I am 90% sure I want to leave teaching - but what if I change my mind??

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Pisces_Fish, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Mar 26, 2012

    This has been one hellava year. I am constantly overwhelmed and depressed. I know a lot of it has to do with my class dynamic, but at the same time I'm DONE with the testing, RtI, bigger classes, no TA, shortage of materials, etc. Adding to the frustration, my district is changing our "salary" payemts to days-worked payments, so we will be paid anywhere from 6 to 22 days worked, depending on the month. :confused:

    My mom works for an Ivy League as a head hunter/career advisor, so I have access to some great advice. I am going home for Spring Break and have 2 appointments set up with non-profit gurus to make a plan and see what's out there.

    My question is this - suppose I do quit only to realize later I made a mistake? I think part of me will always wish I stayed, but at the same time the restrictions/problems with public ed leaves me feeling beaten and inadequate. Private schools are not an option. The only ones near me are Christian, and I am not religious whatsoever.

    Has anyone ever quit and then returned? I don't see a way for me to explain a year or two off without referring to teacher burnout :(
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 26, 2012

    An amazing teacher in my district left teaching for about five years. He went to work where my husband works now because they make so much more money, but thankfully returned because he knew he was meant to teach. Our district is small and everyone knows everyone...he was welcomed back with open arms. :)

    I am leaning toward wanting to leave as well, but I am afraid I will miss it despite all the crap.
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I feel like I've lost sight of myself. I just turned 33 and I am single. Since I started teaching 4 years ago I've dated but never very seriously. The other night I went out to eat with my best guy friend. Holding up a conversation was like a terrible first date! I felt like I had nothing to talk about save for school. I've been doing a lot of soul searching and keep coming up with the same conclusion - I'm thisclose to breaking and my heart isn't 100% in it anymore. I think I owe it to the kids, and myself, to try something else for awhile.
     
  5. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Mar 26, 2012

    I know exactly how you feel. But I wonder the same thing - if my resume goes from 10 years of teaching to 3 years at Kmart, am I going to be welcomed back, if that's what I decide I want to do?
     
  6. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2012

    you can also do tutoring on the side to stay teaching while you do a different kind of job for a break. Good luck to you!! Just take one day at a timd and have something fun planned each day to look forward to! :)
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2012

    I'm out. I'm like you, tired of the BS. I know I will miss the kids and the people I work with, but I absolutely will not miss the tediousness of day to day. I know the grass isn't always greener, but I'm willing to risk it. As for coming back, I find it demeaning and a ridiculous sign of the failure of education that we have to worry about how employment in another field is going to be taken. And you are correct, schools will look down on that-and why? Because I was gainfully employed somewhere else, that makes me not a good teacher anymore? Sigh.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Mar 26, 2012

    90% sure of something is pretty strong, so go ahead & take the plunge w/ quitting & don't be wishy-washy about it. There was a point when I "thought" I really wanted to be a special ed teacher. I got the credential, even got a Masters degree in it, & taught it for a year. It was OK, but I wasn't loving it. Now many people may say that 1 little year isn't enough to see how a job really is, but I was already getting off to a late start w/ my career (just being out of my 20s as it is), so I didn't want to waste anymore time doing something I wasn't crazy about. I decided to switch gears to the SLP & I'm so glad I did! Yes, I had to return back to grad school again, which I never had a problem with & knew that came w/ the territory.

    Did I ever wish for a second that I could be back in special ed? Heck no!

    Good luck to you in whatever you do.
     
  9. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2012

    I taught HS from 2000-2003. Quit. Took a four year break and did something else. 2007, I re-entered a classroom and taught until 2010/2011 ended. I would have remained a teacher if an opportunity hadn't presented itself over the summer. All the reasons you site plus some administrative flaws at the school I was at played the deciding factors on whether to stick out another year as a classroom teacher. While I was out over that first break away from being a teacher, my license expired but using MS standards, all that took was two college credits and some cash to get my license re-instated. I suppose that at the end of this year, my license will expire yet again but my intention is to enroll either at a face to face school or an online school so that I can once again receive credit to get my license re-instated.

    Do I want to be a teacher? Yes. Do I want to teach at a public/private/charter/ any school where testing and education is done the way it is? No. Will I return to a classroom? Yes, if the course I am on now does not pan out to my expectations, then I will not like it but I will return.

    Did I loose any skills during my self-imposed sabbatical? Yes. Did I regain them when I went back? Some but not all. My first time around I felt way more patient and in control. My second, I always felt pushed or pressed so my patience was lower and I didn't feel as accomplished.

    How did I explain my 4 years out the first time? I told the truth. It was so I could follow a girl which ultimately didn't work out. How will I explain my break this time? The truth. I decided to explore a different educational venue as a professional measure to sharpen my classroom management and to broaden my career options.

    If you leave out, do so on good terms. Collect references. Go out and do something that when/if you return makes a good story for the interview. Volunteering with children with disadvantages or those with special needs are good starting points. There are places where all the "BULL" is subtracted from the equation and you get to teach unfettered of the mess.

    That's my perspective.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2012

    I'm going to be very "real" and honest right now:

    There are days when I don't feel like teaching. There are days when the kids annoy me. There are days when I just feel like calling in sick. There are days when I can't wait 'till the bell rings at 3:35.

    However, there are many days when I feel like I have the best job ever. Whenever I'm on vacation (Spring Break, Winter Break, Summer Vacation, etc.) I am constantly thinking about my kids and how I want to try out "this and that" in the classroom when I return. There are days when I'm so incredibly proud of my kids that I'm bursting with excitement. There are days when my kids bring me to tears because I see the lightbulb (finally) go on. There are days when I walk down the halls and the kids want to share their successes and drama with me. There are days when the kids write me notes and tell me that I make learning fun. There are days when I'm at the mall or grocery store and a former student will tell me I was their favorite teacher.

    Overall, the good days outnumber the bad days. I know I'd miss the kids tremendously if I left teaching!
     
  11. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Mar 26, 2012

    I don't blame anyone who says they want out. I'm not a teacher, but I do work within the school system. I'm out because of the restrictions and politics. I know this varies depending on the district, but I'll never step foot in another school again. Seriously.
     
  12. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Mar 27, 2012

    I wouldn't worry about gaps in your resume regarding teaching. In this day and age I do not think it matters at all. People have health reasons, take sabbaticals, have babies etc...Plus, they know the market is horrible anyway.

    Keep your teacher license current so that you will always have education employment options even if outside of the classroom.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 27, 2012

    I had a 5 year gap I spent home with my kids. It was absolutely not an issue at hiring time.

    Do what you feel is best for you. Keep your certification current, and don't worry about what's down the road.
     
  14. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Mar 27, 2012

    It feels good to hear others have left and come back with no problems. My only concern is that people have left to start a family, which is a lot easier to eplain than just being burnt out.

    But at the same time I need to look out for myself for awhile. Teaching requires so much selflessness by working weekends and 'overtime.' Right now I look forward to weekends most of all, yet I work a 2nd job to pay the bills, leaving no time for ME. Like I said, I feel like I've totally lost sight of myself and I'm a walking zombie trying to keep up with it all.
     
  15. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Mar 27, 2012

    Sure. When I got married, I gave up a teaching job in New York State, and we moved to New England. For the next fifteen years or so I lived at an off-the-grid farm, did carpentry work, sugary work, a year of education work on a federal grant (blech), tree work, etc, etc..

    Ultimately we got sick of kerosene light et al, I really had come to miss teaching, and we wanted more income. Back I went into teaching, and I worked my way into my present job at a good high school.

    I didn't find it hard at all to return to teaching. It was like coming home. I've been here more than twenty years.

    As to teaching being an all-involving job, it is, particularly for an English teacher, with all the correcting we have to do. I told my wife when I returned to teaching that during the school year I would have no life aside from school. I don't think she quite believed me then, but she does now. I don't mind: "life" is not all that much more interesting to me than school is. So it goes.

    By the way, when I returned to teaching, my experiences outside the world of school were regarded as a plus in the hiring process.
     
  16. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Big hugs to you. You owe it to yourself to do something else and if you decide to come back to teaching, I would just tell them that you had an opportunity outside of teaching you really felt you needed to take and then realized you loved teaching more.


    I say following your gut instincts like that is something to be admired. I applaud you!
     
  17. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    There should be nothing wrong with stating....I took some time off (not that it's their business anyway) to make use of my other degree, skills, interests etc. It should be considered a plus to do other things in other fields. It also shows you are versatile and well-rounded with other skills and no school should look down on that.
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Can you take a leave of absence so you have a job to come back to if the grass isn't greener on the other side?
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 28, 2012

    It sounds like you need out.

    Don't worry about "What if?" Do what you need to do and see where it leads you. The teaching you've done has contributed to the person you are today; it's now part of who you are. It doesn't have to be your life's career if it's no longer the right fit.

    Find a new passion and run with it.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 28, 2012

    For what it's worth though, Pisces, it's not necessarily a requirement.

    In my very conservative Catholic school, we've had a number of Jewish teachers, and probably a number of teachers of other faiths-- or no faiths-- as well.

    It might be something to look into as you weigh your options.
     

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