If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you saw my Instagram post about my resignation from teaching. If you haven’t seen it, you can click here to read it.
So many of you had a ton of questions about resigning from teaching and finding a new job. How did I do it? What are teachers qualified for outside of teaching? When did I know it was time for me to resign?
Because there are so many questions, I’m going to answer them over the course of multiple posts. The topic of this post?
Why I chose to resign, how teacher skills are transferrable, and how I updated my resume.
I want to first preface with saying this: everything I write in this post is my own opinion and feelings. I cannot tell anyone how to feel or how others will react because everything is different for everyone. I can only share my own thoughts and experience.
Choosing to resign is never an easy option. It doesn’t matter what career you’re in or what job title you have. It doesn’t feel good to think that you’re letting someone(s) down or that you are making things harder for the coworkers and families you’re leaving behind. However,
When something no longer brings you joy, choosing happiness is okay.
It took me a while to be okay with the idea that I would leave my teaching position and my leaving would (potentially) put my teammates, admin, students, and parents in a tough spot. But the thing is, I was so unhappy with the education system as a whole that I got to a point that I didn’t care. My students deserved a teacher who would give them 100%, and that wasn’t me.
Yes, I’m sorry my resignation could’ve made things harder. I hate that. But this is also my life. My unhappiness, stress, and anxiety was affecting me 24/7. My husband always hated the beginning of the school year because I was miserable to be around. I lived in a constant state of stress and crying that I relied on medication to help calm me down. So when I weighed the two groups of people (school vs family),
Who mattered more?
The answer is simple. The actions necessary to make the change are not. The older I get, the more I realize what things are important. My faith is important. Family is important. My own mental health and happiness is important. Friendships that stick with you through tough moments and are always there for you are important. The people I worked with who were truly my friends would understand and keep being my friend. If they cared about me as an individual/wife/mom, you name it, then they would always support me in doing what was the best decision for MYSELF.
The people I want in my corner are the ones who cheer for me and lift me higher in every aspect of life.
I know I would do that for my friends that I work with. And if they were so mad that they didn’t want to stay my friend or they were angry because they had more work to do – then forget them. Now I know that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, I have a pretty thick skin, but I know that’s not always the case. However, I strongly encourage you to not put yourself and your wants on the back burner out of fear of hurting someone else. Prioritize yourself.
That being said, I didn’t leave everyone high and dry.
I still want my teacher friends to be successful and feel supported. Preparing for my leave began when I started looking for other jobs in the fall of 2020. At that time, I knew that if I left I wanted to make sure my teammates were taken care of. I began making cov
er sheets for each unit. Cover sheets were a day-to-day plan where you could see the plans and hyperlinks (if needed) for the mini-lesson, YouTube video over the skill, activity, small group practice, and exit ticket. I wanted it to be easy enough so anyone could open the cover sheet and be ready to teach with little to no prep work. By the end of the 2020-2021 school year, I had a cover sheet made up for every single unit for the entire year.
Here is a snip of part of a cover sheet. Each day says what day it is in the unit, the date (not necessary since that will change every year), and the skill covered. Then, it has everything listed out that is needed to teach that lesson. Each hyperlink you see goes to a Youtube video or to a file in Google Drive. Sometimes I would show the Youtube video in class, but sometimes it was also there to help teach the teacher how to do the skill.
To get myself ready to leave the classroom and search for another job, I needed to update my resume. Changing my teacher resume to a professional one felt like a daunting task at first, but it was easier than I thought it would be. There’s nothing wrong with having “teacher” listed as your profession – you just need to make sure the skills and roles you have done as a teacher are written in an appealing way to a recruiter.
Teachers have so many skills and talents that help them be successful in the professional world without even realizing it.
Just thinking off the top of my head here – Some things you probably already do/have that would make you a great asset to any company:
- Decision making
- Time Management
- Complex problem solving
- Project Management
- Relationship building & fostering
- Able to read and analyze data
- Maintaining documentation
- Empathetic (makes a good leader/teammate)
- Differentiation (perfect for customer service)
- Public Speaking – you talk to people and teach them all day long!
Any of those skills can be listed on your professional resume or in a cover letter as things you have done and know how to do. When you submit a resume and cover letter, it needs to be tailored to the job you are applying for. Yes, that does mean you’re spending extra time on it each time you submit one. But anything you can do to make yourself seem more appealing for the specific job will help! Which makes the extra time worth it. It doesn’t mean you have to recreate them, just add/delete information as needed and keep the formatting you have.
Sections I have on my professional resume
- A small paragraph hitting my key skills and accomplishments. Think of it as a mini condensed version of your cover letter. Don’t put stuff here about your personal life. This is all professional.
- Obviously, Teacher is my experience. Under the main teacher heading is where I have all of the things I have done as a teacher, but in a way that would benefit a professional company. For example, I have things like Project Management and Professional Development Leader in this first part.
- Below that, I have my specific schools, roles, and things I accomplished at each campus.
- I have led a lot of Professional Development sessions in my career so this is where I house all of that information. I talk about it in the experience section, but this is a talent I have that I really want to highlight because working in Implementation and Professional Development is something that interests me. So if there is a skill that you have that you really want to highlight – put it here!
- Not everyone will have this section, but if you have some sort of social media that you want on your resume, add it here. At the beginning of my job hunt, I was more shy to share about my Instagram, but then the man interviewing me told me it was something I worked hard for and should be proud to share it – and he’s right, so now I do.
- At the very bottom of my resume I have four professional references. In my most recent job hunt, the only person I included from the school I was leaving was a coworker who knew I was wanting to leave. One of the most popular questions I have been asked is “How do you get your principal to be a reference without them being angry I’m leaving?” And I’m here to tell you that you don’t need them on there. Typically, recruiters/interviewers/companies are understanding if you want to keep your current employer out of the loop for whatever reason. In all of the interviews I had, not once was I asked why my boss was not listed as a reference.
- I have a few sections on the side just to show different things that are not listed in the main sections on my resume.
- Contact info
- Key skills
- Leadership roles
Hopefully all of this can help you get prepared to start applying! Just remember,
You bring value to a team. You have skills as a teacher that other people do not have.
I have been told in interviews that hiring teachers can be a preference because teachers do things daily, such as manage multiple tasks at once, that other people have to learn how to do. So you would kind of be a step ahead of anyone else who would be brand new to a job anyways. Believe in yourself and other people will see that, too.
Be on the lookout for my next blog post that will be all about where to even begin with the job hunt – Where do I look for jobs? What kind of jobs should I look for?
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Such helpful advice! Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to read the rest of the post about your job change.
I am really thinking about leaving. I am so unhappy and you have inspired me to really think about what matters most in life. You are amazing and so proud of you!
Thank you so much for sharing this helpful information in an easy to read format! This is going to help so many of us!