147 – Leaving Teaching: Elizabeth’s Story


Elizabeth kicks off her first episode with the Teacher Career Coach Podcast by sharing her teaching transition story.

Listen to the episode in the podcast player below, or find it on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Mentioned in the episode:

Welcome to the Teacher Career Coach Podcast with your new host, Elizabeth Suto.

She started her teaching career in 2014. She found she needed a career change after all the changes that pandemic brought to the teaching world. So she transitioned outside of the classroom into an administrative assistant role and now works as an operations manager.

Get ready for discussions on all things related to teacher transitions, interview prep, addressing burnout in the classroom, and so much more. Here’s your host, Elizabeth Suto.

Elizabeth: Hi, I’m Elizabeth and I wanted to start my first episode ever with my story. I’ll talk about my decision to leave teaching, my personal connection with this podcast, my role at Aspireship and now Teacher Career Coach, and what you can expect from future episodes of the podcast.

I taught for eight years in public and private schools, and I started getting my credential early on after auditing a college class and my mother was a teacher. I liked working with kids and was really excited and did think this would be my lifetime career and throughout the 8 years. I had my ups and downs with teaching. It’s an extremely exhausting career, as you know.

At all times, you are on. You can have anywhere from 20 to 36 kids. At least, uh, that’s how it was in my district. I know class size differs everywhere. and once COVID hit. And everything shut down, I started remote teaching. at that time, I actually enjoyed it.

I liked being remote, and I also liked playing around with all the different technology and figuring out how to integrate it into the lessons with the kids.

 I did see that not all of my colleagues the remote teaching. So I knew not everyone felt this way, but I did kind of keep it in the back of my head that I was noticing this change, and I really liked this different aspect. of teaching in this environment. When we went back in person the following year, that’s when I knew I needed to make a change.

the climate was incredibly polarized, which made it extremely difficult to build community, with the school, the parents, the classroom. There were different events that would be chaotic, like protests, and this is when I realized I couldn’t work in this environment. I was supposed to be teaching, reading, writing, and math, and I wasn’t.

So much of my time was taken by these external factors. there would be lots of teachers crying on a daily basis. at that time, that’s when I knew I had really lost the passion. Um, For teaching in this environment, and it was my life. This is how I was spending my time. And I decided that I needed to make a change.

And luckily at that time, I had, and I still have a very supportive husband. He would listen and support, you know, what I wanted to do, make these changes. And a lot went back to in my head. Well, I have this master’s degree. You know, I have this credential. Maybe I should just continue, but then finally realizing that it was impacting our quality of life And it was impacting my actual job.

I wasn’t doing what I used to love to do There were things interrupting our daily lessons and that’s when I started looking for new careers that fall

But I made some mistakes. And before I get into my job search and tell you about those mistakes, I did want to explain what Aspireship does, because that’s where I landed after my teaching career.

Aspireship is a career development platform for individuals to learn about new career paths. and it’s also available for businesses to upskill their employees. And so I’m currently an operations manager at Aspireship.

Now going back a little bit, I wanted to talk about my job searching journey. So I was doing it full time on top of teaching.

I knew in my head I wanted to continue working until I found another job. and I was applying to anything and everything. I had the mindset that I could do anything, which I realized a little bit later that was not true. But I would apply to human resources jobs, curriculum writing, corporate trainer, customer service.

And after getting through a couple of those interviews, I really realized, hey, I am not an expert at what these jobs do, and nor can I really explain what they do. here’s where I narrowed down my search. And I narrowed it down specifically to executive assistant or administrative assistant. And the reason why is because in teaching, I really liked being in the support role.

I like helping people. I like making things efficient. I like people being happy, if things are more productive for them. So in this assistant role, I also thought I could have that impact. on a business or a startup. So, as I was driving to school one day, I was listening to the Teacher Career Coach Podcast, as I did every morning on the way to school.

That’s how I learned about Aspireship. So, on the podcast, Daphne was interviewing Alexis Scott, who worked at Aspireship at the time in sales, and the episode was about how sales wasn’t scary. When I went home later that day, I logged on to my LinkedIn and started following Aspireship. I got to know a bit more about their company culture, more about what they did, and it really aligned with where I wanted to go and where I wanted to be. And sure enough a bit later I noticed they had posted an admin assistant role.

So I immediately applied and the role closed as fast as it had opened. They made a posting the very next day saying we have closed the this job opening. We have gotten over 800 candidates. We will be in touch. at that time is when I was able to learn further in the interview process about the project that was at hand, following directions explicitly. having that clarity really helped. And during the interview process, being detail oriented, organized and, the ability to follow directions was huge. as I got to my final interview with them, I knew it was the right fit. the only issue it was in, March and my contract ended in June, but we’ll save that for another episode.

​I did end up breaking my teaching contract. I left my teaching position and started my new job as an admin assistant at Aspireship. So when I started in that role, I worked directly with leadership and executives. I learned a lot about hiring, big decision making, doing different workshops with our COO and leadership.

I also got to help plan our Aspireship lives where we found people who worked directly with subject matter experts, hiring managers, and we got to interview them as guests for these different tech industries for sales, customer success, and rev ops and currently in my new role with operations–

I got promoted, about a year in– I’m working on making things more efficient, helping the companies, supporting these different departments, and currently my mental health is great. I love what I do. It’s a lot of work. We are a startup and we’re very busy. I feel so valued. My time is spent doing the job that I like to do, and I’m just physically more healthy.

My relationships with my friends are better, my husband, and I’m really just able to have a better quality of life. since working there about almost three years now, when I found out that Aspireship would be acquiring Teacher Career Coach, I was very happy and also a bit shocked that this was coming full circle.

 So I wanted to take over the podcast because I was in your shoes. I was the audience member. I was listening to this on my way to school. And now I get to continue to help teaching teachers. I’m honored to be in this role that Daphne built, and I’m excited to continue this legacy.

I feel like my teacher transition journey was one of the most important parts of my life. I still love talking about education and am very passionate about it. Teaching gave me a completely different perspective on life that I do not want to lose. And now I can continue to talk about it on this public platform. I look forward to sharing this journey with you as we continue to interview transitioning teachers, hiring managers, and mental health experts.

We’re excited to come out with new episodes soon, and especially when we welcome you back to school this fall, and we’ll talk to you all soon. Thank you.

Step out of the classroom and into a new career, The Teacher Career Coach Course