Is there life after teaching?

Life after teachingSo is there life after teaching? I want to devote this blog to a profession that is in crisis in the UK

Teaching – one of the noblest professions

Similar to Martians and little green men, the question “Is there life after teaching?” is a hot topic in many school staff rooms. Recently I’ve met many teachers who all seem to be saying much the same thing – I want out! In fact, according to the Telegraph (Oct 2015) more than half are considering leaving the profession in the next two years, which is a tragic situation.

Teaching is one of the noblest, most affirming and life-giving careers that it is possible to find. 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 your calling during 2016.

Not necessarily a job for life

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

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

Life after teaching no.1 – Could you still teach but in a different way?

It’s possible that all you need is a change of environment and there is a wealth of teaching jobs outside of traditional schooling. You could work with people with special needs or who have English has a second language, and as a result, work more on a one-to-one basis or in small group setting.

Could you investigate the charitable sector and community groups, heritage and museum programmes, sports and theatre initiatives as well as youth and adult education? Also, check out opportunities to teach abroad, especially in the Gulf States, where UK teaching qualifications are in much demand.

You could even discover an entrepreneurial streak and become a home tutor for the children of rich, wealthy Russian and Chinese living in the Capital. Sometimes the only limitations are our imaginations!

Life after teaching no.2 – Could you stay in education but not teach?

There are many different roles that support teaching. For example, could you try your hand at being a school business development manager, working for a supply agency or even for a college responsible for teacher training? If research is your thing, how about a role in a university or an educational research and policy development organisation such as www.nfer.ac.uk or www.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, employ education officers to liaise with schools for apprenticeships and future recruitment.

Life after teaching no.3 – 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 where 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 www.learningtechnologies.co.uk

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

Life after teaching no.4 – Plenty of other ideas…

I don’t have the space to talk about science backgrounds linking to health or English to proof reading. And don’t forget about your conflict management skills as well as your ability to event organise – possibly weddings or foreign excursions. Importantly, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile to enable organisations to connect with you.

Finally, there are a number of key organisation that can help you. Join the www.theguardian.com/teacher-network and www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk or contact me for further ideas. Good luck in exploring your new horizons!