“What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life can never be erased.” – Unknown
Teachers are considered the unsung heroes of the education system. Apart from teaching various subject matters, they also help shape their students’ minds and attitudes. Sadly, a significant percentage of educators seek greener pastures elsewhere. Toxic educational environments, a lack of support from administrators and local governments, and low compensation often lead teachers to take a break from their teaching careers.
If you’re experiencing burnout or are simply looking for a change of pace, you’ll be glad to know that you have other options. Let’s take a look at how you can transition from teaching as well as alternative jobs for teachers.
How Do You Transition from Teaching?
The decision to quit teaching is something that you need to map out. This means that before you submit your resignation letter, you should already have your next steps planned.
Here are some questions to ask yourself so you can decide what to do next.
#1. How Do You Feel About Quitting?
Before you make any rash decisions, make sure that quitting is really what you want to do. How long have you felt like resigning? Why do you want to resign and what do you hope to accomplish by doing so?
Take time to do some soul-searching. It’s better to be sure than to leave your job and regret it later.
#2. Can You Afford to Be Unemployed for a While?
If yes, for how long? If you don’t have an emergency fund that’s good for 6 months to a year, then you need to start saving up or find an alternate employer immediately. Choosing the latter will help ensure that there are no gaps in your earnings and you will have something to live on.
#3. What Do You Want from Your Next Employer?
Why are you leaving your current role? What are you hoping to change? Do you want shorter hours, higher pay, or a more relaxed environment? By answering these questions you can move on to something that’s more satisfying.
What to Do When You Quit Teaching?
You may want to pursue a non-teaching career or are looking for professional growth. Whatever your reasons are, you should know with confidence why you’re leaving.
Be open and consider possible career opportunities. You may even want to enhance your skills or learn new ones. It also pays to broaden your network and get re-acquainted with friends and colleagues in different industries who can recommend you or provide you with the essential qualifications and skills that are in demand today.
Lastly, update your resume and cover letter while highlighting your best achievements as a teacher. Going through your resume can also help you identify any gaps and opportunities as a job seeker.
10 Alternative Careers for Teachers
Whether you’re leaving because of retirement, are no longer physically fit for the demands of the job, or want to explore other career opportunities, there are several jobs that you can switch to after your teaching career.
Here are alternative jobs for teachers that you can consider.
#1. Private Tutor
This is the closest career to being a teacher in the classroom. Instead of teaching several people at a time, you’ll be working one-on-one with a pupil. Those who love teaching but want to break free from the typical classroom environment should look into this possibility.
Being a private tutor allows you to closely track your student’s progress, identify the areas of opportunities, and transition them into strengths. Additionally, there is always a continuous demand for tutors of all ages and in different subjects across all levels of learning.
#2. Corporate Trainer
Similar to a classroom setting, being a corporate trainer requires mentoring, facilitating workshops, providing feedback, and planning student activities. This time, however, your audiences are working professionals with different demographics and career backgrounds.
Depending on the company you’ll be joining, a trainer is typically part of a company’s learning and development team. They generally prepare new employees with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their respective roles.
#3. Learning Support Assistant (LSA)
As an LSA, you will support students with individual learning needs. Lessons are tailored and conducted one-on-one so you can apply the necessary interventions in your student’s educational journey.
Like the tutor role, you will have to devise a working plan for addressing your student’s learning needs. You’ll also be responsible for planning, assessing, and providing feedback on their learning progress. It entails liaising with students’ school teachers to reinforce their learning plans.
#4. Human Resources
As a former teacher, you can use your interpersonal skills and ability to offer continuous evaluations as part of a company’s HR department. Although retraining and certification are required, your previous experience as a teacher will make the transition easier for you.
Working in HR is similar to being a teacher because you’ll help employees identify career opportunities and upskill. You can also assist them with learning and development plans.
During your teaching years, you became a pro in your organizational, multi-tasking, and time-management skills. After all, you catered to dozens of students daily — each with their unique needs.
You can take these proven and well-tested skills to the office or work as a school administrator. Because of your teaching experience, you can work well under pressure, and dealing with various personalities is a breeze for you.
#6. Instructional Coordinators
Another education-related job you can take on is the role of an instructional coordinator. You’ll be responsible for designing, developing, and implementing the school’s different curriculums.
Instructional coordinators conduct training and conferences for fellow educators. They also provide analysis, interpretations, and recommendations on standard tests before they’re released to the schools.
This is a great option if you want to continue working in the educational system but prefer to avoid dealing with countless students.
#7. Technical Writers
Teachers’ writing and critical thinking skills are honed with years of writing lesson plans, reading hundreds of essays, and presenting subjects in creative yet simplified ways. These all come in handy if you’d like to explore a career as a technical writer.
With keen attention to detail, technical writers deal with complex subjects and turn them into understandable materials like assembly manuals and how-to guides. You can also use your presentation skills to create graphs and illustrations that simplify data.
#8. Museum Education Director
If you were a history or art teacher, being a museum education director will definitely be appealing to you. It’s like going on a field trip to a museum daily instead of just yearly. As a museum education director, you’ll be the person providing informational tours and overseeing daily operations. You’ll also manage the museum’s budget, marketing, art and art sales, staffing, and more.
#9. Project Manager
Just like teachers, project managers are in charge of a team. They organize, plan, and execute projects while keeping them within budget and ensuring that timelines are met. Instead of managing students, you’ll be handling employees who have been assigned to your team.
You’re going to need good people skills, strong time management skills, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. This is a high-paying position, with the top earners receiving well over $100,000 annually.
#10. Non-Profit Professional
Looking for a job that’s good for the soul? Consider a career in a nonprofit organization. Find a cause you care about and bring your teaching skills with you. As a teacher, you can help nonprofits educate the public, raise funds, and liaise with their partners, donors, and other stakeholders.
And there you have it — 10 alternative careers for teachers. The great thing about teaching experience is it allows you to nurture several transferable skills. As a teacher, you’re a good public speaker, can get along well with others, know how to manage a crowd, are good at evaluations, and have a myriad of other valuable abilities.
So, if you’re a teacher who wants a change of scenery, take heart. There are a lot of options out there that go beyond our ten-item list, especially if you’re willing to consider different industries and learn new things.
What If I Have a Teaching Degree But Don’t Like Teaching?
Teaching is a noble profession but you don’t have to feel guilty or obligated to be a teacher just because you have a teaching degree. There are alternative jobs for teachers. As long as you stay true to yourself — what you’re interested in and what you’re good at — you can be just as successful and fulfilled by other roles.
Before you hand in that resignation letter, engage in some serious self-reflection. If you’re still decided on leaving, make plans and consider the jobs we listed. With a bit of patience, honesty, and planning, you can create a different and more satisfying life for yourself. Good luck!