Deciding to Quit Teaching

When I first started this blog in 2020, I went in with the mindset that I felt lost in my twenties. I didn’t know where my life was heading, I felt confused about my career and even wrote a post called Trapping Myself in Teaching. I was in my first term as an NQT and I was already having thoughts of leaving. Now that I look back, I realise how abnormal that is. I decided to continue with my NQT year because I didn’t want my qualification to go to waste, but as the summer term rolled around, something didn’t feel right. I decided to leave that role and start at another school. A year on, I am at my new school and I’ve finally made the decision to leave teaching.

Deciding to leave has taken over a year to come to terms with. But I know it’s right. I’ve spent the past year telling people ‘It’s not if I leave teaching, but when’ always proclaiming that it wasn’t the right time. But what better time to leave than now? At 25, I’m young enough to start a new career but old enough to have a bit of experience on my side.

Coming to Terms

Knowing deep down that you’re unhappy, but trying to make it work is a horrible position to be in. And it doesn’t just happen with jobs. Since leaving University in 2018, I have felt lost, unsure of the direction that my life is going. Moving back home was incredibly hard because I’d gone from living independently, with friends on my doorstep, to living back in my childhood room with my friends spread all over the country.

I decided to move out of my parents’ house in October 2021, feeling that this change might be just the thing I needed to push past the feeling of being stagnant. Although a very long-winded way of doing it, I’ve realised that maybe it wasn’t the location that was the problem but my day-to-day life.  

I’ve spent the last 6 months processing decisions, considering my choices and avoiding coming to a decision until I realised that I cannot continue feeling unhappy anymore.

Doing It For Me

A lot of the worry about quitting my career has come from disappointing people I love. My family and friends have been so supportive of my career, so proud of what I have achieved and quitting feels like I’m failing everyone.

It’s silly because whatever I choose to do, my family will support me. But I can’t help but feel the disappointment seep through when they have to tell people that I’m quitting. The reaction of people so far when I tell them has been okay, but I still feel a subtle hint of sorrow when they realise that my life isn’t quite working out the way everyone first thought.

But that’s when I realised that it doesn’t matter what everyone thinks. I cannot keep continuing down a path that makes unhappy for the sake of a quiet life! I can’t keep complaining about aspects of my life and doing nothing to change it.

I’m naturally a very impulsive person. If I want to do something, I’ll do it, without really considering the consequences. Many of my poorer decisions can be put down to my impulsivity, which is why I put a lot of pressure on the advice I am given by people who care about me. But this feels different.

When I consider what I’ve always wanted to do and where I’m at now, it’s not adding up. Thinking all the way back to my eighth birthday when I got a Jaqueline Wilson writing set and I decided I was going to be a writer through to writing fanfictions as a teenager, my creative writing degree and now my blog… teaching just doesn’t seem to follow suit. It doesn’t feel enough, I don’t feel that I’ve done what I want to do and I’m worried that if I don’t take the plunge now, I never will.

So, I’ve decided to take the risk. I can’t carry on waiting for the right time, because I know deep down that that time will never arrive. As I was scrolling in Instagram, feeling pretty low, I came across a photo that said:

“When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise, you end up staying in the same place your whole life. And that I cannot do”

It may not be as black and white as this, and it may have taken me a long time to decide to jump, but I think this risk might just be the best thing I ever do.