Transitioning out of the classroom is much more than a job change. Yes, having an exit plan with action steps is important. Narrowing your career options down to 1-3 roles may be challenging, but necessary. You need to know how to revise your teaching resume with transferable skills, navigate the ATS, and leverage career-focused platforms as you search.
Remember when you began your pre-teaching journey in college? You also had a plan. An advisor worked with you to schedule the right classes, find schools for observations and fulfill student teaching requirements. They may even have helped you write a resume, sent you to career fairs, and practiced mock interviews before ever stepping foot in front of a formal hiring panel for a potential teaching position. You had a community of preservice teachers and professors cheering you on the entire way, along with your own family and friends nurturing your mental and emotional needs in the way you needed it most.
You felt prepared, confident, and ready to teach young minds and fulfill your dreams.
Facing a career transition comes with new territory for teachers. While your experience in the classroom offers transferable skills for other roles, it can seem overwhelming and daunting. Have you noticed there’s something deeper, beneath the surface stirring during your transition from the classroom? For teachers who always dreamed of teaching, working with children, and retiring from the career that once brought purpose and passion, you may be faced with a rollercoaster of emotions. Some of them being grief, uncertainty, and discouragement as you honor and release your “teacher” identity and step into something new.
Feeling alone on your classroom transition journey? Read this open love letter to every transitioning teacher and know you are supported.
As a teacher who is transitioning out of the classroom, lots of thoughts, feelings, and questions can surface. You feel guilty for leaving your students behind, you feel obligated to stay because you’ve already put so much of yourself into it – but it no longer serves you. You wonder if you’ll be able to move beyond the classroom with only a teaching degree. The answer is yes, you can! Break free from the guilt and shame, find clarity, and rediscover your identity; you’re more than a teacher.
My own transition journey began with an inner knowing I was meant for something more than the traditional four walls of a classroom could longer provide, but what was it? I had no idea when I started. What I did know was I could explore my options because staying in education was no longer what I wanted. It was scary and uncertain at first. I tried a variety of jobs I thought I could fit into. It wasn’t until I found something that fit me, that alignment and the sense of purpose I needed as I stepped into my next chapter shined a light on the journey ahead. Along the way, I discovered the transition was more than revising my resume, taking courses and earning certifications. It came with inner turmoil, guilt, imposter syndrome, self-doubt…all the things that I wasn’t getting from the career coaching professionals who had already transitioned from the classroom.
What I needed couldn’t be packaged into an online course, a free career consultation, or a paid session to have my resume rewritten. For me, I needed support and guidance on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. I needed to honor and heal my relationship with myself and with teaching while taking steps to leave the classroom. I’m guessing you feel the same way because you’ve made it this far in the article. You, too, know you are meant for more, but something is holding you back. You’ve been searching outside of yourself, but you’ve forgotten to look within for the answers. As teachers, you’re programmed to prove yourself, overachieve, people please, and find validation and approval from those in charge. You lose sight of yourself, and self trust and self worth may have disappeared along the way.
You’re not alone, my friend. I’ve been where you are and now I can help. For educators, career transitions require more than an exit plan. It’s a journey of releasing the teacher identity, breaking free from old habits, and grieving your once dream job. Rediscover your purpose, knowing your value and worth comes from within. Then you can take aligned action with confidence towards what you envision for your life beyond the classroom.
Are you meant for more? Doors are open for the membership exclusively for educators ready to find your bigger purpose and committed to serious self-transformation! Learn more here!
Transitioning from the classroom may feel like ending your beloved relationship with teaching. Your once-dream career no longer aligns, and it’s okay to want something different, something more for yourself. Once you honor your journey to here and shed your teacher identity, courage and confidence for the future will fill the place in your heart that feels empty. Taking aligned action everyday will be easier. You will feel more at peace and empowered to take on your future!