31st August 2007 at 01:00
Q) During the summer term I have been wondering whether to stay in teaching or find another job. What options might be open to me if I want to leave the classroom?

A) As there are so many different possibilities, I think you need to narrow down your options a bit. First, ask yourself why you are thinking about quitting teaching. You don't say how long you have been in teaching. Once teachers have been in the profession for more than about six years most departures that are not associated with family responsibilities are for work that is education-related. We know less about the destinations of those who quit in their first couple of years in the profession, but it is probably safe to assume that while some go on to education-related jobs many may move into other fields. Were you just coming to the end of a busy year and feeling jaded? If you still feel the same after the holidays then draw up a balance sheet of what it is you like and what you can no longer stand about teaching. This will provide ideas about the type of career you want to pursue and what to avoid. Some teachers in your position opt for a change in the age group they are teaching while others seek to specialise perhaps by moving from general primary teaching to reception or to develop an aspect of their subject, for example by moving from general science to physics or seeking out a particular combination of A-level courses they want to teach. There are now lots of posts available for those seeking to leave the classroom, as the pages of The TES reveal every week. In addition to changing sectors, there is also the possibility of using your teaching qualification to travel the world and teach in any one of many different cities. The other question you need to address is whether or not your desire to leave is temporary or permanent. If you see yourself returning to teaching in a few years' time, perhaps after acquiring new skills, then you will need to continue to monitor the education market.

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