It started out so different...
Sheer joy mixed with a few nerves and a touch of nausea… that’s how I felt on my first day of teaching. And now, here I am 22 years later and leaving this career for the next. And the feelings are similar yet so different at the same time. The unknown can be scary and intimidating. The pressure of leaving my comfort zone of teaching in a classroom setting, no matter how frustrated and dejected I may be while in it, is almost overwhelming. So, how do I walk away from teaching, the only career I’ve ever known? If this is the dilemma you find yourself in, trust me when I say you’re not alone. The numbers speak for themselves.
If I walk away, am I a quitter?
When I was a kid, one thing that got under my skin was being called a quitter… it seemed so degrading to be called that. Far too often, teachers are afraid to leave teaching, even though they know it’s time to move on because they don’t want to be labeled a quitter. Who does, right? When you stop and think about it though, people in other careers can switch to a new job or leave one company for another, and they don’t suffer from being labeled a quitter. If and when you choose to walk away from teaching, you have to reframe your thinking. As Ali Parrish, owner of Teacher Transition puts it, “You’re not quitting, you’re advancing. And that, my friend, is worth celebrating.” That perspective is a game-changer in overcoming this mindset!
Life Is About Change
After overcoming the fear of that quitter label and changing our perspective, we also have to realize that it’s ok to change in life. Let me just say this… there is no shame in choosing to move beyond the classroom and no shame in staying. Because education is a noble profession, teachers may feel immense guilt in moving on. After all, the popular thinking is: How can I walk away from teaching when I’m making a difference in our future? The reality of the situation is this… difference makers are difference makers because of WHO they are, not their career choice. You can continue to teach people and make a difference, just in a different setting and career outside of the traditional classroom, if that’s what you want. The reality is that life changes, and as it changes, there is no shame in changing and growing as a person with it.
Walking Away Can Inspire Students
“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living…Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving
Working 9 to 5, yeah they got you where they want you
There’s a better life, and you think about it, don’t you..”
Remember that old Dolly Parton song? Sometimes the 9-5 grind can get to you, yet you feel obligated to stay for your students. Most teachers I know got into teaching because of the children. In 22 years of teaching, I’ve never come across anyone who got into teaching for the money, and we work way beyond those 9-5 hours. It’s all about the children, and we feel so bad leaving them behind. Too often teachers put their health at risk for the sake of the children. What if we reframed our thinking? Instead of seeing it as leaving the children behind, what if we see it as inspiring students to grow in life? What better way to inspire students to chase their dreams in life than to model chasing OUR own? If walking away from teaching allows you to chase your dreams, then it should be applauded. Dreams can change, and students need to see this in action.
So Many Possibilities
If and when you do decide to walk away from teaching, do so with hope and excitement for a new career. The career possibilities out there for you are endless. I’m begging you… don’t ever think of yourself as just a teacher. So many people will jump at the chance to hire you because of the skills you possess that you put into action every day in your teaching career. Sometimes it just takes a little work to present your teaching skills in the right way to transfer to the business world.
Are You Ready to Move Beyond The Classroom?
Let’s be real… teaching isn’t quite what it used to be. It isn’t even close. If you find yourself ready to turn your classroom keys in for a career outside the classroom, then we have the perfect tool to help you make that transition by creating a quality resume that will help you stand out from the piles of applicants. I promise you already have the skills and experience…you just have to help the employers see just how valuable you are. The Winning Resume is the perfect tool to make hiring you an easy yes for any employer because it gives you tons of editable resume templates as well as templates for creating a portfolio and a list of 50 companies who love to hire teachers, and so much more! This resource can be a gamechanger for you!