Jobs for Ex-Teachers – Careers to Make Use of Your Education Experience
A career in teaching can be great if it suits your skills and personality, but there are many great jobs for ex-teachers if you do decide to leave the classroom. Not everyone finds that school teaching works out for them as a long-term option.
This 2019 study of 1,200 teachers by UCL (University College London) found that 40 to 50% have left or are considering leaving teaching within 10 years of starting their training.
Add to these the number of experienced teachers that are leaving the classroom each year, and you have tens of thousands of talented, high-potential workers with a wealth of education knowledge entering the jobs market. What are some of the ideal alternative jobs for ex teachers that could make good use of their skills, knowledge and experience?
Many industry experts, including Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, have suggested that focus on chasing inspection, league table and other performance targets has led to pressure from the top down causing a culture of fear, bureaucracy and burnout.
Because this is now common knowledge to those outside the education profession, a former teacher is not seen as someone who simply ‘quit teaching’, they are a highly trained asset that could have great potential for many types of organisation looking at their recruitment options – especially companies involved in the education and training sectors.
There are lots of opportunities and jobs for teachers leaving teaching or for those who are looking for a part time engagement as a side project. In this article we’ve listed several job ideas for ex teachers that don’t require any (major) re-schooling.
Creating teaching materials and resources
If classroom teaching is not for you (or at least not full time), maybe creating books, websites, educational games or other teaching resources is? There’s a great demand for high quality teaching resources from both the public and private education sector.
Companies that create teaching resources are often looking for ex-teachers to join their team.
You can also sell teaching resources that you have created through teaching resources marketplaces, such as TES, which lunched its premium teaching resources marketplace in 2015.
Education Sales / Consultancy
Many private companies sell products and services to schools. Former teachers can be highly valuable to such organisations, as you will be able to show empathy with your customers and help your employer to tailor their offering, and the way they approach schools, more effectively than someone who has not worked in the education sector.
For example, education technology is a fast-paced and fast-growing field, with many companies employing former teaching professionals for consultancy, product development and IT roles. Real-life experience working in schools or colleges brings invaluable subject matter expertise and insight to such a company.
Skype / Online Teaching
I know, you want to get out of teaching, but not everyone that leaves school teaching actually dislikes teaching itself. Many ex-teachers just want to leave the current culture in the UK education system.
Some teachers prefer developing their own learning material from scratch and / or doing private teaching.
If this sounds like you, teaching on Skype (or other online methods such as Google Hangouts) may be a great job idea. Teaching people privately online allows you to teach in a way that you believe produces the best results. Since Skype teaching is usually one-on-one, you can really focus on the learning needs of an individual student.
Another benefit of teaching via Skype is that you don’t need to drive into work each morning, and instead can teach from anywhere in the world where you get a stable internet connection and where the time zones are convenient enough for your students.
Teaching using Skype is quite popular for English language teachers. There’s a big demand for native English language teachers around the world (especially in Asia and South America), creating a great opportunity for teachers who love parts of their job, but just don’t fit well into the education system. The British Council more info about teaching on Skype here: www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-get-started-as-online-teacher-english.
If you’re an English teacher who’s a bit burned out on teaching, a freelance writing job may be for you. Good writers are in high demand these days, especially if you specialise in writing for the web. Many types of companies are looking for content writers to help with their company blog or other content marketing efforts.
Start a Podcast on Education / Teaching
If you are confident in using your voice (which many former teachers will be) then you could look at starting a podcast on education and the teaching profession, drawing on your personal insights and experience.
One thing that all ex-teachers have is former colleagues and contacts within the education sector. Some of these contacts could be excellent guests on your podcast, giving you the opportunity to have interesting and insightful interviews where you exchange ideas and stories.
This would be a niche choice for many former teachers, but for those willing to embrace the challenge, podcasting is a fast-growing media, with sponsorship opportunities for those who build a regular audience.
Ex teachers hold an advantage over most applicants when it comes to getting a job as a nanny. Which parent doesn’t want to hire a former teacher to take care of their children, right?
As a nanny you still get to work with children, but in a completely different setting, without the pressure of the school environment. It’s also a great option if you want to travel. Many (expat) families around the world look for nannies who speak English as their first language.
Create an Online Course
Many people have chosen to create an online course because it allows them to make use of their existing knowledge, but reach an audience anywhere in the world. It can be highly profitable, because once you have done the hard work of creating the learning content and making it available online, you can sell it to any number of learners.
As a former teacher, you have the advantage of knowing how to organise a learning experience from your time in lesson planning, as well as the understanding of pedagogy.
Combine this experience with a specific area of interest / knowledge / passion and you have the recipe for a great online course, as long as there is some level of demand for the subject matter.
When it comes to selling your training, there are several online course marketplaces that make the process of creating and selling your content as easy as possible, including Teachable, Udemy, Thinkific and many more.
If you like teaching, but would prefer to work with adults, you may want to consider getting into corporate training. Corporate learning and development is becoming increasingly important for companies to remain competitive and therefore, more and more job opportunities are popping up in this field.
You can look for jobs at in-house learning and development departments or with a corporate training provider.
Start your own business
If you have an entrepreneurial streak, why not try to start your own business? These days you can start an (online) business on a low budget, without even having to quit your teacher job before your business really takes off.
One of the advantages of a teaching job is that it is usually quite easy to transition to part-time teaching once you get some traction with your business before completely quitting.
Or – take some time off
If you’re feeling burned out with teaching, but also don’t have any idea about what other job you’d like to do, maybe you could do with some time off.
Go on a long trip, work on your own projects or spend some time with friends and family without the pressure of work and job interviews. You wouldn’t be the first ex teacher to go on trip around the world, fall in love with scuba diving and become a scuba diving instructor, or to open up a coffee shop on the other side of the world.
Ready to leave your teaching job and embark on a new career outside the classroom? Don’t take your decision too lightly. If you are not 100% sure yet about leaving your job, take your time doing research to figure out what it is that you want to do instead. If you have left or decide to leave though, don’t forget there are many great jobs for ex-teachers that can make use of your abilities!