Burned Out Teacher Looking to Switch Careers

TeleTex82

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 4, 2010
Posts
4,574
Location
Out there
My wife recently transitioned from education (counselor) to cybersecurity. She loves her new career path. I say move somewhere warm and follow your passion.
 

ndcaster

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Posts
11,209
Location
Indiana
I'm a PE Teacher that is BURNED OUT! Part of the burnout is the fact I'm a 90% disabled vet (Non-Combat), ... My family (wife and 2 kids) are seriously thinking about moving, and my wife (and VA Psych) thinks I should be finished with teaching. I live in the PacNW, and even as a teacher with a Master's degree and 10 years experience (and VA disability) I can't afford to buy a house here. Also, I hate it here. I miss sunshine, warmth, and ocean breezes.
... I'm very good with tools, know how to work quickly, understand "professionalism", and I'm very well organized. I don't want to build guitars, I just want to take a guitar and make it play, feel, and look the best it possibly can for a fair price in a reasonable amount of time. I want to to treat other's guitars like I treat my own; as a very special gift.

So, what do you think? Do I need to go to school for this? find an apprenticeship? (or just keep teaching until the wheels fall off)?
so, you sound like your love of teaching is over, you're an M-level disabled vet, you want to get into the guitar business, you want to live somewhere warm, you have two kids, and your wife is a psychologist who works for the VA

sounds like you need a city in the south that has a VA hospital, a good school for your kids, affordable housing, and enough working musicians hanging around to make your self-employed shop a go

what are those cities?
 

Clifton C

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Posts
1,152
Location
Houston
I'm a PE Teacher that is BURNED OUT! Part of the burnout is the fact I'm a 90% disabled vet (Non-Combat), and I deal with some of the toughest/most damaged/disrespectful/defiant humans I've ever been around. Don't get me wrong, I love my students. But constantly having to carry all their baggage along with my own is a burden too heavy. I've worked in 3 states, all levels, and it's the same everywhere I've been. I'm just "done". My family (wife and 2 kids) are seriously thinking about moving, and my wife (and VA Psych) thinks I should be finished with teaching. I live in the PacNW, and even as a teacher with a Master's degree and 10 years experience (and VA disability) I can't afford to buy a house here. Also, I hate it here. I miss sunshine, warmth, and ocean breezes.

I'm seriously thinking about becoming a guitar tech. I started learning how to do set-up several years ago because every time I took my guitars for "set-ups" by "big name" techs in the Seattle or Portland area I always got them back worse than when I'd dropped them off. I do basic set-up work for my friends at church, but nothing like re-frets or new nuts. I'm very good with tools, know how to work quickly, understand "professionalism", and I'm very well organized. I don't want to build guitars, I just want to take a guitar and make it play, feel, and look the best it possibly can for a fair price in a reasonable amount of time. I want to to treat other's guitars like I treat my own; as a very special gift.

So, what do you think? Do I need to go to school for this? find an apprenticeship? (or just keep teaching until the wheels fall off)?
As a retired teacher, I completely understand how you feel. When it’s time, it’s time.

There are several schools of luthiery you might check out
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
13,769
Location
Plundertown (Gasville) OR
I think stop teaching as quickly as you can...
I agree. I loved almost every minute of my time teaching. But 1) I started at age 40 and reached retirement age before I got tired of it; and 2) it was obvious to me that teaching would SUCK if you didn't love it; I knew people who felt obligated to do it because of all the time and money they'd spent in college, and they were miserable.
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
13,769
Location
Plundertown (Gasville) OR
In complete agreement. Too many people automatically see used cars or Willie Loeman when they think of sales. My own experience is that a key element of sales is developing, nurturing and maintaining relationships which is also something teachers do every day.:)
There's a great book on salesmanship, Selling Retail by John F. Lawhon...sales is a very good field if you approach it right.
 

1955

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Posts
11,455
Location
.
Maybe check out the Norfolk/Hampton/Yorktown/Newport News/Chesapeake/VA Beach area. Lots of military, sunshine, close to the water. Your money might go a little farther, depends. The housing market is crazy now, but I see a big bubble bursting soon on multiple levels. Traffic isn’t great around there either. The benefits you have now will be tough to beat. What a lot of my military friends do is live in a lake community with modest HOA fees, in commuting distance to Quantico/NOVA, etc. Or they work for the state close by. Wonder if there is a teaching program for older vets to help younger ones?

One possibility is some online/remote teaching/tutoring. Also, some private schools might have less shenanigans.

My gut tells me that you should hold out in your niche long enough to maximize retirement and weather the inevitable dumpster fire coming in the wake of some ominous cues I’m seeing.

I know several luthiers that have done well for themselves, and some guitar set-up guys as well. I don’t know how the last few years have gone for them since I got out of the music business, but I would imagine that solvency is a challenge, especially if you don’t have a big cushion.
 

tfarny

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Posts
5,977
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Lifelong teacher here. It can certainly be a burnout kind of a job unless it is your passion, but the same can be said of any job in tech, finance and so on. Get somewhere warm and cheap, if a place like that still exists, simplify your lifestyle as much as humanly possible, and give something a go. I don't know anything about guitar teching except that I could never do it to the level that my guy does it.
Could you teach guitar or something?
 

dlew919

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Posts
11,158
Location
Sydney
The best teachers love their subjects first. High School makes that difficult. Do what you know to be right. And you know (I don't, but you do) what is right.
 

Tonetele

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Posts
9,966
Location
South Australia
I got out for same reasons. Went out after being a Cllege Lecturer in Maths and Electronics. That was a good job but after 38 years I just handed in my resignation and retired.
 

getbent

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Posts
47,716
Location
San Benito County, California
The best teachers love their subjects first. High School makes that difficult. Do what you know to be right. And you know (I don't, but you do) what is right.
the best teachers are committed to their students growth first. While they have great passion for the subject area, the student is always the top priority. Genius teachers know this and this is their passion to see students grow and learn.
 

Lowspeid

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Posts
289
Age
43
Location
Pac NW
the best teachers are committed to their students growth first. While they have great passion for the subject area, the student is always the top priority. Genius teachers know this and this is their passion to see students grow and learn.
Exactly. I love my subject area. I truly believe that understanding how their body works, how to keep it healthy, and the benefits of physical fitness are far reaching. I've taught K - Grad Students. I love my students, and I want to see them grow and succeed as people first and foremost.

I'm burned out in large part because I don't get to teach my subject area. All I teach is how to behave in social situations, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution. I, along with most of my peers absorb the personal conflict, poor policy decisions, and emotional damage of our students/families/communities until there is nothing left. I'm sure there are schools/districts where I would be able to teach my subject area more and less of the behavior management, but I've been in 3 so far and I haven't seen it yet.
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
13,769
Location
Plundertown (Gasville) OR
I was very lucky. First, by accident, I spent four years teaching special ed, and it shaped the way I looked at everything from then on. School isn't as easy for everyone as it was for the typical schoolteacher, and every student deserves the best you can give therm.

My first year in "regular" classroom, teaching humanities at our middle school, I worked in tandem with a very good, experienced teacher, who fixed me up with a sorely-needed "system", which I modified just a little when I moved to high school. I called it my P____ B_____ Memorial (she retired) Classroom Management System, and it kept me and most of the rest of the yahoos in my classes mostly out of trouble for 20 years.
 

jumpnblues

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
3,841
Age
72
Location
Midwest
I changed careers completely in my late '30s/early '40s. Went from counseling oriented jobs at a community college to a 24 yr career in dentistry. Retired 6 years ago. I now teach one day a week in the dental hygiene department of the same community college I worked for 37 years previously. Life can sure take some strange twists.
 

Southpaw Tele

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Posts
2,788
Age
49
Location
The Golden State
I teach chemistry and AP Chemistry here in California and consequences have been removed by the state for misbehaving kids. We have fights nearly daily on campus, kids just walking out of class and a lot of them cannot do even simple math now. There’s a job opening to become a secondary science mentor teacher full time so I can help the incoming newbie teachers. I’m applying for the position. I love chem and I love working with the students who care about their futures, but it’s becoming increasingly stressful and I’m pushing 50 now. I hear you and hope and pray you make the decision that is best for you and your family.
 

RoscoeElegante

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Posts
4,974
Location
TooFarFromCanada
As a burnt-out teacher myself, I fully sympathize. I love about 20% of what my job requires and allows, can tolerate about 40%, but detest the remaining 20%. Okay, probably 40%, but yeah. A draining, insulting job is bad enough. But when it's a job that requires generosity, caring, giving from you, and all that is met with negativity and hostility, that's extra frustrating.

I'm stuck, or I'd make radical changes, myself.

So I join others here advocating that you make the changes you want to, while you can. Life's too short, and generosity better directed will make your future work very satisfying. When I've had jobs that weren't met with contempt or resistance, every paycheck felt like a bonus.

Good luck--and thank you for your service.
 
Last edited:

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
3,602
Age
71
Location
Spring TX
A wise man once said, "Choose a vocation you love and you'll never work a day in your life." In my long and checkered career I have had two primary vocations: musician and teacher, starting with twenty + years making my living playing, then finishing my degree and embarking on a twenty year teaching career. There came a time when it was time to retire, and I did, pretty well burned out when I did. Back to a playing career, augmented by teacher retirement, or vice versa. Given my history, there have been very few days that I have "worked" in my life. From your post, it would seem it's time for a change. Good luck!
 

Lowspeid

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Posts
289
Age
43
Location
Pac NW
I teach chemistry and AP Chemistry here in California and consequences have been removed by the state for misbehaving kids. We have fights nearly daily on campus, kids just walking out of class and a lot of them cannot do even simple math now. There’s a job opening to become a secondary science mentor teacher full time so I can help the incoming newbie teachers. I’m applying for the position. I love chem and I love working with the students who care about their futures, but it’s becoming increasingly stressful and I’m pushing 50 now. I hear you and hope and pray you make the decision that is best for you and your family.
Same here in Oregon. It’s gotten to the point I feel like admin/local community just want babysitters, not educators. The kids know there in no consequence for poor/defiant/disrespectful/abusive behavior, and there is no consequence for failing ever class all 3 years they attend middle school. I look at the few kids who want something better and just want to tell their parents “home school your kid. Please.”.
 
Last edited:

Lowspeid

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Posts
289
Age
43
Location
Pac NW
As a burnt-out teacher myself, I fully sympathize. I love about 20% of what my job requires and allows, can tolerate about 40%, but detest the remaining 20%. Okay, probably 40%, but yeah. A draining, insulting job is bad enough. But when it's a job that requires generosity, caring, giving from you, and all that is met with negativity and hostility, that's extra frustrating.
That statement pretty much sums it all up. I enjoy about 20% of my day, and about 20% of my personal interactions. The rest is just negativity, hostility, and toxicity. What does it tell you that this the BEST building I’ve worked in?
 




Top