When Is It Time To Leave The Classroom?
Written By: Robyn Shulman
How does a teacher know when it is time to leave the classroom? According to Google Analytics, the most common keywords that bring readers to ED News Daily are the following: alternatives to teaching, companies that hire teachers and jobs for teachers other than teaching. Combined, these phrases have been typed into Google search close to 9,000 times.
The most popular article on this site is: “Alternatives to Teaching: 20 Companies That Hire Teachers,” with over 30,000 views in the US alone.
With this type of data, it would be unethical to ignore, while difficult to address. Obviously, these are teachers who are either looking to leave the classroom for various reasons, who may be trying to get a job in the corporate world, and/or cannot land a job in the classroom.
However, for those teachers who are currently in the classroom and find themselves unhappy, how can they decide what is best for themselves, their families and for the lives they touch every day?
If you are an unhappy teacher who is craving to escape the classroom, it is unfair to stay for yourself, but it is especially unfair to stay for the students. They feel it, they know it, and you are their epitome of education. If you don’t want to be there, they won’t either. If you loathe school, they will too. If education is a drag on your life, why should it be important to your students?
Our attitudes shape who we are and how we are perceived in the world. When students walk in our class every morning, we set the tone immediately. Smile or frown? Get excited about teaching or pass out worksheets all day? An effective teacher is priceless.
It is your responsibility to make a change, whether it is with your personal attitude or finding a new job. Easy? No. Possible? Yes.
You may have a mixed bag of feelings and thoughts that toss back and forth in your daily life. Do any of these questions or statements sound familiar?
1. I have been a teacher for so long, there is nothing else I can do.
2. I am tenured, comfortable, and I only have a few years to go until I retire. Why stop now?
3. It’s much easier to talk about leaving, rather than taking action.
4. I may not be happy, but at least I have a job to go to every day.
5. I know I haven’t been as effective as I could be in the classroom, but I’ll do more next year.
6. I can hide how I feel; the kids can’t really sense my frustration or possibly know I don’t want to be here.
7. I love teaching, but I don’t like the red tape, the demands are great, and I simply feel drained all the time.
8. Nobody will ever hire me because my skill set is too defined and I’m not up to date with current technology.
9. I’m simply too scared to step outside of my comfort zone.
10. I will disappoint everyone if I leave the classroom.
Do you want to make a change? Have you made a change? If so, please share your story.