WANT TO QUIT TEACHING? 3 WISE TIPS FROM MY GRANDPA
There I was sitting on the back porch telling my grandfather, a good old southern farmer slash engineer that I no longer felt teaching was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I went on to explain that I felt guilty for wanting to leave. I’ll never forget what he said in his low and gruff voice, “Suzanne, get over yourself, you’re replaceable!” Those were harsh but very true words.
I was focusing on everyone else but me. What would my administrators think? Would the other teachers feel I was better than them for leaving?
Your Not Alone Wanting To Quit Teaching
If you’re feeling guilty wanting to leave teaching, this blog is for you! Stay tuned as I go over the only 3 things you should consider when wanting to leave the teaching profession.
According to a report by Horace Mann, of the K-12 teachers they surveyed, 60% of them enjoy their jobs less than they did before the pandemic. I’m going to assume if you’re watching this, you’re probably one of them?
Well, I’ve talked to a lot of unhappy teachers in my life. In fact, I went into teaching to be the teacher I never had. You see, I was taught by a lot of teachers that didn’t want to be there.
Let’s be real, we knew as kids which teachers enjoyed teaching and which didn’t. Just like our students know to this day. It’s no judgment, it’s just the truth. Isn’t it so?
And, wanting to be the teacher I never had, was really why I became a teacher, plus I was good at it and I love children. But, at some point, I realized I felt like I was made for more, and I didn’t want to just continue and be one of those teachers I had, that would defeat the whole purpose of why I went into teaching in the first place.
In my work as a private business coach, I hear teachers tell me all the time, or write it in our Facebook group, Educator 2 Entrepreneur with Suzanne Klein, that they feel guilty about wanting to leave.
So, this brings me to my list of three things my grandpa taught me when I wanted to leave teaching that will help you too!
Grandpa’s Lesson 1: Let Go of Guilt!
So you feel guilty about wanting to leave teaching.
Answer these questions with a yes or a no.
Does feeling guilty help you achieve anything? Yes, or No?
Does feeling guilty give you answers to your problems? Yes, or No?
Does feeling guilty make you feel better? Yes, or No?
Does feeling guilty mean you care more than someone who doesn’t feel guilty? Yes, or No?
The correct answer to all 4 questions is No. Conclusion: Feeling guilty is pointless. It doesn’t really achieve anything and it’s not the answer to the problem.
I am a firm believer that there should not be any guilt or stigma associated with wanting a career change. No matter what the reason. No matter what the career.
In other industries, you can pivot to a different department if you’re unhappy in your role. If you feel stagnant in your career, you can change it with ZERO stigma associated. People come and go freely from companies, and the HR department makes you aware of your options because they know everyone is replaceable in their position.
So, why is it in teaching that we take on this stigma that you’re less than a good teacher if you want to move on? This leads us to lesson 2.
Grandpa’s Lesson 2: Stop Worrying About What Others Think!
Are you worried about what other people think if you leave teaching? Yes, or No? Another wise thing my grandpa said was that it was none of my damn business what other people thought of me. This has stayed with me my whole life. Think about it, can you ever know what people are really thinking? No, right, isn’t it so? Placing people’s opinions about you over your own is a form of people-pleasing--something that teachers are known for and is really detrimental to our health and wellbeing.
That leads me to my last lesson. I’m going to share a really powerful quiz for you to take, so keep reading!
Grandpa’s Lesson 3: Health is Wealth!
You will hear many voices within the school system telling you to prioritize your work (or more accurately, your students’ test scores) but it will be far less often than you hear the message to prioritize your health and well-being. You have to be your own best advocate.
The proverb Health is Wealth means that one's health is the greatest wealth. The definition of health is a state of a person's physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.
Take the “How Big Of A People Pleaser Are You?” Quiz
To help you see if your people-pleasing tendencies are holding you back and keeping you stuck, take my How Big Of A People Pleaser Are You? quiz just for teachers. It will tell you if your people-pleasing ways are in the high, medium or low zones and what you can do to break free from these negative habits. Just fill out your info above or below to be sent a link to the quiz.
I would love to know, in the comments let me know which out of the 3 Grandpa’s lessons was most usually for you?
You have an obligation to your students, sure, but you have an even bigger obligation to yourself to create a life that you want to live, a life of all 5 Freedoms. Living your best life might mean finding another job, or as my teacher clients do, they build their own dream, be their own boss. But regardless, my advice is to do whatever it takes to pursue your dreams and aspirations, both professionally and personally. You deserve that.
My friend, remember you can rewrite your future and I can help!
P.s.-don’t forgot to enter in your details below to take the How Big Of A People Pleaser Are You? quiz just for teachers.
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