Feeling lost... Ready to leave this profession, but what's next?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by givemeten, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. givemeten

    givemeten New Member

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    Jan 10, 2016

    I am a male primary teacher in Canada. This is my eighth year of teaching, six of which were in special education and two in Grade 1. I am so ready to leave teaching, to be honest, and have been thinking about it for the last several years.

    I feel so drained mentally and physically every day, and am at the point where I am dragging myself to work every morning. I have no energy to do anything after work or on weekends, and spend my entire weekend recovering from extreme fatigue and prepping for the upcoming week. I am hating the fact that I always need to take work home, and am never able to enjoy after work hours or weekends without thinking about or dealing with work related stuff. I have seen doctors, and all the test results come back OK. However, they notice that I am under a lot of stress, and have suggested to consider leaving this profession as my stress level being so high.

    I am not good with playing games or dealing with politics, unfortunately. I had a horrible work environment where an admin and co-workers basically "bullied" me for the entire year in the past. I am now transferred to another school, but am just overwhelmed with student's behaviours. It is exhausting. There is no such place as a perfect workplace, and I am well aware of that. Regardless of which school or which class I teach, I am sure that there is something which probably bugs me. Everybody deals with these challenges in life, but I am just fed up. I know this shows me how weak (or even perhaps immature) I am, but am just at the wits' end now.

    Fortunately, Canadian teachers make much better money and have great pension plans and benefits than the US teachers. That makes me think a lot. (I am not doing this job purely for money at all, but one major thing holding onto this job at this point is money and pensions for the last few years.) I do not have any family members to depend on. I do not need as much money as I am making now, but am really worried about my future (retirement) if I quit this job.

    I do not feel like I am being able to show and do the best job I can do, and feel awful about it. I did care a lot more about my job, and was always thinking about how I would be able to support each child's learning. I still do think about such when planning, and feel so burnt out. I do not think my students are benefiting from me, as I am so drained and not as passionate or caring as before, perhaps. I am thinking that they should have another teacher who can care for them better pretty constantly.

    I am ready to leave, but do not know what I can do with my background. I have a BA, BEd, and MA in Education. I have spent a lot of time and money on PD, but also do not feel like I have expertise in a certain area, so consulting or any teaching related job seems to be out of the window. I am not thinking of pursuing a PhD and becoming a professor or researcher either. How can one who leaves teaching look for a job? (All my work experience is in teaching, so my resume is well catered for teaching jobs, but nothing else.)

    I am feeling so lost... I cannot continue like this for the next 20 years or more, but also do not know what to do next.
     
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  3. TXforever

    TXforever Companion

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    Jan 10, 2016

    I feel the same way for many of the same reasons you listed. IDK, either. Leaving my area isn't possible due to DH's job, and there aren't many job opportunities that I think I'd like any better than teaching. I love teaching but hate what education is now. I'm trying to force myself to take the good with the bad and put a smile on my face, but it's getting harder and harder.

    Sorry, no advice. Just letting you know you're not alone in your feelings.
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 10, 2016

    Always keep in the back of your minds that life is short. It's better to stop doing something you hate/dread & be happy rather than stay in it & go through the motions, etc. Money isn't everything either as we know.
     
  5. givemeten

    givemeten New Member

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    Jan 12, 2016

    Thank you for your response, TXforever. At least you feel like there aren't many job opportunities that you think you would like any better than teaching. I am not even feeling that way. Probably I will miss teaching a bit, but there are other job opportunities I am interested in. However, because of my experience and education have been spent in the field of elementary education, it does not open many doors, unfortunately. I will try to continue forcing myself to take the good with the bad, but think I am very close to the point where that is even too challenging to do.
     
  6. givemeten

    givemeten New Member

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    Jan 12, 2016

    Thank you for your comment, Ms. I. I completely agree that money isn't everything, but it scares me to get out of teaching as well because of money as well. I am just so torn... However, I know it is never good to feel like this, as miserable and exhausted all the time.
     
  7. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jan 20, 2016

    Can you contact Career Services where you got one of your degrees and see if they have someone to help guide you or give you advice? I don't know what your major was with your BA and the Bed is a bachelor in education? But I think you need to look at how you can translate your skills as a teacher into other jobs and look into what jobs outside education appeal to you and why. Hope this helps some. You aren't alone. I feel the same and in the process of figuring out my next steps too.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2016

    I switched schools and positions when I started to feel like I was burning out. Although my new school isn't perfect, it feels so much better than where I was at before. Seriously, it's like night and day. I feel valued and empowered here, which is a nice change.

    Are you certain that a change of scenery wouldn't fix your problems?
     
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  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 21, 2016

    Where are you in Canada? The past several years have been a challenge in many areas with ugly contract negotiations and job action seeming the norm rather than the exception. The workload and pressures are increasing in many school boards. I know that in my board, Special Ed and the early primary teachers seem to be most impacted by some of the initiatives that are constantly being introduced. Are you in a large enough board that a transfer could be an option? Another environment or teaching assignment could help.

    (I'm in Southern Ontario--feel free to PM me)
     
  10. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Jan 29, 2016

    Since you don't have so many years toward your retirement, get out while you're young enough to build your retirement somewhere else. I have only 6 years to go, or I might get out, too. I love teaching, but not what the profession has become because of state and federal mandates.
     

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