I Quit My Job Today

I quit my teaching job today

Throughout my life I have done everything that I felt was expected of me. I worked hard in school, achieved good grades in my GCSE’s and A Levels, went to a respected music conservatoire and then was lucky enough to find myself in a full-time job as a Learning Mentor almost immediately after graduating. Within a year, I was offered an opportunity to train as a teacher, and I’ve worked as a qualified music teacher for nearly ten years. I’ve always played it safe, followed the expected path, and never taken any risks. I can say that I’m happy to an extent, but not as much as I know I could be.

At the beginning of 2015 I made one promise to myself: if things were going to change, it had to be now – I was going to take the risk.

For some, teaching is a vocation. It isn’t mine. I’m a good teacher. In fact, according to my last three years worth of lesson observations, I’m an outstanding teacher, but I never set out to join this profession – my personal circumstances and being in the right place at the right time meant that I fell into the role rather than actively working towards it as a career choice.

I’ve been lucky to spend the last three years in an outstanding academy, with an excellent and well-respected principal, a great management team and a lovely faculty. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with thousands of teenagers, most of whom are wonderful and who I have always had excellent working relationships with, and I feel like I’ve done it all. I’ve attended every parents evening, open evening, celebration evening and awards evening and I’ve hosted or participated in hundreds of concerts. I’ve supervised the day trips, evening performances, week-long UK based residentials and visits to France and America. I’ve played the role of teacher, parent, therapist, doctor, personal banker and seamstress to my students. I’ve laughed with them, cried because of them and mourned the few that I’ve lost. I’ve returned home at the end of a day on a huge high after brilliant lessons, and had endless sleepless nights after bad ones. During times when heavy deadlines have been looming, insomnia and I have become good friends.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that total career satisfaction is unattainable for most; some days will be good, some days will be bad and others will make you question every career choice you have ever made whilst glugging on a bottle of wine and crying on the cat, but I’ve always presumed that as long as the good outweighs the bad then you’re generally doing the right thing.

The good has not outweighed the bad for a long time. Today, I took the risk.

Today, I quit the teaching profession…

Despite the amazing opportunities I have been offered from my headteacher and support I have received from some of my colleagues over the years, I genuinely can’t remember the last point where I had a consistently positive period of time in teaching. To put it quite simply, I can’t cope with the pressure, and it’s making me ill.

In an ideal world, a teacher’s role is to teach, to support and to guide their students. It is our job to offer advice, to ensure progress is made, to make learning interesting, to inspire and to listen to their needs.

Unfortunately, in the real world, I’ve found that many teachers work far harder than lots of their students. Modern day teaching, even for those that are employed in effective schools, is not about fostering and encouraging a love of learning and a passion for a subject, it is about getting students to pass an exam or a course using criteria that is set by an exam board whilst being bombarded by data and outcomes, none of which the students will be held accountable for if they fail. It has now become a teacher’s job to almost do the work for the lazier kids because they’re scared of how the results will look. The kids know this too – I was even once told ‘you’re not allowed to fail me‘ by a smug student when I informed him that his grades weren’t good enough – and one of my biggest worries for them in their future lives is that when they do fail for the first time, it will be at a much higher cost and there won’t be an adult to step in and make everything better. Our lessons and the ability to do our jobs effectively are decided based upon a twenty minute observation and the data that demonstrates our students progress, our wages now depend on it, and I have seen accomplished and respected members of staff reduced to tears at the mere mention of OFSTED.

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The pressure of the job has intensified every single year that I have been in the profession, and eventually it started to take a toll on my health. A year ago I was hospitalised with a severe kidney infection and a virus for nearly a week, followed by a further five weeks off in order to recover. This was caused because I ignored a urinary tract infection, mainly because of how busy I was. I can’t and don’t blame the school for this, but it is a common part of the job that members of staff within a school environment will work through illnesses because of the workload and worries about the detrimental impact that time off will have on their students.

My school and colleagues were very supportive and I returned in reasonable physical health, but that didn’t change the fact that the workload was there, and mentally I was sinking. I missed deadlines left and right. I had so much to remember that I forgot everything. However, what I found to be most frustrating were the pressures put on me with the older students and the achievement of their target grades, pressures that were not set by the school, but by government based targets. I started to feel constantly anxious and suffered from minor panic attacks, something that I had never experienced before. My mindset changed. I found it increasingly difficult to tolerate the laziness and apathy that some of my students demonstrated on a daily basis. I bent over backwards and exhausted myself hosting further coursework catch up sessions almost every night after school, repeatedly remarked coursework that was substandard due to the fact that some of my students didn’t bother to listen in the lessons and as it got closer to exams I became a verbal punching bag for stressed out teenagers. I rang parents, got other members of staff involved, praised, sanctioned and gave up a lot of my personal time to drag them (often kicking and screaming) to the finish line. Worse still, I started to take it personally and really dislike some of my students attitudes, particularly when they threw my hard work and support back in my face during their moments of stress. This is a common problem throughout the British education system, and is one of the biggest issues that all of my teacher friends have experienced in their careers. I remember that one friend in particular remarked that one of her most difficult classes was more focused on crowd control, not teaching.

At Christmas I realised that I simply couldn’t do it anymore. I had no idea what I was going to do instead, only that I knew that this was not how I wanted to spend the rest of my working life. Perhaps I am looking at life through rose-tinted spectacles, but I believe that happiness is more important than most things, and I was desperately unhappy. I was doing myself, and the students, a huge disservice.

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I discussed it with The Bloke. We’re not married, we don’t have children or a mortgage and my only financial responsibilities are for my half of the rent and bills, the cat’s medication and vet treatments and a small loan I took out a few years ago. We’re not rich, but I have enough in savings to cover everything for a few months. At the age of 33, if I was going to do anything, it was now, and while I could see that he was (and still is) nervous about it, he has been steadfast in his support. Having witnessed what I’ve been through in the last few years, he wants me to be happy, and I’m grateful.

I am going to work until the end of the academic year, which is July and then that’s it, giving me about six months to find another job. No more data analysis and unrealistic targets, no more reports, no more relying on the performance of demotivated teenagers to prove that I am good at my job. However, I’m going to miss the school, my wonderful colleagues and most of those fantastic cherubs that I have been privileged to work with over the years. Taking such a huge risk is terrifying, but not nearly as terrifying as the thought of having to do another year in a job that could potentially destroy me both physically and mentally. I need to be happy. I’m walking away from a secure ten year career with an excellent salary, a brilliant boss and a strong pension, without another job to go to yet…

… and I couldn’t be more excited!

What about you guys? Have you ever taken a huge risk?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

438 thoughts on “I Quit My Job Today

  1. It was very interesting to read your post today which was reblogged to me via Those who teach website. I resigned from my teaching job in December for exactly the same reasons as you. My health wasn’t bad but felt it would get worse if I didn’t do something about it. I was miserable, over worked and yes the students wanted me to do it all for them! I have savings and a very supportive husband who now says he is slowly getting his old wife back. I am now doing supply teaching, which I quite enjoy, the money is poor as I can only find work through agencies but schools ask for me back so I know I am doing something right. Its tiding me over until I find out what I want to do next. I have started to read “What color is your parachute 2015” by Richard N Boles which is helping a great deal with my career change and the direction I want to go. My life is so much better now, even though I have a lot less money. I do have days when I feel I don’t belong anywhere, but I think its just part of the transition. I have never regretted the day I left the school and like you I am excited with what the future holds. I have also meant some fantastic people in schools I have worked and made some good friends. Good luck x

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story with me – I’m so pleased that you were able to get out. I have thought about doing supply, but it would have to be primary as I need to get away from the secondary classroom for a while! Keep me updated with how you are getting on…

  2. Suzie, thank you. I read this post this morning, before heading out to work as a teacher and I cried, because you absolutely nailed what so many of us feel, but many are afraid to say. You have inspired me to make a change and I appreciate that. Best of luck to you – I am pretty sure we will be hearing more from you…and that you won’t have a problem finding a new endeavor!

  3. This is an all too frequently seen reaction as the straw breaks the camel’s back. Our education system is broke and successive governments of all stripes continue to ignore the commentaries of people like Ken Robinson. Government attitude is ‘if it’s broke DON’T fix it’!; either that or they want, like Michael Gove, to force us back into the 19th century.
    Our system needs Revolution not Evolution; world-wide, systems are constantly under cosmetic review – none effectively. Government, listen to those who (a) know (b) can effectively articulate solutions.

    • I absolutely agree. I was talking about this with a teacher friend, who also resigned the other day, and we came to the conclusion that there are so many things wrong with the system we wouldn’t know where to start! Ultimately, we need people in government who have been experienced teachers themselves and understand the impact that their decisions make on the working lives of teachers every day…

  4. Excellent post Suzie. I have no doubt you’ve made the correct decision. When your job begins to affect your health, that is the time to seriously assess whether it’s worth continuing. Ultimately your health and happiness are the most important things and I’m sure the relief will be huge for what is an incredibly tough role that you as teachers have.

    Jobs are aplenty for those who are well qualified and with experience. Take some time off, and re-evaluate what’s important even if it is a career change. 33 is still young regardless of what the naysayers will say. Not even half way into your adult career. I wish you the best and future success!

    • Thanks Aidan! It’s odd, but I haven’t felt the sense of relief that I was expecting to feel after I had handed my resignation in… Perhaps it will sink in during the summer…

  5. Congratulations! Enjoy the liberation!

    I also resigned from my sensible (misery-making!) job in 2013. I gave one month’s notice and then walked 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago route in Spain to shake off the cobwebs. Some people thought I was crazy but leaving the thing that *definitely did not work* created space to allow and welcome something that *did work*. My new job is in the same industry & even the same kind of role, but without all the head-wrecking, heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, health-sucking negatives as the last one! (So I’m sensible again, but happier this time round!)

    It sounds like you’ve considered all sides of your position and are taking some practical steps re: finances in the meantime. Not having to worry about the bills for a few months will make it easier to enjoy your decison and be receptive to a better-fitting role – not just the first one that comes along and pays the bills.

    Whatever you choose, well done on taking the leap! We need a lot more of your courage because then we might actually have a world where people enjoy what they do and feel rewarded by it! May your bravery be an inspiration to others 🙂

    • Your story was so inspiring – thanks! While I won’t be travelling (need to save the money) I am definitely going to take the opportunity to be a little more picky with the jobs I apply for… I’m certainly extremely lucky! Thanks so much for your support!

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  7. I am happy for you and praying for you to find THE job made for you. It would be hard to be in your position and not be appreciated. Unfortunately I am afraid that the school system here in the United States is pretty much the same as in the UK. And they wonder what is the matter with the future generation. You have to do what is best for you and you are doing it.
    I retired early at the age of 50 because I just couldn’t stand the stress of my job any more. It was a financial risk but worth it to me. I do miss the money and a lot of people I worked with, but I am a lot happier than I was trying to struggle to get up and face another stressful day at work. Wishing you all the very best in your new endeavors. 🙂

    • Thanks my lovely! I’m so glad that you were able to get out! Life is short, and I didn’t want to get to my 50’s and just be counting down the days till retirement…

      • It wasn’t fun thinking about it and then wondering if I could do it. So, I basically told my husband I was retiring or he could live with a bitch for a few more years. He let me retire. 🙂 You have to do what you think is best for you and yours.

  8. Thank you for sharing Suzie. This piece was beautifully written. Congratulations on overcoming the fear. For not allowing all of the projections of the “what ifs…..?” (that start to permeate your brain when you realize you’re serious about making a change) to keep you from taking action. It’s all in the doing. It’s easy to think about making a change. It’s way more difficult to take the steps required in order to affect change.
    It’s all about forward motion.
    I look forward to hearing of your journey forward:)

  9. Suzie – wow! I am so happy for you and hugely admire you for making this decision. So many of us feel tied to a job, frightened to break free and follow a different path because of fears and what if’s and also what is expected of us. I would love to move closer to the sea and hoping one day I can make this happen. You have inspired me – thank you and I look forward to hearing how your journey continues beyond teaching 🙂

    • Thanks Kirsty! It was definitely a case of now or never… I talked to your hubby about it and I know that you guys are in a similar sort of situation – I’m hoping you are able to get to the coast soon and then me and The Bloke can come and visit haha!

  10. Excellent blog Suzie and congratulations. Both my parents were excellent career teachers all their working lives. Both of them, like you, were diligent and clever. Both became headteachers. Both of them suffered health problems as a result. My mother had a breakdown which led to her early retirement, my father died at his school; a massive heart attack at 60, brought on by stresses of the job. I have always believed that, should you get to the pearly gates, you are never going to look sadly back at your life and wish you had spent more time at work, however much you might have enjoyed it at the time! Good luck with everything you do, have faith in yourself and enjoy it.

    • I’m so sorry that your parents experienced that, and I’m sorry for your loss. I think it was a case of now or never – I didn’t want to get to my later years and look back with regret and anger at what I have been through. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  11. I was lucky in that I had great jobs where what I was doing was fun and challenging. But I told my children that if they get up on Monday and go to someplace because they HAVE to, it’s work. If they go to someplace because they can’t wait to get there, it’s fun. If the fun pays the bills, it’s luck. And you have to make your own luck.

    I’d say you’re well on the way to making your own luck. Congratulations.

  12. I can absolutely relate to this. I had only ever wanted to be a primary school teacher, and when I first had my own class it was like a dream come true. Three years later, I had children and the thought of going back and drowning under the paperwork, pressure, targets etc made me physically ill – so I didn’t go back! I’m not sure I ever will, unless the profession changes, which I think is unlikely! #weekendbloghop

  13. Wow. You are my hero! Congratulations on your monumental step, I admire your courage. You have given me a lot to think about…good luck on your journey, may happiness be with you always!

  14. Brave decision! Good to do it now before you have more family responsibilities and are further into your career. Take care of you and find what speaks to your heart and sparks your passion!

  15. Wow – that takes some guts for sure to head into the unknown! Not sure I could do that. Interesting fact about ignoring your bladder infection though – I often work straight through as well instead of taking a washroom break and have had one off and on for over a year. Didn’t realize it could turn into a kidney infection!! I am going to get this taken care of before I end up in the hospital like you as well!!

    • Thanks so much for your comment – please forgive my late reply! I was also severely dehydrated because I wasn’t taking the time to have a drink, so it was a knock on effect

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  17. Oh Suzie…you have no idea how much I needed to read this! I’ve been teetering on the edge of quitting my job since the beginning of the year. I’m torn because my husband and I just moved to a new city/state and I want to make sure we’re stable. I’ve also not ever worked…since I was 13. I know it will be a huge and scary transition, but I know it needs to be done. I just need to take a deep breath and jump off the edge. Thanks for sharing your story!

  18. It takes a lot to leap into the unknown but when we have the brevity to do it, it shows just how much there’s a need for that change. I am certain the universe is looking out for you and will have your true vocation find you. A year ago I wrote about a similar situation and your story affirms and comforts my hope/attitude to always choose happiness. Thank you for sharing it with us and all the best for your healthy and happy future! (I’m at a very early stage in my career but you can read about my huge risk here: https://eyerainverses.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/dont-waste-our-resources-to-help-us-not-waste-yours/)

  19. Bravo! I’m just a guest at Michigan State University and the time I spend on one class a semester is enormous. I love it, it’s ll-encompassing, but still…. I took a giant risk after gradate school when I was making good money teaching at my university but dying to write full-time. My spouse was a full professor and we made a deal: if I couldn’t see a book in 2-3 years, any book to any publisher, then I’d go back to teaching. Now, I’d been selling short stories for some years so it wasn’t totally crazy but it was a huge leap off a cliff nonetheless because of the drop in salary/household income and the unknown: selling short story collections has never been easy and I had had my first big success a decade earlier. 25 books later, here I am. 🙂

      • Hand surgery? Hope you’re ok Lev! I know that you’re a successful writer and it’s get to hear that it is possible to do something like that – a lot of it is having the support from your partner and the determination to go out and do it! Forgive my late reply!

  20. I know so many teachers, myself included, who have felt like that in the last few years. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I decided to move abroad to teach – to find out whether I no longer enjoyed teaching or I no longer enjoyed teaching in Britain. The answer – I’ve now lived in China teaching in an international school for almost four years and it was the best decision I ever made! Whatever you decide to do next I wish you good luck and I hope you find something you truly enjoy and where the good days hugely outnumber the bad days.

  21. Yep, I’ve been there and have done that. It’s scary at first to make the change but, when you feel it in your gut that it’s the right thing to do then, you’re doing yourself a favor of moving on. When I quit a job (in the past) that sucked the life out of me, I was scared or what could happen; especially, at a time when the economy was unstable and unemployment was at all time high. There just comes a a point, where you need to make a decision. Be miserable and stay or find something else. Like you, I had a moment of realization that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I quit. I took 2-3 months off traveling and I came back with one of the best experiences of my life. Stay positive and good-luck in your future endeavors.

    • Thanks so much, and please forgive my late reply! It’s been so re-assuring to hear so many people’s stories when they have done the same thing. I, so g,ac things have worked out for you!

  22. Congratulations on taking a leap and risk for you – Suzie. It sounds like you thought it through and I hope you find the happiness you want in what comes next. Have I taken a big risk like this – no. Have I often thought about it – yes. I suspect you’ll have a lot of friends cheering you on here.

  23. Sometimes you have to jump off the precipice and find out what’s waiting at the bottom. Best of luck, but it will all come right, don’t worry.

  24. Bravo! No doubt it was the right decision! I am not a teacher, but my teacher friends in the States as well as my teacher friends in Serbia all say the same things you were saying. Such a mess for teachers worldwide! I am glad you got out!! I am so excited for you!! Maybe since you have the gift of words on paper, you should write properly about this!! 🙂 You will have a bit of time to do so. you could interview other teachers,,, and if you want to ask teachers world wide about their experiences I would be glad to help! and I am sure the rest of your readers would too! Best of luck on whatever you decide!

  25. I started my PGCE in 2003. By the Christmas of that year the stress of teaching practice had given me an ear infection that I ignored. The infection travelled inwards and made my brain go septic. I finished the course but then decided that teaching wasn’t for me. Not only was it making me ill but I could feel myself turning into a horrible person to deal with the crowd control aspects etc.
    The decision not to continue with teaching was quite simply the best one I’ve ever made. Sure since them I’ve had a succession of worthy but poorly paid jobs but I’ve been happy. More importantly know what I don’t want to do has given me the chance to discover what I do want to do. Write.
    Best of luck in the final few months of teaching, although the road might seem scary things will open up and anything has to be better than a career that makes you ill. 🙂

    • A septic brain? Oh dear, that must have been awful! I have known so many people that last about a year and realise that it just isn’t for them… So pleased things have worked out for you! Please forgive my late reply!

  26. I wish you all the best with the next path of your journey. Teaching is definitely a tough job. Good on you for making a decision that’s right for you!

  27. I loved reading this. I am currently a teacher, and I can relate to this. It can be such a challenging profession, and now we have so many other things to worry about. Maybe someday I will be as courageous as you are!

    • Thanks so much Maggie! I’ve had so many comments from teaches who have been able to relate to how I feel about the profession! Keep me posted about how you’re doing!

  28. Just wanted to commend you on being so brave. I feel like I’m going through something similar right now. I have no idea what I want to do with my life at the moment but it felt good reading that I’m not alone. We only have one life so we might as well be happy, right? Wishes to you! X

    • Thanks so much Sally – please forgive my late reply! I’ve taken so much comfort from people like yourself who have made me realise that I have made the right decision and that I am not alone! Good luck to you – keep me posted on your progress!

  29. Finally! Insomnia, coupled with hating one’s profession! I almost wrote a blog post with the exact same title you used for this piece just last week. I’ve been dealing with the worst kind of sleeplessness for three years. Without medication, I average about 2-3 hours a night. Heavily medicated, I’ve increased those hours to about five–which still leaves me waking up every hour, on the hour. Sometimes, I wake up stumbling around my apartment, high as a kite: looking for a wall to punch, or something worthless object to throw or smash.

    Of course, I can’t say that I know anything about teaching. I’ve been a loan officer for five years.

    I’d like to see how this goes for you. Also, as soon as this company pays me my anticipated bonus, I WILL be writing a similar post.

    Thank you for this. I don’t feel nearly as insane, now.

  30. I happened to receive this post in my email (reposted by Those Who Teach) right around the exact same time I, too, quit my 10-year run as a teacher. I will also be working through the end of the school year, but you reflect EVERYTHING we are seeing in public schools here State-side. I have no idea what is next, but I’ve been saving all year and am secure in some of my next steps.

    The best part of having 10 years is that we ARE marketable in so many ways, and can truly venture out on to so many avenues.

    Kudos to you, and know that those dreaded sleepless nights, anxiety over low test scores, and glorified babysitting days are going to be just a memory as you move forward.

    • Thank you so much – Ive been absolutely blown away by the response I’ve received by people such as yourself who have made me realise that I am not alone. All the best to you – please let me know how you’re getting on as I am really interested to see where we both end up in six months time! Please forgive my late reply too!

  31. I don’t know how I missed this before! Go you! We only have one life, so I am a firm believer in living it for ourselves.

    Last October, after a year and a bit of saving, I moved to London to try to get a job in publishing, which had been proving very difficult even with experience and a degree in it! It turned out to be a brilliant move, because within two months I had a dream job. It was a long time coming, but it was 100% worth the wait. I really hope you will find something that you truly love to do.

  32. It will feel like removing a rucksack from your back, Suzie. I packed it in around thirteen years ago for similar reasons and others and felt the weight lift as soon as I tendered my resignation. I returned three years later to do supply then area cover and found my enthusiasm rejuvenated. I still love it but completely understand why you feel as you do. Good luck in this new phase of life to come.

    • That’s made me feel really reassured in my decision. I think that’s exactly what I need – a break from teaching – and who knows? In a few years time I may just find that I want to go back to it again!

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  34. Wow … so excited for you! You captured the story for many teachers very well. It’s just crazy that those who rule can not see the ugly state of affairs.

    All the very best as you move on, to something better for you. It’s so brave to stand up and say enough is enough! What an inspiration to so many, and so good that you have your bloke’s backing.

    Wonderful things await you, well done for taking the first step; and all the very best as you wrap up 10yrs. #aNoviceMumTwitterfeed

  35. That was a courageous thing to do. But I am sure that you have wanted this for a while now and weighed the pros and cons. We can hope, wish, and pray but until we begin to take steps of faith it cannot happen for you. Good luck on your new journey.

  36. Hi Suzie,
    Just wanted to say a quick hello and thanks for the occasional ‘like’. I have been very slack at spreading the blog love since becoming a parent (almost 18 months ago now – wow!) which hasn’t done my own blog any favours but c’est la vie.

    As I stopped by yesterday to give your blog a quick look my eye was caught by this post which has obviously been extremely popular and with good reason. Allow me to add my congratulations to the chorus of support you have received so far. I have worked on and off as a secondary and ESL teacher for about 15 years and as much as I have shown a certain aptitude for it and have managed to mostly enjoy it I have always been torn between it and a more creative, artistic life.

    Without going into that particular dilemma I’d just like to say that very few people truly understand how tough teaching can be. People outside education like to sneer about short days and long holidays, not to mention indulging the cliche of teaching being some sort of fallback profession, but they really have no clue about what is required to try and teach a syllabus to multiple groups of teenagers who are often resisting your efforts, wilfully and otherwise, from the moment you start to the moment the bell goes. That’s before you factor in class preparation, homework correction, exam setting, extra curricular programs, competitions, excursions, tutorials, yard supervision and various other ancillary duties that are required by most schools of their staff.

    And let’s not forget the de facto roles of counsellor, psychologist, therapist, parent, enforcer, watchdog, agony aunt/uncle, hate figure, victim, friend, facilitator and general emotional sponge and sounding board.

    There is such a thing as caring too much and perhaps you fall into this category, perhaps not. You are clearly much valued by your colleagues and doubtless by multiple students too but something like OFSTED makes no allowances for things that cannot be measured and this will inevitably lead to gross generalisations and chasms in anything resembling understanding, intuition or empathy for what is still one of the most fundamentally important roles in every society in the world. Important? Imperative!

    Teaching is both an enormous privilege and an extraordinary gift. But our governments and think tanks and spin doctors don’t quantify privileges and gifts of this nature and so they’ll continue to turn the screw on education systems to the point where the demands of statistical validations will have crushed the idealism and nobility and selflessness of every teacher worth the name.

    I can’t really say much more than that. The very best of luck on your ongoing journey.

    Dara

    • Thanks so much for your wonderful and epic comment Dara! I do try and keep up with your blog as I absolutely adore your writing style, but I find that I don’t have the time to read as much as I would like! I absolutely agree with everything you said, particularly when describing the profession as an enormous privilege and a gift… However, it isn’t enough for me anymore.

  37. Congratulations, Suzie! I made the same decision myself last year. It’s difficult giving up the financial security, but not nearly as difficult as the thought of being unhappy for the rest of your life. And at your age, you have plenty of time to remake yourself. Best of luck to you! 🙂

      • I’m a writer – full-time, baby!

        Er, at least until I run out of money 😉

        Let’s just say it isn’t exactly paying the bills yet, and maybe – probably – it never will. But you know, I got to the same point you did, where I just said no, I can’t do this job any longer. I’m not that much older than you, but believe me, it does make a difference in how you feel about making a big change. I figured if I was ever going to do it, it had better be now.

        So we’ll see. I worked two jobs for several years and I have no mortgage or children, so I can afford not to be a 9-to-5er a bit longer. Good thing, too, because when I think about having to go back to “work” I really have no idea what I would do. Now that’s scary! I envy you your options – I look forward to hearing how it works out for you 🙂

  38. Sounds like you are making the right decision Suzzie. If it’s become all about the figures and the paper work and not enough about the actual teaching and developing students talents, then what is the point really. It’s great that you are leaving in a very strong position, with a good pension and references. So any idea what you want to do now?

  39. Wow, what a decision~! It is definitely a risk, as you have acknowledged, but the excitement of new opportunities seem to be in reach~ They say that when God closes a door, He opens another window and in your case, I’m sure you’ll be able to find that window~! Good luck!
    Cheers 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your comment, your support and please forgive my late reply. I’ve been overwhelmed by comments from so many people that have made me realise that I am not on my own…

  40. I applaud you Suzie! How awesome to be able to take the next step and actually execute it. I think your story touches a lot of people – and not just teachers! I am striving to make a living with my writing and Numerology business so that I can follow in your footsteps. I know that it must have been a daunting decision – but the fact is – once you take the first step and leap over the cliff – you realize that you don’t have to fall. Somehow the universe gives you exactly what you need at the right moment. (And kudos to ‘The Bloke’ – how wonderful to have such a supportive partner!)

    This is what I hear from a lot of people who were brave like you. It’s not like the world is going to open up and swallow you whole – just because you decided to leave a bad situation. I’m sure your whole body breathed a giant sigh of relief once you made the decision! Good luck to you and thanks for sharing your awesome story!

    • I’m so sorry for the late reply – thank you so much for your support and for sharing your story with me… How are you getting on with your business?

  41. Pingback: Two Years? Happy Blogiversary To Me! | Suzie81 Speaks

  42. Homeschooling my kids. That was a major leap for me. And then completely quitting my part time job to rely on my husband’s one paycheck to take care of everybody. It still scares me to death some days. “What do I do if he gets sick (again)? What if he gets in an accident at work or on the way home?” Which, y’know, could happen if I was working PT, FT, our kids were all in school, we didn’t have any, whatever. Thank goodness the Manlings are older now, so if something would happen, we’re in a bit more stable position if something does happen. (I wouldn’t need childcare for teenagers, and homeschooling is pretty much all laid out for the next six years. I know what works and what doesn’t and they know what to expect.) I am hoping I can find a way to make a second career out of writing because I’ve got some issues that make it absolutely intolerable to go back to my career choice. Plus working from home would be better for all of us–my guys are kinda spoiled having Mom home!

    Your health and happiness should always be a major factor in what you do. Teaching is an awful job to have these days–I have a friend who is constantly sick and run-down from the stress she’s under at work. It’s part of the reason we decided to homeschool; it’s not a healthy environment for teachers or students anymore. And then you take into account the extra craziness when kids bring bombs to school or threaten to kill each other…where is that conducive to learning anything?

    I hope you can find something much easier on your body and nerves. Life shouldn’t be so hard every day.

    • Please forgive the late reply – thank you so much for your comment. I admire you for taking on the responsibility of your family’s education and I agree with everything that you said. Please keep me updated as let me know how you’re getting on!

  43. Thanks for your openness Suzie. My boyfriend, who I live with in the States, is extremely nervous/and mostly supportive about my decision to leave teaching. My fellow teachers are urging me on and all others in the field. September 2015 will be my 10th year, and you said it quite well, “The good has not outweighed the bad for a long time”. I look forward to reading an update on your direction after teaching. Your story inspires me.

  44. Hi Suzie,

    I did exactly the same thing for many of the same reasons! I decided that either I stop moaning about the endless marking, evenings and weekends of work, and constant stress, or I had to leave. I too resigned with no job (on the brink of divorce so with no financial backing) but it felt like completely the right move.

    Although I had an interview I didn’t get a job, continued with my plan to resign, and on the final day of term got a job offer! I now LOVE my job, where I teach young people. It’s a revelation and I’ve remembered how much I enjoy teaching, just not in a classroom capacity.

    I wish you the best of luck on your quest for a new career! Ruth

    • That’s so great – I’m really pleased for you! Thanks so much for sharing your story with me – its really inspiring to know that things can get better. Please forgive my late reply – keep me updated with how you’re getting on!

  45. Pingback: The Real Truth, Or The Truth We Want To Believe? | Suzie81 Speaks

  46. Having been working at a school for nearly two months now, and not even in a teaching capacity, I see this problem here, too. So much pressure is put on the schools for state testing. It’s like we’re more interested in a students ability to pass a state test than his or her ability to learn things that will make him a productive member of society. Our principals have been stressed out. I have been running around like a madman making sure all these computers will run…not so students can learn, but so they can take the state test.

    Our priorities when it comes to educating children are severely misplaced.

  47. I love this post. I don’t love some of the difficult things you have been through but well done for coming to a decision and taking a risk. It can be really scary, but it will be worth it. The sense of freedom must feel amazing. And you always have that experience and talent to go back to further down the line after you’ve spent a few years doing other stuff. So really, no risk! Just fun. Lucy@bottlefor2

  48. We’re around the same age (I’m 32) and I really want to switch careers too because the corporate finance world is too toxic for me. But what has held me back is the thought that maybe I’m too old to be doing that. Reading your story has given me hope. Maybe not. Maybe I still can.

    I did not know how stressful it was for teachers these days. What an eye-opening article.

    Good luck on your next endeavor!

    • Thanks so much Dee, and please forgive my late reply. 32 isn’t old – it’s the perfect t,e to do something as you’ve had years of experience behind you already. Please keep me posted and let me know if you make that decision!

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