Question Detail

What would make you quit or resign from teaching?

Jun 25, 2013 11:22am

Here's a touchy/sensitive subject but I am just reflecting or considering the above thought. I know we're in this for various reasons. I'm into my 10+ years of teaching and most of those is in the middle school concentration. I'm currently transitioning into a high school setting (again). I wonder how long I'll carry on. Has anyone thought or given serious reflection on this. I welcome any response from novice to veterans. Thank you for your input.

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    • Jun 25, 2013 5:12pm

      Hello Ms. Collins, thanks for your response. Yours sounds like a push and I hear you: the prep work in planning, then there's the grading, testing, and come to think of it, the whole idea of assessment or standard testing would push me out too. I know that it's not the only way to see if we have made some difference in the lives of our students.

      • Jun 27, 2013 8:12am

        I seriously thought about it six years ago--which was after about my 13th year teaching, mostly at the middle school setting. I decided to 1) go back to college to get my master's degree (in reading education) and 2) transferred to the high school. The combination of the two totally changed my outlook. I love my job and cannot imagine doing anything else. If you're close to burn-out, I'd recommend either going back to school--being surrounded by enthusiastic educators and immersed in new ideas--or changing schools/grade levels.

        • Jun 28, 2013 7:59pm

          @ Margaret, I couldn't agree more! Those evaluation systems would be enough to drive anyone away (sigh).

          @ Teri, yep going back to our love of learning by registering back in college/uni can bring in that new outlook or some fresh perspective. It's a pull toward change in the content you're teaching or otherwise.

          @ Mrs. Grebel, here's a good example of a pull out of teaching.

          Thanks everyone for your input. I like to keep hearing from people with varying experiences as we go through our evolution as educators and ultimately as humans.

          • Jun 28, 2013 9:31pm

            My colleagues and I consider this from time to time when things get tough. We are at a program improvent year 4 school and the political hoops deifinitely put a damper on teaching. But when I think about it, the kids are the reason I went into education and they are the reason I stay. I've been at the same school for 15 years and I'm heavily invested in the families at this point. I think a change of position, to a push-in teacher or reading coach would be the only change I'd make. I'm not even contemplating heading toward admin because as challenging as my job can get, that job seems way too political for me!
            Trust me, you're not alone. We all think about leaving or changing positions at one time or another, but in the end, we are here for the kids and that keeps you going. Just keep learning and trying something new. It helps. That's why I'm going to try whole brain teaching next year. I'm needing a change!

            • Jul 1, 2013 9:30am

              What would you say to a student who tells you that material is too hard and he or she will never be able to understand it, and he or she wants to quit?


              • Jun 25, 2013 3:43pm

                Education is the only "job" I will ever have. ..but I would leave it if i became independently wealthy. Then I assume I would volunteer at schools in some way. I also may enjoy being involved with an innovative company that furthers the profession of teaching such as the Teaching Channel does.

                • Jun 25, 2013 3:51pm

                  Hi Ms. Terrell, thanks for your response. So you would experience more of a pull from teaching as opposed to a push. Interesting.

                  • Jun 25, 2013 5:06pm

                    Having children took me out of the classroom for a little while, but I too am still drawn into the world of education: through tutoring, teaching summer school, and substituting. It is hard to stop thinking like a teacher once you are one and to not be involved in some way with helping children learn. If anything it would be the outside work that would keep me away from it, all the lesson planning, grading, prep work that is involved and sometimes overwhelming.

                    • Jun 26, 2013 11:25am

                      In Ukraine teaching is based on personal desire. Those who work as teachers are either crazynuts or wealthy people. The point is that salary is very low and if you don't have any other possibility to earn you won't be able to live. So lack of money would and will make me resign from teaching.

                      • Jun 26, 2013 11:32am

                        Lesia, I hear you loud and clear. And I think, I'd classify myself as "crazynuts" but FOR the students. The money factor is enough to push any of us away. This is a definite push.

                        • Jun 26, 2013 11:19pm


                          I agree with everyone else - education is in my bones, but there are a lot of different ways to be involved in education. If you're feeling overwhelmed by teaching, maybe you could look into a hybrid role, where you take some time for leadership roles, where you are working with teachers instead of working directly with students. The more leadership roles I take on, the more I cherish the time I get with students because stepping away makes you appreciate your job even more. If you don't miss the classroom where you take on a hybrid role, maybe it's time to start looking into admin options. You should always do what you love. After 10 years, can you say that you still love what you do?

                          Best of luck,
                          Katie Novak (@KatieNovakUDL)

                          • Jun 27, 2013 7:16am

                            Hi Ms. Novak,

                            Thanks for taking the time to respond.

                            "can you say that you still love what you do?"

                            MAKES for an excellent gauge to help one decide whether to be pushed or pulled from anything that one does. It's more of an internal factor.

                            • Jun 28, 2013 7:48pm

                              I've taught 21 years and I truly love being in the classroom, probably more now than I did earlier. The only time I think about leaving is when I spend time with my grandchildren. I think the only thing that could draw me out of education right now would be the opportunity to spend more time with grandkids. However, eventually they will all be in school, too, so I'm not sure I'd really get to spend more time with them if I resigned.

                              • Jul 3, 2013 4:23pm

                                Hi, Ms. Collins:
                                I did resign from teaching 2006 after 17 years at the high school level teaching English IV and Advanced Placement English IV. There were many factors for leaving: No Child Left Behind Administration, Department head and my burn out.
                                However, I returned to school in January 2013 to a new school and new district. I am very happy to be back and excited about returning in 2013-2014.
                                I needed the break. Because of it, I have once again the passion
                                to teach as when I first started in 1991.

                                Good look in your decision.

                                Renee Degutis

                                • Jul 3, 2013 4:37pm

                                  @ Eric, I think I hear what you're saying. When you're beginning to lose that sense of efficacy, overwhelming sense of apathy, then yes, it's a push.

                                  @ Renee, I think I understand where you're coming from. These mandates can sure take away that essence in our teaching.

                                  Mine was the self-doubt that I experienced a few years ago, consequence of burnout.

                                  • Jul 4, 2013 3:27pm

                                    Angela! Thank you for speaking the truth.

                                    • Jul 7, 2013 8:32pm

                                      After almost 29 years of teaching and being a single mom- I can't imagine quitting or resigning. Of course the "lottery" would do it, but then I would love to volunteer in the neediest places.
                                      This past year has been the most stressful! Everything is so new APPR - Common Core...mind blowing....but resign...never! What do you want? I ask- give me the resources ( district gave teachers IPads) books, teacher's editions ( modules) and I will give it to you. I have never worked so hard in my whole entire career...maybe Student Teacher was more difficult. I always thought maybe I will retire at 55, now I pray I can make it to 55 without having a nervous breakdown.

                                      • Jul 7, 2013 10:00pm

                                        Hello Bridget, thanks for taking the time to respond. There are things that either push or pull us out of teaching and sometimes, they work at the same time! Yours looks like that. There's much to learn from everyone here. How do you keep reselient (sp!) ? BTW what's the "lottery"?

                                        • Apr 21, 2014 10:27am

                                          i am retiring due to all the new state and federal mandates that get placed on the district and filter down to the teachers. We no longer have the time to teach but more paper work. Also the administration idea is not what you know but who and they play favorites. time have changed and i been in this business 30 plus years and the change has made teaching no longer fun.