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Alternatives to Teaching: What Can Teachers Do When They Leave the Classroom?

By May 1, 2020August 14th, 2021Blog + Business

The months of March, April, and May are pretty significant for teachers. These three months represent standardized test preparation, standardized tests, make up testing, end of the year exams, portfolio screening, more professional development, evaluations, spring break, culminating activities, end-of-the-year parties, cumulative folder and records updating, schools without proper air conditioning, and ultimately, the decision to return to do it all again in the fall.  These are the tasks in March, April, and May, the other months have their own unique challenges in the eyes of a stressed teacher.

As trends show, more teachers are leaving the profession to due mounting stress, students’ abhorrent behavior, over testing, and unrealistic expectations.

The questions that always remains, “What are the alternatives to teaching“?

What can teachers do when they leave the classroom?

Alternatives to Teaching


Alternatives to Classroom Teaching

When considering leaving the teaching profession, many teachers leave because of the growing list of responsibilities associated with the general education classroom. Pressures regarding student growth, mounting paperwork, abusive parents, and unreasonable administrators are reasons teachers list for leaving the classroom. These teachers shared that if circumstances were different and there were opportunities to “just teach” they would hop on those opportunities “in a heartbeat”. So, let’s unveil some alternatives for teachers.

Alternatives for Classroom Teaching in Education

When classroom teaching isn’t a good fit, the quest for alternatives to teaching begins. Often times, teachers, we try our hands at positions within our district or neighboring districts. The progression usually includes teaching another grade, a different school, a new certification for positions within education such as: media specialist, ESOL Teacher, Special Education Teacher or the most sought, school leadership. While some of these roles are easier to secure than others, there are additional steps, like the need for additional schooling or interviewing, to secure these roles. If working with children is your absolute passion try these alternatives to teaching in the classroom:

  • Special Education Teacher (additional coursework and certification required)
  • ESOL Teacher (additional certification required through Praxis or whatever system your state requires)
  • Media Specialist (additional coursework/certification required)
  • Instructional Coach (networking and recommendations required)
  • Curriculum Development (networking and recommendards required)
  • change grade levels
  • change schools or districts (most often leaderships plays a huge role in the temperature of a setting)
  • teach online (K-12, domestic/international tutorial, university level)
  • teach abroad

Alternative Jobs for Teachers Leaving the Classroom

After a few hours of teaching, some conclude that it is not the right fit for them. Though a few hours is a slight exaggeration, knowing that classroom teaching isn’t a long term career goal, teachers look for alternatives to teaching outside of education. Because teaching requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and certification, those who divorce themselves from the profession are armed with a degree and certification in hand; these are valuable tools. However, the question remains how can such a specialized degree offer alternatives to teaching. Education degrees include liberal arts studies which contain tons of transferable skills if positioned correctly. As a new graduate, your degree qualifies you for entry level positions in various fields because on-the-job-training is provided. For those with a few years of teaching experience, leaving the profession involves tailoring your resume for specific jobs of interest, networking, and creating professional social media handles for direct engagement with those in your desired field.

Alternatives to Teaching Outside of Education

  • Independent Instructional Designer
  • Educational Consultant
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Blogger
  • Social Media Influencer
  • Management (private, public, or corporate)
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Multi-level Marketer

Useful Websites for Teachers Who Want to Leave the Classroom

When teachers leave the classroom, they’re often at a point of exhaustion, frustration, and looking for immediate answers. They’ve tirelessly pondered other positions within the arena of education, but at some point, the notion is, “I just want out”. When the sentiments are this specific, they are sometimes coupled with an empty plan and lots of restless nights. In addition to finding peace and wellness, teachers want to find means to replace their income and in some instances, their health insurance. Below are a list of websites that can be used to source freelance jobs. Some of these roles are related to teaching and others desire the skill set imbedded in the education curriculum and experiences.

If you’re wondering how to refine your teacher toolbox and refresh your resume, click here for the the “I Quit: Transition Guide for Teachers Who Want to Leave the Classroom”.

3 Websites to Use to Find Alternatives to Teaching

  • Upwork – Upwork is a freelance website that allows professionals with various skill sets to create profiles highlighting their skillset. Freelancers can then pitch for work assignments or will be contacted business owners for projects. Benefits of creating a profile on Upwork include secured weekly payments, rates set by freelancers, and dispute options if necessary.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers – Teachers Pay Teachers, or TpT, is a website created by teachers for teachers. If creating beautiful, effective assignments was your knack, TpT is a great way to earn income using these skills. Some TpT stores earn a full-time income.
  • Fiverr – Fiverr is a freelance website similar to Upwork. There are options to create academic and entertainment pieces for those who desire your skillset. If you’re looking to explore options in entertainment or technology, create a Fiverr account highlighting your unique skills.

Other Articles That Highlight Alternatives to Teaching

Should Teachers Brand Themselves

Why I Decided to Become an Infopreneur

How to Create Meaningful Content for Your Blog, Podcast, YouTube Channel, and Social Media Posts

5 Ways Teachers Can Earn Extra Money Online

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