I want to leave teaching

11th July 2013 at 01:00

I want out



After 3 years and 3 months, I seriously want to leave teaching.  The students are unbearable, I want out.  As soon as possible.  What can I do instead?


That’s really sad, because at one time, just over three years ago, you were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about becoming a teacher.  So what has turned it round so drastically?

From what you say, it seems that there may be discipline problems in the school that are not being tackled higher up.   Poor you, a horrid situation.  The trouble with wanting out now, three months into the school year, is that you have missed the October 31 deadline, so the next resignation date is at the end of February, to leave at Easter.  I’m not sure that you could – nor should – put up with what seems like unbearable behaviour for another four or five months. 


So as well as preparing your exit, I think that you need to ask for serious support at school.


Make sure that you are 100% familiar with the school behaviour policy, and that you are implementing it consistently, so that the school is reassured that you are doing what you should be doing.  And get that support.  From the Head of Year, from your Head of Department, from whoever.  You don’t have to cope with this all on your own.


As for other careers, teachers have a large number of transferable skills. 


You can co-ordinate, manage, plan, set priorities, work to deadlines, work co-operatively, and develop effective professional relationships with a wide variety of people.   And that’s just for starters! 


However, before you start off in a completely new career direction, you might like to consider a sideways move.  This could be to teaching in a different environment – in an independent school for example, or outside schools doing some form of tutoring or training.


An overview of the Independent sector


As teaching is what you are trained to do, and you have acquired considerable skills in this area over the last three years, this type of alternative might be a good first port of call.  Here is a link to a very useful document that lists careers where the skills and experience that you have acquired are very much valued.


It's an Oldie, but still very relevant.  Alternatives to teaching   


This one is more recent  What else can a teacher do?


Sort out in your mind the skills that you have.


Here is a good chart with Transferable skills of teachers.       And here's another: Transferable skills 2


These can help you identify another career opportunity, and also help you write an application, highlighting these skills - that point is very important. If you don't tell them that you have these skills, they will never know!


And there is also this website: here too you may find useful suggestions. But there is one thing that I must tell you: whatever you may think, teaching is actually a very well-paid profession, compared not with the bankers, doctors or lawyers, but compared with most other jobs that you could move to.  


You will struggle to get another job that brings home the same amount of bacon.


And don't forget the very useful National Careers Service which is free and available to all.  If you phone them, they often arrange for someone to ring you back to give an objective view of other possibilities.


But do see about getting the support that you need – and are owed – to make your current post less stressful while planning your escape.


Best wishes