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Questioning Teaching? There's nothing wrong with you.

Updated: Aug 10, 2023


Large white question mark on green chalkboard

There is nothing wrong with you if you are questioning your work as a teacher.


You didn’t make any mistakes.

You didn’t choose the wrong career.

You didn’t fail as a teacher.

You're not being selfish.

You haven’t stopped caring about your students.


What you have done is start taking stock of whether your work is still right for you. And this is a completely natural, very common part of a career.


In most other career fields (not teaching), employers, colleagues, and society as a whole expect you to shift, change, move up, move over, and move on as your interests, priorities, and desires change throughout your life.


The difference with teaching is that administrators, colleagues, and society as a whole expect you to be a teacher for life. This belief is created, in part, by the education system. Your pay scale rewards staying long-term. Your teachers pension rewards a lifetime commitment. Your career pathways within the school system are few and far between.


The expectation to teach forever is also created by the narrative (story) of what it means to be a teacher - to give your ALL, to “be there” for your students, and to serve the community. It’s hard to question doing this work without feeling like a selfish jerk.


You're not being selfish.


But hey, you and I both know you’re not a selfish jerk for thinking about leaving the classroom. In fact, you've probably been prioritizing others (students, colleagues, family, your community) and what they need for years.


It might be time for you to think about what's right for YOU. Maybe that means staying in the classroom but making some changes, or taking a break from teaching, or even moving on to a totally new job.


You deserve to be happy in your work.


You want something better for yourself, and that’s ok. Actually, it’s GREAT, because you deserve to have work that makes you happy. Guilt-free. That's not expecting too much.


A major takeaway for the students in my online course Teachers at a Crossroads: Exploring Career Change is this:


"I am worthy. Of change, of something better, of work I love."

YES! YES! YES!


This might be something you need to hear. Maybe many times. Try saying it out-loud right now!


You're worthy of work you enjoy. You're worthy of change even if it doesn't "make sense." You're worthy of a life well-lived. And career change is NORMAL, don't let anyone or anything tell you otherwise.

 

I'd love to hear what you think!

Share your thoughts in the comments or send me an email at coach@lauralitwiller.com.

  • Do you feel like there's something wrong with you for questioning teaching?

  • What thoughts or emotions come up for you when you consider leaving the classroom?






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