Teaching is perhaps the noblest profession – but it sure is an exhausting one. Due to infamously low wages, interminable work days, unappreciative students and parents, constantly shifting regulations and other trying issues, most teachers boast extremely high stress levels, which inevitably lead to burnout. While other burnt out professionals must take time away from their jobs to rest and recuperate, demoralized and fatigued teachers typically turn to other careers permanently.
If you are becoming tired of teaching, you might see an imminent end to your days as a teacher. However, just because you don’t want to be in the classroom doesn’t mean you should leave education entirely. In fact, there are plenty of places you can go to continue influencing young lives without the demands of teaching. Here are just a few to consider today.
As an educator, you are probably familiar with what the counselors at your school do: assist students going through social, emotional, behavioral, mental and academic trouble. Counselors have different focuses depending on the age of their student body, so you might find moving from high school to elementary school (or vice versa) to be a welcome break. You should pursue a master’s degree in school counseling to qualify for these positions.
Maybe you are struggling to much as an educator because your school’s administration isn’t providing the support you need. You can change that by transitioning into administration yourself. School administrators work the office, making staffing decisions, developing programs, drawing up budgets and communicating with parents, district officials and more. While not necessary, a master’s degree in education administration will give you the skills you need to excel in this new realm.
If you want to leave the school system entirely, you might be an excellent candidate for education consulting. These professionals work with teachers and administrators to identify ineffective policies and curricula and improve school environments for everyone. The best consultants have years of experience in teaching and/or administrative roles, but you can supplement a lack of experience with a degree in curriculum and instruction or something similar.
If you have identified a gap in retargets during your teaching career, now is the time to fill it with your own products or services. Edupreneurship is a growing field of entrepreneurship in the education industry, and as a teacher, you know more about teachers’ and students’ needs than anyone. Though it is smart to get your business rolling ASAP, you might need to return to school for an MBA or some exposure to business management.
For a much lower-stress job that keeps you in school and around students, you might consider a job in the library. School librarians do more than shush loud students; they maintain order in the stacks, develop reading programs to encourage engagement with written materials and often help students find and use library retargets. You should be qualified to work in your school library, but for additional credentials, you can pursue a master’s in library science.
Curriculum designers work at the district level, developing educational programs and compiling instructional materials for teachers and students. You could work closely with the superintendent and guide an entire community’s course of study – or you could also work for large organizations in HR, building their training and professional development curricula. For the latter career move, you will likely need a degree in curriculum development; for the former, some experience in education administration is necessary.
Speaking of superintendents, you could be one! You should look into what it takes to become a superintendent in your area; some cities and states have publicly elected superintendent positions – meaning you could qualify to run now – while some are appointed by an education board. In either case, you should gain experience in education administration first, so you don’t mess up schools more thanks to your naivety.
In many cases, students succeed or fail not by how they are treated in the classroom but by their experiences immediately after school. By working as a youth organizer, you could provide a safe, educational place for young students to go to complete assignments and stay safe until their parents come home. Right now, non-profits in your area are likely looking for professionals just like you to oversee youth programs like this, so you can transition to this type of work immediately.
Being a teacher is tough, but it prepares you for all sorts of beneficial work outside the classroom. If you are done teaching, you can still contribute to the success of students by pivoting into any of the above-listed jobs.