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5 Reasons Why I Left Teaching

An Internal Struggle

After my sixth year of teaching, I started questioning if this profession was the best option for my professional career moving forward. There were just too many cons as I weighed the pros and cons. My decision to leave teaching won and here’s why...

1. We deserve more money.

It’s just flat out wrong that a teacher with a bachelor's degree makes less than a full-time Uber driver. No knock on Uber drivers at all! Although I must say, if someone goes to school to pursue a degree in higher education to mold young minds, they deserve higher pay than a person with just a car and a license. It’s just flat out not right any way you slice it. I have other friends that went to college as long as I did and now design car parts and make six figures. Which is more important, car parts or growing young minds? We all know the answer to that.

2. Everything is our fault.

No matter what the kid does, it’s our fault. If they refuse to do their work, it’s our fault. If they fight in class, it’s our fault. If they are late to class, it’s our fault. We are asked to find solutions for all these issues and more instead of putting the accountability on the student. The administration will say your lessons aren’t engaging enough when they haven’t spent time in your class to see where the real problem lies.

3. The Daily Stresses

I take pride in controlling my emotions and having inner peace, but at the end of most work days as a teacher, I felt very stressed from external sources. Many things add up throughout the day to leave you feeling very drained when the day ends. The kids disrespecting authority and constantly arguing with me, parents not holding their kids accountable, dealing with kids who don’t care about what you are teaching and trying to make them care, staying positive in a negative environment, are some of many factors that drain your energy and cause stress. Many of these stressors may have been more present for me since I taught at a school that was on average, low achieving and had a low socioeconomic population. These factors historically played a large part in the culture of the school and the overall morale of teachers.

4. Feeling Trapped

When you go into teaching, you are told that you get raises every year and if you stay the course, after 20 years or so, then you can start to make good money. After 20 years? My friend I referenced above that designs car parts is earning six figures didn’t have to wait that long to get big raises to get to that level. He gets raises based on performance, teachers do not. The best and worst teachers in the school are on the same track and same pay scale. That creates a sense of being trapped; no matter what I do, I get the same as everyone else. Sounds like communism, doesn’t it? Nothing you do differently or better as a teacher will translate into higher pay. Incentive and passion can, not always, but can diminish without an incentive to strive for. When you look around and see your non-teacher friends with more opportunities to grow, you begin to feel trapped in the system.

5. Other Jobs Present Larger Upside

When I started looking at other possible career options, many seemed so much more attractive and alluring. In this day and age, there are limitless possibilities that offer way more upside and this is an undeniable fact. I kept asking myself, “Why am I subjecting myself to this limiting career track when so many others are limitless and allow more freedom?” After hearing that question asked repeatedly in my head, I could not ignore it, and I knew I had to act on it! Now I work in medical sales for Orthopaedics and also run my own Advocare business promoting nutrition and wellness products. I am much happier now and am glad I made the change and took the leap of faith that was vital for my life!

I’ll provide the link to my Advocare site for those interested in this great business opportunity and/or world class products. Thanks for your interest in my story and I hope this inspires anyone in a similar situation to do what’s best for you!

Jonathan Purkey

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