Post # 1
I am a high school English teacher. I have had perfect reviews from those who have observed my teaching and have an excellent rapport with my students, but I feel like the job is taking its toll on my personal life. I firmly believe that no one should be a teacher if he or she isn’t willing to put in the work to do it well, but there are just not enough hours in a day for me to do my job well without making sacrifices at home. I never get time with Darling Husband to just relax; yes, I get a large chunk of time in the summer, but Darling Husband isn’t a teacher, so it’s not like he gets all that time off. I want us to have a normal life where we can eat dinner together instead of ALWAYS on the run, where I am not doing work while we eat or watch TV, etc.
Again, my school is a good one and I could certainly make it until the end of the year. Logistically, though, I feel like I should be looking for jobs but don’t know what I would do if I actually got one… it’s so hard with teaching because it’s not really a career where you just give a notice of two weeks and walk out the door. For those of you who were teachers and have changed careers, did you end up having to leave in the middle of the year? It seems like pretty amazing luck to be able to find a job right at the end of the school year that I could transition more easily into… just looking to hear from other Bees who may have found themselves in this situation, and how they handled it…
Post # 3
Hey – I am in a similar situation – Sr. English/Drama. I have been teaching for 6 years and although I am quite good at it, the work conditions and workload are insane (and I used to work 60 hour weeks in Business!) I miss being healthy year round, not just the summer!
I will follow this thread but I have started to update my resume and references, and research what other jobs/careers to pursue. I know a few teachers who have left during the year and arranged it for times like end of term, or before Christmas break etc. I think if you want to leave teaching open as a career path. you need to finish the year. But if you are truly out, we all know there are tons of teachers who would jump into the job in a heartbeat.
Any idea of what you want to do? My husband is making the transition out of teaching, for more practical reasons – lack of steady work for new comers in our area – he was overseas for a bit. The one thing he has been battling, is the perception by employers that all we can do is teach….and they fear a teacher on paper will jump ship once a teaching job appears. So for him, and I think me, that will be the toughest sell.
Post # 4
Another follower… 8th grade teacher here. I’m having a great year but I almost quit after last year. Would love opinions too.
Post # 5
I’m not a teacher yet, but I’m really interested in knowing this too. Just in case.
Post # 6
another teacher here.. Im trained as a PDHPE teacher but currently working in the math department as every man and his dog wants to be a PDHPE teacher.. ihave no chance of getting a permanent position in my field in the next 5 years. why am i wasting my time in a career that im not even teaching in my field. ERGH! Trying to find other options that i can use my degree in.. i might just go and get a trade.. is just soo annoying.. Work has to be taken home, prep takes so much time and honestly the students dont give enough back to make it worth it.
Post # 7
High school teacher here as well. Not only am I teaching four preps this year, they’re all completely unrelated to each other: Intermediate Chinese, Senior College Seminar, Web Design and SAT/ACT Test Prep. I won’t even begin to explain how I found myself in the situation to teach four preps, it’s too frustrating. Anyways I’m so exhausted all the time and can’t relax, Fiance says he’s sick of me “always look forward to Fridays and dreading Mondays”. I was in bed when he came home today and when I told him how my day went, he began teasing me, pretending to be a student and interrupting my instructions. I was playing along, saying “oh stop talking to your friend, listen to instructions, etc.” but he kept on teasing me and I eventually got so agitated I was almost in tears.
Anyways I’d like to hear what people are doing to switch careers. I have a masters in language education and have thought of options like curriculum design or corporate training. However, too many teachers are trying to leave the field and I feel like there’s an excess glut of people in that field. I’ve talked to Fiance in length on what I can do, and I feel like the best course of action is for me to apply for scholarships and go back to school. I am hoping I can work towards a computer science degree and perhaps start a little software business on my own. It’s risky and not at all ideal in terms of job security or payback. However, Fiance is in a pretty good place at his company and I was actually in the process of applying for Ph.D. programs before Fiance and I got serious and we had to move for his job (that’s how I ended up at my current school). I’ve realized I’m happiest at school as a student and I’m trying to figure out how I can return to that lifestyle.
Typing this and thinking about my job situation exhausted me. I’m going to bed. Even wedding planning hasn’t been that fun because I have to wonder where I’ll be in 2 years and whether we can afford the wedding I want if I’m not working.
Post # 8
I’m in a slightly different situation. I trained as a primary teacher, taught for a couple of years, then moved to Japan, where I teach English. My life turned out in a way I didn’t expect it, and so I am moving to the US to marry my American Fiance. I would LOVE to teach, but know the current market is awful, especially as a foreigner who hasn’t taught my subject in 3 1/2 years. As a result I will try and teach, but am realistic about my chances of getting employment. I am toying with starting my own business, or finding a job outside of teaching. Therefore, finding out from people about the transition is important to me.
Post # 9
I don’t think I would ever teach again, but if a financial situation were to get dire enough and something were to happen down the road, it would be excellent to fall back on. Plus, I really do care about the kids that I teach, and everyone knows it’s tough to change teachers in the middle of the year. I would really like to finish out the year, but I don’t want any amazing opportunities to pass me by because of my desire to not leave my administration hanging or hurt my kids…
I would like to transition into something with writing or copy-editing. I already have the English degree and would like to pursue my Master’s at some point. My dream was actually always to write, to work at a publication or magazine, but I received a huge scholarship to pursue teaching and had some interest in it, so I went for it. I don’t regret having taught, but I just can’t find that balance between being a good teacher and having a healthy lifestyle outside of the classroom.
It’s interesting to me how many of us are in the same boat. Argh.
@jmmacdon: I completely identify with what you said about desiring a healthy lifestyle year-round. I am in such great shape and take such good care of myself during the summer, and then it all goes out the window once fall rolls around. I would be completely fine giving up my summers to have a healthier balance year-round.
Post # 10
OMG I am in the exact same position except I teach primary. I was planning on posting this exact same thing. It sucks that we’re locked into a job we hate until June! I’m determined to stay until the end of the year but I’m so tired of dreading each week. Its helped me a lot to set limits for myself. I leave work at 4 everyday whether I’m done or not. And I do not take work home with me. This means I have to work every minute at school and not socialize at all. I refuse to be one of those teachers that stays all night and misses out on family time. Not worth it. That was fine when i was single. Teaching is an important job but it’s just a job. My family is more important.
I will say there is a huge difference between schools. I’m in a new school this year and it sucks. My schools before were so much easier/better. I feel overwhelmed, over worked, and under appreciated at this school. And I was teacher of the year at my previous school!
I’m surprised how many teacher bees are feeling the same thing.
Post # 11
@MrsWishyWashy: I’m actually in a much BETTER situation than I was in before. I am at one of the best schools in the state with some of the best resources and conditions, and that’s just proving to me all the more that teaching is not really for me.
I taught in a school with almost no technology, no resources, etc. previously, and so I often felt like my dissatisfaction with the career was due to a lack of amenities. But I am finding that it’s more than that, as I have described above.
I wish I could just leave it all at work, but I’m an English teacher, so the fact remains that I HAVE to bring papers home with me to grade. I’m also a teacher of really bright Gifted and Talented students, which means that I’m constantly having to increase the rigor and find new approaches instead of recycling older material. It’s a blessing because they are interested in the material, but at the same time, it’s so much work. It’s not in my nature to be able to skate by and do the bare minimum.
While I am in the classroom, I feel like I have to do it to the best of my ability. It’s just a matter of deciding how to get out.
Post # 12
@brideatbeach: If you wanna stay until June you can let your potential employer know that. They may be willing to work with you, especially when it gets closer. If your contract goes through the end of August that would give you a couple of months to find something over the summer.
My mom is a consultant and does grant writing, editing, and training. Her firm loves to hire former teachers. Especially English teachers. I’m sure there are many others like that.
Post # 13
@MrsWishyWashy: What kind of a company does she work for? That sounds right up my alley. My contract is technically up in June, although my paychecks would continue to come until the end of August. Thanks for the tips.
Post # 14
I have a similar experience except I made the change and that meant going back for a masters in Occupational Therapy. I’m Primary/Junior qualified and after teaching kindergarten at a private daycare (fulltime program) because I couldn’t get a job in the school boards I decided teaching really wasn’t for me. I stuck it out until May and then made the switch. I’ve always loved the health and medical field and realized OT was for me. In some ways I’m glad I made the change but it’s frustrating to be back at school for another two years. I’ll always have my teaching degree and with my OT degree I will be extra qualified if I ever decide to head back to the classroom. Good Luck on making the decsion…it’s a hard choice to change careers!
Post # 16
OP, I feel like I just WROTE that post! I’m a HS English teacher as well. I actually just got hired mid-year at the lowest performing school in my city. For the time being, this is where I want to be – why I got into education – but it’s completely unsustainable for when I have a family. I got together with some of the teachers last week and they were all complaining about being “great summertime moms/dads” and lousy for the rest of the year. I just won’t do it.
When I lost my job last spring, I spent the summer and early fall looking for something, ANYTHING besides teaching. It’s just too shitty of conditions right now, between administration, the physical and emotional demands, the constantly dwindling pay (in CA next month we’re voting on a Proposition that, if it fails, will lower my salary by about $6-8,000 a year), the summertime firings, etc etc etc… It’s no longer a respected position.
I have no real advice for you on career changes since I’m in the same position myself. I do know that things will improve after a few years, making it easier to transition, but without further school or training it’s likely to be a pay cut regardless of where I go. My mom suggested applying for state job pools to at least be eligible for that in the future (that takes MONTHS in California).
However, for the sake of your students, please, please stick it out until the end of the school year. It’s so, so unfair for them to lose a teacher mid-year and have that awful transition period from you to subs to (hopefully) a new, permanent teacher. The kids that I just started with this week are not only 3-4 grade levels below where they should be, but they had two teachers quit on them already and they’ve had subs for a month. They’ve essentially lost 2 months out of a 9-10 month school year. How can they ever get caught up? They won’t. Your students don’t deserve to suffer for your frustrations. I’m sorry that it’s so difficult for you (really, I understand), but when you have so many relying on you being a permanent fixture in their lives until May/June, you owe it to them.