Why I Left Teaching After 10 Years: A Happy Homeschool Mom's Story

Why I Left Teaching After 10 Years: A Happy Homeschool Mom’s Story

Today’s article is a little bit different, as I’ll be sharing why I left teaching.

I spent over ten years in public education (mostly) remembering to take attendance, grading papers, and yes, I even hoarded those scholastic book orders.

I often talked with my family at dinner about kid’s accomplishments and spent more time saying the preciously memorized names of my students than I did of my own family.

After all that time, I packed up.

Not to move to another classroom (again), but for a quieter space with a much shorter commute- my home.

Leaving my job as a public school teacher to homeschool my own kids wasn’t a sudden realization; it was a path towards a safer, more balanced life.

This is my story about why I left teaching.

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Why I Left Teaching After 10 Years: A Happy Homeschool Mom's Story

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The First Reason Why I Left Teaching: A Safety Alarm

Being in the trenches of public schools taught me a lot.

As you might have guessed, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, but I absolutely adored those aha moments when a student finally saw books as treasures.

After a few years, I remember thinking that getting my master’s and becoming an elementary librarian would make things better.

Spoiler alert: It got worse. More on that soon.

But when I got pregnant, my ‘mom instinct’ for safety kicked into high gear.

The classrooms and hallways I once hoped could be safe havens for students suddenly became places that were unsafe for me.

Why I Left Teaching: Reasons many teachers are leaving the profession
via EdSurge

Teaching in Fear

With so many kids in public school having so many different needs (and no real discipline), the dream of my finally getting pregnant coming true was something I had to protect.

When I was 10 weeks pregnant and hadn’t told anyone yet, a kid had an emotional outburst and started throwing everything in sight.

I was told to call admin and wait, because, even when student violence against teachers is at an all-time high, it’s a pretty standard rule that you don’t put your hands on a kid (obviously… but not even to protect yourself).

When I was six months pregnant, a kindergarten kid picked up a pencil and started brandishing it like a weapon. He screamed threats at me and his little classmates again and again as he ran around the room.

I called admin and was told they were on their way.

I waited as he ran around the room angrily, trying to not only protect myself and my baby, but also protect the other kids.

The library was three doors from the front office, but we waited in agony for almost 15 minutes.

I could go on and on with scary and avoidable situations like this where I was scared and didn’t feel supported.

This is not what I had in mind when I dreamed of being a teacher.

(It’s not that the admin just sat around and ignored me. It seemed that they were constantly responding to red alert calls like this, so you often had to wait your turn.)

The Second Reason Why I Left Teaching: Needing Support

The lack of support and care from administration is something most educators today know by heart.

I remember taking this photo at the start of my first year teaching and being so proud of my first teacher’s badge! 😢

Why I Left Teaching: Looking Back on My First Year's Teaching Photo

Many teachers, like me, once called teaching their “dream job”.

They believed the back-to-school pep talk where they’re told, “We’re a family here.”

Many of us have tried to convince ourselves to stay for the kids, wearing the tired out phrase, “I didn’t get into teaching for the money anyways,” like a badge of honor.

But when you’re regularly given a jeans pass instead of proper compensation, asked to put in so much extra time while the world thinks you have “summers off”, not feeling supported by your administrators becomes too much on top of everything else.

While donuts, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the staff shout-out board are nice, it’s not enough to overcome not feeling safe and nothing being done about it.

The Third Reason I Left Teaching: Librarian Dreams Come True?

After COVID and juggling teaching both online and “brick-and-mortar” classes, I almost quit teaching.

At this point, I’d gotten my master’s in hopes of becoming a librarian.

I’d been passed up for a librarian opening at my own school.

I’d taught phonics through a mask and washed my hands until my skin cracked and bled (literally 😓).

I’d been flailing and struggling to find my way for a long time.

I was hoping changing to the librarian life would finally give me a teaching job that let me choose the books I wanted to read and would actually give me time to read real books to the kids.

To no one’s surprise, Instead of the library being full of fairy-tale endings, I was greeted with more responsibility, many more interruptions, and just as thin of a paycheck.

The Third Reason I Left Teaching: Librarian Dreams Come True?
via LibraryJournal

High Expectations With Low Flexibility

In grad school, I was taught how important it was for the library to be an extension of the classroom.

But, I was surprised to learn that I was required to be on a fixed library schedule, along with the PE, music, and art teachers.

This meant I was always had library classes while the teachers were planning, and I never had time to plan with them.

It made it hard to do my job, because, unless the teachers took their own time to share their plans with me, I was never aligned with what they were teaching.

Ultimately, an increased workload without more pay or respect made every day difficult.

Plus, the math wasn’t mathing on the ridiculous cost of daycare (if I decided to keep working after having the baby).

The Last Reason I Left Teaching: Choosing Family First

My pivot to homeschooling unfolded to be more of a bloom than a break. 🥰(PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT! lol)

The rhythm of home education will give us the chance to learn and explore at our own pace.

It’ll give my kids the chance to play outside for more than 15 minutes a day.

And homeschool will let us spend so much more time together.

Stay tuned to see more about our homeschooling journey here on the blog!

Why I Left Teaching: One Year Later

Fast forward to today, one year after I left teaching.

I breathe easier these days without the weight of high expectations and minimal support.

I feel like I finally found what I’m supposed to do in being a mom. 💞

I am so grateful for the chance to stay home and teach my own babies. It’s not always easy, but I’m happy every day.

Homeschooling’s unlocked the teacher in me that I dreamed of from the beginning: one that’s worth more than test scores and report cards.

Turns out the price tag of teaching isn’t just about the paycheck but also the cost of your peace of mind, family time, and well-being.

That’s Why I Left Teaching

No longer a public educator but still very much a teacher, I’ve embraced homeschooling as a classroom without walls.

My kid’s curiosity will fuel our days, and the knowledge that their safety and well-being are in my hands reassures me that I’m in the right place every day.

Reflecting on why I left teaching, I’ve actually found my way back to myself—a parent, an educator, and an endless learner.

I’m reading and exercising daily, I’m spending more time with family and friends, and my relationship with my husband is, thankfully, closer than ever.

I never guessed I’d end up here in those early days of lesson plans and parent conferences.

I even dreamed of my own babies attending schools I’d taught at over the years.

But the one I’m writing now is the actually the best chapter of my teaching career.♥

Before You Go, Comment Below

Please comment below and share what brought you to this article!

Are you thinking about leaving teaching, or are you already a past teacher turned homeschool mom, too?

For everything homeschool, we can PlanIt! ♥

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