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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by amelia55, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. amelia55

    amelia55 New commenter


    I have just found a TES forum from last September from someone asking if anyone had regretted leaving teaching. I think without reading it you could possibly assume what most of the answers said...

    I am a twenty-something teacher already feeling lost, confused and frustrated and reading that forum gave me a glimmer of hope that despite the sadness I feel at the prospect of leaving teaching, it might be what I already feel will be the best for me.

    My question is though - Have you or someone you know left teaching? Without asking for too much personal information I am interested and intrigued to know what direction others took. I'll admit, I am also hoping this will help the confusion I feel at leaving this job, but having spent all of my adult working life in education there is a big world of work and profession I know nothing about. Ultimately I would love to find some inspiration, some ideas to read into and even just some solace from others who have moved on and know they are better for it.

    Many thanks everyone
    pleasemiss__ likes this.
  2. MsPoppins

    MsPoppins New commenter

    I resigned in March before even finding a new job because I knew it was the right thing for me. I found a part time job starting September so had no break in service but it was a risk. No more Sunday afternoon dread or sleepless nights.
  3. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    I’m a secondary HT, and have been in the profession now for 26 years. I started when I was 22 as an NQT, and got my first Headteacher role last year aged 47.

    Teaching is not for everyone; some make a career out of it, some spend about five years on average before deciding to leave the profession due to stress. It is a stressful job to be in, at times, and it certainly is, now, than it was back in 1992 when I started teaching.

    In your case, have a long think before you tender your resignation; you spent 4 years (if not more) at University to become a teacher, there was obviously a reason why you chose to do it. If you was to leave teaching, what profession would you move into? Does it have good development prospects? If you have decent answers for those questions, then, consider it, but if you are happy to take any job ‘just to pay the bills’ then, you need to think thoroughly about what you actually want to do.
    Can you afford to take a pay cut? Not many starting roles would match a starting teaching salary.

    I hope this advice is useful to you.
    ninanani, livingstone83 and pepper5 like this.
  4. Orchd789

    Orchd789 New commenter

    What are your passions? I was considering moving into education outside of the classroom such as museums.

    There are jobs outside of the profession but often with less money. It depends on what you want out of life. Money or more time?

    If you still like teaching without the politics and often the paperwork- supply perhaps.

    I’d draw up a list of things I do like about the profession and things I don’t then ask don you want to leave altogether? Would working part time help?

    Looking at job websites might spark some inspiration. I’ll admit, although I’m applying for teaching jobs at the minute, there’s been a few jobs that quite fancy outside of the the profession. I think I’ve just talked myself into leaving. Ha!
  5. Fluffy_Koala

    Fluffy_Koala New commenter

    I have been exactly where you are now and it’s a pretty dark and lonely place. Please make sure that you are communicating your feelings to other people and getting the right support.

    Most ex teachers I know have gone into:
    Supply (money to tide them over)
    Trained to be ed psychs
    Local authority jobs (for example: SEND Officers etc)
    Prison Officers

    I left in summer with no job to go to (long story but I’m intending on doing a post about it soon) and I applied to a few jobs for small companies (they’ll recognise your skill set and transferable skills more). I start my new job soon!! It’s a managerial role but my experience as DHT for 2 years really helped.

    Please don’t stay in a job that makes you unhappy. There’s a whole other world out there. Also, don’t make rash decisions Talk this through with someone you can trust. Good luck!
  6. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Only you know how unhappy you are but don't stay too long if you are utterly miserable.

    If I were still in teaching I'd be retired now. I am, however, in a job which I find exhilarating and uplifting every day. I work for the second largest drug and alcohol team in the country and nowadays am based working with those who've completed treatment and are in recovery.
    suzuki1690, Sinnamon, BioEm and 2 others like this.
  7. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    I didn't leave teaching, I just left teaching in the UK! Teaching in an international school overseas isn't the guaranteed bed of roses that some people might have you believe, there are many schools where your experience would be no better than in a UK state school, but if you do some research and choose schools wisely then you can definitely find a post with much less stress, conflict, frustration, demoralisation, government interference, poor behaviour and all the other stuff that made me skip the country. I love teaching, I just don't love it in the sort of environment you get in UK schools.
    new career, Arissa, agcb256 and 6 others like this.
  8. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    At 20 something you have a long working life ahead of you. If you are unhappy it will be easier for you to retrain now than in 15 years time when you might still be unhappy in teaching.
  9. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    The phrase I repeat ad nauseam is there are more ways to help people learn than from the inside of a hamster wheel, assuming you want to keep helping people learn in some way.

    Otherwise I'd suggest diversifying into a number of money earning pursuits and see which one works best for you.
  10. physicsfairy

    physicsfairy New commenter

    I left teaching, i was worried that I wouldn't find another job outside of teaching, similar to you, however I have found a job as an instructional designer (making e-learning resources for a large international company), i love it, I work 9-5:30 and have so much energy at the end of the day! So much so I am able to volunteer at a nearby library and offer free science and maths tuition (I love teaching, but i found teaching to be a really toxic environment).

    I thought I would have to take a pay cut, but I actually got a pay rise when moving into this job. I'm learning so much on this job, and my colleagues are lovely, and my employers treat us so well! You can always return to teaching, but the longer you stay in education the harder it will be to leave. I taught science (physics) for 4 years.
  11. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    I second this. I've just left teaching (am 38) and a colleague in his 20's who had been teaching for 3 years also left the same time I did - he's found it much easier to get a job with an equivalent salary to what he was being paid as a teacher. However as I'd been in the game for 16 years I didn't and had to take a pay cut (no regrets at all however).

    It is sad that so many people are leaving etc etc but you have to do what is right for you, it's your health and your life. It's certainly not worth staying in a job that is making you miserable just because it's seen as morally the right thing to do. That was something I really struggled with but ultimately my health and life had to come first. I loved teaching for the first 8/10 years and was really good at it, but all the extraneous bull that went with it, including bullying managers and SLT, drove me out. Just wasn't worth it, and I don't see realising that as a weakness. Good luck.

    (EDIT: I've talked about what I do now a lot on here recently (so won't rehash it on this thread), so if you click on my profile and look at my older posts you can see what I did when I left teaching/how I did it if you're interested)
  12. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I must disagree with jago123. You did not go to university for 4 years to be a teacher, you went for three years to study a subject you were interested in and one year training to teach. In your university courses you learned about your subject and developed important skills. You will have built on these in your teaching career so far.

    You are looking for inspiration in a new career, presumably you find little inspiration in the gradgrind experience of education that our young people receive and that you have to deliver. Jago123 goes on to say;

    and I would agree but while you need to develop a long term plan, in the short term a 'job just to pay the bills' may be exactly what you want to give you a little breathing space and to re-identify yourself as being an ex-teacher. As you say, you have always been in education but there are a whole host of interesting and worthwhile careers out there that you, with the skills you have acquired through teaching, would make you a very suitable candidate. As I always say to colleagues looking to leave teaching, if you work just half as hard as you do teaching and apply the skills you have, your worth and potential will soon be recognised.

    You say you will be sad to leave teaching and I felt the same as my retirement neared but to come to terms with this, every hour at work on the hour I asked myself, 'Am I going to miss this when I retire or will I be glad to be rid of it?' I noted my responses and found that at the end of a few weeks about 80% of what I did I would be glad to be rid of. I realised that I would miss the good bits but that was only a small proportion of my working life so I retired having no regrets.

    You're already thinking about leaving teaching but if you never dip your toe into the non-teaching world then you'll never know what life might have held in store for you. You know what teaching will be like for the rest of your teaching career, just as it is now but with ever increasing demands on your time, health and sanity. Teaching will always be there for you if things don't work out and if you have to return it will be with the knowledge and experience of the world 'out there' but if you never venture 'out there' you'll never know.
  13. flyuplife

    flyuplife New commenter

    I was teaching in an International school but now in a UK state school. It made me felling like from heaven to hell. I am going to quit soon.

    agathamorse and suzuki1690 like this.
  14. UrsulaRia

    UrsulaRia New commenter

    That sounds really interesting. Are you able to share details?
  15. JosianeSandy

    JosianeSandy New commenter

    . That sounds great! I've been interested in that for years but i always thought I needed lots of IT knowledge to be able to be considered for such a job. Was it the case for you? How did you do it? Thanks!!
    apermana and mazza778 like this.
  16. lizzyshep

    lizzyshep New commenter

    I’m resigning tomorrow! I’ve got a job as a science technician at a secondary school. I have no plans to return to teaching.
  17. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Good luck in your new job.
  18. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I'm the Education, training and employment coordinator for the service. I also oversee interventions for the clients in our three city wide treatment hubs. In addition I'm a workplace support officer for the staff in the organisation. Before I moved into this role I spent eight years in criminal justice, drug intervention and assertive outreach and was involved in several different projects prior to that.

    The upside is it's far more fun than teaching was when I left it. The downside is the pay.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. lizzyshep

    lizzyshep New commenter

    Thank you :)
  20. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    I graduated from my PGCE in 2011.

    Of my circle of friends on the course;

    - 2 didn't finish.
    - 2 now work at a university, teaching the PGCE and SKE
    - One is a personal trainer.
    - One set up his own tutoring business and works for a University
    - One works in corporate training.
    - One teaches in Thailand.
    - One teaches at a FE College.
    - 2 of them died tragically young in separate accidents.
    - I've just resigned and will start work at a school for children with disabilities in January.

    So, in a 7 year period not a single one of my friendship group has managed to stay in mainstream secondary education.
    All of them (the dead lads aside - though I suppose it depends on your philosophy) are much happier.

    There's loads of stuff that teachers can do when leaving teaching. I hear that HR is a popular route.

    A few years in teaching and you develop a particular set of skills - not as good as Liam Neeson's, but ones that are very well suited to a number of jobs.
    agcb256, jlishman2158, SamGBr and 5 others like this.

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