Laura lives in the Boise, Idaho area with her husband and children. She holds a B.A. in secondary education (English and social studies) from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, a M.Ed. and Ed.S. in school counseling (K-12) from the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of South Alabama, respectively, and a Ph.D. in instructional design for online learning from Capella University. She teaches online at several colleges and universities across the country and has over 20 years of experience in education.
Teacher Burn Out
Burned out? Tired of the same old routine day after day? Dealing with students got you down? Just plain tired?
At some point, many teachers, on all academic levels, find that they have had enough when it comes to the traditional teaching in the classroom. If you are one of these people, maybe it is time to look at a career change. 'But,' you ask, 'what can I do now?' Believe it or not, you have lots of other options. There really are a good number of 'second careers' for teachers.
Go Back to School
Maybe you are really looking for a career change. Maybe that change is within the field of education, and maybe it isn't. There is always the option of going back to school for a complete overhaul. Options in education include administration, counseling, and curriculum, and, of course, the possibilities are endless outside of the education field. Plus, nowadays, there are lots of creative options for financing that second degree.
There are a number of career options that don't require you to go back to school. Some may be in the administrative side of education, while others allow you to continue teaching or educating. Let's take a look at some possible second careers.
Maybe the tedium of waking up, getting dressed, and driving the same route to work every day is what's bothering you. If this is the case, and you still decide that you really do enjoy the interaction between yourself and the students, perhaps an online career is what would suit you.
Online education and the need for qualified online educators is an exploding trend these days. Whether you are looking to teach a group of students or work with students one-on-one, teaching online affords you many opportunities that traditional classroom teaching just. . . well. . . doesn't. For one thing, you can decide how many students you teach, and other than looking presentable from the shoulders up, you don't even have to change out of your pajamas if you don't want to. While some online teaching positions dictate that you be online during certain hours of the day, others allow you to choose when you are online, so if you're not an early riser but still really love the art, working online may just be a good change for you.
So maybe you really are tired of working directly with students, but you realize that your background is in education, so a career as an accountant is probably not in the works. Try consulting! Surely there is one aspect of education that you know very well, that you have given workshops on, or that you have studied intensely. Why not offer your expertise to others? It may take you awhile to break into the field, but good consultants are another group that is in high demand. Again, to a large degree, you can set your own hours as well as your own pay scale.
The field of instructional design is relatively new, having really come into vogue in the past 20 years or so. However, many instructional designers started out as teachers. While doing this may require you to go back to school for a masters degree (for those states that don't already require teachers to have a masters), instructional designers are in high demand as lesson writers, course writers and training specialists. Again, the possibility of doing this job completely online is really good as well. Unlike curriculum specialists, who focus solely on curriculum, instructional designers also take learner characteristics and training outcomes into account when designing instruction. Furthermore, many instructional designers work as consultants to education entities.
So, what do you think you really want to do? This is the first question you must answer. The next step is following the necessary path to get there. Before making any major career change, you need to be sure that the change is actually what you need, not just some time off from teaching. After you have made your decision, visit a local college or university to meet with a career counselor. These people offer an invaluable service and can really help you pinpoint what your goals are. After you have figured it out, you will be well on your way to enjoying a rewarding second career!
Everyone gets a little tired of their job sometimes, and there are many options if you are looking to do something else with your education degree. You can go back to school for a completely different degree, or you can work within the field in areas such as consulting, online learning, and instructional design. Do some research to see which of these options appeals most to you. The answer is out there. Good luck!
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