English teacher, with one of the heaviest marking loads in the school, it's probably not possible to have a work-life balance.
In my ten years of teaching, I've seen changes in the attitudes and attention spans of kids. Perhaps it's because of Facebook, MSN, iPods, and all of the other fast-moving distractions that are out there. But, I've also seen the kids get mouthier, more entitled, and less inclined to do the work that is required of them. And, this is in a very affluent area and school! What are the poorer areas like? The whole job exhausts me, and I'm really dying to get out, but I don't know what else I can do. I'm not yet 40, but think that I need to switch professions very soon so that I am not yet considered 'too old' to new employers.
In reading other posts, I have found it interesting that people who are not affiliated with the teaching profession in any way have such harsh words to say about the education system and teachers. I think that because everyone at some point in their lives is in school, as students, they feel that they have 'expertise' or 'educated opinions' about teachers and teaching. The reality, though, is that teaching and classrooms have changed significantly in the past five-to-ten years. And, it seems that it'll only get worse, with parents who do not support the teachers, students who are mouthy, entitled and constantly distracted, and administrators who fail to show respect for the teachers who essentially are the foundation of the school. I think it's time for me to finally take the plunge and leave...
ive been 10 years teaching and I feel like an old lady. Im 35 have no family of my own but seem to have all the responsibilities. The children talk to you like you have just crawled out of a gutter and the senior team are even more obscure. I cant stand it any more and ive had enought, I will sell my house and have nothing. A good job that society respects will boost my confidence. Id like a job that not every member of society seems to have an opinion about!! For example, do we tell an accountant what they should be doing! I dont think so, yet the government officials (OFSTED) who have no experience keep churning it out. Tell anyone ,you are a teacher and yep...you got it everyone knows what to do apart from you. I regret every year I have spent in teaching. I am lonely and frustrated, I miss my life and teaching takes it all. ANYONE WHO READS THIS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT START TEACHING!
I struggled with leaving education four years into my career. At my seventh teaching year I FINALLY left and have not looked back. I knew it was time for me to leave when my principal asked me to change a students grade and I did so without a whimper. Education is NOT what it once was nor is teaching what it was when I began back in 1994. I do not miss the paperwork. I do not miss the unhappy teachers with whom I taught. I most certainly do not miss the state mandated testing. I do not miss the stress which ignited my anxiety and depression. I now own my own Pilates studio and I love every minute of it. I spend time with people who REALLY what to be where they are. I do, sometimes, miss the young people; however, that most certainly does not tempt me to return.
Hi there Liza and everyone. It was interesting to read peoples' experiences of wanting to leave teaching. I was a teacher for nearly 20 years in Australia. I graduated in 1990 , worked full time in remote, urban, state and private schools until I left teaching at the end of 2007. What a great day. I experienced many of the frustrations and moments of despair noted by others, but really this message is about what to do in order to leave teaching, and here's how I managed my way into a training consultant position with a global corporation, which is lovely. I developed a two step plan to get out of teaching. The first thing I had to do was leave the school/ community I'd been part of for 8 years. I applied for a similar job at a different school and won this position. It was great to operate in a new community that was familiar, but where no-one really knew me, or what I could do. Expectations were instantly rationalised, what a relief. Next, I worked at developing a resume that would play to my strengths without being too "teachery". I went to one of the many online employment sites and arranged to have them send me daily jobmails so I could keep abreast of job developments. Leaving the original school and creating a corporate CV and signing on to the career sites represented a very positive, proactive shift in my sense of self - I was going places - doing something, not just whingeing and feeling sorry for myself. While still teaching I signed up for some study that supported my career choice. Like others here, I still don't know " what I'll do when I grow up", but thought sticking to my strengths was a good idea - so training it was. The sense of momentum I'd developed was very positive - I cant emphasise this enough. Things must be done. I applied for lots of jobs using my new resume and attended interviews. Interviews were great experiences. I didn't get the first job, but could see how teacher skills apply directly and easily to the corporate world- communication, organisation, training, assessment, etc etc. As good luck would have it, I scored a nice job early in 2008. The transition was tricky, but after about 3 months I settled in nicely. The pay's not great- my teacher mates are on a much better salary than me- but I work in a corporate environment, can get a coffee or go for a walk when I like, I have ages to prepare training programmes that I deliver to enthusiastic adults whose parents I'll never know. Bliss.
My name is John. I taught in Catholic schools for 6 years after graduating in 2003. Earned a master's in secondary ed along the way. I left teaching last june for personal reasons - but I can relate to understanding why many of you felt burned out. The places I taught - a afluent all-boys school near philadelphia, an coed urban school, and then a coed afluent school in the DC area, meant I didn't have all the regulations and "lesson plan" requirements of a public school. I did those when student teaching, and why they weren't bad - I can imagine if requirments, textbooks, etc. change year to year, or they switch from year to year what you're teaching - doing those damn things would become annoying. Let's face it - in any setting you would work with people you don't like - so whether or not it's a kid or another adult it really doesn't matter. The only problem is, you can't get away from the kid - and I hate to feel what it's like for a grade school teacher whose with the same students all day. I still love teaching, the autonomy, the opportunity of making of difference - the pay - which isn't bad considering that the results are measured in the same way a business-related position has their results measure. Oh - and the idea that in a private school money drives the machine - very true in the one experience I had - not true in the other, so I guess it depends on the school.
I think the basic problem stems from the fact that it's the corporate, profit-driven, technology blasting, scheme making culture that gets the ear of politicians and other leaders who then gets reports from people, who was as one poster said didn't have the personality to hack it in the classroom, and then more regulations, more paper-work, more of everything is dumped on. This arose because in the last 50 years we've undergone so much progress that there's so much "more to learn" and you have to know everything to prove yourself worthy in the "marketplace" today. Bull#### - I never once told a student I knew something if I didn't - and guess what - they didn't hold it against me. God forbid though I say that to a parent at some point though. I had a kid at my first school who asked me what the Irish were doing at some point during every chapter in world history - I'm not a Irish historian - I'm a history teacher - a broad, overview of history is my thing, so I'd tell him what I knew was going on and he was happy. So what if we're ranked lower than sweden in math and science - they're 1/10 our size and 1/30 of our population and they're not ethnically and economically diverse and all their students aren't being tested - only the ones that go to the elite schools.
Don't get me wrong - some changes have been good. I was a history teacher, so I love me some notes - but if all a teacher can do is lecture, then save it for college. What children need are teachers who will do things with them - experience things with them, challenge them, but love them, all as a pseudo-parent - because they don't see them much, or because their on different inllectual planes, or because they're so stressed after coming home from their own jobs. The issue for teacher here to is to avoid the savior complex - you're job isn't to "save" the kids but teach them. We all try to do too much nowadays - though the idea was that all this technology was supposed to save us time. I'd rather do less and do it with people than do more and do it by myself. Which, going back to teaching, is the other side of the coin of problems for a teacher. I taught Freshman World History everywhere I went (or world civ if you prefer - or world cultures. In the last place I taught I slowed things down - two civilizations per quarter. Each civilization we did the same thing - 2 days on geography, 3 days on culture, 3 days on history, 3 days in the present, review, assessment, relax. I would do 4 days of notes with about 2 pages worth each day. The other days were spent on worksheets, maps, activities, etc. Looking at state requirements for history these days - Jesus - how do you teach world history in one year? A "broad" sweeping outline - yes - but even if you didn't lecture all the time, how do you do it - by making students memorize and then forget names, dates. Sure, even if you teach less content they'll eventually forget the names - so do I after 7 months away but they'll learn about the world, how it works, how to interact with people of different races, cultures, languages, etc. We're trying to make students repositories of knowledge instead of beacons of light to show us / help us preserve the future.
And in terms of students - the government keeps dumping more requirements on people, schools keep diversifying their population, teaching becomes more about prep time than classroom time, and yet no one's yelling back that we can't do it all we can't be it all, we can't teach it all - and like I said, I wasn't in public schools. So let's make teaching about teachers teaching again - who cares if in my world history class they read plato and in mr smith's they read aristotle - the point is that they read something, can make sense of it, and hopefully improved their skills so the next thing they have to read - whatever it may be, they can do a better job of it for having been in my class. Oh - and don't get me started on grad school where the time isn't spent learning how to teach reading, writing, etc better, but reading about legal issues, how to use a projector!, how to fill out a lesson plan, what our experiences have been like. It's like a group of baseball players getting together for spring training and never taking batting, fielding, picthing practice. Yikes!
In terms of leaving teaching - I'm working two part-time jobs right now waiting for something to come along - but here's the kicker - people look at me and say you're overqualified for entry level jobs - or they pay ####ty, but better jobs require "experience". Oh - I'm sorry - like being a front office manager in a hotel is difficult - I can learn the system, the property, the rooms, etc. in a month, and I already know how to treat people, but let me see someone become a good teacher in one month - not going to happen.
And before I forget - let's not forget that until 100-150 years ago until the advent of the modern school system - only the most demanding of professions - doctors, lawyers, really needed 24 years of schooling - (rich parents gave their children classical educations because they could) but for the most part you learned at the feet of your parents, or if you were apprencited at the hands of a craftsmen for years. With more education has come more technology, and the need for education has grown - but the system is the same, basically, as it was 150 years ago. And don't argue with me on this one - schools still have off at times associated with an agricultural society, for christian/jewish holydays, they still meet at 8am when kids are not awake, we have to graduate from each class at the same time - we all love to go to concerts, art galleries, restaurants, with our free time, but we don't have music programs, art classes, food-classes in all of our schools. We require kids to get to more of an education in subjects they don't like, don't need, won't ever use than necessary. Colleges now require a political science major to take a calculus type course - but people can't make change, compare labels when shopping, or convert metric into u.s. measurements when cooking - and we have to pay for that calculas course - because we want the prestige of having a little piece of paper on the wall.
i don't think that in 2010 the argument for "more vacation" and "salary increase every year" really applies any more.
I live in GA and already we have had SEVERAL pay cuts, furlough days, temporary salary freezes (which put on hold for 1/2 the year the supposed "step increase" i was supposed to get) and the Governor is STILL talking more furloughs or further percent decreases in salary! on top of it all, he is now talking "pay for performance" for teachers as early as 2014, which is great for teachers that work in areas where the students will achieve no matter HOW much you suck as a teacher... they read on grade level, have basic math skills and have parents who are involved in their education. Not so for teachers who work in ghettos, where you are lucky if you even can get them to attend school regularly, pupil turnover is as high as 30% and students read 1-3 grade levels below current grade.
As far as vacation goes, to me, vacation at "premium" times made travel FAR to expensive, so i ended up being at home anyway most of the time. besides that, my school system (and many others in the country) are moving right towards year-round calendars, with breaks scattered throughout the year. I will be starting school in JULY this year!!!
What keeps me stuck in this profession is the current job market. Switching jobs would entail a huge decrease in salary, more than any furlough would affect me. Besides that, entry-level jobs at 40 grand plus is UNHEARD of, so my current salary after 17 years of teaching is much more than any entry level job, with no experience would match.
Sigh... i guess i am caught between a HUGE rock and a hard place! :-)
i probably did NOT answer your question because-- i don't really know WHAT the answer is... teaching has become one long assessment after another, with NO time to teach children meaningful things, just teach to the "test", and you feel less and less effective every day!
If i had it to do all again and rewind to my freshman year of college....
i love teaching, i am in my 3rd year of teaching and I am still in the super keen stage, i want to be really good at it and i think im doing a good job. I teach year r and find this a really exciting stage of development.
But.. and here it comes like everyone else... i want my life back. I am 27 and thinking of having children at some point but since this job takes over my life i just don't think it is possible. I worked with children with special needs before qualifying and graduated from art school. Any ideas of career routes liked to teaching which are not all consuming would be greatly appreciated!
I have been teaching for 10 years and perhaps have enough self-esteem now to look for another profession. I find it interesting in several of the posts that seeming professionals find it necessary to point out that they are loved by students and parents alike. So what.
I'm not tired of the students, in fact I quite enjoy their honest perspective on life. I'm tired of the people I work with. Teachers are approval seekers; they want it from everyone around them. So they will appear "nice", never stand up for themselves and then whine about how they are not appreciated. Isn't the pay cheque enough; do you have to have everyone applaud you too? I'm tired of working with so many martyrs.
I've never heard anyone talk about this side of teachers. It would be refreshing. Instead all you ever hear is how caring teachers are...until you don't give them what they want.
In a lot of schools I think that there is a lack of solid feedback for teachers to use to improve themselves for their students. I think it is appropriate for administrators/mentors to provide areas of strengths and areas needing improvement with possible suggestions on how a teacher could improve their practice. I think that teachers are seen as approval seekers when the environments they work in seem uncaring and they may be unclear what is expected, how they can improve, and when the school's policies, vision, events, etc. are unclear to them. They are seeking approval because they do not know what is going on around them. When I am able to understand where we are headed as a school community, how we can get there, use personal reflection, and am equipped with specific feedback from trusted and respected professionals, then there is no chance of need for me to complain, whine, and seek any type of approval because I have clarity of mind. I just want to do a good job for the kids.
Amazing this thread has been going strong for some time, and comforting to know a wide range of teachers echo so much of my relatively short experience. I started subbing about 10 years ago. As it turned out I accumulated 180 days or more at one school. It was like being an extension of the staff and I absolutely loved it. No one was more surprised than me since I didn't want to ever be a teacher since I am married to one. I knew better.
I stumbled onto this websight today because I googled "what else can you do if you hate teaching". I'm in my 4th year as a 2nd grade teacher, bewildered and painfully disappointed by how horrible I feel about my choices. I'm also sorry to say I was a better teacher before I was required to purchase $40,000.00 worth of graduate school proof that says I am qualified.
Now, I am heavily invested in a career that is much more trouble than I ever wanted. Since the state/district wouldn't let me just persue art teacher licensure I am stuck in the classroom until I get another 20 some credits in art qualifications. (Which I'm too exhausted or time restricted to even persue right now). Plus, jobs are in scarce supply, with moe cuts on the way. I know of elementary positions that have had as many as 500 applicants and while I have confidence I could land a position I want and I can also do the math. Humm. What to do for now?
Previous posts have questioned the value of teaching or whether its worth the effort. Getting out is like telling a small business owner just to close the shop if sales aren't in the black. This is especially true when you consider how much it cost to become a teacher, get hired, get renewed, accumulate materials and purchase post graduate credits that translate into pay raises. No wonder its hard to get out of a job that makes me feel so awful a lot of the time.
Most people realize the quality of an educator's career is as varied as the given group of kids year to year, diversity of the school, competence of the administration, location of the district and support from the state. For example, Colorado is one of the most educated states, per capita - ergo, we value it. We also have some of the most backward and self-defeating education tax laws you might imagine -ergo, narrow-minded tightwads still call the shots out here in the wiley west. Compared to the rest of the nation, we have some of the toughest state standards and I work in one of the nation's most progressive districts. I also live in a state that ranks in the lower 40's out of 50 states that bother to support schools financially at all. Contrary to media attempts to report on education or popular and misinformed public opinion, it seems to me there are more kids than less getting a quality education around here. I don't consider myself a slacker - I need to work hard. Working stupid is something altogether different. It seems every single effort of every single day is a direct contradiction of itself - a perpetual snake eating its own tail. Nothing really works because the solutions are a million times more complicated than the problem is!
Educational trends are impossible to learn, implement, assess, reflect upon, revise and repeat fast enough. Whatever they tell me to do on Monday doesn't apply by the following Monday. Staff development is so disconnected because administration burries me in piles of information and resources. And supporting me looks an awful lot like creating miles of data that's supposed to revolutionize all modern thought. Raising standards is one thing, but pushing kids to be a year ahead of what they're developmentally designed to be and then asserting they're a year behind when they don't meet numbers that are too out of reach to begin with is another thing still. More importantly, behavioral issues stand in the way of students being able and available to learn more than any other deficit in my "nice" suburban school. Is it any wonder that the inordinate pressure placed on young children is expressed in undesirable ways in the classroom and out on the playground? Is it possible the rise in diagnosable disorders has more to do with kids trying to tell us they've had enough? Of course parents don't get it. Their kid doesn't act "that way at home" because the parents are too busy to notice what their kid is doing or their kid is zombied into a screen somewhere so they don't need to "act that way" at home or their parents aren't even at home to begin with.
Above all of this, the most defeating thing to me is realizing my opinion is rationalized by the professional community as an example of weak character. While that distresses me, I can't seem to get past the truth. I wish teachers could be effective agents of change instead of willing to take blame for everything society doesn't like about itself. I wonder if we'll ever be heard.
I entered teaching four years ago after a long career in print media. What a big mistake! I really enjoy teaching but the problem is I don't get to teach very much - instead I spend at least 60% of time filling out forms, dealing with parents, writing cirriculum, reporting, correcting, planning and having to work my way around psychopathic administrators who care little for the kids and more for their particular empires.
I've been a very successful teacher. My english students' results have imporved 39% since I started and the kids genuinely like me. In fact they're the only reason I've lasted this long - I wanted to see the current bunch through to universtity.
However the system is broken and managed by people with ideas that are 20 years out of date and with little experience in the real world. School has been the most inneffective and unprofessional environments I've ever worked in. I have finally decided to call it a day. I'm starting a new job as a journalist in October and I'm counting down the days.
I am not a masochist, but would gladly support your run for public office. Much of what you do, I have done also. Not by choice, but because I am an optimist. It doesn't make me a better person, it is my way of coping when I feel like you do.
You have realized the hardest part of teaching and I think all would agree. There are a lot of politically imposed aspects to teaching that an insightful individual, such as yourself, could work to change.
I am not being glib, but rather wish to point out that many who choose to continue teaching share your frustrations.
Good luck in your future endeavors and use your experience to influence better schools for our children.
After 6 years in teaching high school and middle school English, I was "excessed" from my job when our district cuts its budget drastically, due in part to New York State's dysfunctional government. Unlike many of the posters here, I want to stay in teaching -- I enjoy teaching, like interacting with my students, and love coaching as well -- but the recent devastating budget cuts seem to have left me no real options, despite my having received tenure. Seniority rules, and it's "last hired, first fired." I could hang on as a permanent sub, earning a fraction of my full salary, but subbing is not the same as teaching your own kids on a day to day basis, and even if I manage to land a full position somewhere, there's no guarantee that more cuts aren't on the horizon. I've already changed districts once and been forced to begin again at Step 1 on the salary scale. It's starting to feel like some psychotic version of "Chutes & Ladders."
Where does someone go for a successful career with a double undergrad major in Secondary English and Education and a Masters? I'm excellent with people, bright, highly verbal, organized, and fully responsible and accountable. I really don't want to leave teaching, but I need a career where my commitment and dedication will be appreciated and matched by my employer.
(PS: I wouldn't want to offend anyone, but all those who are so miserable in their teaching careers really ought to think about following their passions and pursuing careers that they will enjoy and find personally fulfilling. Students deserve teachers who are experts in their subject areas and enthusiastic about being in the classroom everyday. No one is being paid enough in teaching to be miserable and physically sickened at the thought of dragging oneself into the building in the morning. The kids know you're miserable. You're not fooling anyone, especially yourself.)
It's been so interesting to read and reread these posts. The last time I posted on this thread was in 2009. It's amazing how little things have changed. We are still looking for something. I wish some of you would come back and give us an update on how your career change has gone, or if you decided to stay in teaching after all.
I am still here and starting my 14th year on July 19th. But as I said before, I'm leaving in 2013. I went into teaching late in life. I'll be 60 years old when I retire. Still young enough to do something else if I want.
It's been an experience. More bad than good. I have loved teaching, the act of teaching, but hated everything else. Every year there is less and less time to teach. And every year fewer and fewer people really care about this. All they care about is "the score." No one asks the correct question: What is preventing our teachers from being sucessful and getting the students to where they need to be? Of course, this would take reflection and honesty on the parts of the public, politicians and the media. It's so much easier to blame everything on the "greedy good-for-nothing teachers" isn't it?
Whatever you teachers and former teachers choose to do, try not to judge each other too harshly. I don't think anyone goes into this profession just for the perks, summers off, etc. If they do then they're damn fools and deserve what they get. I believe that almost all teachers go into this field because they want to make a difference. It's just a shame that you don't find out until it's too late that the system puts so many roadblocks in your way that it's almost impossible to do the job.
I so agree with you. Teaching kindergardeners is just not the same. That was one of my FAVORITE grades to teach ( I've been teaching for more than 25 years). Teaching isn't teaching anymore!! Thanks for the tip on working for a textbook or educational magazine- I'm going to try that!
Sooooooo sad. I am sorry that so many of you feel this way. Teaching cannot just be considered a job because it isn't. We all know that it is a lot more than just that. It does require all of your dedication and a lot of your time. I am going into my fifth year of teaching and although I am very disenchanted with some of the mandates and sometimes lack of respect and understanding, I still love what I do. I value the importance of being happy and I wish all of you the best of luck in finding the same excitement and love that you once felt for this profession in some other career choice and I sure hope that it lasts forever. Best wishes on your new endeavors!
I too am a 2nd career teacher. I went into schools with my own children. I was the over eager parent volunteer, perhaps too easily flattered as a literacy worker given extensive privilege in the elementary school in which I "worked" or "served". After a few years, some teachers told me I was crazy to work for free, so I embarked on a long trip through university to qualify as a teacher. A very expensive endeavour despite being awarded a couple of prestigious scholarships for my literacy work. I have published. I create and I share. I am told that I am an "extraordinarily gifted" and "natural" teacher by peers, students, parents. Guidance counsellors teasingly chide me because students push to have me on their timetable.
And I am sick and tired of hearing propaganda that teaching drives out the weak ones, that all those people who leave early in their careers just can't "hack" the classroom. BS!!! I think it's often the best ones who are driven out because they can't compromise their standards and ideals to fit the mold. Teachers who remain must master looking busy and nodding to admin, while doing minimal productive work. I work with a group who put fake names on their interview list so students can't sign up their parents; who give whole periods, week after week, to silent reading; and who meet in the workroom during classtime. They will remain teachers to retirement. They have found the best survival path currently available in education --that is, to disengage. We all need to care a little less about everything. We are given TOO much to do, knowing that it cannot be done, but some of us genuinely toil away trying to meet the impossible task.
Like others on this blog, I adore the students and feel privileged to teach them.
Like others here, I want out. I WANT OUT!! I've wanted out for 5 of the 7 years I've taught. I find the professional environment (the adult stakeholders) utterly intolerable. Idiots rise on optics rather than merit, and incompetents are a protected species. I WANT OUT!!
Every year for the past 5 years I have had a secret pleasure.... I have read through this blog and connected to my fellow dissenters (check out Ode magazine) the day before school starts. I've watched the blog progress and taken comfort in knowing that others plot escape. This year is different though, because I've noticed people setting goals and attaching dates. I'm absorbing real courage here, courage to leave the security of tenure... those horrid golden handcuffs. I'm making a promise that this is my last year. There! I've written it! I'm done. I'm getting out. I raised my own children; I don't have to raise 10,000 others, especially not with the mandate to correct the abysmal parenting of others and the spawn of media.
I'm leaving. Thank you very much for this blog, this lifeline, and best of luck to all of you.
read these from time to time. I use it to feel better. I don't want to feel alone. You can read my latest entry under Vent II. I'm the one who wrote Trapped.
I agree with much of what you said, but of course, not all of it. I do feel that there are many many teachers who disengage. They do this in order to survive. But there are many teachers who are truly dedicated and stay because they love the work, even with the hell administration puts them through.
I'm sorry to say that I am not one of them though. Even though I love my kids (most of them) and I want to help them, the struggle to teach them what they need the way I feel it should be taught, has become too great.
As I said, I've been teaching for 14 years. I came into it at age 44 and now I am 57. Although, I feel as if I am 157. I am just way too unhappy to stay much longer. As soon as I think I have enough retirement to live on, I'm leaving and I'm not looking back.
Reading these posts have helped me think about the teaching profession. I'm in my first year of full time teaching (middle school). As a student teacher, I questioned whether I wanted to be a teacher. I got my credential anyway.... just in case I changed my mind. Things got better at the end of the last school year (May/June 2010). Teaching became tolerable. I thought... I'll give another shot. Found a job. Teaching jobs are scarce now.
After 2 days, I want to quit. During the week before students returned, I attended meetings and tried to prepare for the year. I was hired right before the year started. I felt overwhelmed by all the information. I know that the first year is hard. But after thinking about it, I just don't want to be a teacher. Sure, I love kids and teaching them. But lesson planning, grading papers, giving assessments, admins, NCLB, etc is too much for me. I believe that it takes a certain type of person to be a teacher. But for me, I don't think I can handle it. It's not for me. I can't sleep at night. I get headaches and stomaches thinking about school. I DREAD going to school. I was naive and ignored the warning signs as a student teacher. I feel foolish for thinking I could do it even though I was miserable last year.
But I'm torn. We're in a recession. If I quit, I'll be jobless and won't have a way to pay off all my student loans. I'm miserable. But it's still really early in the year. Some might think I should give a few more months... it's still early. I don't know... is it worth it to stick it out for the school year?
I also feel like I'm doing my students a disservice. They want me to be a good teacher. But I don't want to be there. But again, I need the money. And I don't know what else to do. I knew what I was getting myself into, but I guess I tricked myself into thinking I could do it.
I occasionally return to this forum to see how people are getting along. I wrote last year and spoke about how I transitioned out of teaching. I managed this , admittedly with a bit of luck, but I do think it's important to start taking positive steps rather than being unhappy. Taking action will make you feel better. Here's my tips - they worked for me.
1. Change schools. This is vital. Get away from the community you're working in. take your skills to a new place. Use what you've learnt to your advantage to create a more sustainable job eg. don't sign up for everything to 'please' admin or other staff. Start saying 'no' to requests for favours etc - just like other people do. In your new community, because you're an unkinown quantity, you can 'design yourself' and set up more realistic expectations from others. Think about your new position as 'transition'. You never know, you might just land in a school community that you really like. You'll never know if you don't do the switch though.
2. Actively explore your options and strengths. Connect to jobsearch sites and forums. Get your resume de-teachered and skills focussed. Sign up for a course in a new field (maybe just an online one to start with). Actually doing these things will make you feel better - more in control, more focused, more positive. Check your jobmails daily. See if you can get a part time job somewhere outside teaching, and teach part-time.
3. Apply for jobs. Be honest about what you're ready to accept as a salary. I'm still well below my teacher pay, but I have a great day, every day. This is worth more than any amount of money.
Keep doing these things. Don't stop trying. Don't dwell on the negatives. Rise above them, plan and deliver on your plan.
I taught for 6 years before I was laid off. Let me tell you getting laid off truly was a blessing in disguise because now I am pursuing my passion which is in the arts. My first year was a breeze; second year was good. Third year was the year that I really started to see that I would not be doing this for the rest of my life. Before getting laid off due to budget cuts, I was afraid to resign because I needed to pay bills and was living from paycheck to paycheck. When I was laid off, I was depressed, the lowest I'd been, but instead of moping, I found a part time job tutoring, started subbing while at the same time pursuing the arts, and let me tell you that God works in mysterious ways. Even though I don't get paid nearly as much, my bills are paid and I am getting gigs in the arts.
This profession is truly under attack. During my 6th year, I actually got sick in the chest during the school day and they had to call an ambulance. That was a wake up call because I was only in my 20s. Administration and the powers that be see teachers as being disposable. And to put it frankly, we are. I had to leave. It was stay and die or leave and live. Well, I didn't leave; the pink slip got me out of the door. I can say that during those 6 years, I gave more than 100%, so I do believe that some people are called to teach for a while just to make a difference in a few students lives, but it may not be their destiny to continue in the field. Life is strange that way. So for those of you who want to leave but are afraid, well, as another poster said, life is too short to be miserable. I will also add that life is too short to not take risks.
I am so glad I found this post! I have not told anyone this other than my mother and my husband...but I am ready to leave the classroom. Tonight I vowed that I am on my last year of teaching. This is my seventh year of teaching first grade (I've also taught 2nd), and up until last year, I loved teaching. To this day, I love the students, but the demands of this job are causing me way too much stress. I come home crabby and exhausted. I have two children that I want to homeschool because our education system and our district is so crappy. There is absolutely no curriculum and no money to purchase anything! After seeing what public education is like, not only do I want out, I also have decided I wouldn't want my children to attend the school I teach at. I am a beloved teacher and I feel that I am awesome at what I do. This is just such a thankless job. I receive more demands and less recognition; more finger pointing at what we are doing wrong as educators and less respect. I am tired of it. I feel like I am wasting my master's degree (and still paying back student loan debt because of it), but I would use my education to teach my own children. I just hope it's something I can afford to do.
What steps does a teacher need to take to leave the profession? Who would I talk to first?
Please help! I HATE IT and I want out!
I've read your post and I am so sorry for what this profession has done to you and other great teachers. I don't blame you for wanting out. As you can see by the length of this thread, many others want out also. I have taught 14 years. I will be leaving as soon as possible, maybe in a year or so. I entered the profession late in life (I'm 57 now) and I just cannot take the stress of constantly misbehaving students and a school system that refuses to do anything about it. I have worked in many different fields in my life, and I don't think I've ever encountered such cowardly behavior by bosses/administrators in my life as I have in the education field. They get paid big bucks to basically torture their teachers, pass the buck when caught at not handeling misbehaving students properly, and tell out and out lies when questioned about their decisions. I've never seen anything like it. And about your homeschooling your kids, I agree. I would NEVER send one of my children to any of the public schools I've taught in. Not because of the teachers, but because of the dangerous students. I wouldn't expose my child to the nonsense I have to put up with on a daily basis. We are basically told, "Here, train these tigers, but you can't use a chair, whip or a gun. You can only talk to them."
Anyone who would even consider going into this profession needs to see a good psychiatrist.
Teaching in Australia is the Same
I have been teaching in the secondary system for 15 years. Loved it to begin with and was highly praised for the great teaching and extra work I was doing. Principals strongly encouraged me over this time to take on leadership roles of which I have been student wellbeing co-ordinator, student management leader, transitions leader, curriculum development leader and coached teachers on instructional practice. I also was continually asked by the administration to run professional learning sessions for staff at my school and at regional and state forums.
I am leaving at the end of 2010. Not because I don't love the kids or teaching as a profession, but I am totally disgusted at the way the Principal Class (school administrators) regard the most important instrumental people in the school - the staff. Having played the role of assistant principal in recent weeks, I cannot sit through one more regional meeting where principals back slap each other for upsetting great teachers with the hard line they are taking and ridiculous change management processes. There is simply not enough hours in one's life let alone day to incorporate all they are asking staff to do. I will not be coerced into having another critical conversation with another staff member about their teaching practice, assessment practices, pretending I am the expert and they are the student.
Before I took on my current role I was one of a handful of leaders in my secondary school. My work responsibilities would easily fill 5 pages so I won't bother listing them all. I would get to work at 8:00am, leave at 5:30pm most afternoons and then would be expected to reply to emails coming in as late as 11:00pm at night. Weekends were spent preparing classes, functions, marketing campaigns, timetables, school events and responding to countless emails. No such thing as holidays really, and to advance in my school, (state funded) it was expected I did a Masters or other leadership courses (which I completed in 2009).
The final straw for me came six months ago when I was called into one of the principals offices and told I was letting my team down by taking a lunch break at the local coffee shop a couple of times a week. I began doing this for 1/2 hour on Tuesday's and Thursday's to keep my sanity, the work load was insane. Other days (and in previous years) I did not take a lunch break at all.
I rarely see my 4 children for more than 1/2 hour per day. Soon they will be gone from my home without the time and energy spent on them which I have afforded thousands of students at secondary school. The pay is average at best, and I am totally prepared to take a significant pay drop when I complete my real estate course (booked in over the Christmas Break) and start from the bottom and work up.
Over it completely.
By the way the person who told me off for taking lunch is 12 years my junior, has taught for a total of 7 years before taking on his principal class role. What a joke!!
Wow!! Just like you others, I am relieved yet amazed that so many others feel the same way that I do. During my 2nd year of teaching I also felt like I was in the wrong profession. I was teaching a 5th grade class and went home with a headache almost everyday. I had to start scheduling in some mental health days just to make it throught the year. After that I taught in a private school for 2 years. It was great!! The only problem was I would loose my licensure in the state if I did not work in a public school the next year. For this reason, I went back. I taught 1st grade, was a literacy coach, moved to 2nd grade and am now in 3rd. I am ready for a change. I am at work almost everyday until the building closes. I am trying to figure out a way to get it all done by 3. Any advise?
I too am tired of not having my off days - OFF! It seems as if I work everyday and when I am not working I am thinking about it. I grade papers and make phone calls at the salon and takes books with me in the car when going places with my family. This has got to stop!!
Don't get me wrong, I liove teaching. I just don't like the life consumption that goes with it!!
I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I have my bachelor's in elementary k-6 and I've always preferred older (3-6). Just in case, I got endorsements in 7-12 english and social studies. Well when it came time for student teaching I figured I needed to get some experience in younger grades just in case that was the only opening so I did kindergarten. Worst semester of my life. I loved the kids, best group a student teacher could have hoped for! But I just couldn't truly connect with them the way I did with older kids. I was worried I'd pigeon holed myself into kindergarten by choosing that for student teaching.
After graduation I got a job as a substitute for a 4 week maternity leave in first grade. In the second week they offered me a job for what else, kindergarten. I had reservations but, like so many, I was worried I wouldn't get another job offer so I took that leap.
I was already not thrilled about kindergarten, but that classroom had more challenges than any one classroom should ever have. Don't get me wrong, I know all classes will have challenges, but I had other teachers telling me they don't know how I made it through the day and the principal actually apologized to me for the group I got.
In November, after a meeting with the administration (they were concerned and could tell that I wasn't happy) I chose to resign. I finished out the week and packed up. They hired someone right away who came in the next week.
I have a lot of mixed feelings. One part of me is so relieved because I want to pursue opportunities with an older grade and my fiance' is relieved to see me actually happy again. On the other side, I hope that I haven't ruined my credibility. I've had a lot of people tell me I made the right decision and any experience is better than none at all and others will respect the decision I made. But I worry that I'll be seen as a quitter. Honestly, I didn't want to get burned out and I didn't think it was fair to the kids, they need someone who has a passion for that age group. I also find myself questioning if I'm meant for education at all. Did I make a mistake in career choices? And if so, what can I do now to fix it?
Note to Previous Poster: I think you did the right thing leaving. Any reasonable administrator or employer would understand your choice was not only in your best interest, but the students'. I know a teacher who quit in the fall years ago, and later became a special ed. teacher. You'll make it work.
I am in my 2nd year of teaching in an inner-city school, which was what I went to school for. Last year was awful, I taught 8th grade and never had a desire to teach middle school, but needed the job. This year, I was switched to 5th grade, which has been a drastic improvement. I absolutely love actually teaching, and building relationships with kids, unfortunately that seems to be such a small part of my job with all the lesson planning, grading, meetings, etc that weigh me down. As many of you have said, this career is just not possible for me to have in a 40 hour work week...or a 50-60 hour work week! My school is extended day, so 8-4 I'm with kids. If I put in an extra 2 hours per weekday for a 50 hour week, I still can't get it all done and fall behind! Lots of times I can't even bring myself to much of anything because I'm so overwhelmed just thinking about it all.
Now that my Christmas break is ending, I'm re-evaluating my life. I know that I still love working with kids, I still love teaching, but I just do not think I can handle teaching in a classroom setting and having my own personal life.
This spring I will have to make the decision, once again, whether to sign a contract for the fall. As I look at my mountain of papers to grade, I just can't justify continuing in this field when I consistently feel frustrated with the expectations of this job. I'm wondering if anyone has successfully transitioned out of teaching, and what the timeline and steps are for that process. While I have some money saved if I don't get a new career right away, I don't want to dip into my savings too much. I have some idea of what I'll apply for (museum educator, preschool, curriculum development, maybe even basic office jobs), I feel anxious thinking that I have to wait until June to start interviewing for anything since I can't leave mid-school year. Any advice on this transition would be appreciated!!
I have the same questions myself... sorry not to answer your post directly but maybe I can inspire some post that might help touch on this subject.
My situation is a bit different. I am a male teacher in my later 20s and am on on third year of teacher. I have already been completely burnt out on all the bureacracy already. Personally, I feel that Ican't enjoy my job many times because I have realized all the crap teachers have to put up with (i.g. unreasonable work load, the fact that a district can move you to another school, needy kindergartners, etc...) My situation is a bit different. After my first year of teaching I was transferred to another school after being at a school that I LOVED. The school that I was at was a NIGHTMARE. The teachers were unhappy, the students were unhappy, and the principal was a tyrant. REALLY? I originally got into teaching beleiving that it would be a job that I am capable of doing and enjoying... however, due to all the bs, the teaching profession seems like the only perk it offers is all holidays and summers off, and a decent salary. For me, since I am single, the salary suffices well. However, there are other friends of mine that I know that are making over 6 figure and they don't even have a degree and don't have to put up with the headache that teachers do. Now, after many attempts of applying to different jobs unsuccesfully (due to my old tyrant of a principal I'm sure bad mouthing me) I am finally at a school where the principals respect my skills as a teacher and see true potential for me to become even better. However, after the terrible realization of how ugly the situation can get... (district transferring you after you get attached to your students/co workers, micromanaging, politics,etc...) I feel that I can't do this forever. I am planning my escape route now and would like some feedback as to where to go. I"m thinking of going back to school to get a law degree as that was my original plan but I just don't know. Even lawyers are overworked and don't enjoy the timeoff that teachers get. Oh yeah, one obstical that I face as well is the fact that I"m a man and I'm teaching kindergarten. No offense ladies but I constantly have to fight off rumors and the notion that I'm gay. For the record, yes I am gay. However, I am a good person and what I do in my personal life is completely no one's business.
Finally, I find myself thinking... I went to school to become something greater... Do any of you teachers feel like that? I mean, don't get me wrong, teaching is a noble professiona but I got a degree from a prestigious university and my original plan was to be some sucessfull lawyer. Anyway, just a lot of random thoughts. Anyone out there that has some any advice???
I have taught for 28 years. I wanted to stay until I turned 60 but after 3 injuries from my primary students, I am done. It is so sad how hard it is to actually teach now a days. Good luck to all our new teachers!
As with some other posters, I came to this profession late in life (41). I had been a college librarian before this, but teaching is always something I've felt called to do. It is such a relief to know that I am not alone in wanting to escape the circumstances of our profession. While I love teaching, I am not allowed to do so any more - as a fourth grade teacher my entire focus is mandated to be preparation for the state and national standardized tests. I am applying to the private school that my children attend (yes, it will be a pay cut, but I think it will be worth it) today, and if that doesn't work out I will be looking at other options. This winter I was punched in the face by one of my students, who received a one day in school suspension for her action. She and another student were fighting, and I was trying to get them out of my classroom to protect them and my other students. My principal told me that it was my fault because I was filling out the end of the day paperwork (to be done on all 25 students before they leave so that their parents can ignore it when they get home!) instead of making sure that these girls wouldn't roll their eyes at each other and start a fight. This was the moment that I decided I was leaving. My evaluations until this incident have been excellent, but my principal is now making my life a hell because I dared to file an injury report, and it goes on her record. If I don't make it out this year (I do have to have an income!) I will keep looking. Good luck to us all!
This is my sixth year of teaching and I work hard to be a good teacher, I really do. I rarely have a weekend that I do not bring home at least two hours of work for grading or planning. Unfortunately, I feel that I spend 95% of my time babysitting, 4% of my time having students complete district required assessments and maybe 1% of my time teaching. It is stressful and frustrating. To top it all off, my district has been on a pay freeze for the last two years so I made less money then I did last year. The price of everything is going up and my salary is not. I become very annoyed to listen to politicians from both parties say how important education, but not one of them is willing to find a way to pay enough to keep talented individuals in education. I love the time off that teaching offers but I canít spend the next twenty-five years of my life hoping for a snow day. Anyone know someone in college or university administration in the Kansas City area who is looking to fill a job with a former teacher?
I have been a full time art teacher in school settings for 15 years. For the last 11, I see approximately 180 children a day from Kindergarten to eighth grade, five days a week. My "room" is a widen area of a hallway which is a place where I can hear the sounds of the playground, the music room, the classrooms emptying for lunches. One classroom has an earlier dismissal than the grade I am teaching at the end of the day and it empties into the studio and on down the hallway. I go home and don't want to talk on the phone to anyone, am too tired to go visit anyone or take classes. On the weekends, I am too tired to do any art work of my own which would be a stress release if I could pull it off. It is Saturday today 11:30 in the afternoon and I still have not gotten enough energy built up to take care of things I need to do before the week starts again. I have arthritis, digestive problems, sciatica, etc. which I'm sure has all built up because of the stress. I have always been thin and in the past 3 or four years I have gained weight while still having an excellent diet.
I don't think live should feel like my free time is spent recuperating from the exhaustion the week brings. I never fully rest; I always feel the exhaustion has downgraded to "tired" on Monday morning. I can't do this anymore cause I feel like it is not only a poor quality of life now but that it will bring more serious health issues along sooner than I would care to deal with. But I don't know what to do instead.
I also found this thread from a Google search on what teachers do when they leave the profession. I landed my dream job at a wonderful school after six years of teaching hell. I told myself that if I'm still miserable this year, then I'm clearly not cut out for teaching. I remember the first years- getting to school at 5am and leaving at 7pm, sleeping with my curriculum materials in my bed, losing friendships one by one, and the disappointment of realizing that those "vacations" the teaching profession is envied for are really moments to catch up on lesson plans and all those doctor visits we neglect throughout the year. Like the above poster said, any time off is just an opportunity to "downgrade to tired".
First, I just want to say that for those of you who do love teaching but hate the misery of having no prep time, large faculty, distant and critical principals, the pressure of testing, etc., there ARE other teaching jobs out there. Don't be afraid to leave. I was terrified to leave what I thought was a good teaching position, because I couldn't imagine it being any better. I took the leap and found myself in a small charter with a warm faculty, supportive and inspiring principals, and two-hour lunch/planning breaks twice a week.
Why am I thinking about leaving? Because I have over a hundred bosses. Think about it. We have to answer to more people than in any other profession. We answer to kids who complain, we answer to their parents, we answer to special ed support, we answer to our principals and their bosses, we answer to the public, we answer to the politicians... heck, I was even scolded by a CPS case worker the other day.
The divided public think of teachers in one of two ways: as martyrs or as failures. For those who think of us as martyrs, they thank us profusely for devoting our lives to youth, but believe that this devotion is what makes us worthy of their thanks. These people don't do much to fight for us to have decent work hours, salaries, or respect, because they mostly believe that teaching is, by nature, difficult, and they don't have much faith in their power to influence change. I can see why this job used to be filled by nuns. For those who think of us as failures, they believe that we are undereducated babysitters who need guidance and enforcement in order to deliver a halfway decent upbringing to the children in our care. They have deep-rooted beliefs that researchers, politicians, businessmen, and policy makers are privy to knowledge about education that we just don't have the capacity to grasp. In their belief, we need scripts written out for us to read from, detailed policies to adhere to, assessments and reports to hold us accountable, and strict enforcement to keep us from deviating to our simple ways.
I'm tired of being tired. After years of teaching the children of immigrants, I am simply floored over how entitled and rude American-raised parents and their children are. I had a student come to me the other day and say, "In Japan, the kids respect their teachers a lot. They bow and let them go first." Imagine that. I'm tired of parents believing that the way they raise their child is the way that the teacher should manage the entire classroom. In the course of one day, I have received two emails complaining the the homework took too long and one email complaining that I didn't give out enough homework. This is typical of the conundrum we face when teaching children who are taught to be self-absorbed by their self-righteous parents.
I've been brainstorming other options. Rent the house and live in a bus, start my own after school program, tutor, start a dairy farm, write middle grades fiction, go back to working as an executive assistant, join the management of a non profit, paint, coordinate events, go back to photographing weddings, play for tips on the street corner, accompany high school and college musicians, go to beauty school, host conferences...
Taking the leap is really hard for us, because we have just a moment within which we must accept or decline the following year's position. If we accept, we are bound by contract or doomed to become blacklisted from future teaching positions. If we decline, we have a very narrow window to search for jobs- namely, the last month of the year (since most jobs expect us to begin two weeks from being accepted) when we are terribly busy and frantic with end-of-school details. Unlike other professions, we can't cement a new job before giving up the one we're in. We just have to take a blind leap.
In any case- I wanted to share the point of view of another teacher in the "teaching is a zombie" boat, and to post some of my brainstorming on next steps. Good luck everyone.
This is my 18th year of teaching. When I first started, I enjoyed the job and especially the kids. In the last few years, it's less about kids and more about paperwork and pressure to do well on the standardized test. In fact, testing is now driving education and it has very little to do with preparing kids for the future or creating life-long learners. It's sad and pathetic. Every work making, pressure creating decision comes from the top down and as well as all the blame for everything that is wrong. I'm just sick of it. I spend any free time I have dreading going back to work. Life wasn't meant to be lived in a state of stress and dread. So... I've made plans to get out someday soon...
I have looked into various jobs and like many suggested on here, they involve pay cuts or a lot of retraining. In recent years, I've been investigating trading in the stock market. Yes, daytrading... it's not as out there as you may think. I've been studying and I've had the last 2 summers to practice along with a few other breaks throughout the year. I believe at some point in the future I will be ready to leave teaching and become a full time stock trader, eventually making more money than I do now and having a LOT less stress and pressure. Anyway... that's the dream to escape this hell.
I am in my 8th year of teaching and seriously considering an exit strategy. It is refreshing to read posts and learn that I am not alone. I have taught in 4 different schools, 2 districts, some better than others. Now I am in a district with a fantastic reputation and great reputation but I am not happy. When I taught elementary school, I tired of feeling like everyone's mother and not being able to specialize in 1 or subjects. I never was very good at integrating the standards across the content areas especially when there were district required programs for some content areas. Now I am in middle school and many days I tire of the attitude from students. There are no consequences for poor grades or poor behavior in my school. I work hard to build relationships, differentiate instruction, integrate technology, increase student involvement, set routines but I seem to fall short. I am overwhelmed and after 8 years, it should be getting somewhat easier. We do have a really tough 8th grade group this year. On top of that, our new governor is targeting teachers and I feel that we are being attacked. The pay will continue to be frozen or decrease, class size increase and demands on teachers increase. The entire system of our schools seems broken and as far as I can see the reform model is to put more on teacher's backs.
All of this has me considering an exit strategy from teaching in the classroom. I have always loved nature and science (I teach science). I want to explore transitioning into becoming a park ranger and be involved in the National Parks and their education program. I know that this is another programing undergoing cuts but it seems like a perfect fit for me. It is very scary to think about making this move. Do you think I am living in dreamland to consider this? Is it ridiculous to consider making this move? What steps would be logical to try and make this transition (over a few years)? I appreciate your thoughts Thanks!
I am in my fourth year of teaching high school English. I am not sure what exactly my problem is with teaching lately - maybe it's a mix of everything. The state has done nothing but bash teachers, teacher's unions, and teachers "extravagant" salary and benefits. I have a Master's degree and pay about $300/month in student loans. I still live month to month on my salary. And I drive an old car that can barely make it up a hill.
I went into teaching excited to change lives, change minds, and prepare students for the future. Each time I try to do something along those lines, however, lessons are crushed by "teaching to the test" or the inability for me to say something because I fear that a parent will find what I am discussing to be not "PC" enough. We are given so many things to do throughout the day, 90% of them not even involving the students themselves, and are forced to change our ways each year because of the new educational trend that makes the high rollers in the board office look good. First it's teams. Next it's RTI. Next its (insert new acronym here...). I love my students, and if we had the freedoms that my teachers did when I was in high school (I graduated in 1999, so it wasn't THAT long ago), I would love my job. I have talked to plenty of teachers who have been around for awhile, and each of them has said that they haven't seen things this bad. Many have even told me to get out while I can, since retirement and benefits will be stripped from me sooner than later.
For some reason, teachers are no longer respected. Parents don't respect teachers, they question them. They think that teachers are fools. Kids feed off of that attitude, and come to class feeling entitled. And many of them know that they can act however they want, because the parents are going to back THEM, and not the teachers. I understand that teachers don't get credit and instant gratification for doing their job - and I'm ok with that. But when I bust my butt ALL DAY, without a break, and THEN take 2 hours of grading home per night (sometimes more) and get blatant DISRESPECT from parents and students, something is wrong and something needs to change. And if that doesn't change, I need to change.
OK. Venting is done. I've thought of going to work for a publishing company or going back to get my MBA and work in marketing or advertising. At least if I do a good job in those fields, I will be recognized and paid accordingly. And, my salary won't be determined by taxpayers who can no longer afford to fund the schools.
Good luck to everyone else out there looking for a change. I don't fault any of you, as most of you DID go into this profession with the intent of helping the little ones. BUT, it should not cost you your health and happiness to do so. That's not how it works.
I'm a teacher in Canada but have been in the teaching profession for almost 6 years now. Unlike many of you who teach full-time and have (or had) your own classroom, I supply teach although I completed some contract positions during this time. One of the reasons why I have supply taught for so long is because there are not many teaching positions available. The market is saturated with teachers and has been for the past 5-6 years. In addition, the enrollment rate has declined, and less teachers are retiring. Regardless of these statistics, like many of you, I have come to realize that teaching is not for me. As a supply teacher, I feel like another number. There is a lack of respect, and appreciation from administration, students and even some staff members including secretaries.
I can relate to what many of you write, and how you feel even though I don't have my own classroom. I was hesitant to go into teaching because I kind of knew then what it would be like, and I didn't want to be a part of it. However, my academic advisor encouraged me to apply because he said that I would be a good teacher, and how would I know if I didn't try? I sometimes wish that I never applied and listened to my gut feeling instead because it has been one of the most stressful, unfulfilling and uninspiring experiences of my life.
I never imagined the teaching profession being the way that it is today. Like many of you have stated, the students are disrespectful, unmotivated and lack enthusiasm and manners; many of the parents are not supportive and/or blame teachers when students are not doing well in class; teachers are not respected, appreciated, and in many cases, acknowledged especially by their administration. I have gone through my fair share of stresses in the school with students, administration and even some staff members treating me disrespectfully. I would also like to mention that I work in the Catholic school system, which doesn't seem to make any difference in how students, and staff treat one another. It's been a very shocking and disgusting experience.
I have been researching for alternative careers outside of teaching (that's how I came across this discussion board) and started to read everyone's story, beginning in June 2005 until now, June 2011, exactly 6 years later! Ironically, this is around the same time that I graduated with my BEd. Interesting! I told myself that 2011 was going to be the year of change for me because I am tired of ''hanging'' in there and pretending that things are going to change or get better, or telling myself to ''try it out'' by having my own classroom for a year and see how it goes. I don't want to. After reading all of your stories (even though I'm guessing most of you are from the USA, although I read some from Canada & Australia), I don't want to be part of a profession where I feel like I'm walking on egg shells all the time. I want to do something that I enjoy, feel good about, respected and appreciated for what I do.
I only started my search this year and even though it's been challenging at times, I'm not giving up. I want to believe that there is something better out there, and less stressful. Many of you question what types of professions are out there for teachers (I have been doing this too) but I believe that there are employers out there who hire teachers for their skills including organizational, problem solving, communication, research, teaching, management, leadership, etc. There are so many. You just need to think outside of the box. You can transfer your skills to other professions, as other people have stated. It's just going to take some time to figure out the answers to some possibly tough questions such as: what are your interests, what do you enjoy, what subjects did you like in school (high school or university), and one question that I came across through my search that I like, what material is on your night table? This has been interesting and eye opening for me.
I would love to hear back from past posters and hear what they are doing now especially from people who had a plan and were deciding to leave the teaching profession for nursing or some other type of profession. I would like to know how you are doing.
My poor, exhausted, stressed-out teacher husband! I miss him. I'll spare the details, because it's all the same stuff you have all endured as teachers---suffice it to say he needs to be able to spend more time with his two little daughters, without worrying constantly about lesson plans; to feel as though he's actually making a positive difference in the world; and a little time for rest and recreation. He has taught elementary grades and elementary music. He has an ESL endorsement and music endorsement. He and I are planning to homeschool our own kids (probably our own blend of Waldorf and Unschooling), and he is increasingly disenchanted with the entire concept of compulsory schooling---obviously, it's hard to feel good about teaching if you have begun to believe that school inadvertently but unavoidably damages children more than it helps them. He is increasingly interested in becoming involved with permaculture, organic gardening, and other ecological topics. His dream job, deep in his 41-year-old heart, is to be a farmer, but I don't know. Meanwhile I am with our girls (18 mo. and 5 years) full-time while also doing freelance editing work (for not much money--I can't squeeze too many work hours into my week yet). It's hard to figure out which direction to go, considering that we need him to be the bread winner and all that---health insurance is handy, e.g.---but as a family our ideals are starting to carry our hearts in a different direction. What on earth should my sweet, intelligent, middleaged, permaculture-loving teacher husband do besides teaching? His soul needs a serious change in direction, but it needs to be something our family can live on (even though we don't need much to live on). Any advice appreciated! And good luck to the rest of you out there. You deserve better than seems possible for anyone in schools.
I took the plunge to get OUT of teaching. Increasingly, school districts (or states) are offering online teaching. I have found that I can make comparable money teaching online as well as taking on a PT job. Of course in these economic times, it is not easy finding even that, but after about 100 applications, phone calls, and tons of persistence, I landed an HR Trainer position. I get to make lessons and help a small company grow! The one thing that I noticed when I started working in the private sector is that people actually acknowledge the good job you are doing. That is actually what drove me out of the profession after 9 years, was that even though my kids passed the state mandated tests, it still wasn't good enough because they didn't show enough growth. That is when I said "F" it and left. Granted it was a very stressful decision and my wife and I talked quite a bit about it, but ultimately, it was for the best. As she stated "I am sad that your angry all the time at your job and I'm sad that your confidence is so slow, you need to do something about it and I'll support you regardless". That was my "wow" moment and realized what a jerk I must have been in the recent years. So I am glad I did it, but still cautious as to not have made a financial mistake! I guess all I am trying to say is make sure you weight ALL your options before taking the plunge!
I am starting my 11th year of teaching and am wondering how I can switch careers! I just dont enjoy teaching anymore! I love the kids, but the demands, expectations, keep growing and the hours of the day and my pay do not! I too, work at a small private school, so I make much less that those in the public sector and have considered moving to a public school, but my friends who teach there say there is just different problems!
Wow, there are a lot of threads on this topic. Other teachers and board members told me "You were in the army, you did mission work in the Philippines for two years, you taught one year as an interm, and you worked as an assistant at an Alternative school. Your set, you will have a teaching job in no time. Yeah, well, not even one interview from three counties this past summer! I love to teach English, but I think that I want to teach in the 1980's. One experienced teacher told me, "Teachers who are tough and strict last awhile, but the teachers who want to make class "fun" do not last long." She is correct because I did not last long. It seems the more you try to make class more enjoyable for students these days, the ruder they are. But it is not the students that drove me out. The state brought in a whole new evaluation process, and when they explained it, even the great teachers who were born to teach had discouraged looks on their faces. One teacher, I walked by her classroom during my planning period to motivate me, had such a depressed look on her face. After much soul searching and crying I decided to ry other lines of work.
I got a job at a warehouse and the stress just melted away. I have become a better husband and father because I get to spend more time with them, and I don't bring the stress of work home with me. The other workers around me are "TGI Friday--Oh no its Monday," but I just love it there. Even thought my degree is in Education, the company is happy with a B.A. and I can use it to climb the ladder.
As with many posters spanning back to 2005, I entered teaching with high hopes and aspirations to do good, noble work, and several years later find myself stuck in a job I just can't stomach. Since it is so early in the year, this is a terrifying feeling. I have tried to make teaching work: I switched schools, switched subjects, switched grade levels, switched student population, and even started graduate school hoping it would give me something to focus on that would take my mind off the frustrations with the job. Nothing worked. All these efforts fell short not because the schools or the subject or the grade level or the kids were wrong, but because the nature of the job itself is incompatible with what I need to thrive and succeed. Surprisingly, what bothers me most about teaching aren't the things that are most commonly bemoaned. I can tolerate the pay (mid $40k), I don't mind the longer hours during the day (6:15 AM to 4:45 PM), and I don't let bad administrators or silly standardized testing requirements or the negative national rhetoric about teachers get me down. What I mind is the dull tedium that is the job. Teachers are required to have a college degree in order to teach their subject at a very low level, which is why most college students (who aren't education majors) would probably tell you that the education majors on campus have it easy; there's a reason my friends and I used to call it the "M-R-S" degree. Teaching is all about classroom management, student relationships, and understanding the psychology of education. These are all noble skills to have, if you're interested in them. I simply have no interest in how to manage children or teach "from bell to bell." If my brain is tired from a difficult problem, I'd like to take a five minute break to reflect, thank you. Teachers don't get that luxury (and just five minutes respite would be a godsend). Good teaching spend (excessive) hours on planning, preparing, creating stations and projects, grading, and other same such busywork. Teaching has all the negatives of a boring desk job (including being trapped in the same room all day long) with the workload of a new accountant and the prestige of a postal worker.
The sad news is that teaching does not prepare you for a different, better-suited-to-you job without going back for more education. The skills learned as a teacher are said to be translatable to management ("if you can manage a class of 30 kids...") or college teaching ("they both have 'teaching' in the job description"), but they aren't. I have looked into management (MBA, then getting a job with a consulting or oil and gas company) and have been told the MBA would stand alone; according to several friends who are MBAs with mid to high level management positions at major corporations in Houston, teaching is not seen as valuable work experience. One friend advised me to pursue an MBA part-time. I asked, "With what time and money?" I've also looked into college teaching. As a teacher, with a Master's (or better yet, a Ph.D.) in education (including all of its guises, i.e. C&I, SPED, Educational Psychology), you can teach education. You can teach how to teach. If you don't like teaching in the first place (and if you're looking for a way out, it's because at some level you just flat out don't like it), why would you want to teach about it?
To go into industry you need to go back for a second undergraduate or an advanced degree in the field in which you hope to work. For myself, that's engineering. Unfortunately, I was ensnared by Teach For America hype midway through my college career and switched to a liberal arts major to take more psychology and sociology courses that I thought would make me a better teacher. Looking back, I should have stuck with engineering; I'd prefer to be working with my many friends who enjoy intellectually stimulating jobs with great companies and have plenty of income and time off to enjoy their life outside of work (good teachers usually have hours of work to do after the instruction ends though poor teachers have no problem clocking out as soon as they can and not thinking about teaching again until they clock in the next day, and as another poster mentioned, I'd rather find another job altogether than to do the one I have poorly). To be an engineer I'd have to go back for a second undergraduate degree, and it would take two and a half years, full time. As a late 20s single male with no outside financial support, is that even an option? My other option, and the one I am considering most seriously, is law. The beautiful thing about law school is that any undergraduate degree and work experience could be valuable because there are so many areas of law to practice. I began studying for the LSAT a few days ago, and I'm already feeling a bit euphoric at the thought of escaping to a job that requires a high level of academic competence and creative thinking while engaging with adults in an adult world. To quote the apostle, "When I was a child, I thought as a child..." and now that I'm a man, I'd like to put childish things behind me. Spending all day in a class full of children, teaching and thinking and operating at their mental level, takes its toll. After five years I'm still having to force myself to think like a child, and it isn't working for me.
There are some types to whom teaching is perfectly suited. For those of us who are driven by intellectual pursuits and need to be operating in an adult world, teaching is one of the worst jobs imaginable.
I am also very disillusioned by the teaching profession. Like many of you, I have always wanted to be a teacher, yet never pursued it until later in life. I am 40 years old and in my 5th year of teaching. My major in college was Psychology and so I took the alternate route path to teaching. I began my first year as a Special Education Inclusion teacher (Math). I enjoyed the latitude and kids, but was disappointed at how the regular ed teachers responded to me as an inclusion teacher in THEIR classroom. I think many felt as if I was there to check in on them, or even perhaps, evaluate them. I'm not sure why since I was very professional and the students liked the attention and remediation I was providing them. Maybe they felt threatened??? I don't know, but it can be very stressful and for this to work, communication and a willingness of teacher collaboration is definitely key.
In any case, I decided that I needed more interaction with students under my wing, so I decided to add endorsements to my license and teach in my own classroom. I am currenlty in my fifth year now teaching Algebra and Pre-Algebra, 9-12 grades. Many of the students I teach are lacking in math credits, have failed numerous times, have learning disabilities, and quite frankly, no desire to learn math at all. As someone mentioned earlier, they are THE ENTITLEMENT GENERATION! You have to just pass me cause...They simply want to just scoot by and barely pass. It has been extremely chaotic and frustrating! We have a district math coach that works with us. She keeps us informed of all the CHANGES we are about to see in our math cirriculum and on top of everything else, this has made me come to the realization that I'M DONE, at least as a general ed teacher.
Now that I have seen both sides...SPED & REG ED, I have come to some conclusions:
Sped teachers get paid the same amount as regular ed teachers.
Sped teachers may have alot of paperwork but not with 30 kids at their desk asking for this and that, doing everything they can do get out of work.
Sped teachers may have to go to alot of meetings, but so do regular ed teachers, who have to spend hours on end also making lesson plans, creating tests, grading papers, stay after school for reteaching and retesting, and call home to parents that either don't care and just like their kids expect everything handed to them because they are ENTITLED! And on top of all of this meet DEADLINE after DEADLINE for crap that is meaningless to actual teaching, and ALL ON YOUR OWN TIME, without extra pay. BS
I am very organized, enthusiastic, and on top of my classroom management but TIRED of having NO TIME for myself, family, or just to enjoy life. I know I want to help students but not under these conditions. I am seriously considering going back to Sped to help those that really truly need me and appreciate all I have to offer.
My husband and I are military veterans that truly miss the community and comradery that we had for years. Civilian communities are lacking in this UNITY that truly brings people/families together, even in the schools.
I will eventually, head back to that environment, but in the meantime, I have decided to go back to sped where my heart is and where I know I'm making a difference and feel good about it.
There has to be a world out there, away from teaching. I always feel guilty when I am enjoying my own time, like I should be thinking about or doing something with school. With past jobs, although only part time ones during my own schooling, I was never up late at night thinking of them with dread or fear. I was never sad and draining/exhausted in every way when I came home. I realized that I feel like I've either survived or been defeated when I come home. I want to come home and still feel like the human I am, not Mrs. so-and-so at school where my only allowed identity is as a teacher. I enjoyed having my own identity where people knew me as a person in previous jobs. As a teacher, you are under the microscope by everyone. I am actually lucky in that I have wonderful classes this year and students, but the workload and extras as still as much as ever. I have known since the beginning of my career that I should be doing something else.
So, I've decided that this is my last year. I feel it in my bones. I will let everyone know as soon as I do what new career or job it will be I had an interview last week for a position using my content area but nothing to do with teaching. We will see. All I know is...there are many happy people in my life who *aren't* teachers. I dread the idea of my life being lived from Sept-June for the rest of my life. I want to feel like a human being who has a job and a life, not a droid Ms. X who lives to teach. Because I don't.
This is my first time actually responding to a post. Here it goes.
I left teaching 7 years ago(taught for 13 years). I taught History/Physical Education and I loved it for the first 7 years. I was embarrassed and surprised with myself when I discovered I was losing my passion to help "students actualize their potential". I could not imagine myself doing anything else; a huge part of my identity came form being a teacher. To be honest I still grieve the fact that I am not officially a teacher (deep down I feel like I am missing something). I left because I could no longer take the stress and I wanted a balanced life. I got tired of managing misbehaviour and felt like I was fighting students with respect to their behavioural norms (swearing, always being plugged in to music or cell phones, etc).
Based on my personal experience I would be sure you are making the right move before you leave teaching. I still don't know if I did the right thing, sometimes I contemplate going back in to teaching after my kids go to University (I miss the great parts of teaching:making a difference in a student's life). There is no greater feeling then knowing you have helped someone be all they can be.
Over the last 7 years I have been fortunate because I have worked part time and have spent the majority of my time focussed on my family and community. I am extensively involved with Sunday School teaching + coordinating, Youth + Family Events Facilitating + coordinating. I have made it a point to be involved in teaching others because I truly love it but I am just not getting paid for it. I also work part time doing Adult Education but once again this does not pay well but it is rewarding.
Based on my experience of leaving teaching it is very difficult to break in to another field with out retraining. I have looked at sites for years to see what teachers do when they leave teaching but I feel like there are not many opportunities with respect to employment unless you want to make little money or go back to school. I have not wanted to go back to school because I was busy raising a family but I am once again entertaining what I will do in the next few years when my kids are gone.I feel like all 3 of my degrees are not enough to land me a good job. I either need to retrain or get back in to the teaching field.
Leaving teaching was one of the hardest things I have ever done for financial and emotional reasons. All in all I think it was a good decision for me because it freed me up to do all kinds of things I love ( I have been involved with numerous Agencies in a Volunteer capacity). Volunteering has never been as stressful as teaching but I also have not made a lot of money and my pension is greatly reduced. Over the last 7 years my life has been balanced. I have time for family, friends, church, community and part time work. But I do miss being a "TEACHER". What I have discovered is that you can't have it all so we just need to decide what works for us.
On behalf of our children and future society I want to thank all Teachers for what they do day to day because they do make a difference in the lives of so many people.
I left teaching because I couldn't do it anymore but I am glad that there still are people who can carry on this most meaningful job.
I wish you all the best of luck as you decide how to navigate your career choices and I want you to know that leaving teaching has not been easy but I think it has given me a richer more diversified life ironically enough.
I am now trying to decide what I am going to do with the next chapter of my life-the chapter with out the children. If anyone has any ideas for me I would greatly appreciate it.
I'm a California teacher--5th grade. Teaching is dragging me down, I've wanted to quit, but my instincts tell me to patiently make a change, let the economic/global crisis find its way, and keep working with children. I think I may love to work a while in Australia. Teaching does wear me out, but I've recently decided not to do everything our District Office tell me to do. This has really helped me. I still do a minimum required, in case an observation comes, or something like that. I go to work and make a day having as much fun with the 10 year olds as I can. I work at an economically disadvantaged, Title 1 school. We've been required to work more hours, with less pay. Drag! Still, I make jokes, don't take it seriously, and I've stopped grading so many papers. Really,I hardly grade papers at all. Only the required assessment. I let the students grade their own work, and I open the answer books for the students to self-correct. I've decided: They can fire me. And, they don't. In fact, my standardized test scores are one of the 3 highest in the entire school district. Probably because the students in my class are happy. I take nothing seriously. These are the strangest times we are in, and education is the narrowest of narrow of institutions.
So, while I'm on a upbeat, I'd like to make a change. Is it really possible a teacher from California, USA, can get a teaching job in Australia? If so, what area? Since I'm used to warmer weather Queensland may be best suited for me. Do you know how I can go about looking for a position? I think the change may be great for my life, and then--from a distance--I can better ponder my question about changing careers. Education is changing in a direction that goes against my values....if that doesn't begin to change, I'll have to get out. It's only a matter of time before administration notices I'm joking, laughing, and giving students all the answers! They'd prefer me to be as serious and narrow as this new ED program that appears to be a global trend (after viewing all these posts).
If Kucing is no longer here: Does *anyone* out there know anything about teaching in Australia? It is possible to get a job in 2012-13, or 2014. Is there a teacher shortage for grade 5 (10 year olds)??? Thanks for any information you can provide.
I am in my seventh year of teaching and have had it. There is zero respect for teachers from parents, students and admins. They constantly take from us. I'm the students' discipliniarian, truancy officer, mother, teacher, hygiene inspector, social worker, and psychiatrist. I am constantly trying to help my inner city students, and they return the favor with defiance and terrible attitudes. I don't believe a change in location would help. I am tired of spending my days teaching boring curriculum to bored students. I like to think. I crave adult interaction. I want to have the freedom to pee, move from room to room, and eat throughout the day. On Sundays, I feel this increasingly sickening feeling engulfing me. On Mondays, I am having a full on panic attack. It eases up during the day, but I want it to end. I have come to the realization that this profession was never for me. I deserve so much more than this. I have read of positive transitions from teaching. I would like to have the same experience.
I can't believe I found this page. I have such a sense of relief right now, knowing that there isn't something wrong with me! I was so burned out after only three years of teaching 5th and 6th grade, that I was happy when my contract wasn't renewed because our enrollment had gone down. I had seriously been questioning my effectiveness as a teacher...and let's be honest, my own sanity because I never seemed to be able to catch up, or do enough. I never seemed to be able to really make a difference with the kids and yet, there were always more, more more demands from administrators. I felt like a failure, and I had no life.
I didn't even look for a teaching job right away because I was so turned off by the whole experience. Unfortunately, though, I am still looking for ANY kind of job now, 14 months later. My unemployment is running out and I am scared. Luckily, I can't even think about going back to teaching because there aren't any teaching jobs to be had in my area at the moment! However, I will admit I am discouraged because employers don't seem to think I have any skills! I am resigned to taking a twelve to fifteen dollar an hour job simply because it is a job where I can get some other experience. Do people really NOT understand how difficult teaching is and how much teachers have to offer in the workplace?
I'm discouraged, but glad to hear that I am not alone. Thanks for sharing, everybody.
This is my 2nd year teaching and I couldn't agree more w/ all previous posts... I am absolutely miserable teaching. I teach at a title 1 jr high and thought after the 1st year it would get better. Well, I am still MISERABLE and it's not just because it's my 1st year - as everyone tried to convince me... I cannot handle the stress anymore & would rather have NO VACAY than go through hell everyday and have a good vacation schedule. I have no idea what to do at this point w/ the economy being so horrible. I'm so tired of being unhappy though - this is the worst 2 years of my life.
HELP!!!! What else can I do w/ this degree? This is so depressing ;(
I am considering going back to school. Are there any post-bach degrees or masters degrees that I can look into? (I am just scared to go back to school & get another degree and not be able to find a job).
Daunah...I had a nicely written reply to your message earlier and it deleted somehow, arghh
Anyhow, thanks for giving me a new perspective. I think you have a great outlook on things and are handling things well considering all.
My New Year's resolution is to make a change for myself since no one else will. We, as teachers, must take care of ourselves. So, while administration is busy making changes to agendas, schedules, and expectations for this upcoming new year...I will be making some changes of my own. They will not shorten my life. My students think I need to "lighten up." They know I am STRESSED, underpaid, and overworked. So, since I am there for them. I'm gonna start taking things a whole lot easier on myself and them. Administration will just have to deal with it!
Wish I could help you out...
Last edited by discouraged; 12-30-2011 at 05:04 PM..
Reason: reply name
Hahaha, well after reading every single post, I felt I should leave one as well. I laughed, I cried, right along with all of you! I have been teaching grades 3 and 5 for 12 years. This school year I took a leave because I simply COULD NOT go back, and yet I have the option to next year. I had not slept for many months. I had serious digestive issues. I had excruciating TMJ. My stomach hurt all the time. Everyone loves me (they say lol) and my reviews are always "excellent", etc. The truth is, I'm a great teacher and love the work and the children. But the stress is simply too much. Too much paperwork. Too many hours hunched over a computer reading "essential" emails (40+ a day, really?). Too many meetings where my input is the last thing wanted or considered. Too many "coaches" who aren't allowed to "work with children", but push mediocre agendas on me that wouldn't pass muster in my undergraduate college classes. The list is simply too long to keep going, and you already know. The last straw was the requirement to implement "scripts" that actually say, "Say: ___". Don't they have monkeys for that? I never wanted to be a data collector for the state of Florida, a social worker, a production line for corporate America, an institutional babysitting service, or a scapegoat for the many serious ills of a very dysfuntional society. I wanted to be a teacher, and I was damn good. I know my idealism took me far, but it may be the end of the line for people like me. I'm living on savings, selling my house, and weighing my options. Thanks to everyone who shared here. Watching a dream die is hard. But maybe, just maybe I can be part of the solution again in a different way. Children need us. But they need us whole, and happy, and creative. I'd love to report back here with good news, and will if that is my good fortune. In any case, I had to put me first and that was probably the hardest thing. Teachers know what I mean! I sleep (better) now. I walk on the beach and eat lots of peanut butter. I pray for guidance. Good luck to all who are seeking a way to use this wonderful passion we have to help children. Teachers are the nicest people in the world and I'm proud to have served as one!
MrsG... THIS is what I'm talking about! The summers off, the Christmas Break, the March Break, the good pay, benefits, etc... all CARROTS being dangled in front of us! But what is the true happiness? Is it not the freedom to RELEASE the headaches of the day when you come home??? I think SO!!!!
To ALL people out there who posted here... You are my inspiration! I am SOOOOO leaving this profession, and it is so therapeutic to know that I am not the only one feeling this way!
What about getting together and brainstorming some kind of CREATION of Ex-Teachers??? There are options! I know it! With the wealth of information on this site, SOMETHING will click!
Hi, I am in my 2nd year of teaching also and I can't believe I am wanting to quit already! I was a teacher assistant for many years. While I was working as a TA, I took classes at night and got my degree in elementary teaching. I couldn't wait to be a teacher and now in the middle of my second year I want to quit!! What is wrong with me!! I loved it my first year....but this year there are more demands, more behavior problems, everyone wants this and that and deadlines, and the list goes on.....I have no life!! I don't know what to do though, I am in my forties, can't think of going back to school again! I feel the pain and stress of all of you! My son is grown but I hardly see him, not to mention my husband complains about us having to eat out so much. I work all weekend, every weekend, bring work home, my health is being affected. I wish I knew what to do. I would love to go back to being a teacher assistant but the pay is ridiculous!! Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.
I'm so ready to quit teaching. I have moved around our division, am in my fourth school, in thirteen years. Presently teaching a grade six class, with so many needs and all academic levels, only two at actual grade level. It is exhausting every day and I have nothing left to give to myself and my family when I get home. I am tired of the battle, top admin wants to cram every committee and every new educational bandwagon down our throats. I fear confrontations with parents, have been cornered and threatened numerous times, and don't even get me started on the staffroom. I just want out.
I've been finding solace and hope in this blog since I first discovered it. Well, I finally got out! I spent 17 years in the school system in various positions from elementary to high school. First, I'll say that I had 8 great years as an elementary GATE teacher on Guam. When I moved back to the states the creative license was gone, I was reading scripted lessons and wanted out. I added a Library Media Endorsement a few years ago; and that got me into the school library system. I spent a few years as a school librarian (some part time 30 hrs./week) as budget cuts were in full swing. My position got cut in one district then I moved to another district where it was cut (as was the previous librarian's) and then budgeted back in; I was one of the few high school librarians left in my district left. Almost all of the elementary and middle school library positions were cut and replaced with library aides or volunteers. I had done a little research and knew that there was a chance of getting into the public library system in some states without having to go back to school for an MLS degree (already have a master's degree that I am paying off). I applied for a public library position in rural NM, got the job, gave my two weeks notice and was out of the school system. I had to pay back 5% of my salary for breaking my contract. Funny, since I was RIFFED the year before and then hired back. But alas, I am now a certified public librarian in NM; and I am certified for life--don't have to keep paying for classes to renew my certification. I am working hard, and enjoying it. The chronic pain in my shoulder from muscle tension is gone. I am so glad that I pursued this (I was in the middle of a school year) and a sudden move to another state seemed impossible. My principals were sad to see me go, but understood the need to pursue another opportunity and wished me well. I feel lucky that I was given this opportunity, and so glad that I took the leap!
I desperately want out of teaching, which is ironic, because I was convinced since the first grade that teaching was my calling. Well, I am ready to put ear plugs in, because I have had it with this profession. Summers off are no incentive; in fact, I have yet to take one off, as I have needed to supplement my income for the past four years. I am currently in my fifth year of teaching and counting down the months until the school year concludes. However, I'm applying all over the place so that I can leave even sooner, with any luck.
I teach four preps, even though three is typical, and most of my co-workers teach two. I am not tenured, so I have been afraid to voice how unfair this is. I have taught in an urban town, and now in a suburban town, and it doesn't make any difference. Teaching is teaching, and it imprisons me every night and weekend. I am constantly burdened by the demand to plan lessons and grade papers. I am miserable quite often, when home, and especially on Sundays. I have the acne of a middle-schooler, due to stress, I grind my teeth at night to the point that my dentist is concerned for me, and my cholesterol is way too high for a woman in her mid-twenties. I don't eat right, and I complain far too often. I don't exercise, I don't get to do pleasure reading, and I don't get to spend enough time with my family and friends. I want my life back. That sentence deserves repeating... I WANT MY LIFE BACK.
The ironic part is that I am quite good at what I do. I get stellar reviews from my principal, and the kids really like me. Even though friends and family members tell me to stop being a perfectionist and only do what I need to do to get by, I can't help but put in my all. With that said, I think I have paid my dues to society. I want out... I want to be healthy, happy and have kids of my own sometime soon. I deserve to have my nights and weekends free. I deserve to pick up a book that interests me and not feel guilty when I take the time to read it. This profession will consume me no more.