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Leaving the teaching profession!

I am strongly thinking of leaving the teaching profession. I work very long hours and take too much work home. I spend A LOT of my weekends, night time and holidays planning and preparing engaging lessons. It’s too much! I find it nearly impossible to do it all to a high standard. To any teachers who have left the profession, where and what did you do? I love hard work but I want to finish my day and not have to think or do anything at home. I want my time for my family and I.


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Answers (16)

This is happening because of a bunch of people in power have to justify their years of university training & they have spent the last 30 years making every single facet of all of our lives more complicated, more paperwork, more hoops, more tasks just to the most simplest things. It's happening in every job & every industry. They want more from every worker but they don't acknowledge the extra work load & just expect you to deal with it because to them your just an employee of the system. Are you going to stand for that?

 F**k the man! ✊
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 I wish I was a punk rocker
with flowers in my hair

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 That lyric always annoyed me - punk rockers didn’t wear flowers!
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 Maybe it's not meant to literal?
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 I don’t understand what the flowers would be a metaphor though?
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 Maybe a hard arse but a non violent one??.....
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 Like a hippie peace love etc
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I think the work load for teachers is absolutely ridiculous!
I can't blame you for wanting to leave.
As others have suggested, have you looked at doing casual/ relief work? The money is great, just so long as you put some aside to get you through holidays.

I lasted 3 years in teaching, and that was a long long time ago. I spent all the school holidays in bed asleep from exhaustion. It is was more than a 9 to 5 job. I left and went to a clerical job, and the stress levels just dropped through the floor. I was so relieved. I have never found any other job, however high powered and long hours, anywhere near as tough. No group of difficult managers as exhausting as a class full of kids, and their parents.
I ended up running leadership training in a very large organisation, and that was easier, because there wasn't a department of education dreaming up more crap administrative work. And believe me, it was nothing in those days compared to what you guys have to do.
Eventually I ran all the organisational development and work process change as well.
You can take your skills into industrial training, and top up your qualifications with psychology and move into organisational change management and group facilitation, and eventually consulting in that field.
You can do business management qualifications, especially strategic planning, and facilitate that process in organisations. Almost any business qualifications can be a foundation for training people in commercial organisations.
Your teaching / training skills will be invaluable in those settings.
Do you love technology ? There are trainers needed in those fields too. If you gain the relevant qualifications, you can train in that field.
There are lots of options.

 Me too. I have spent all holidays basically sleeping and watching TV. I feel so tired and miserable still after that. My parents think I am soft or dramatic. They do have harder more physical jobs and deal with more difficult people, but don't seem to carry the 'weight' on their shoulders of having to constantly do your best for every bodies perfect precious little babies. I swear my teachers were good teachers but I'm sure they weren't so consumed and pressured to think and care about me as a student 24/7 and cater to my every need along with 24 other individuals. It's getting out of hand.
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I’ve just turned 40 and I can’t do this for the next 25 years - this will be my last year. I’m not sure what I will do yet - I’m thinking of casual teaching a few days and doing a different qualification the other days. Good luck!

The parents will appreciate you more because they are paying you

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 Tutoring in maths is often needed. Its the sort of subject where if you get lost as a student, you are lost forever. So parents are more prepared to pay for tutoring in that subject than English.
However English is also in high demand.
There are organisations that specialise in out of school tutoring, with their own programs that are designed to teach the subject better than the school curriculum.
I cant remember their names, but you could do a search on line.
A friend of my daughters has been trained in a great way of teaching reading through using phonics (properly), which equips the kids to decipher how to say words on their own. Very powerful. You would not believe the kick back she has had from school authorities on her efforts to get it adopted more widely. And that is despite the Headmaster bringing other teachers in to look at what she is doing, because she is so successful.
I cant remember the name of the program, but I will post it here if I can locate it.

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 Maybe thrass?
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 Yes it is Thrass.
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Professional tutors in my town get $90 an hour, that must be worth looking in to. I would definitely choose an ex-teacher personally.

Go casual! Better money makes up for days you might not get booked, don’t bring home work. If someone in your class is horrible, you probably won’t have them tomorrow. Say you’re not available on days you have other stuff on 👍

Go back to uni and study occupational therapy!

 Not the OP, but why occupational therapy?
Is it an easy job?

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 It involves teaching people how to do things, when they have diminished physical or emotional capacity so the skills are transferable to that from being a teacher. Highly rewarding as you help people in need who usuallly want your help. Pay us great too.
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 I had one help me after having a stroke. She taught me to walk again properly, gave me a list of words with "lf" in them for me to practice, because I couldn't say words like "wolf". Gave me exercises to regain use of my paralysed left side. Provided Elastic bands and correct use for resistance training to restrengthen my arms.
She had clever tricks like getting playdough to re-awaken and strengthen my grip.
Once I had mastered those exercises she gave me the next set for the next level of recovery.
She was well trained and well resourced.
Four visits to my home and she had me totally back on track.
In 8 months I was 100% recovered.

She was more value than any help I got from the hospital rehab (which was zero), And it cost me very little. I think she was with Blue Nurses.
People with these skills are short in supply, and are critically important, as strokes are becoming more common..

This career, and its contribution to society, could give you real job satisfaction.

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Oh my god I just left in my non-con because I have the shits and I am sooooooooooo ready to quit! Normally I'd be there till 5 but the job can get stuffed. I just wasted over an hour trying to fill out some ADPR goals, to which I had to go back and fix up and do a better job of, when 90% of teachers don't even have time to consider or work on these goals. An utter waste of my time when I have emails, paper work, marking everything over flowing. I am still trying to catch up work from last term because there is so much other crap I've had to teach and do.

I feel so concerned that we are not supporting our teachers as a country. What will happen when there are no teachers to educate our future generation

Hugs, I read on the bbc the other day how as many as 60percent of teachers feel like you and they are planning to leave the profession in the next 10years. I think it is completely reasonable but also sad.. I hope you find what you are looking for, though I have no advice

Could you possibly find a mentor? Talk to some colleagues? Your head of school. Dont put too much pressure on yourself.

 Not the OP ...colleagues care, but higher above do not. They basically see you as stressed, not coping with the work load, or say they would rather deal with teachers that want to be there. My bosses are pricks.
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I have just started studying my cert. III in teacher support, with the intention to start uni in a few years to do a Bach. Of Ed. This thread has certainly made me reconsider 😕

 I'm one of the teachers leaving posting above. There are fantastic things about teaching - I've done it for 18 years. Pros include the actual teaching part, the kids themselves, some great friendships with colleagues, no day is the same, not stuck in an office all day, regular and predictable pay (if you get a permanent position or temporary contract), good holidays, good maternity leave, a variety of schools around your state you can work in.
For me, the downsides are outweighing these - but it was a long time before I broke! And I don't regret all of it at all.
Don't go into the job blind with optimism, but it has good things about it too. It's just time I did something different for the sake of my mental health.

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 what are you doing instead?
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 I’m not 100% sure yet - will do some casual days and finish some studies I’ve started. I will probably offer some tutoring as well and see what else I can hustle. Luckily my husband is working and is keen for me to leave as it’s so stressful atm.
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I am a (secondary) relief teacher and I love it. No marking, planning, curriculum, admin or reports which is great! BUT you don't get to choose what they do, have to stick to the plan left by their regular teacher. Don't get to do much actual teaching or explaining, it's often mostly supervision. Lots of behaviour management (teacher's away - let's paaaarttttyyy!!) which is harder when you haven't got as close of a relationship with the students & can't follow up with them. Irregular hours, can't predict when you'll get work, sometimes don't get anything for a while.
Totally get where you're coming from, my brother is a full time teacher and constantly stressed & overworked. He still finds the actual teaching part rewarding enough to stay, but there's so much pressure to be amazing and so much after hours work, it's just expected of them. He finds it hard to balance time with his family. Plus all the stupid bureaucratic stuff, the education dept seems determined to make it more and more difficult to just get on with it and teach.

I believe there will be an over supply of casual and contract teachers, or teachers looking to job share (experienced qualified but exhausted teachers going to waste sadly). I am so over needy children and parents consuming our time with random emails. Emails for the sake of emails. And deputies etc. too. Yes, children have needs, supporting and nurturing those needs is why I became a teacher... but there is a new breed over over indulged / constantly needing attention / lacking boundaries and I'm over it.

 I got fed up with being mother and father and counsellor as well as teacher. It was so emotionally draining as well as physically exhausting. I never regretted leaving teaching.
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 What do you do now?
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 Oh same, and I am incredibly tired of parents using the term ANXIETY or BULLYING and consuming mine, and the guidance officers time when there are kids in real need. Draining on the teacher - if you genuinely believe your child is anxious by all means see the teacher and GO but also a GP - funnily enough no one rarely ever goes to a GP for a chat or referral for support at home or outside of school, but I am expected to make a heap of adjustments and considerations in class - when really, your child was just obnoxious, disobeyed instructions, received a consequence for their behaviour and carrying on more and more... because you are feeding into it. The parents just do this to 'cushion' their child and find ways to make life easier for them / accommodations made.
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 Yeah and let’s be honest, parents are the ones causing their kids stress with all their living through children mentality, over scheduling and competitiveness..not to mention putting their own stress onto the child
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What about a slightly different position, causal teaching or early childhood (kinder/childcare) or teacher aide or something like that. Still in the profession but different position?

 If you think kindergarten teachers have it any easier you are sadly mistaken. We are there til 9pm once a mo th for meetings alone
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 Primary teachers can’t transfer down to early childhood, unless they are qualified in it. Early childhood teachers can teach both early childhood and primary though.
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 Yeah that doesn't work at our school in QLD, we currently have primary trained teachers in Prep, and early childhood trained teachers moved to make way for the others wanting to try it - teaching 1,2,3 - one even got stuck teaching 5.
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