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Any teachers out there leave the field and if so, what did you do?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by russpurdy, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Im wanting to leave the teaching profession after 4 years as I am burning out working at a school full of troubled and high needs kids. I don't feel like its fair for the kids if I keep working there and not be able to give them 100% plus it's affecting my personal life quite a bit.

    My question is, have any of you teachers out there found other work with your education degree? I feel qualified to do alot of different typed of work based on my skillset but employers may not feel the same way.

    Thanks for the help in advance!
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I'm a teacher. If you don't mind me asking, why are you feeling burned out? I train teachers at my site and the district. Maybe I can help.
  3. Is it purely teaching qualifications you have or did you train in anything else prior to doing teacher training?

    Any chance of a teaching job in another school? I don't know about where you are, but I know quite a few teachers and one common theme has been that the teaching experience, from one school to another can be a night and day difference.
  4. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008
    I think many opportunities to find a job with that kind of experience will bring you back to an even higher concentration of the troubled and high needs kids. Have you been at the same school for the entire four years? If not, you might try simply changing schools next year to see if it helps. A different working environment with a different academic culture might alleviate a lot of the trouble you're having.

    What subject(s) are your endorsement(s) in?
  5. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Definitely hit Maki up as a resource. And that would be my first response too - what's got you feeling burnt out and is there a way to alleviate that? I definitely felt burnt out after my first couple years in the classroom. It took a while but I learned how to best focus my efforts so that I got the best results I could while maintaining time for a personal life, exercise etc. That type of balance is huge.

    But to answer your original question, when I left teaching (I spent 7 years teaching HS physics and chemistry and had just turned 30) I applied with the DOJ as a criminalist and did some substitute teaching while the (looooong) hiring process moved forward. Right before I was slated to start I got another job offer to do marketing for a company that makes science education products that would have let me stay closer to my family and paid more so I took that instead.

    I wouldn't be worried that employers won't see you as a viable candidate for a job. You have a college degree and experience as a teacher which brings along a number of skills (conflict management, one-on-one and group communication, organization, leadership, time management etc). Look at your experience in the classroom in terms of the positives that you can point to.

    But first see if there's a way you can make yourself happy in your current role. If not for the next few years, at least through the school year.
  6. mimaz


    Mar 1, 2005
    Wheeling WV
    Endorsing Artist: Crook Custom Guitars
    I am a teacher also, with a BA in Music Education K-12. I only taught for a short while, and got out of the field simply because in my opinion, teachers are rarely paid what they are worth.

    I am fortunate to have a job working around cars (the only other thing I have consistently been interested in my life other than music). It has been both financially rewarding, and more importantly, I have excellent control/flexibility of my schedule, which has allowed me to gig as much as I want.
  7. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I taught middle and high school social studies for a total of about 12 years (with a couple of breaks playing music full-time), and I ended up moving into higher education. For the past 12.5 years, I've worked in career services (and teach one class per semester) and am now transitioning to mental health counseling.

    I experienced burn-out as a teacher, too. It is a difficult, underpaid profession, but I also suggest trying to identify what about the job is bothering you. There may be a fix short of leaving the profession.

    Even though I left the K-12 classroom long ago, teaching is in my bones. Both of my grandmothers were teachers and my father taught for 32 years. I hope you find a path that is satisfying to you, whether it is in the classroom or otherwise.
  8. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    I've been a science teacher (11-18 year olds) for over 20 years, and even though I've been through some tough periods with challenging kids in a number of schools, I have never once considered doing anything else.

    It is, without doubt, the most joyous and rewarding experience to spend time in the company of other peoples kids, who have placed complete trust in you to inspire, motivate and enthrall them with the wonders of the world around them.

    Don't feel bad about the burnout and the sense of worthlessness...it happens to even the most gifted and experienced teachers at some point.

    Like Maki, I also work with trainee teachers (but over here in the UK), so if you want another completely impartial pep talk, feel free to PM me.

    I suspect bassybill may show an interest in this thread ;)
  9. stevetx19


    Sep 28, 2006
    Denton, Texas
    I taught MS science for one year, and left. I had a very difficult time balancing my work life and personal life with that job and ultimately left for what sounds like the same reason - not feeling my heart was in it to give the kids the teacher they needed. Made that decision about a month too late to save the rest of my personal life...:-/

    Anyway, my degree wasn't in education, so I can't help with career shifting - but you could look into other educational opportunities - summer camps are always interested in hiring teachers, some of the pay pretty well and the work is super fun.