Should I Stay Or Should I Go: How To Know If Or When It’s Time To QUIT Your Teaching Job:Teacher Edition

published on 25 October 2022

Question 1: How does an educator really know if or when it’s time to QUIT?

You may decide if or when quitting is the best course of action for YOU by using the three crucial clues outlined below.

Read some words of wisdom from educators who QUIT and succeeded.

Who lived to tell the tale.

As for me, I escaped during a pandemic, which may or may not have been the best thing that could have happened to me.

You come to your own conclusion.

I couldn't quiet quit.
I couldn't quiet quit.

Why does the term "QUIT" have such a bad reputation?

Why do we consider quit as failure?

In some occupations, leaving one job to start a new one is encouraged, accepted, and frequently applauded. However, when educators "think" about changing careers, they are frequently shunned.

Massive paradigm shifts and pivoting our ways of thinking and acting need to happen within the profession. More than what is being done now.

Tell you more? Okay. Not a problem. Thousands if not millions of educators feel forced to remain in careers that are no longer in their best interest, their families, and sometimes even their students.  The pandemic didn’t help at all with these feelings of pressure and anxiety.

My education coworkers, I was constantly on edge and did suffer from lethargy, financial strain, and perceptual overload. Even so, I clung on.

Ultimately, I quit, pivoting around and walking away.

Although I was anxious, afraid, and nervous, leaving (rather than quitting) was best for ME and those who mattered most to me.

I couldn’t “quiet quit”.

Since quitting, I have interviewed with, worked with, consulted for leading education companies, and have become a teachers’ career pivot specialist, all while still under the age of 30.

I have been afforded opportunities to impact young lives and the lives of our fellow educators on an even grander scale. I am so grateful.

My enthusiasm for the education field has been reinstated and my love for going to work every day is priceless. It wasn't all about the cash; the dinero; the cha-ching. Money still isn’t my motivating factor; it was the quality of life that my new education career provided on multiple levels.

I still find myself not embracing the value of my skillset in brief moments. I still suffer from imposter syndrome once in a blue moon. However, I am so much happier now.

Our employment possibilities as educators are frequently limited to tutoring, being a college professor, moving across the continent to teach, being a nanny, real estate, drop shipping, retail, etc., even though our talents are transportable and valued.

All are noble professions, but many of these jobs pay far too little!

We as educators have enormous worth in addition to skills that can be utilized in a variety of vocations outside of our educational systems.

Pondering new career options shouldn’t lead to feelings of guilt. Don’t go down that path!

Sometimes, a change, a pivot is simply necessary. Our interests, families, and needs all change over the course of our lives. Some people's health and well-being are at stake.

So, how do we know IF or WHEN it’s time to quit? Should we stay or should we go?

My fellow human educators, exiting the school system was an emotional journey for me. Quitting is a choice, and more importantly to me, MY choice (but ONLY after careful evaluation and a few chocolate shakes).

According to USA Today, Forbes, and industry experts, here are 3 critical indicators:

1. It’s time to quit when the outcomes you are measuring are just not improving and are continuing to worsen.

If you can grasp the opportunity cost concept, you are indeed 3 steps ahead of the game.

The job that you currently hold is keeping you from working elsewhere (missing out on another opportunity).

When you are saying yes to a job that is keeping you from working and growing elsewhere, you are implicitly saying “Yes, I am okay with missing out on another opportunity.”

If I stayed in my old career, the opportunity to consult with a leading edtech company would’ve never come to me. I’m convinced of that now. I don’t want to venture into the long-term effects my physical, mental health would’ve endured.

Which leads to this question,


Answer: When the pain is the greatest.


When I first read this, I was puzzled too.

Keep reading though; it will make sense in a moment.

Decisions made during immense pain or spur of the moment aren’t ideal.

Back away slowly, don’t look at it for a day or two; come back when you aren’t emotionally charged.

Whatever your decision is, decide a plan of action so you can get the results you want.

2. Giving up is not the same as failing.

A successful education entrepreneur once stated

I’m excited to see more and more students starting to understand that they already have the talents within them to be successful – they just need to learn how to harness them (differently outside the classroom). Strengths education (coaching/training) can do just that.

Another former educator said,

I also quit teaching. There is no need to keep on working to institutions that do not care about your health because of these exhausting years of pandemic. There are many ways to continue making money. I feel relieved from that heavy burden.

Anonymous Educator

This leads me into point #3.

3. It isn't failure... rather, it is regarded as moving on.

We may put off quitting because we are nervous, possess financial concerns, are queasy with change, or uncertain how or where to proceed.

Some, like me, cling and need to be reminded "Uncomfortable doesn't mean bad, uncomfortable simply means you're doing something you haven't done before." ~ Joe Vitale

For me, being “comfortable” I still have some control. “Doing something you haven’t done before.” causes more grief, runs riots, and the process of doing something new is a lot scarier than sticking with what I know.

Maybe that’s just me though.

It took me longer than it ought to have to realize that a spade is a spade regardless of how it’s shaped.

You have a wide range of marketable, transferrable abilities and talents, my good human educators.

Skills that can be applied to numerous lucrative education careers outside of the school setting; within many education organizations and companies, or non-education companies if that’s what you would rather do.

Educators like other professionals CAN and SHOULD explore new career options regardless of reason(s).

Take a moment to really evaluate your urge or need to quit.

Does this feeling or urge wax and wanes for a few days and then dissipates not to be seen again?

Or is it constant like a non-pound hammer?

This same thought pattern occurs at the same time year after year?

I know many of you are warriors fighting daily battles and are weary from the wars you are in for whatever reason.

I get it.

Please realize that the past is called history for a reason; the tomorrow we consider the future is not a certainty. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

Consider your pros and cons; do what’s best for you and those who matter the most.

The thought, “If I quit, I do not win by default” is blatantly FALSE.

You're a Champion Whether You Quit or Stay.

Just like any other good strategist, step back for a little bit, look at things with fresh eyes and create a plan at that point.

Prepare and Equip yourself.

Go or Stay.

Pick one. Please try not to extend the process.

And once you decide, stick with it. Don’t leave the proverbial band aid half hanging.

Don’t do yourself the disservice of settling for less; you are magnificent and wonderful.

If you decide to leave, you might have the following question:

Question: How does an educator gain meaningful employment should they choose to leave?

I will be answering that question soon, either by video, blog post or download.

Until then,

Make the most of your day!




© 2022 J Stauffer Consulting LLC

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