I would not have guessed before today that “I hate teaching” would be the top search leading readers to my blog this year. I’ve never tagged a post with that phrase, nor have I uttered it in any of my posts (until now, of course).
But have I had the thought? Have I, out of frustration and fatigue, said “I hate teaching” in conversations with my husband or close friends?
Which is why I was surprised, but not shocked, that “I hate teaching” had grown from barely a whisper in the blog’s search terms in 2012-2013, to a solemn declaration (fifth place) in 2014, and finally, to an anguished cry as this year’s most popular search.
As 2015 draws to a close, this blog is currently the first Google result for “I hate teaching.”
A bit more digging shows that a comment left by Ex-teacher back in June 2014 was the hook:
“…. I used to google the sentence ‘I hate teaching’ or ‘teaching is ruining my life’ pretty much every day. I felt like a loser for not being more motivated about the job. I felt guilty and scared to move on to another type of job. I quit because of my health but I should have quit way sooner when I started feeling miserable every day about going to work and I lost my ability to sleep and eat well because of stress….”
“I hate teaching” is not something you’re supposed to say — not in public, and certainly not to other teachers, even if you feel similarly disheartened.
You’re supposed to focus on the rewards of teaching, the needs of the students and the greater mission of educating our youth. And you’re supposed to be grateful to have summers off.
But Ex-teacher said what many of us have only thought or shared in private. By breaking the taboo, this reader has helped others, myself included, feel less alone. The comment ends by encouraging others to protect their own well-being:
“I know many discouraged teachers will end up on this forum trying to decide what to do and being afraid of ruining their career. My opinion is the following: if your heart races like crazy and you get a sick feeling in your stomach every time you walk into that classroom and it keeps getting worse every day, it’s probably time to walk out. There is life after teaching and it’s not bad at all. I now buy less things because I have less money but I also have a lot less stress and that is worth more than money can buy.”
In 2015, my second year away from the classroom, I’ve come to a similar conclusion. Life After Teaching may not be an automatic ticket to fortune or professional fulfillment, but it can offer a better work-life balance that will help you take care of yourself and your loved ones.
With those rewards in mind, I wish you the best in the New Year. Whether you’re searching for Life After Teaching or a better way to live with teaching, I hope 2016 finds you healthier, happier — and Googling the things you love.