The teaching crisis has hit a fever point, and though children need dedicated teachers to guide them, teachers also need to earn a living wage that recognizes their contribution and their efforts. If you have made the big decision to move out of teaching but are passionate about helping children and want a new approach to doing just that, then this guide is for you.
There are many different jobs that you can take on that will allow you to help children, and in many instances, either get paid more or get paid similarly to what you are used to, but for less work. This guide will help outline the current opportunities available to you and new career paths that you can take with a little bit more extra training.
Why Teachers are Leaving their Jobs
This year 44% of public schools have teacher vacancies. There are many reasons for this, with one of the most notable causes being burnout. The pandemic put many teachers right on the front lines and forced them back into unsafe environments with children that were fed up with lockdowns and the delay in their natural progression to adulthood. What this means is that children were angry that their time was being stolen, parents were on the brink, and the teachers that didn’t quit due to harassment and burnout were left to manage the rest of the workload.
The pandemic, of course, isn’t the only reason why teachers have left their jobs or are considering it.
The Politicization of Teaching
Politics has entered the classroom, but only this time the fight is over what can be said, how it can be taught, what teachers are allowed to engage with, and so much more. This has put a lot of pressure on teachers from both the government and, worse, the parents. When parents disregard and disrespect teachers, their kids are front and center of that behavior. Though it isn’t the only factor that has increased the harassment of teachers by their students, it certainly does start at home.
Behavioral Fallout of the Pandemic
Many children suffered emotionally and developmentally during the pandemic and were sent back to school with higher levels of aggression and behavioral problems that teachers are simply not equipped to deal with. Rather than teach students who are happy to learn, they are now acting as babysitters while children lash out.
With more teachers leaving due to these conditions and low levels of pay, those that remain are forced to pick up the slack. This means larger classrooms that are even harder to manage and far more time working both after school and before school so that they can keep up with their curriculum.
Where Teachers are Transitioning
There are so many great opportunities for teachers. You don’t even need to retrain and go back to school to get started. There are many great opportunities that allow you to essentially pivot into a new position that offers many new opportunities for advancement.
One of the biggest changes to teaching and education as a whole was the rise in teleteaching and online learning environments – for people of all ages. This is great news for teachers, especially if you don’t want to stray too far from your roots.
Rather than continue teaching in an online classroom, teachers are looking to EdTech companies. EdTech companies allow teachers to continue to educate the next generation and make full use of their existing skill set.
There are many different opportunities for teachers within EdTech as well. Teachers can work on creating online resources and tools or can act as a direct training tool for other teachers looking to integrate technology further into their classrooms.
Teachers are also commonly hired in sales roles at EdTech companies since they are so aware of the benefits that teaching tools and software can lend to the classroom. What better way to sell teaching tools than former teachers, after all?
Training and Development in Corporate Settings
In many ways, teaching is similar to training and development. Teachers, therefore, have been looking to corporate positions that are looking to improve training and teamwork internally as a job option.
Teachers are great for this role because of their experience in leading exercises, breaking down complex ideas into simple and understandable terms, and of course, their ability to command a room.
You may work directly for a company in their training department and help improve teamwork or assist with the onboarding training. Alternatively, you may work for an agency or consultancy that provides the same roles but on a project basis for multiple clients.
Educational Roles in Museums
There are many museums and similar institutions that are happy to hire teachers who will then guide tours, workshops, and more for young guests and even adults alike. There is an opportunity to learn every day, and when you work in one of these settings, you clock out at the same time every day.
Teachers make excellent daycare workers, and with many private options, the wages are often very appealing. Many daycares offer teaching environments that go beyond simple babysitting, which means that teachers (especially those that teach younger students) are a great fit.
The Opportunity of Retraining
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to go back and earn a whole new undergraduate degree. Instead, you can either retrain or further your training with certificates, workshops, and, of course, master’s degrees. Master’s degrees are an excellent option that allows you to build off of your efforts thus far.
Though not extensive, here are just a few of the top careers that teachers are retraining for today:
If you want to work directly with children and help them improve their futures, but are done with teaching, then transitioning into counseling can be the perfect approach. School counselors provide a massive safety net for students and can be pivotal for a child’s development.
In order to become a school counselor, however, you will need to go back and earn some additional training. The good news is that this training can open up a whole new world working in the therapy and social work sectors. On average, school counselors make between $50,081 and $74,233 on average, and typically feature a far better work/life balance, making it a popular option for teachers and those who want to work with children to give them a better chance at life.
You can also start retraining without leaving your current position. Taking an online master’s in school counseling can train you in the fundamentals, in psychology basics, and more. You’ll learn how to serve students no matter their background or needs. If you want to learn more about what precisely a degree like this can offer, click here.
Though it may seem like being a librarian shouldn’t require much additional training, you would be wrong. Librarian science is a master’s level degree, and it teaches far more than management and the Dewy decimal system. Librarians are, first and foremost, researchers. If you love education and helping others connect to information, but are done with teaching directly, then advancing your skillset into library science can be a great choice.
You will have the chance to specialize based on the type of library you want to work in. Many today are using public libraries to study, work, and sometimes just to sit in when they want to get out of the house without spending money. This means that many libraries are busier than ever. You can work at a school’s library or a public library and help people of all ages wherever you go.
As a librarian, you can then expand your job search into research companies, EdTech, and so much more. You can do so much as a librarian, especially as they are community leaders who work to connect families to educational resources in a community space.
School Principle/Education Administer
Another great option for those who want to retrain without entirely casting away their background in teaching is to work towards becoming a school principal or administrator. A lot of the work you do in these roles will be very similar to what you have done as a teacher but without the need to spend huge chunks of your time before and after school working.
These roles usually benefit from management and even specialist training that you can earn by completing a second degree or through shorter training programs. What you will need will depend entirely on the school district in your area, as well as the number of potential candidates.
This role is a great choice for those who want to help and work with children without working directly with them. Your career as a teacher will typically help your job hunt, and the best news is that when you extend your search into administration in general, there are a lot of opportunities both inside and outside of schools to consider.