Is there life after teaching?

I want to devote this blog to a profession that is in crisis in the UK: teaching. Recently, I’ve met many teachers who all seem to be saying the same thing… ‘I want out!’ In fact, according to a recent article in The Telegraph, more than 50% of teachers are considering leaving the profession in the next two years.

Teaching is one of the noblest and most affirming careers out there. It is a calling that can draw out the treasured potential from the depth of a person and change the course of history: ‘The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but a person of understanding draws them out’ (Proverbs 20:5). So, if you are a teacher, I salute you and pray that God would renew, refresh and reinvigorate you this year.

However, not all of us are called to remain in the same profession for a lifetime. If the prospect of continuing in teaching for another year fills you with dread, it may be time to consider a career change.

Here are a few ideas to help you transfer the wealth of experience gained through teaching to a complementary but different career. Is there life after teaching? Most definitely!

Could you still teach but in a different way?

It’s possible that all you need is a change of environment. If so, there are plenty of teaching jobs outside of traditional schooling. You could work with people with special needs or who are learning English as a second language, for example. This may allow you to work more on a one-to-one basis or in small group setting.

You could also investigate the charitable sector and community groups, heritage and museum programmes, sport and theatre initiatives as well as youth and adult education. It may also be worth checking out opportunities to teach abroad, especially in the Gulf states, where UK teaching qualifications are in much demand. You could even uncover an entrepreneurial streak and become a home tutor. Sometimes the only limitations are our imaginations!

Could you stay in education but not teach?

There are many different roles that support teaching. For example, you could try your hand at being a school business development manager, working for a supply agency or even taking on responsibility for teacher training at a local college. If research is your thing, how about a role at a university or an educational research and policy development organisation such as nfer.ac.uk or bera.ac.uk?

Alternatively, you could gain a Prince 2 project management qualification and work on specific educational initiatives. Most professional institutes and large employers, such as pharmaceuticals companies, employ education officers to liaise with schools for apprenticeships and future recruitment.

Could you enter the corporate world?

Why not consider branching out into corporate training and devise and deliver industry workshops in line with your subject speciality? E-learning is a growth area in which teachers can find a niche in a high-tech form of corporate learning. Most corporations either have their own learning and development teams or work with companies to create e-learning solutions. Check out learningtechnologies.co.uk for more information.

You could also capitalise on your sector knowledge and approach a relevant company whose key customers are from the education sphere, such as publishers or schools equipment suppliers.

Could you think outside the box?

Perhaps your science background could link to a health profession or your English skills to a proofreading role. Or perhaps you could use your organisational skills to become a wedding planner. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile to enable organisations to connect with you. It’s also worth joining theguardian.com/teacher-network  and educationsupportpartnership.org.uk.

Good luck in exploring your new horizons!

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Charles Humphries runs Want2get on?, a unique career coaching service that offers one-on-one support for those who want to apply their Christian faith to their job situations in a practical way. Follow Charles on Twitter @CHumphreys1

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