What should I do if I hate teaching?

What should I do if I hate teaching?

Teachers who hate teaching should take a step back and go on a mini-vacation to reduce stress. Next, consider changing schools, districts, or grade levels as these factors can improve your outlook on teaching. You can always change careers if you still hate teaching.

Imagine, getting into a career you actually love. You no longer have to deal with bad behavior from students or administrative staff that doesn’t support you.

Hating teaching is a common feeling amongst teachers.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you why teachers decide to quit their job and what you can do about it. I’ll show you some career alternatives and how to pivot away from your teaching position. Ideally, you’ll be well on your way to planning your next step in life.

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Why do most teachers quit?

Most teachers quit because they’re underpaid with increasing workload. Student behavior can be difficult on teachers and there is little repercussion from disciplinary actions. District, administrative staff, and parents are often working against teachers rather than with them. 

Teachers are underpaid

Most teachers are underappreciated and underpaid. The estimated average annual salary of a teacher in public school is almost $59,000. This salary is under the average household income of $63k and hasn’t varied much since 1989, adjusting for inflation.

You have one of the most important jobs as a teacher. Every day, you wake up and teach the future generation important life skills. However, your pay doesn’t reflect the importance of the job you perform.

Adjusting for inflation, teachers reached a peak average salary of $62k in 2009. However, the same inflation adjusted salary was only worth $59k in 2016. Therefore, teachers are actually experiencing a year over year pay decrease.

Teachers have increasing work demand

Teachers are experiencing higher workload demands. The number of students per classroom keeps increasing, meaning more students, papers, homework, and tests to grade. You may also find yourself with increased training for professional development such as inclusion, diversity, or edicate training.

Teachers get minimal rest and recovery

As a teacher, you may not be receiving enough time to recover from a stressful work environment. How many times have you brought work home with you or given up your weekends to grade papers?

What ends up happening is teachers are in a constant state of working.

You are constantly having to grade papers and tests, but you also have little time during the work day. Most teachers take this work home with them. Therefore, it’s hard to turn off teacher mode and actually enjoy your weekend.

Teachers deal with poor District and Administrative decisions

Decisions are constantly made without considering the impact on teachers. The school’s administration or even the school district may create a direction without input from teachers. However, teachers are the front line workers who need to carry out the direction, even if they don’t agree with it.

Student behavior is hard on Teachers

Student behavior can really throw off a structured learning environment. Children can cause problems for the teacher and discipline is rarely followed through or effective.

For example, a child could be misbehaving in your classroom. You file a complaint with your school’s admin, but at most, the child might get detention. The child is still coming back to your class and most likely won’t behave any better.

Bad behavior will typically start with the child’s home as a result of bad parenting. Parents often believe their child can’t be the cause of bad behavior. Therefore, talking to the child’s parents typically results in a headache and not a solution.

Administrative staff may even side with the child’s parents. Nothing makes teacher’s feel more valuable than trying to solve a behavioral problem, but being told it’s a non-issue.

What should I do if I hate teaching?

Hating teaching is a sign you need a change in your life. Start by taking a break from teaching by taking a week off. If the reset doesn’t help, consider changing schools, grades or districts. You should consider a career change if you still resent teaching after considering time off or a position change.

Vacations are usually a good way to reset and take a break from a stressful environment. You don’t even have to go anywhere to see the beneficial and stress reducing effects of time off. In some cases, you may be ready to return to work with a new positive attitude.

Other teachers look to change their environment in hopes of finding greener pastures. You might change schools with a better perceived environment. For example, leaving a school located in a poor neighborhood to teach in private education.

Alternatively, you might switch grades. You might try teaching grade schoolers instead of unruly teenagers. For some people, it’s easier to teach certain grades.

You may be located near a district that you feel is more responsive to teacher’s input. Joining this district might make you feel more valued as a teacher and could be a good move.

However, not everyone will be satisfied with teaching by switching positions or taking time off. Instead, you might still feel resentment towards teaching. Now would be a good time to look for a new career path or starting a side hustle.

What is a good reason to leave a teaching job?

You do not need a good reason to leave a teaching job. However, good reasons include better paying positions, needed time off, job stress, or evaluating your life for what’s next. Some teachers can make a better impact elsewhere or have personal reasons to leave.

Nobody is going to fault you for leaving your teaching job. Leaving your teaching job gracefully can be as simple as putting in your two weeks notice. Give a polite reason for wanting to leave, but you don’t have to include details.

Job stress and mental health issues are a common reason to quit teaching or at least take a career break. Having a stressful job can make it feel like your job is killing you. Stress isn’t good for your body and taking a break from teaching can help.

Career change is another common reason to leave teaching. You may wish to further your education or you applied for and accepted another job.

Teachers may also wish to leave their career to focus on starting a family. Other personal reasons include medical reasons or family emergencies.

What can I do instead of being a teacher?

Teachers can leave teaching by getting another job, going back to school, or starting their own business. Some jobs you can qualify for include librarian, assistant teacher, tutor, coaching, writer, social worker, or real estate agent. However, the most important thing to look for is doing something you’ll love doing every single day.

How do I quit teaching?

Quitting teaching is as simple as giving your two-week notice. Ideally, you would have another job lined up outside of teaching. You don’t have to be concerned about quitting during the middle of the year.

Quitting teaching is the same as quitting any job. Simply give your two-weeks notice either verbally or in writing to your boss.

Hopefully, you’ll have a plan for what you are doing next. For example, you will still need a consistent stream of income to pay your expenses. Quitting without a plan can be dangerous, unless you have enough savings.

Don’t be afraid to quit a teaching job in the middle of the year. The school will be able to manage and it shouldn’t be the cause of your stress. You have the right to quit anytime you like, with or without notice.

Leaving a teaching job without notice is typically frowned upon, but not impossible. Talk to your boss directly and see if it would be possible to get a substitute to cover your teaching position.

Summary: What should I do if I hate teaching?

As you can see, most teachers quit because of low pay and increasing workload. Teachers are not heard by administrative staff or the district. Child behavior issues are disruptive to the classroom and often result in little repercussion, meaning the behavior issues keep happening.

Consider taking a mini-vacation from teaching if you hate your job. You should also consider changing schools, grades or districts. If all else fails, try to change your career path to something you would enjoy better.

You do not need a good reason to leave a teaching job. However, good reasons include better paying positions, needed time off, job stress, or evaluating your life for what’s next. Some teachers can make a better impact elsewhere or have personal reasons to leave.

The three options teachers have are to change careers, open their own business, or go back to school. Going back to school is often expensive and not an option for most. Therefore, it’s important to pick a career you’ll enjoy.

Quitting teaching is as simple as giving your two-weeks notice. Simply talk to your boss and say you’d like to quit with a brief explanation. You don’t have to give any specifics to your reason for quitting.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.