Thinking of Quitting Teaching? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions First…

Expat Career Change Club BOSS 2021 VIRAL TEMPLATES (1080 × 1350 px) (6)

Thinking of Quitting Teaching? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions First…

Hello, Amazing Expat Teacher!

You’re a caring and independent person who became a teacher with a desire to change lives. Those who know you see your passion for your pupils shine as you follow your desire for helping others. However, lately, you’ve lost sight of your spark and doubt you’re making a difference. As much as you love your students, teaching is just too draining.  It is no longer the fulfilling career that it used to be. You're so stressed and exhausted because of all the other nonsense that's going on… The extreme pressure. The ridiculous paperwork. The lack of professional trust. The micromanagement. The long days. The lack of freedom to take breaks when you need to pee.

You may be reading this article and are thinking of quitting teaching because Covid gave you a taste of working from home and you want to explore careers where you are able to control your own time, your own schedule, and your own holidays. You may have just been through an intensive inspection and you're feeling fed up and unfulfilled. You may have been feeling annoyed and even angry when your alarm clock goes off in the morning, for the last year or 2.

However, many expat teachers are often unsure if this feeling is because of the international school they're currently working at or because of the teaching profession in general. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help you gain more clarity on whether you should quit teaching or quit your current school. I recommend you find a quiet and cosy place and use your journal to write as much as you can for each question:

1. What do I like and what don’t I like about my job?
Make a list for both questions and ask yourself why for each one you've listed. For the things that you dislike, is it within your control to change? For example, through changing your reaction to it by some self-care techniques? Or could you change it through a change of role within your school, through talking to a supportive line manager, or through changing school?

If it is not within your control to change (i.e. it is the system or inspection process in the country you're in), then it may be that you need to start exploring alternative career options.

2. How do I see my ideal life in 5 years' time?
Describe your ideal life in 5 years' time- where are you living? Who are you living with? What are you doing in your free time? Are you still teaching? If your vision of your ideal life in 5 years' time does not include you still teaching, then that is a strong indication that it may be the profession and not just the school that is causing you to feel like this. Now may be the time to start exploring alternative careers, so you can begin to plan your exit from the classroom.

3. How would my ideal work day be different?
Describe it in detail. Consider your ideal role, ideal duties, ideal type of work, is it remote, in-person, or hybrid? What is your ideal start & finish time, ideal location, ideal boss and ideal colleagues? Can you find another school that can meet most or all of this criteria? If yes, then a change of schools may be just what you need.

4. Is it teaching I want to leave or just my current school?
Use your list from Question 1 to help you answer this question.

5. What do I actually want to do instead?
What tasks do you enjoy in your current job? What specifically do you like about them? What jobs exist with these duties and responsibilities, in education and in a non-educational setting?

Let me know in the Comments below what came up for you when

My name is Sorcha and I've taught in Qatar and Dubai for 10+ years. In October 2021, I left teaching and became a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, an Expat Career & Money Strategist, and a Highlands Ability Battery Certified Consultant.

As the founder of Empowering Expat Teachers in 2017, I have helped 100s of teachers find great teaching jobs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. and now I am helping teachers successfully leave the classroom!

Follow me on IG here @sorchacoyle_eet for daily career change mindset and CV tips and weekly mini-trainings!

P.S. If you would like more help and support with Question 5, I've got just the thing for you!

Join me live on the online "Beyond the Classroom: 9 New Careers in 90 Minutes" Workshop on Monday 5th December, 7pm-8.30pm UAE time and by the end of this live 90-minute workshop, I’ll help you… 

  • be aware of your teaching strengths, skills and passions
  • learn what alternative job options are out there for you (based on your transferable skills)
  • start researching these 9 new careers with some useful resources… all in 90 minutes!

Here are some of the past attendees' win after our workshop:

Lady Z, an expat teacher in Dubai

Before our workshop, she felt drained, tired, exhausted, overworked, undervalued, and dissatisfied with the profession. During the workshop, she experienced many moments that re-affirmed how her skills could be translated into career options. In her feedback form, she stated, "It has given me SO much food for thought! I now know things I can look into and take tiny next steps. It's opened my eyes to the world beyond teaching! You're a superstar! THANK YOU so much!! Will you be running this workshop again? I'd definitely recommend it to colleagues and friends."

It's currently on a limited time offer of $37 (135 AED/ QAR) until Saturday 26th November and then it goes up to its RRP of $47 (172 AED/ 172 QAR). Click below to enrol!

Yes, I am in!


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