I’ve gone through the process of deciding to quit a teaching job four times. Yes, four. Once was to leave for a (supposedly) better job, once was to relocate, and once was to leave teaching permanently due to burnout.
The other was due to the unhealthy atmosphere in the school. It never seriously crossed my mind to leave mid-year. I had made a commitment and I stuck it out, even to my own detriment. If I could do it over again, would I do the same or quit sooner? I’m not sure. We really couldn’t afford to have me quit so that factor probably would have trumped all others.
I think because I’ve dealt with this question in my own life, I found the following post and the comments so interesting.
In Why I Quit My Teaching Job Mid-Year, Angela Watson shares what finally drove her to walk away after only the first quarter of school. It is an eye-opening read as are the comments by other teachers who chose to walk away. My bad situation was nothing compared to what these teachers were facing every day.
I really fear for the future of the teaching profession. Teaching was hard enough when I was in the classroom. The stress of it has increased exponentially in the past ten years. Add to that steadily decreasing salaries and… How do you attract and keep talented people in the classroom?
Most people I know who went into teaching did so because they love learning, love imparting their knowledge to others, and genuinely enjoy children. Teaching is no longer about teaching, but is instead about managing a school environment and preparing for high-stakes standardized testing. With the implementation of the Common Core, teachers are now being asked to instruct children in topics for which they are not developmentally ready.
Where does it end? I have no idea. But if you have a teacher in your life, give him or her an extra word of encouragement this week. Even the best of situations is still tough these days.
And if you are a teacher who has left the teaching profession or is thinking about it, I would encourage you to check out Teachers Pay Teachers as a way to bring in an income. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of time and effort to see a return on your work there. But many teachers have found that it has opened the door for them to leave the teaching profession and still utilize their skills and abilities in a way that benefits both students and other teachers.