9 answers

Career Change thoughts...Education......

Ok.....I had a bad day....I ALWAYS have this thought on a bad day......I know what I do is important and I know that I have always given much more than required and sometimes that can lead to becoming burnt out and just needing a "break".....

Anyway, I have never thought that teaching would be the profession from which I would retire. I have always had the hopes of furthering my education and expertise, eventually working elsewhere in the educational spectrum, not just in the classroom. Lately it has become more and more obvious that my chosen career is getting me nowhere. I feel absolutely exhausted, stressed, and under-appreciated. Our salaries have been frozen for YEARS and there is no raise in sight....BUT we were just informed that our ins. premiums would be increasing AGAIN.....I do not live beyond my means, but my means are starting to become not enough for what I need to live with all of the increase in costs and no increase in salary......I'm not enjoying it like I used to and it feels more like a job than a passion...I'm good too....DAMN good at what I do, but lately I feel like I just do what I have to in order to get through the day. This is not me....This is not who I am....This is completely frustrating and defeating......I don't know what to do.....

Friends have suggested changing the area/grade I teach...I have two certifications....will have 3 shortly.....I'm curious as to what those of you who have taught/are currently teaching have done/do to make the days better AND if you left the field or changed areas/positions, what ultimately made you do so......regrets, pointers, etc......

Also, what the heck can I do instead of teach?! I feel like that is all I am qualified to do and with the job market not so hot, I have NO IDEA what I would do if I left the classroom at this point in my career. I live in a rural area and have NO plans to relocate any time soon.....TIA for anything you can contribute...even if it is a simple prayer or warm thought. :)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You didn't mention what you teach. My friend used to teach 4th grade science. She tried moving into administration for one year and hated the politics. She started her own business. Her website is http://www.trinitysciencesolutions.com/trinitysciencesolu...
She does an awesome job of teaching science concepts and the kids who come to her presentations score much better on the standardized tests here.

1 mom found this helpful

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Have you considered teaching privately?

The number of homeschoolers is SKYROCKETING. And a common misconception is that we teach our kids everything. Most of us farm out classes. The hottest ones are "school hour" classes (because we have our kids registered for classes already in the evenings, because that's when most businesses offer them... and that's when their friends get out of school for playdates/etc.).

In our area, which is WAY overpriced (cost of living is like that of hawaii or nyc), I know quite a few private teachers who are making 6 figure salaries. Teaching apx 20 hours a week (of course lesson planning and prep bumps that up to a full time job, but at least it's flexible).

- Overhead is low to non-existent if you set up shop in a community center.

- Some local community centers have whole days of classes (20-30 of them) offered by dozens of teachers. Because everyone knows about it / heads there... it helps with marketing. Cost around here is about $125-$250 per 10 week session per child per class.

((I've taught on a whim a few times, I had 40 kids total in 4 classes 2 days a week (microbio for the under 12 set) after word got out. So I made -gross- about 10k in 3 months, teaching 4 hours a week. I designed the courses, designed the testing, taught... no politicking.))

I don't do this anymore... (I'm homeschooling my son, working on my BA/ BS, in the middle of a divorce... aka have zero time)... Although I may again.

The market to aim for is Homeschoolers & those who want private schooling k12 but can't afford teh 15k-35k per year so are looking for supplementary classes, and CAN afford $500-$1500 a year.

It's just an option to consider.

3 moms found this helpful

I wish I had answers for you. I'm struggling with many of the same questions that you are, except that I don't want to switch grade levels or content. Our salaries are frozen, and we just found out this week that insurance premiums will be going up considerably again next year.

As for thinking about teaching something else, I have taught in a Catholic school, and a public school, and loved both. I have taught 8th grade through 12th grade English, on-level, pre-AP, AP, and sheltered (combination of on-level and special-education students). I have also taught Spanish and religion (Catholic). I have been co-department chair (until my youngest son was born), and senior level leader for many years. I have loved having the opportunity to switch what I have taught from time to time. It has kept me fresh, and has given me so many different experiences, so if you are interested in teaching something else, go for it.

As for what else we can do outside of teaching, I've been looking into that lately. I will probably continue to teach, but I want to know what my options are. Being a corporate trainer is an option, as someone else mentioned. You mentioned ESL, so I'm guessing you're background may be English. I've looked into editing, and there are quite a few job opportunities out there for editors.

Morale is so incredibly low at the school where I teach right now, and it sounds like it is low all across the country. I hope you find what you are searching for, and that you sail through the rest of the school year happily. :)

1 mom found this helpful

You didn't mention what you teach. My friend used to teach 4th grade science. She tried moving into administration for one year and hated the politics. She started her own business. Her website is http://www.trinitysciencesolutions.com/trinitysciencesolu...
She does an awesome job of teaching science concepts and the kids who come to her presentations score much better on the standardized tests here.

1 mom found this helpful

You don't say what content area/grade level you teach. If you have 3 certifications and feel you are getting burned out in the area you are currently teaching, then I would absolutely recommend you try applying for a teaching position in a different content area. Middle-High school level can be a completely different experience from elementary level. I was a specialist in a K-8 school before staying home with my kids, I liked the variety of the age-groups I worked with as well as the fact that I got to see all the kids in the building on a weekly basis.

Is changing school districts a possibility? One that offers a better contract/salary? How about administration? Despite the salary freeze, do not underestimate the fact that you have health insurance and most likely a retirement plan...something that you'll lose if you leave. I worked for a low paying district, but I had excellent health/dental benefits. I had friends who had much higher salaries but lacked the benefits I had. Teaching is also a great career for parents, you're on the same schedule as your kids once they're in school and share school vacation weeks, weekends and summers "off". You have sick days which you can take if your child is ill, and personal days for your mental health!

Try to focus on the positive things about your job, which for me was the time I was actually in my classroom teaching the kids, planning new and exciting lessons, getting positive feedback from a student/parent or co-worker. It's also easy to get caught up in the negativity that goes on with some staff members, it's toxic and can really bring you down if you let it. I remember having to avoid lunch with certain staff members because I became so tired of hearing all the negative, when we had a lot of really good things happening in our building! I understand how you feel and hope things begin to look up for you in the future!

1 mom found this helpful

Unfortunately, there are a lot of teachers in that same boat.... I'm a para in a middle school, and it is scary how many TEACHERS have a second job! They may be tutoring in the evenings, or other things, but still......

We've been in a salary freeze for a few years, and insurance premiums are going up, and there are more staff cuts in sight..... very scary these days.

I don't have any suggestions, but I just want you to know that my thoughts are with you... so many talented teachers are leaving in frustration, just like your frustration. When they can make more money in the private sector, it sure seems logical to them, especially when there are more and more pressures from the administrators.

I'm not sure a career change will fix the fact that your wages aren't rising. it has nothing to do with your profession and everything to do with the current economic climate.

We haven't seen a real wage increase in our household for a while. Wages were frozen, and then my hubby's promotion just made up for those loses. Then our insurance premiums have gone up a ridiculous amount, etc.

I use to teach at the college level. When I had a bad day, I remembered all the wonderful things about teaching: the freedom to create fun learning activities, the joy of seeing a kid get something they've been struggling to learn, the summers off, etc.

Have you thought about working with children with special needs? From what you say you are very dedicated and you may find working with children with special needs very rewarding. I have worked in early childcare for over 25 years and I know what you mean. You sometimes just need a change to become excited about teaching again. I just recently started volunteering with special need children and I am loving it. It is just what I needed!

Have you thought about working in the training department of a corporation?
Corporate trainers are teachers, but many do not have any teaching creditionals and therefore are lousy trainers.

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