Need To Leave Teaching...Not Sure What To Do Next

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teaching-is-hell, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. teaching-is-hell

    teaching-is-hell Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2015

    Hi folks,

    Unfortunately, teaching has not worked out for me. I am in my 8th year and I very desperately need to find another career. You may have noticed my username - teaching-is-hell - and sadly that is what it has become for me. It is hell for me for a variety of reasons. The greatest factor - by a mile - is the stress. I, honestly, without exaggeration, believe that this profession is killing me. I am working my way to an early grave. My stress levels are through the roof: I have constant headaches, I am angry all the time, I am constantly frustrated with the illogical stupidity of a broken, convoluted system that makes things harder than they have to be - the list goes on and on.

    I came in with the best of intentions, as we all do, but the writing is on the wall. It is time.

    The only problem is that I haven't a clue what to do next. If I were in my twenties, making 40K, and single this would not be such a big deal. I would just jump into something with a starter salary and roll the dice. However, I am 37, with a stay-at-home wife and three young kids, and I am making 65K.

    I am so nervous about leaving. I feel trapped. I do not know of a career that will pay me 65+ (I can't make less right now) in which I start out from scratch. In addition, I feel as though I cannot get hired as a teacher anywhere else. I teach history, which seems to be saturated with applicants. My school has only hired newbies for history jobs. I applied all over the place two years ago and didn't get one single interview. I am too expensive and school districts with tight budgets aren't going to spend 20K more a year on a low priority subject (at least that's how my district seems to view it). I also want to move grades. I teach 6th and the age is the worst match for me. I do not have the temperament for 11-12 year-old children. My boss is a power-hungry, hot-tempered jerk who I do not get along with. He has stomped on my attempts to move up to an older grade twice already. It's strictly personal, although the sociopath would, likely, tell you otherwise.

    I am stuck.

    I do not care about the summers or the other vacations. I do not care about the coveted pension. I don't believe in the "make a difference" bull crap anymore. Our rotten, broken system exacerbates the deep, difficult problems of the profession more and more every year. I want out. Badly. Now. For my health and happiness.

    What can I do? I am frozen and terrified about what to do next. What careers can I pursue? How can I translate my teaching experience into something else? How can I make the money I need to maintain the status quo? I feel as though my options are limited.

    I can't do this any longer. Please help!
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Dec 26, 2015

    Maybe going back to college through an online program?
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Dec 26, 2015

    What did you do until you were 29? Maybe you can get back into your previous career.

    I got hired with 19 years experience at my current district so it is possible to move with experience.

    On another note, I have 15 more years of experience than you do and you make 15k more. That's depressing to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Dec 27, 2015

    Check with textbook and testing companies... you may be able to work as a rep to sell books, or a testing coordinator at a test center.

    Does your district have any different opportunities that would keep you on the same pay scale? Online teaching, maybe?
     
  6. teaching-is-hell

    teaching-is-hell Rookie

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    Thanks for replies. I worked in sales before I started teaching. I really do not want to to return to that. I guess I could temporarily until I find something better. What are the most common professions teachers go into after teaching?
     
  7. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Dec 27, 2015

    If I were you, I'd look into jobs that interest you, whatever field they may be in, and just sell yourself in interviews. Teaching for that long has given you valuable skills that you can apply in most work settings. In many fields, you don't actually need a degree or experience in that specific area, and interviewers often never find candidates who fit the exact description of what they're looking for.

    Your username made me laugh. I just quit teaching for health reasons and I'm in a similar boat, so I'm just going to be looking for a desk job somewhere and supplementing my income by selling art on the side. There are a lot of random ways you can make money "on the side"... buying and reselling on ebay, doing handiwork, etc. I'm young and not above that stuff, so just throwing it out there. Of course, you can also sub or tutor in the meantime (maybe with a different school or company) if you find that tolerable.

    You may have to live with less money for a while, but I think you'll ultimately be better off. Best of luck!
     
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  8. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Dec 27, 2015

    would you be able to switch grades to older if you switched districts? any job placement centers near you? The government makes people on unemployment take employment training classes but I think the services are free for anyone. If you are near a large city these offices are generally open during the week and maybe while you are on break you could talk to somebody there? Just a thought. It seems to me that teaching could be transitioned to many manager level jobs...but maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.
    Also - is there ANYONE at your school - other teachers, anyone, who would be willing to write you strong letters of recommendation? Get these letters now.
     
  9. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Could you write a about your experiences? Turn into a book? Write a screenplay? I'm seeing lots of opportunities in the entertainment business since my daughter started her acting. Lots of jobs that go unfilled, that aren't even advertised.
     
  10. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Dec 30, 2015

    Look into out of the classroom jobs (admin) within the district. There are many positions higher up on the food-chain (money-wise, but also stress-wise too) where you can carve out another career outside of the classroom but still building on your 8 years in the profession. I work in a small district, but I know more than one teacher who moved up (I think they had to get additional authorizations/education) to become TOSA's, liasons of some kind, etc.
     
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  11. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    I think you will miss teaching and it will be best to find a teaching job in a good school with a good principal. On the other hand, I had a horrible job that got a lot better after my very intimidating department chairman left. Then two years later the job was one of the best I've had (and I have taught in the best) when the principal quit or got fired in September. We finished the year (9 months) without a principal. I don't remember any teacher meetings for the rest of the year, don't remember a single teacher goofing off, and for me, it was just fun to go to work every day. My classes were like a think tank with lots of hands-on learning, I was out and about helping, I gave daily homework, tests, etc. I remember doing many of the things that I wanted to do but couldn't before. Often times teachers would comment throughout that year how much better it was without a principal.
     
  12. AST ma

    AST ma Guest

    May 5, 2016

    Hi
    I came across your post as I researched leaving teaching. Your post sums up to a tee how I feel. I am paid well and to cover my outgoings needed every month is the issue. Otherwise I am out ASAP. I cannot spend time with my son and if I can then it is not quality time. I am currently signed off as I cannot work any harder and there are not enough hours in the week!

    Just wondering if you have taken the plunge?
     
  13. May 6, 2016

    Sounds like your boss is threatened by you moving up the career ladder and is trying to block your progress. Speak to HR about it and get advice about moving into a leadership role within the school if that is what you want to do - let people know you are looking to move (not your boss!). Don't feel trapped, take your mind off it by doing some fun stuff. Network, network, network. Give out business cards offering your educational consultancy. You might need to get more leadership experience but you can do that by temping, volunteering and speaking to HR/management.

    Good luck!:):):)
     
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  14. iconoclaste

    iconoclaste New Member

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    May 6, 2016

    I'm in my 10th year and there are times I felt the exact same way.

    My advice to you is not to quit teaching, but to find a way to change the circumstances in which you teach. Maybe you have to drive farther, maybe you have to switch licensure, maybe you need to teacher older/younger kids, but whatever you decide to do, you should try something different. Just the change itself may do wonders for your psyche. I am always looking to find ways to better my circumstances. There are so many different options within the professions. Alternative schools, TOSA positions, special education, technology/curriculum leaders, etc. Do your homework and work towards a change.
     
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  15. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    May 6, 2016

    How are you doing now that it is the end of the year? I would try teaching at a High school in your District, moving schools, or an academic dean at a school
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 6, 2016

    Have you looked into online teaching? It's an idea I'm planning around with since I love using technology to teach. Not sure what they pay, but perhaps between that and tutoring, you could have a decent salary.

    I'm finishing up my 8th year of teaching and I teach grades 3 to 6 (by now, my 6th graders are driving me nuts, but this year's group is pretty nice still - it's my 3rd graders driving me more crazy). I had a horrible week this past week, although most of my school year has been good, but I was looking over the edge of just quitting. Today I was already looking for a new planning book for next school year... I'm assuming that's a good sign that if I can still find one single good thing about it, I should stick with it.

    But yes, I also think I'm slowly killing myself with the stress. Not sure if this might help you, but have you tried finding ways to step far far away from teaching and take care of yourself more? I'm picking up drinking less alochol and drinking way more water, walking at least 30 minutes a day, and finding a few hobbies that I enjoy that have ZERO to do with education. It doesn't even matter if I have no clue what I'm teaching the next day and I haven't graded papers - I do it because I'm tired of being so stressed out and not caring for myself.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Corporate training, any industry
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 7, 2016

    I would begin with brainstorming by writing down every possible career that you could see yourself enjoying. For now, even include the ones that don't pay that well. Start looking for patterns. We already know salary is important and you also value benefits. What other things are most important to you? Making a difference in society? Having autonomy in the work place? Doing tasks that you enjoy? Are you more of an extrovert or introvert? What jobs might go along with that? Don't look for a perfect job, but one that is an improvement over your current situation where you can eventually make a salary that is near what you make now.

    I wouldn't get additional education until you really know what type of career you are going after. One other thing to consider is trying to go to another school and getting a much different grade level. If you get 7th grade, it isn't much different than 6th grade. However, if you got 10th or 11th grade, it might be something you really enjoy. I wouldn't give up on getting a social studies HS job, just because they are tough to get. You have the experience, and if it is important to you, you might be able to find a way to get one. Good luck to you.
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 7, 2016

    How about just tranferring to another school and change grades there?
    Can you take a leave of absence / sick leave due to job related stress? You must have a lot of personal and sick days piled up, so you wouldn't be without income.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have a teaching exit plan. I've actually had an exit plan before I even started teaching!

    Though, I didn't anticipate enjoying teaching as much as I do (so I'm thinking of sticking around way longer than I had planned), but I know I'll burn out if I do it for too long, so I want to avoid that and any negative impacts my burning out will have on my students. I think I'm just one of those that needs to change things up once in a while, and do something drastically different. I will come back to teaching later in life in some aspect, I know it.

    My exit plan includes become a rock star at teaching so that potential employers know that I can dedicate myself to something fully. I also gain experiences where I can doing diverse things, such as coaching others in technology, and working for other industries and labs during my summers, building up a list of experience so to speak.

    At some point, I will have to leave my job due to whatever circumstances. It seems like those circumstances are coming up soon because my BF is intent on leaving his job and looking at jobs in other states, so that might be my transition trigger. At that point, I will go back to school for engineering and try that out for a while (and enjoy the larger paycheck, lol--I would LOVE to work for a space exploration company).

    I know I will burn out of that as well at some point, and I plan on coming back to teaching with a greater depth of experience in the field that I teach (science) and the kids will benefit from that experience. :) Embrace changes.

    That's my philosophy about work though. Always have an exit plan and leave before you outstay your welcome or you get sick of the color of the drapes. Employers always complain that us millennials aren't loyal to the company. Lol. Guilty as charged.

    I don't think you have to follow the path that most teachers who leave the profession go, and you should go for whatever it was that you were interested in doing as a kid (unless it was teaching)! But I do know that most teachers go into admin, or training positions for companies. I've been asked to leave the classroom to become a tech coach (I said no because teaching is too much fun right now, but they said that position is always available for me). Maybe you could do that except maybe as an instructional coach, or something similar?
     
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  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How about going into administration? Be an agent of change
     
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  22. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I agree with the original poster.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  23. May 16, 2016

    How about a job where you teach/train adults? This could be at your local community college if you have your M.Ed...or your experience may substitute. However, you may be too bitter for this. What about corporate training? Companies hire people to train new employees and you can use your teaching strategies to your benefit so that you can actually teach/train people and not just read from a powerpoint which is often done in that industry.
     
  24. idiotprogrammer

    idiotprogrammer Rookie

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    May 18, 2016

    As someone who entered teaching very late, I recognized that you definitely pay a penalty when you re-enter the business world. As a teacher, you have great holistic talents, but it will take a few years to figure out the right combination of skills you need and the right way to find a job.

    As a semi-humorous aside, I read somewhere that dental hygienists average 72,000 per year. That requires only an associates degree! I wouldn't think of it as a dream job, but I imagine it would be low stress. See http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm
     
  25. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    May 18, 2016

    You couldn't pay me enough to be a dental hygienist -- it grosses me out too much! Same with nursing -- it simply is not something I could do, personally. I know teaching has its downsides and isn't for anyone, but for me at least currently, the benefits outweigh the negatives. I also really can't think of anything else I would want to do every day, every week, for the rest of my career...except be a fabulously successful author...!
     
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  26. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Other realistic options I have considered:

    Educational publishing: I was actually offered a job working for a well-known educational publisher, to work on developing Common Core resources. It came down to that job or going back into the classroom, and it was close! I do wonder where I would be right now if I had taken that job.

    Counseling: If it weren't for the additional school required, I think I could be very interested in school or family counseling.

    Librarian: Again, it would require an additional certification, but I think being a school librarian/media specialist could be interesting. I think those jobs are getting harder to find, though!

    College teaching: This is still an option I would like to explore for the future. I have my MA in my subject area, so I could potentially teach at the JC level. Again, though, positions in my subject (French) are few and far between around here!

    Online teaching: I actually did teach online for a while, and it was interesting, but the pay was atrocious -- as in, I could have made more doing just about anything. I actually think some of the online charters are essentially union-busting in that they pay half to a THIRD of what local public schools pay! The workload and stress level were much lower, though, and it is something I would consider again, if I decide to have kids, for example.

    There are options out there for teachers who are done with the classroom -- I think it's mostly a matter of getting creative and marketing yourself!
     
  27. SameBoat

    SameBoat Guest

    May 19, 2016

    Hey OP

    Though I'm a little younger than you I found myself in the same boat. I was burned out after 9 years. So I did something about it.

    I made the move to EdTech. Went from 65k (not including stipends) to 95k. It was all about finding a company that believed in me. Given I did bring a lot of technology know how with me.

    I do not miss the summers off because I'm doing something I love. I have unlimited PTO, great benefits, and a company that actually cares about education ... unlike many of the administrators out there who just are about their top 3 years and their pension.

    There are plenty of edtech companies who need teachers and not necessarily techies.

    Go to EdSurge and start looking
     
  28. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    I'm kind of in the same situation. I'm pretty sure this is going to be my last year teaching, at least in the K-12 environment. I am seriously looking into getting a job as an instructional designer or as a corporate trainer. I have a pretty good lead on one and a friend on the inside for the other, so fingers crossed.
     
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  29. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    What a coincidence. Everyone comments on how nice our school is when the principal is gone. Very odd.

    I'd rather not leave teaching. I love teaching. I love kids. I just want out of my district. Most of the teachers in my district want out of the district.

    Real teaching is a wonderful and rewarding career. Such a shame this crap has to happen.
     
  30. Realty chic

    Realty chic New Member

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    Jun 21, 2016

    I have recently left teaching to start my own business. I'm interested in knowing whether any of you who are getting out of teaching would consider that?
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Principals come and go. I wouldn't leave this profession over a principal. Outlast the P or look for a new district.
     
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  32. ABC123

    ABC123 Companion

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    I was going to say, my old school is on their 3rd Principal in less than 7 years:rolleyes:
     
  33. NewChapter

    NewChapter Guest

    Oct 23, 2016

    In reply to @teaching-is-hell. I feel exactly the same way as you described and I have spent about the same amount time teaching as you have. Did you find another job, or do you have any experiences in searching for a different career, that you can share?

    @SameBoat , how long did your search take until you landed a spot with EdTech?

    Does anyone else have post-teaching career successes to share on here? Finding a thread like this has been helpful as a starting point.
     
  34. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Oct 24, 2016

    How did you make the change from teaching to engineering? I personally transferred out of the engineering school to education while in college and often wonder if I made a mistake. Also has op considered a private academy,a religious school or teaching community college?
     
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  35. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    How do you pm?haven't without figured out that function of the forum yet.

    My situation is this though, I was in petroleum engineering in college but switched out after Mr first year of major sequence I have completed the math up to vector cal and all the basic engineering classes like sratics, dynamics and fluids.
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Oct 24, 2016

    Not familiar with this, but it seems you would need to go back to college and finish your degree in engineering/sciences.
     
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  37. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I've decided to leave teaching after this year and try out my plan to go back to school to get a degree in electrical engineering.

    I've had some side-project ideas on the back burner for a long while since I've had to devote all of my time to teaching that I'd like to follow up on, like the idea of starting an after school program connecting real engineering students with k-12 students and leading them through projects in engineering and science such as launching weather balloons, robotics competitions, drone building, etc.

    I figure I would have a lot of connections to engineers and teachers that this would be a fun use of my time. I don't know if I'd ever be able to monetize this, but I would enjoy writing the curriculum and seeing which schools in the area might be interested. I used to work for a similar after-school program for girls in engineering that was funded through grants.

    I think now is the right time, because I hate my current school. I at least have experienced wonderful teaching experiences so I know it's not that teaching isn't for me. I'm a pretty good teacher. This is just a terrible school and admin, and I will probably come back to school at a later time in my life hopefully at a better school. But it's time for me to try something new. Having an electrical engineering salary for a few years wouldn't hurt either.
     
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  38. Jellybean414

    Jellybean414 Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2016

    I was a software engineer for 12 years. Then I've stayed home for 8 years. Now I'm applying teachers' credential program. I can't bear with the idea of going back to corporate America. It might because I did software in startups, and I can't imagine myself work my b**t off till 2 am anymore. And I'm so looking forward to summer vacations, so that I can stay with my kids when they are at home. Well, after all, what I want to say is that making money is never easy. There is really no stress free job out there. And dealing with your boss is just a big part of any job. Hang in there as much as you can.
     
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  39. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Oct 24, 2016

    That's not necessarily true. For a lot of people, moving from teaching to the corporate world might be the right move. They might be moving from a school that is a toxic environment to a corporation that is the perfect fit for them. The old "grass is greaner" cliche cuts both ways--being a teacher is not uplifting and meaningful for everyone, and can be every bit as soul-crushing as you describe corporations.
     
  40. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 24, 2016

    I agree, although I had the opposite issue.

    I had a desk job with a college (an AmeriCorps position) once that should have been piece of cake. Really, it was. But it was a job that should have been a 10 hour a week job, stretched out into a 40 hour a week job. That might sound nice, but I was SO bored. I try to remind myself of that when I think about trying another career. I do like the fast-paced duties of teaching.
     
  41. Jellybean414

    Jellybean414 Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2016

    Think positive. If you are in bay area, you're lucky. You can't find anywhere else paying better for teaching. 70% of the teachers are paid 6 figures in where I live. And that's just 9 month work. Of course, not as many job openings as other districts though. Generally speaking, CA pays teachers well, and bay area is at the top. Good luck!
     

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