Burned Out Teacher Looking to Switch Careers

johnny k

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I"m going to patently disagree with you. Teaching is and will always be a calling and a profession. I have several family members who are teachers in VERY difficult situations who love it and are thriving.

I work with teachers every day. True, some are struggling, but many are doing great and love their work and are successful and their students are succeeding.

I think your comments are woefully misinformed and cynical. Teaching is not for everyone, like anything else, and the times are very challenging, but, I get to see great teachers every single day and I get to see people succeed every single day and most of them are looking forward to July and August when they are taking student groups to Europe, taking classes and prepping for the fall.

There are teachers who thrive, we don't hear about them because they aren't suffering.
I work with kids, and they almost had me a nervous breakdown. Now i put ear plugs, and it is getting better.

I don't think i was cynical. I still have fond memories of some of my teachers though.
 

985plowboy

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The Gulf Coast is calling my name!
It’ll do that to you.
Find a small town that’s looking for teachers so you know you can keep the bills paid while you transition to a new area.
Once established look for other opportunities if you don’t like the new school.
Maybe around Tallahassee, Fl.
Close to water, but not right on it.
Remember hurricane season is concern.
 

jvin248

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Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
.

Your competition is every player, like you, who can set up guitars. A really low barrier to entry - for the same reasons you are thinking about getting in.

There's this guy, Paul Reed Smith, that fixed band mates' guitars, set up a repair business, then decided he couldn't make enough money repairing guitars to support a family. So he figured out how to build and sell guitars.

If you are intent on pursuing the guitar tech path, start as a side gig. Nights and weekends. That way you keep a long running 'government job' through the possible recession and other turmoil ahead.

and remember that musicians are often the first to sell off gear in a recession because they are out of work and need rent money. No money for guitar repairs either. There's even a song about it...




... and those same PE kids, they are playing guitar too! Can't escape them.

.
 

Lowspeid

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It’ll do that to you.
Find a small town that’s looking for teachers so you know you can keep the bills paid while you transition to a new area.
Once established look for other opportunities if you don’t like the new school.
Maybe around Tallahassee, Fl.
Close to water, but not right on it.
Remember hurricane season is concern.
That's kinda what I’m thinking! Tallahassee you say? 🤔
 

Lowspeid

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.

Your competition is every player, like you, who can set up guitars. A really low barrier to entry - for the same reasons you are thinking about getting in.

There's this guy, Paul Reed Smith, that fixed band mates' guitars, set up a repair business, then decided he couldn't make enough money repairing guitars to support a family. So he figured out how to build and sell guitars.

If you are intent on pursuing the guitar tech path, start as a side gig. Nights and weekends. That way you keep a long running 'government job' through the possible recession and other turmoil ahead.

and remember that musicians are often the first to sell off gear in a recession because they are out of work and need rent money. No money for guitar repairs either. There's even a song about it...




... and those same PE kids, they are playing guitar too! Can't escape them.

.

Not to derail my own thread, but George is CRIMINALLY underrated. His licks, rhythm & timing, tone… 🤯
 

bgmacaw

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That's kinda what I’m thinking! Tallahassee you say? 🤔

I lived near Tallahassee back in the 80's, just over the state line on a farm my Grandfather owned. A lot of people in the area work for the state, as you might expect, either for various agencies or for Florida State University. I worked, briefly, for a state agency as a statistician. It's a pretty good area still (I went through there about 4 years ago) although it's gotten a lot more congested since I lived there.
 

rocksteady Max

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Tried to start a career as teacher but chose to change career. In a serious way: several sessions with a guidance counselor, attended adult-evening course in a high school to get required maths course (at 33 year old!), went back to college to study computer science, and now i've been working in tech for several years. Cannot be happier.

I've been reading the thread and everyone is right. You must change path and change is hard. But possible.
 

KokoTele

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.

Your competition is every player, like you, who can set up guitars. A really low barrier to entry - for the same reasons you are thinking about getting in.

That’s actually not your competition. Players who can and will DIY it were never going to be a potential customer for any tech. Sometimes you can serve them by retailing parts, but that’s become a lot tougher since Amazon created the expectation of free shipping.

It’s more useful to think about who your potential customer base is. For me, a sizable portion are the players who recognize that skill and experience are worth paying for. Lots of my customers try to do their own work and seek me out when their own work does not meet their expectations. Others don’t know where to start, or start and find themselves in over their head. And still others are not at all technical and don’t want to try. Even if it’s just a truss rod adjustment, they’d rather hand it off to someone else.
 

old soul

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Do it! Lifes too short to spend your days with other people's sh***y kids, in a position where you're miserable.
Think about where you want to move to and seriously talk to your wife about it. Try doing a little guitar tech work on the side, to get your feet wet. work part time somewhere else, tutor or whatever you have to do while you hone your skills.
 

teleman1

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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)?
Have your Wife send you to Phoenix for the Roberto Venn school of Lutherie.
 

teletail

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If you can swing it financially, go for it. You get one shot at life. I was a complete failure at sales, but I learned some of the most important lessons of my life which made me extremely successful in the IT field. At a time when most techies prided themselves on being difficult jerks I used the people skills I learned in sales to become the techie everyone wanted to work with.

No one likes to fail, but sometimes your biggest failures lead to your biggest success.
 

Marc Morfei

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I have many friends and family who are/were teachers. A certain amount of stress is built into the job no matter what. But the people I know all say the same thing. The biggest thing by far that has changed for the worse over the decades is not the students, it's the parents. In the olden days, if you got in trouble at school or got bad grades there was hell to pay at home. No longer. Now the kid is always right, and the teacher is always wrong. Parents constantly complaining about everything, every time the kid does something wrong it's gotta be the teacher's fault. Everyone I know says the same thing, and that's what's driving away teachers, much more than the kids. There were always brats, but now they are enabled.
 

Lowspeid

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I have many friends and family who are/were teachers. A certain amount of stress is built into the job no matter what. But the people I know all say the same thing. The biggest thing by far that has changed for the worse over the decades is not the students, it's the parents. In the olden days, if you got in trouble at school or got bad grades there was hell to pay at home. No longer. Now the kid is always right, and the teacher is always wrong. Parents constantly complaining about everything, every time the kid does something wrong it's gotta be the teacher's fault. Everyone I know says the same thing, and that's what's driving away teachers, much more than the kids. There were always brats, but now they are enabled.
This. The kids are the kids are the kids. The parents, and I will add communities the kids are from plays a significant role. It's crazy to me and the other teachers in my district that we have to beg, barter, and plead for better pay, better facilities, and better support. This comes from the community. Where you have community support for your schools and teachers you usually have pretty content teachers. What does that say that 55% of teachers are planning on leaving teaching in the next 3 years, and major universities are closing their teacher-prep programs due to lack of enrollment?
 

archetype

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Two nights ago, on a beautiful evening with wine under a Japanese maple, a physician friend said "These days, who'd even want to be a teacher?" This was in the context of a conversation where he said "These days, who'd even want to be in healthcare?"
 

HootOwlDude

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I hear ya, brother. I have been teaching on and off since the late ‘90s, and for the last decade at a PRTF for school-aged kids. What a racket. In short, it’s a behavioral hospital for traumatized kids. They stay there for around four to six months on average, but sometimes longer. It is a lockdown facility. Talk about disrespectful!!! And what’s more, there’s no summer break. The place is always full of kids so school never stops. Anyway, I echo your dissatisfaction, but teaching is really my only professional skill, aside from painting houses, and I always balk at making the jump out of the profession. I also love the kids and feel sort of beholden to them. This is a population who have had some horrendously tough breaks, and they really do have reasons for distrusting and hating adults, and incidents of jaw-dropping disrespect are part of that. I have gotten good at winning them over, but it is very draining. Moreover, the money-grubbing company that runs the facility does absolutely jack to reward longevity. I am pushing 50 and am in much the same boat as you. I would LOVE to be able to fiddle with guitars all day instead, but a financially viable option along those lines is not something I know how to make happen! I am a creative person, but not creative enough, as I have never been able to find a way to make the $ I need through creative venues. Always open to ideas though, peeps!
 

RoscoeElegante

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I hear ya, brother. I have been teaching on and off since the late ‘90s, and for the last decade at a PRTF for school-aged kids. What a racket. In short, it’s a behavioral hospital for traumatized kids. They stay there for around four to six months on average, but sometimes longer. It is a lockdown facility. Talk about disrespectful!!! And what’s more, there’s no summer break. The place is always full of kids so school never stops. Anyway, I echo your dissatisfaction, but teaching is really my only professional skill, aside from painting houses, and I always balk at making the jump out of the profession. I also love the kids and feel sort of beholden to them. This is a population who have had some horrendously tough breaks, and they really do have reasons for distrusting and hating adults, and incidents of jaw-dropping disrespect are part of that. I have gotten good at winning them over, but it is very draining. Moreover, the money-grubbing company that runs the facility does absolutely jack to reward longevity. I am pushing 50 and am in much the same boat as you. I would LOVE to be able to fiddle with guitars all day instead, but a financially viable option along those lines is not something I know how to make happen! I am a creative person, but not creative enough, as I have never been able to find a way to make the $ I need through creative venues. Always open to ideas though, peeps!
Mondo respects to you, HootOwlDude. Having been a social worker for 11 years and teacher for 36 years, I hear what you're saying. My social work years were comparatively easy. We had our share of terribly traumatized clients, but the setting and help we offered were generally very eagerly absorbed and quite effective. Getting attacked a few times was well worth all the help we offered and did. (It helped that both my bosses were stellar.) Because our clients were adults, it was less heart-wrenching than what you're dealing with. It's college-level English teaching that has really burned me out. That's Sisyphus on roller skates. In deepening mud. But I've prattled about that enough on this thread and forum, so 'nuff said, all that.

Many thanks for your commitment, work, and values here, Dude. You're fighting the good fight. And entirely allowed to growl, dream, and stumble doing it.
 

LesTele

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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)?
I think life’s too short to be miserable. Find something that is meaningful to you and others and pursue that. Be realistic and responsible though.
 

HootOwlDude

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Thank you for you kind words, RoscoeElegante. Yeah, my first teaching gig was as an adjunct faculty college teacher. I taught through grad school and stayed on at the same university teaching composition classes and sophomore lit surveys. I picked up more classes at a nearby junior college too just so I could visit the grocery store now and then. The pay was deplorable—hellaciously so—and I often kick myself for not going on to a PhD program and becoming a fancypants English professor, but oh well. That ship sailed long ago. I actually thought the kids were disrespectful back then! Man, I had no idea!! 😂 I do nowadays take pride though when a kid starts arguing with me and refers to, say, a Shakespeare character’s actions as a justification for his/her feelings or behavior. You learn to see your successes amid the f-bombs, rare though they are.
 
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