If you find yourself thinking “I hate teaching” on a regular basis, it’s time to start considering making a change. Unfortunately, too many teachers end up staying in a profession that they no longer are passionate about. If you truly HATE teaching, start considering your other options. I personally left teaching for roles in instructional design and educational consulting, and I’ve never been happier.
Personally, what did I hate about teaching?
Let’s get this out of the way first. While I never hated my students, I hated the job itself.
The unrealistic job expectations, the ever-growing list of duties outside of working hours, and a lack of career growth opportunities. I felt stagnant, miserable, burnt-out, and I just simply needed a change.
After years outside of teaching, I’ve vowed to help other teachers find options if they need an exit strategy. I hope this blog will be a good starting point for you if you find yourself hating the profession.
I hate teaching, why do I stay?
It’s important that you understand WHY you are staying in a position that you think you hate. The average person changes careers 12 times in their lifetime. Why do so many educators say “I hate teaching,” but never take action to make a change?
After surveying thousands of teachers and former teachers, I’ve compiled the data to understand the trends behind this unique situation. I’ve found teachers often stay in the classroom (even when they are miserable) for three main reasons:
First, teaching was supposed to be their forever career, so many teachers never made a Plan B. Luckily, there are many easy pivots that teachers can do using their transferable skills. Read my blogs at the bottom of this article to learn more!
Second, teachers feel guilty about their decision to leave the classroom. Their coworkers and loved ones often add additional pressures by focusing on teaching being a “calling” instead of a career that they have the choice to walk away from. This was something I struggled with after leaving teaching as well, but it gets easier with time. I know that I made the right decision prioritizing my mental health and taking a new role.
Lastly, I’ve found that teachers have low career self-esteem after feeling devalued as a professional. They talk themselves out of even applying or truly starting the process of a career transition for fear that “no one hires teachers.” In my full program, the Teacher Career Coach Course, I help teachers struggling with mindset challenges in addition to identifying new career paths and rewriting resumes.
There are many other reasons why teachers may stay in the classroom as well – due to job security, summers off with their children, etc.
When is it time to leave?
You’ll have to be the one to make this decision. Your emotions will often try to talk you out of any huge change like this based on the fear of the unknown. The most transforming chapters of our lives always happen when we do things that scare us.
I recommend a pros and cons list to try to take the emotions out of your decision making. For example, what are the pros of you leaving vs. the cons of you leaving? Rate each of them on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most important, 1 being least) and then add up each side.
If you find yourself thinking “I hate teaching” on a regular basis, it’s time to get help (therapy, burnout support, other) or leave. If changing grades, schools, or districts wouldn’t help, it’s a good sign it’s time to go.
First Step: Take the Quiz
If you’re starting to weigh your options outside of the classroom, I created a quiz that operates as a good starting point.