Enjoy Your Summer–But What Happens This Fall?

Ah, summer vacation! For the teacher who doesn’t have to work to cover the rent until she receives the next school paycheck, it’s fabulous. Freedom. You get to sleep in…no alarm clocks for you. You get to take your time getting ready for the day. There are no school bells marking off the day period by period. No one is coming to observe you. You have no plans to make. There are no papers to grade.

It doesn’t get much better, does it?

 

Freedom woman happy and free open arms on beach

Freedom of summer vacation.

 

But what happens when it is time for school to start again?

Will you be excited and eager to get your school supplies rounded up? Will you be eager to find out who your children are going to be? Will you start going to school two weeks early on your own time to get your bulletin boards up and your textbooks unpacked?

Or will you be filled with dread?

A client told me today that she feels like throwing up every time she thinks about going back.

 

Sick woman about to throw up

A sick woman about to throw up holding her stomach.

 

That’s not good!

At least, in her case, she is actively looking for other employment. In fact, that is why we were on the phone today. I was helping her make sure that she is customizing her cover letter and resume for the jobs she is applying for. She has recognized that teaching no longer makes her happy. She has lost her zeal and enthusiasm. She wants to do something else. But wanting to do something else and finding something else are two different things.

So, may I ask. If you aren’t excited about going back in August or September, what are you doing about it? Are you preparing your exit plan? Perhaps you should.

Teachers often feel that there is no good time to be looking for a new job.

After all, you are tied up with a contract for most of the year. And that is true. But that should not serve as an excuse for you to stay shackled to a career you no longer love. Life is simply too short for you to be forcing yourself to go back when you feel sick to your stomach at the thought.

So, why not take some time this summer to start investigating your alternatives? You may decide that you are happy with teaching after all. When I was young, that happened to me. I was dissatisfied with my career prospects as a teacher, so I went in search of someone who might help me get out of teaching. In fact, I explored several options. I took a test to see if I might be a good fit for the insurance industry. Nope.

I went to a career counselor. Back then, they worked in agencies instead of independently like they do now. The job the counselor offered that I might qualify for was with a paper supply company. I would be the person who stocked shelves for stores that sold the company’s stationery and other paper products along with pencils and other office supplies. I couldn’t help but think I would be bored with a job like that. Plus, the pay wasn’t as much as I was making as a teacher.

In the end, I decided to stay.

Instead of leaving the teaching profession, I decided that I needed to invest in an advanced degree so I could qualify for the stipend my district offered. I stayed right where I was, but I felt better about my career choice. I had given myself permission to explore the options that might be “out there.” Having found that they weren’t as plentiful as I might have thought, I was satisfied to put my time and energy into a new advanced degree.

I was the school librarian, and at the end of the day, it was the best job in the building. I came to appreciate that, and I loved my job for the remaining 20+ years that I stayed with it. But I learned a valuable lesson from that experience.

And later, when I realized that my teaching career had come to an end, I decided to retool and reinvent myself. It was the best decision I could have made, and I am happier now than I have ever been with my career choice as a career coach who helps guide others to the kind of job satisfaction I now feel.

If you are unhappy with your teaching career and you self-identify as burned out with teaching, you should be spending some of your summer vacation thinking about your future. Just because the pain and pressure of last year are now behind you, you have no guarantee that it will be any better next year. And chances are it could be even worse!

Do yourself a favor and consider that exploring your various options might be worthwhile. After all, you are smart. You are well-educated. You have skills that go beyond the skills needed to teach. You can do a lot of things that you may not have considered before. And best of all, no matter what you decide regarding whether to stay or go, you will feel more empowered. You will have taken the steps needed to determine if your burn out is real enough to make you want to consider leaving.

Enjoy your summer.

But don’t waste the entire summer vacation in the sun and at the pool if you think you might want a different career sometime in the future. The job fairy will not come looking for you without some effort on your part.

 

Print

A cartoon fairy in a blue dress

 

So think about it. What do you want to be doing when school starts this fall?

Until next time.

Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP is a former educator and Past President of the Virginia Education Association. After over three decades teaching and advocating for public education, she retooled and reinvented herself. She became a Certified Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach and a Career Transition & Job Search Coach trained by a nationally known career expert. Kitty specializes in helping teachers who are suffering from teacher burnout. She is the owner and CEO of Boitnott Coaching, LLC and the founder of TeachersinTransition.comTeachersinDistress.Wordpress.com, and

 KittyatCareerMakeover.CoachesConsole.com.

 

Do you need help looking for your next career opportunity? Why not try out a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Session? Just click here for my calendar. I would love to chat with you about your possibilities.

 

Not sure is you are experiencing teacher burnout? Check yourself with this free checklist. Click here:  https://kittyboitnott.leadpages.co/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout/

Business man in office with burnout syndrome at desk

Teacher suffering from stress and overwhelm.

 

What is the #1 Mistake Most Job Seekers Make When Starting a Job Search?

mistake

People who are starting out on a job search often make one major mistake. They start their search without a clear idea of what it is they want to do. I liken it to planning a vacation itinerary with no destination in mind. Sounds a little crazy, right? Yet, think of the last time you went job hunting. Did you decide what you wanted to do first or did you think of all the things you could do first? Because there is a differenceI tell my clients who are starting out on a job search that writing their resume is not the first thing they should do. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but stick with me for a moment.

I tell my clients who are starting out on a job search that writing their resume is not the first thing they should do. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but stick with me for a moment.If you were planning a trip to Rome, would it make sense for you to map out a journey to Cairo? Of course not! That sounds ridiculous. Too often, job seekers write their resume and send it to a dozen job postings. They hope that something will land. It’s like the poor guy in the graphic above. Blindfolded, what are the chances he is going to ever hit the bullseye?

If you were planning a trip to Rome, would it make sense for you to map out a journey to Cairo? Of course not! That sounds ridiculous. Too often, job seekers write their resume and send it to a dozen job postings. They hope that something will land. It’s like the poor guy in the graphic above. Blindfolded, what are the chances he is going to ever hit the bullseye?People will say to me, “Kitty, I have been a teacher for 20 years. What other jobs might I be good at? Or, what else might I be qualified to do?”

People will say to me, “Kitty, I have been a teacher for 20 years. What other jobs might I be good at? Or, what else might I be qualified to do?”There are simply too many variables involved for me to give a straight answer to those questions. I need a lot more information first. What about teaching did you enjoy? What did you hate? Why are you ready to leave teaching now? What sorts of activities do you love and would do even if no one paid you? And my favorite, “If I gave you a magic wand and you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?”

There are simply too many variables involved for me to give a straight answer to those questions. I need a lot more information first. What about teaching did you enjoy? What did you hate? Why are you ready to leave teaching now? What sorts of activities do you love and would do even if no one paid you? And my favorite, “If I gave you a magic wand and you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?”

I get all sorts of interesting answers. Here’s the truth: if you want to change jobs, the first order of business is to get crystal clear about what you want to do. Don’t waste energy on what you think you might have to settle for. That is a clear recipe for unhappiness and even despair.

You deserve to work in a job or career that uses your best talents. You deserve to provide service in an area that is meaningful to you. If teaching has lost its luster, it’s not the end of the world. There are many jobs that you can find satisfying. But first, you must take your blindfold off. Get clear about what it is you want to do in your life. Do that first, and then we can start hitting that bullseye.

Do you need help looking for your next career opportunity? Why not try out a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Session? Just click here for my calendar. I would love to chat with you about your possibilities.

Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP is a former educator and Past President of the Virginia Education Association. After over three decades teaching and advocating for public education, she retooled and reinvented herself. She became a Certified Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach and a Career Transition & Job Search Coach trained by a nationally known career expert. Kitty specializes in helping teachers who are suffering from teacher burnout. She is the owner and CEO of Boitnott Coaching, LLC and the founder of TeachersinTransition.comTeachersinDistress.Wordpress.com, and

 KittyatCareerMakeover.CoachesConsole.com.

Not sure is you are experiencing teacher burnout? Check yourself with this free checklist. Click here:  https://kittyboitnott.leadpages.co/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout/

Business man in office with burnout syndrome at desk

Earn Money Doing What You Love! 10 Steps to the Job or Career of Your Dreams

I work with teachers who are experiencing the pain and heartache of teacher burnout. I know there are people in the general population who don’t understand that concept. I hear from them all the time. They think teachers have it easy.

If you are a teacher, however, or if you care about one, you know that teaching is not easy. The people who reach out to me are, without fail, caring, compassionate and highly professional. The conversations we have usually run along these lines:  “I still love the kids. If I could just teach without having to bother with all the other ‘stuff,’ I could teach forever. But I can’t just teach anymore, and it isn’t fun anymore! There are endless meetings. Paperwork that no one ever reads but must be filled out anyway. Tests that are tied to salary schedules. Evaluations that are a joke. Principals who are taught to manage by bullying instead of how to be instructional leaders in the building…and the list goes on.

Poor building leadership is, in my opinion, the leading cause of teacher burnout. If a teacher believes the principal has her back, she will stay no matter what, through thick and thin. If the principal is weak, however, and fails to provide the support and resources teachers in the building need, all bets are off. It becomes a scene of “every man (and woman) for himself.”

The hard question teachers suffering from burnout grapple with is what can I do instead if I don’t teach? I am “just” a teacher. I don’t know how to do anything else.

The truth is that the number of things a teacher can do post their teaching career are endless and only limited by the imagination.

I recently wrote a guide on the topic of how to “Earn Money Doing What You Love! 10 Steps to the Job or Career of Your Dreams.” If you would like the guide for FREE, click here to download your FREE copy:  https://kittyboitnott.lpages.co/earn-money-doing-what-you-love-givaway/.

earn money doing what you love written on chalkboar

Also, if you want to learn more about this topic, join me for one of two free webinar presentations that I am offering later this week. Here is the link to use to select the dates and times you would like to attend:  https://app.webinarjam.net/register/11680/51fe39bfc4

Here is what I will be covering:  

  • The question of what it means to make a life for yourself as opposed to just making a living.
  • What I believe are 10 specific steps you can take to find (or create) your dream job.
  • NEW information on the coming BIG change in the economy. (Hint:  It is MASSIVE. You want to prepare yourself accordingly.)
  • The objections most people offer for why they aren’t already pursuing the job or career of their dreams.

And much, much more.

If you have joined me for one of my “Jumpstart Your Job Search” programs before, you might want to hop on this presentation because it is similar with a twist.

I am recently obsessed with what it takes to live the life of your dreams, and I want to explore that question for myself and for you.

So what do you say? Will you join me? Hit this link now and sign up for the date and time that works for you: https://app.webinarjam.net/register/11680/51fe39bfc4.

Until next time.

Do you need help looking for your next career opportunity? Why not try out a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Session? Just click here for my calendar. I would love to chat with you about your possibilities.

Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP is a former educator and Past President of the Virginia Education Association. After over three decades teaching and advocating for public education, she retooled and reinvented herself. She became a Certified Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach and a Career Transition & Job Search Coach trained by a nationally known career expert. Kitty specializes in helping teachers who are suffering from teacher burnout. She is the owner and CEO of Boitnott Coaching, LLC and the founder of TeachersinTransition.comTeachersinDistress.Wordpress.com, and 

KittyatCareerMakeover.CoachesConsole.com.

Not sure is you are experiencing teacher burnout? Check yourself with this free checklist. Click here:  https://kittyboitnott.leadpages.co/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout/

Business man in office with burnout syndrome at desk

Teacher suffering from overwhelm.

The Doctor Prescribes Summer Vacation to Treat Teacher Burnout

If you are a teacher, you will recognize the truth of this statement:  Summer vacation is the best medicine for treating teacher burnout.

dog sunbathing

Many people–those who have never taught and don’t know a teacher well–don’t appreciate that teachers can suffer from burnout. They think you have a great job. One such insensitive soul recently wrote to me, “Teacher burnout? No other profession had one day off for every day worked! And many of those work days end at 3 PM.”

This individual has never taught a day in his life. Nor does he know or care about a teacher.

From the outside looking in, people think teachers have it easy, though. They don’t understand all of the work that goes into planning, grading, department meetings, faculty meetings, professional development meeting, IEP meetings, parent-teacher meetings, etc., etc., etc.

They don’t appreciate that when you are a teacher, you take on the burdens of your students. Because you care about them, you do everything in your power to help them. You face multiple challenges a day. By the time summer comes around, you need–and deserve–a break.

The teacher on summer vacation will feel carefree for the first time in months. They take charge of their own schedule. They can relax and read when, whatever, and where they want. They can meet friends over leisurely lunches.

There are no lesson plans to prepare and no papers to grade. They have no parents to call and no principals to please for the next eight to ten weeks, and it feels heavenly.

I know this because I was a teacher and school librarian for over 30 years. I experienced the freedom of summer vacations a few years during that time. Most summers, I wound up working because I needed the income. I still recall the lazy days of summer during the vacations I was able to take, however.

Unfortunately, summer vacations are partly responsible for keeping teachers stuck in the profession long after it feels satisfying. Over the summer months, it is easy to forget the frustration of the previous year. By mid-summer, when school supplies go on sale, most teachers start to look forward to the beginning of the new year.

This is partly why teachers stick with teaching even when they are deeply unhappy. I have written about the cycle that keeps teachers stuck in this blog.

If you are a teacher who has complained about your job for the bulk of the past school year, you need to take a look at that post. Letting summer vacation lull you into inaction delays what may be inevitable. If you are a teacher who thinks that you have made a wrong career choice or that you are ready for a different choice, I recommend that you don’t wait. Start investigating your career alternatives now. Consider what your dream job would be if it isn’t teaching after all.

“Dream Job” is written in the sand.

I recently hosted a webinar about how to create a plan for leaving teaching, and one of the participants commented that she wished she had started making her plan five years ago. It reminded me that there is no time like now.

In fact, it reminded me of the adage that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

You can’t change the past. You can’t predict the future. You only have now. You get to choose how to handle the present.

Your dream job does not have to remain a dream. We currently live in an emerging economy where people are creating their own jobs every single day. They are retooling themselves. They are recreating themselves. I did it. You can too!

I am excited at the possibility that we are on the cusp of a new economic era. One in which people are doing more of what they love. They are creating work for themselves that they not only love and feel satisfied doing, but they are contributing to the world in a meaningful way. It is possible. Millions of people of doing it right now. You can too, if that is what you want.

Enjoy your summer vacation. You deserve it. You earned it. But don’t let the time slip away when you could be looking into your various options.

Truth is, you may decide that teaching is what you were meant to do, and you will decide to stick with it. Making that decision will help you will feel more empowered than you did before. You will feel more in control of your own professional destiny.

If you decide that teaching has lost its attraction to you, however, there are many other things you can pursue instead. You just have to be open to looking into them.

If you are open to examining your alternatives, you may be interested in a free guide on the 10 things you should consider if you think you are ready to make a job or career change.

Get this 95-page guide on the 10 specific considerations you may or may not have thought of and how to deal with them. Click here to get your FREE copy.

If you haven’t looked for a job for a while, there is a lot you don’t know and haven’t thought of. This guide will help you avoid some costly mistakes.

Do you need help looking for your next career opportunity? Why not try out a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Session? Just click here for my calendar. I would love to chat with you about your possibilities.

Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP is a former educator and Past President of the Virginia Education Association. After over three decades teaching and advocating for public education, she retooled and reinvented herself. She became a Certified Life Strategies and Stress Management Coach and a Career Transition & Job Search Coach trained by a nationally known career expert. Kitty specializes in helping teachers who are suffering from teacher burnout. She is the owner and CEO of Boitnott Coaching, LLC and the founder of TeachersinTransition.comTeachersinDistress.Wordpress.com, andKittyatCareerMakeover.CoachesConsole.com.

Not sure is you are experiencing teacher burnout? Check yourself with this free checklist. Click here:  :  https://kittyboitnott.leadpages.co/7-signs-of-teacher-burnout/

Business man in office with burnout syndrome at desk

Teacher feeling burnout.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, Kitty provides training and workshops on stress management for educators and busy professionals who need to learn how to better manage the stress in their lives in addition to career transition counseling and job search advice.

Work should be fulfilling and FUN! If you aren’t living the life and working at the job or career of your dreams you need to consider what changes needed to be made. Contact Kitty for a Discovery Session now.

Are You Ready for a Job or Career Change?

Change can be hard. Any kind of change can be hard. Just think about the last time you decided to lose that 10 pounds that keep bugging you. Feeling like it’s time to make a change is one thing. Actually making the change is a different thing altogether.

No wonder people stay stuck in jobs they hate. Changing jobs can be scary! Changing your entire career can totally freak you out.

I know this because I did it. I retooled and reinvented myself four years ago after more than three decades as an educator.

After 37 years as a school librarian, teacher, and past president of the Virginia Education Association, my career as an educator came to a sudden and unexpected halt.

I won’t bore you with the particulars. All that you need to know is that I changed course in my life abruptly.

I felt overwhelmed with possibility. I had options, but none of them appealed to me, frankly.

So, I hired a career coach. I knew it was time for a career change.

 

career change ahead

Career Change Just Ahead

 

With her guidance, using her program and her encouragement, I started to consider that maybe I could start my own business. I decided I wanted to be my own boss, be in charge of my own schedule, and do work that I found meaningful and fulfilling again.

So that is what I did. First I became a Life Strategies Coach. Then I became a Stress Management Coach and then a Holistic Life Coach. Then I became a Licensed Minister, and most recently I became a Sleep Science Coach.

From May 2014 to September 2015 I had the opportunity to work with my coach, completing her training program, and becoming an online career coach. I became one of the original coaches that she brought into her company to help her growing business.

During that time, I worked with individuals from all walks of life, of every age and ethnicity, and from all over the world. I assisted dozens of people with their resume, their LinkedIn profiles, their cover letters, and their interview prep. I offered weekly Office Hours and coached groups via Livestream.

In the fall of 2015, I went solo, and I have turned most of my attention to working with burnt-out teachers. I also work with mid-career professionals who find themselves at a crossroads for whatever reason.

I have, over time, developed a digital program that is designed to help those who want to leave teaching and find a fulfilling and fun alternative career. I am offering the program right now as the “Jumpstart Your Job Search,” and there is a Starter Program, a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Program, and a Premium Program.

Top view of the working place with woman's hands. A laptop, notepad and a cup of coffee are on the table. A job search flowchart is drawn on the table.

Job Search

The Starter Program will help you find the clarity you need in order to move into a new job or career. Most people come to me knowing that they are ready for a change but have no idea what kind of change they want. If you always wanted to be a teacher, you haven’t spent much time thinking about jobs or careers that you could do instead, right? You think you’re “just a teacher,” and you can’t articulate the transferable skills that you have. If that sounds like you, the Starter Program will help you get started on the road of reinventing and perhaps retooling yourself for life after teaching.

The “DIY (Do-It-Yourself)” Jumpstart Program is for the “do-it-yourselfer” who just wants the information. You don’t want or need individual or group coaching support. (You do get email support for 30-days and one phone consultation.) This level of the program provides all 10 modules of the premium program. The modules cover these topics:

  1. Clarity about what you want to do in your next job or career.
  2. How to write a resume that presents you as the best-qualified candidate for the job you want using your transferable skills.
  3. How to write a cover letter that will get the attention of the decision makers, so you get invited for an interview.
  4. How to present a perfectly written resume and cover letter that contains NO errors in spelling, spacing or grammar.
  5. Understanding how the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) works and why it is not your friend.
  6. Understanding the importance of establishing a personal and professional brand.
  7. Appreciating the role of social media in your job search and your individual social media footprint which occurs every time you use a particular platform.
  8. Offering a professional persona on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, especially if you are job hunting.
  9. Understand the importance of your network and getting out to meet people every opportunity you have.
  10. How to interview like a pro. You don’t need to be better than everyone else…you need to be different in a positive way.
  11. Bonus tip:  Attitude is everything.

The “Premium Program,” includes everything above plus:

  • Lifetime access to all 10 modules plus additional modules as they are added
  • 6 individual hour-long phone, Skype or Zoom consultations
  • 90-120 days of email support (depending on your scheduling needs)
  • And an invitation to join the bi-monthly group coaching call along with an invitation to a private Facebook page.

 

The Starter Program is a $225 value that I am offering for $197.

The DIY program is a $675 value being offered for $577 or 3 equal payments of $225.

 

The Premium Program is valued at $2450, but I have it priced at $1500 or $140 in 6 equal payments.

For a limited time, I am offering it for $997 or $97 each month for 12 months.

 

So, who are these packages designed for?

Well, the Starter Program is for the novice job hunter. It is also for someone who is only tentative about changing their career at the moment. Maybe you aren’t ready to take the leap just yet, but you would like to know about what first steps you should take just in case you decide you can’t continue doing what you are doing now.

The Starter Program is also for the person who doesn’t have the budget for a more expensive program. For $197, if you buy the Starter Program, you get lifetime access to the first two modules of the larger, Premium Program.

 

These two modules will help you gain clarity around your job or career. Are you happy where you are? If not, what could you be doing that would make you happy?

These are the most intense modules, but they are also the most valuable ones. They will guide you to what it is you want to do with your life next. You need to get in touch with your inner self as you consider what you want to do with your life. Your next career step should be undertaken carefully and deliberately. These modules can help with that.

The DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Program is for the motivated go-getter. This program is for you if you just want the information without any frills. You don’t want individualized coaching. With a blueprint of the steps to follow, you can figure it out.

This program includes all 10 instructional modules that go with the Premium Program. It does not include one-on-one coaching. It does include one phone consultation, and it includes 30-days of email support.

The Premium Program is the full enchilada. With this program you receive…
  • All 10 instructional modules
  • Recommended reading and exercises
  • Templates and examples
  • More modules as they are added
  • 6 private, one-on-one coaching calls by phone or Zoom
  • Bi-monthly Group Coaching Calls (next call May 15th)
  • Private Facebook group support

This Premium Program is a $2450 value that I have priced at $1500, but am offering for a limited time for $997 or $97 per month for 12 months.

 

This Premium Program is for the serious job seeker or career changer. You are ready to change your career and your life, and the sooner you can do that, the better.

You are ready to be coached, and you want a guide who has gone before you on this particular journey and knows what pitfalls to help you avoid.

 

As a trained Career Transition and Job Search Coach, I can help you avoid costly mistakes.

With my help and your drive, we can save you both time and money as you seek the change your want.

Are you ready to make a life-altering change in your job or career?

 

Are you just starting out and thinking that the Starter Program is a good fit for you right now? If so, go for it. You can always upgrade later, and you will be locking in the cost of the current Premium Program.

 

Or are you ready to dive in and take on the whole program on your own? If so, the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Program is the right fit for you.

Of course, I would love to work with you and help you along the way so I would love it if you chose the Premium Program, but I want you to choose the one that is the right one for you.

You only get one life to live. I believe you should make the best of it, and that includes doing work that makes you happy.

 

If you are unhappy in your current job or career, it is time to do something about it, don’t you think?

Oh, I almost forgot. Last summer, I was named one of the top online Career Coaches Online by Career Toolkit.com, and in January, I was invited to join the Forbes Coaches Council.

 

Here is what I know for sure:  if I changed my life and totally reinvented and retooled myself for a career I love, so can you.

 

You get to choose the life you want. If you aren’t happy right now, you have the choice to make a change. Why wait? Making the change won’t get any easier. So, what do you say? Let’s get you started on the road toward the life you want.

For more information, check out my websites at TeachersinTransition.com or KittyatCareerMakeover.CoachesConsole.com.

 

Is It Ever Too Late to Change Careers?

 

I often hear people talk about their desire to change jobs or careers. They believe that it’s “too late” for them to change. As a result, they continue to trudge along in the job or career they hate, feeling sad and regretful.
Four years ago, I changed careers at the age of 60, so I don’t buy into the whole, “It’s too late to change now,” mindset. I retooled myself and reinvented my career. And I have never been happier.
I encourage others to change their jobs and careers, too, when they are unhappy. I hear a lot of doubt in response, though. Imagine my delight when I ran across Liz Ryan’s post from Forbes.com this morning. The article, “When Is It Too Late to Change Careers?” takes on the question of “Is it ever too late?” Take a look at her answer. She is right on target.
If you are thinking of changing your career, approach the change carefully. Ryan recommends that you take some time to reflect on what you want to do next, and I agree with that advice. I don’t advise you to change jobs or careers without a lot of forethought. Take your time. Reflect on your work experience. Take into account what makes you happy. What are you deeply passionate about? Consider how you might use your experience up to this point in a way that you haven’t yet considered. How can you contribute in a different way that might make you feel more fulfilled?
Life is too short to spend one day of it doing something you no longer love to do. Whether you want to leave teaching or some other career path, if you feel the need to leave, don’t ignore the feeling. You will only become regretful and bitter the longer you delay making the change you want.
If making the change on your own feels too risky or scary, get help! There are plenty of career coaches available to help guide you. Take advantage of your college or university alumni career center. Look for free and low-cost advice. If you want to make a change, go for it, but be smart about it. I got help when I made my career change, and I have never looked back.
So consider. If you were to change careers, what would you want to do?

Restart Your Career Red Car Button New Job Work Employee

Photo by Depositphotos.com

A Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Are you familiar with the Aretha Franklin song from 1967, “RESPECT?”  I was 15 years old when it hit the airwaves. I loved that song just as much I loved the artist, the legendary “Queen of Soul.”

It occurs to me that a little respect is what teachers need these days.

I started feeling the slippage of respect for my chosen profession as early as the early 1980’s. Salaries for teachers had already taken a huge hit because of the recession of the 70’s. And in my state, at least, teacher salaries never caught up with the rest of the economy.

Salaries are one way the public displays its lack of respect for teachers. For those who have never taught but think it looks like an easy gig, the salary may even seem inflated. After all, teachers only work “half of the year” which is what one misguided gentleman told me in a Facebook exchange a few days ago. They get their summers off, and they only work 6 hours a day if you only count the face time spent with kids.

But here is the thing that non-teachers don’t understand. You can’t only count the hours spent with kids. A teacher’s duties begin with hours and hours of planning. After the lesson plan has been executed, there are more hours spent in grading and assessing. Then there is more planning to do, not to mention endless meetings and requirements for professional development credit along the way.

respect

Lack of respect from the public is one thing. In recent years, the lack of respect has become more personal. Students disrespect their teachers, and so do their parents.

When I was a child, my father taught me that if I was anywhere where he wasn’t, I was to listen to and respect the adult in charge. If I was on the school bus, that meant I was to listen to and respect the bus driver. If I happened to be at school, that person would be the teacher or the principal. Failing to respect the adult in charge would yield negative consequences.

I always respected my teachers, even when I didn’t always like them. I never talked back…not once. I sometimes disobeyed by talking too much or not paying attention when I should, but if I got caught behaving poorly, I knew better than to complain about it at home. I took my punishment.

It doesn’t work that way anymore. No one respects anyone anymore. We are worse off culturally and socially for it, it seems to me, too. This lack of respect for people and institutions is worrisome. It is doubly worrisome in our schools.

Teachers can’t teach, and children cannot learn if the classroom is in chaos. I know that teachers sometimes possess poor classroom management techniques. It is easy to distinguish the ones who do from the ones who don’t. Stand outside any classroom. Tell-tell signs include yelling, threatening, and a general impression of disorder.

Even the best teachers have trouble with classroom behavior these days, though. I had dinner with a colleague recently. She may be one of the best teachers I have ever known. She shared that she had just had the “worst day of her entire career.”

Pupils running wild in classroom at the elementary school

She had subbed that day. The 3rd graders to whom she had been assigned didn’t have a routine yet–and it was mid-March. She knew she was in for a bad day by 8:30 that morning. She made it through the full day but swore she would never go back to that school or that classroom.

One has to wonder, though. Is the problem with the teacher alone? Or is part of the problem that children are no longer taught to respect the adult in the room anymore? Do they respect their parents? Do they respect anything or anyone?

What I know for sure is that there is a price to pay for not having children respect teachers. In fact, teaching as a profession already feels outdated. It is fast becoming “just a job.”

I am concerned that classrooms of the future are going to run by people who in it for the short term. Teaching will be seen as a temp job until they decide to go back to law school or start a family or start their own business.

I dread that day, but I have to admit, I see it coming. As respect diminishes for teachers and the profession, I see it coming faster and faster.

Until next time.

Photos by Depositphotos.com