Leaving Teaching? 9 Signs it’s the Right Choice


Are you thinking of leaving teaching? Not sure if teaching is still what you should be doing? Here we discuss 9 signs that leaving teaching is the right choice for you.

If you need help leaving the classroom, check out the Teacher Career Coach CourseThis step-by-step guide has helped thousands with a transition from teaching. Save time and get support with every step of picking a new path, rewriting your resume, and answering tricky interview questions.

It is never easy looking for work or switching careers. The long process of searching job boards, going on interviews and the emotional rollercoaster of rejections and silence can deter anyone from leaving a bad job. But, if you are stuck in a no-win situation and you don’t see any way out, then you need to do what’s right for you and trudge through to find the perfect match. It may be time to look into a career change for teachers. Here are nine warning signs that will let you know that it is time to stop thinking of leaving teaching and actually do something.

9 Signs Leaving Teaching is the Right Choice

1. Sunday Scaries

When the weekend winds down and those Sunday Night Blues start to creep in and you can’t bear the thought of another week, then you aren’t enjoying your job the way you are supposed to. If there is no more excitement about Monday morning, then your heart is no longer in it.  All jobs will have peaks and valleys, but your work experience should not be constant lows. You have the power to change the trajectory of your journey where every day is a new adventure.

2. Life Out of Balance

A lack of work-life balance that is negatively impacting your family and social life is a big problem can lead to negative consequences. Teacher burnout and work-life balance are the main reasons cited as to why teachers quit. We are social beings and we need a good social network to be happy. When we don’t nurture our relationships, then we become distant and lonely, which is not good for our mental and physical health. Social isolation and loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. If this is occurring and you are stuck in a work and no play situation, a fresh start will do wonders. Keep your work-life balance in mind for your well-being.

3. Taking Stress Home

Another sign that leaving teaching may be the right choice is if you’re unable to leave emotions and stress of school at school. If you find yourself being short with loved ones as a result, your patience with work may be running thin. This is not a healthy way to live. When we take work stress home, it can negatively affect our sleep, exercise and eating habits. Employees who constantly experience higher levels of stress are 23 percent more likely to find themselves in the emergency room. Yikes!

Related: Stress Management for Teachers: 5 Strategies to Implement TODAY!

What career outside the classroom is right for YOU? Free Quiz

4. Low-Self Esteem

Often, people do not move on from a bad situation because they suffer from low self-esteem. And, feel like they don’t have the skills to try something new. When you feel a growing sense of failure, lack of worth, or depreciating self-image due to the negative influences and stress of work, you can easily fall into a trap of hopelessness. You have more skills than you think, you just need to find the right situations. Find out what your character strengths are and lean into those strengths. You may be surprised at how strong you really are.

5. It’s Not Meant to Be

We all want to have meaningful careers, and teaching is a great way to add meaning to your life. But, when you are in a toxic work situation, it forces you to lose passion in a career you love. Suddenly, your job becomes mundane or frustrating when it is supposed to feel fulfilling. It’s hard to find meaning in a career you don’t enjoy. And it’s a fallacy to think you’ll be able to make it work. Don’t find yourself in a place of regret by staying too long. This is a big sign that leaving teaching may be the right choice.

6. Leaving Teaching because the Spark is Gone

When you don’t care anymore, it shows. If you find it challenging to feel impactful in your work and don’t enjoy working through the challenges with students to make them better people, then the spark that once motivated you every day has fizzled out. Students deserve an engaged teacher and if your situation is keeping from being the best teacher you can be, it’s time to find something that will bring you joy every day. Your goal every day should be about how you can make yourself and everyone else around better. If you’ve been thinking to yourself, “I want to quit teaching,” you may be completely done.

7. Career Quicksand

If you feel stuck, unchallenged, or bored, it’s time to act now before fall into career quicksand. If you feel like you are no longer moving forward in your career and the more you try to make it work, the further down you sink, then it’s time to reach for a lifeline to pull you out. Don’t get in too deep to where you feel like you can’t move. Your career survival depends on it.

8. Leaving Teaching because you’ve become a Negative Nelly

When we have lost our passion for something, we can find ourselves unintentionally spreading negativity to other teachers or students. I have seen it before, and unhappiness spreads like a virus. When we are focusing on negatives, we may speak poorly about our current work environment, fellow faculty members or students. Negativity travels faster than positivity, and we may not realize we are contributing to a toxic culture. Nobody wants to be around a Negative Nelly, so don’t let the job ruin your positive spirit. Or anyone else’s, either.

9. Leaving Teaching because you Want To

Finally, one thing that teachers often struggle with is the idea that teaching is supposed to be their forever career. As we grow, our interests and desires can change. That’s HUMAN NATURE. If you want to explore new career paths, are craving a change in your life, or just feel like doing something new, that’s okay. You don’t have to be the same person you were 5/10/15 years ago. You went into teaching because you have a good heart. You still have a good heart, even if you leave the profession.

You’ll always be a teacher even if it’s not your job title. You’ll always be able to use the skills you’ve mastered. And you’ll always find ways to help in any new position.

Next steps to a new career

One of the biggest mistakes that we see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. I want to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.

You don’t have to do this on your own.

With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more.

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