It’s that time of year that you are beginning to ask yourself, “Should I quit teaching?” No, no you shouldn’t. You aren’t leaving teaching. You are leaving other things: ineffective school leaders, a low salary, and difficulties with time and stress management, just to name a few.
Stop and think. If I could guarantee you an incredible admin team, more income, and less stress, would you come back next year? Of course you would! You love your kids. You love helping little people grow. And of course, the holiday breaks are quite nice too.
So where do we go from here? I’ll tell you.
Antidote 1: Find your best school fit.
As a coach, I have seen incredible teachers flounder under new leadership, and I have seen teachers I wasn’t so sure of flourish with the right fit. Just like our students, every single teacher has the ability to learn and reach their fullest potential with the right school, leader, content, and grade level fits.
One thing to keep in mind is that you have permission to shop around. Do some soul searching. What is important to you? Prepare questions to ask during your interviews. After all, you are interviewing the school too! Ask how many hours of planning you will get. Ask about recent initiatives, projects, or field trips other teachers have been able to take part in. Be observant. Would they feel comfortable letting you pop into classrooms alone and speak to other teachers? Or, are they curating the classrooms they take you to and not facilitating dialogue with other staff members? These are ways you can begin to tell whether the school is the right fit for you.
The good news is, you don’t need to figure that out on your own. There are organizations out there that specialize in recruiting teachers based on cultural fit. If you are in Arizona, like me, you can try OneTeacher. You can also try myEdMatch if you are looking for opportunities on a larger scale. In reality, most large charter networks and school districts have an HR department with at least one person dedicated to recruiting talent.
Antidote 2: Use your gifts and skills to increase your monthly income.
The biggest way teachers sell themselves short is by not taking advantage of platforms like Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT). You are already creating worksheets, lesson plans, and materials. Take the extra step to upload them onto your TPT store and share them on social media to make money for work you have already done.
But that’s not all. Have you considered starting your own tutoring company? There are plenty of parents out there who need extra support for their children who can pay anywhere from $30-$100 per hour for your skills. Keep your mind open to parents who home-school who may not have the foreign language, math, or science background needed to prepare their kids for higher level content. There is not a single major city in the United States that does not have opportunities for teachers to educate outside of a school building. Just think. If you tutor 2 hours per week at $50 an hour, you have just increased your monthly income by $400; your yearly income by $4800.
It can be done. You have gifts. Share them.
Antidote 3: Get better at time and stress management.
There is one very simple solution to this and it is Angela Watson’s “40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.”
I won’t say any more about her program because it speaks for itself. Explore her website! I have spoken to many educators who have participated in this program and they say it is a work-life balance game changer. Angela accepts cohorts in the summer and in January. Sign up to get started this summer!
Just to shamelessly plug myself, a gratitude journal doesn't hurt either.
In short, we want you to stay. Try these three antidotes before you throw in the towel. You’ll find that you have options to stay in the profession you love so long as you take thoughtful steps toward making your life as an educator better.
Happy reflecting and please do stay in touch: Facebook, Twitter
Carla Rivera-Cruz (CRC) is an educator and entrepreneur committed to helping like-minded educators reach their fullest potentials.