10 Options to Consider Before You Quit Teaching

Circle the correct answer.

You’ve worked incredibly hard to earn your degree, you have years of experience in education and you actually love teaching (when you get to teach), but right now
a) your workload is absolutely unbearable
b) your immediate work environment is toxic
c) student discipline is impossible
d) your boss is a jerk
e) all of the above

If you feel like you still have a lot to offer, but not where you are right now, the following ten ideas from “101 Alternative Jobs for Teachers” will help you think through some alternative positions and opportunities available to you as a teacher. Before you quit teaching, you should try one of these.

1. Consider a different year level or changing subjects. Sure you will need to undertake some personal learning, but it might just be the change or challenge you are looking for.

2. Move to a different school. Seriously consider changing schools. Either apply for a transfer or start job searching to apply directly, depending on how this works in your state. It will give you a fresh start.

3. Move sectors. If you have worked in primary, consider secondary. If you teach secondary, consider primary.

4. Move to a different system. If you work in a public school, consider private, religious, independent or charter schools (USA). And vice versa.

5. Consider a correspondence school. In my state they are referred to as “Schools of Distance Education” and are managed by the Department of Education. The work is very different, but rewarding and vital in meeting the needs of students who cannot attend a mainstream school.

6. Become a specialist. Consider Special Education working with students with disabilities or Support Teachers in literacy or numeracy. Perhaps Teacher Librarian, Music or Physical Education would suit you.

7. Reduce time. Is reducing from full-time to part-time work viable? You may be able to work with another part-time teacher to job share a class or you may find a stand alone part-time position.

8. Go for a promotion. (I’m not joking.) You’ll never know unless you try. Head of Department, Curriculum Leader, even a Principal’s position in a small school are all worth considering.

9. Undertake further study. Guidance counsellor, speech or occupational therapist require specific qualifications. If it’s your passion, it will be worth it.

10. Be a relief teacher. Also known as supply or substitute teachers. Commitments can vary from day-to-day work to contracts. Some departments have permanently employed relief teachers.

If, after reading this, you still want out, then you might like the other 91 ideas in “101 Alternative Jobs for Teachers“.


  • This is great advice. I know from experience that changing schools, grade levels, and subject made all the difference for me. Teaching is still hard, but it is much more manageable in my new school.

    Thanks for the article.

  • Great suggestions! I’m a trained teacher but haven’t been able to get a job yet. I must admit, I’m scared to get one too because I know how stressful it is. I think part time would be the perfect choice for me.

  • These are great options! If I am honest, I am little scared to return to the classroom full time so these options suit me quite well. In fact I am a specialised teacher, teaching Te Reo Māori (Māori Language) to a whole school (in one day) and I LOVE IT! The teachers and students are excited to see me each week – ready & keen to learn!
    Thank you for linking up with us at Friday Favourites! Look forward to seeing more of your blog.

    • Charlene, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and share a little of your story. It is great to have you here and to connect with another blogger with a teaching background. I’m glad you found the tips in this post useful.

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