Thinking of Leaving Teaching?
What can I do instead of Teaching?

“What can I do instead of teaching?”

Should I Stay or Should I go? flowchart

If you are thinking of leaving teaching then my “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” flowchart may help you decide the next step to take. The blue shapes relate to pages in my website. You can find these links on the Thinking of Leaving Teaching homepage and below in Contents. Of course, another option is to do nothing and stay where you are! However, if your job is making you unhappy then maybe you need to find a new one.

Thinking of Leaving Teaching flowchart

1) Move School

If it is poor leadership that you are concerned about then there may be another school with a good leadership team that is perfect for you. Make use of social media, not just Facebook but LinkedIn too. Keep in contact with ex-colleagues and build up a picture of which schools are the ones to avoid. It’s not all about league tables. Schools to avoid are those with high staff turnovers which always indicate problems.

However, moving school is not an easy option for everyone. When I was looking to move school in my early 40s on UPS3, I had great difficulty finding Head of Department jobs. The jobs I did get interviews for were at schools with more narcissistic “leaders”. Eventually, I was so desperate to leave my toxic school that I decided to take a demotion at a new school. That didn’t bother me and , not long afterwards, I became Head of Department there.

Looking at my section on Moving School.

Your Letter of Resignation

If you want to leave then you will need a letter of resignation. My advice is don’t burn your bridges, no matter how annoyed you are. Here’s a link to the Resignation page where you will find mine from a school I worked at for 15 years as well as advice from others.


2) Go Part-Time

I didn’t consider teaching part-time as an option when I was thinking of leaving teaching, but I know some teachers who work part-time 2, 3 or 4 days a week and it seems to work for them. However, I am also aware of those who work Monday to Thursday and have Friday off… to catch up with marking! Read more about this from Anne, who posted about teaching part-time.


3) Supply Teaching

Supply teaching gives you the opportunity to see a lot of different schools. Many people find that their enthusiasm for teaching is reignited once they discover other schools with good leadership teams. A friend, who left a toxic school to become a supply teacher, told me, “I handed my notice in on the first day back in September. Haven’t looked back since. Not all schools are the same.” She has recently found a school she likes and told me, “I’m very happy with my role at the moment and have no plans to move”.

Supply teaching also puts you in control by giving you the opportunity to apply for non-teaching jobs without having to give a terms notice, which is often a reason why some teachers stay in a teaching job they hate.

A year after leaving teaching, I did some supply work in both primary schools and secondary schools for a couple of days per week to boost my income. Some schools were good and some were bad. But I was in control… if I didn’t want to go back, I didn’t have to. Click on the Supply Teaching link.


4) Tutoring

Teachers are very well qualified to do tutoring. Here are some tutoring options:

  • You can do online tuition or work from home. Many home tutors adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by switching to online tutoring. Working from home is becoming more and more commonplace.
  • You can do small group tuition (e.g. in groups of 3) or you can do 1 to 1.
  • You can do NTP work (the National Tutoring Programme is generally for children in school, during the day and government funded ‘catch up’ tuition) or private work.
  • You can work for an agency/organisation or work for yourself. Generally daytime NTP work is through an agency and can be immediate. Evening work can be found yourself; it takes longer to build up but the pay can be better.
  • Do primary or secondary or both.

For further information, take a look at What Else Can You Do? – Tutoring.


5) Buy an Education Franchise

Logos of Franchises

The education franchises, above, were set up by ex-teachers who offer franchise opportunities. You can read more about them in the What Else Can You Do? – Franchises section of my website. Buying a franchise gives teachers an opportunity to set up their own business without the pressure of thinking up systems and resources.

Education Franchise Success Stories

Some ex-teachers have started their own education businesses, either as franchisers or franchisees. You can read some success stories by clicking on the links here:

If you are a franchise and are interested in having your business appear here then click on this Advertising on link for more details.


6) Further Education and Apprenticeships

Think about teaching in Further Education and browse FE Jobs for jobs in further education. Look at becoming a trainer or assessor for apprenticeships. In the My Story section on this website, I talk about what I’ve done in the six years since I left teaching. This has been in Further Education, in particular apprenticeships, and I now have a job in Higher Education. There may be some information there that’s useful to some people who are thinking of following those career pathways. You can find out more at the Institute for Apprenticeships website.


7) Where To Start With Job Hunting

Many teachers joining the Thinking of Leaving Teaching? Facebook Group say they don’t know where to start when it comes to job hunting. On the Job Search – “I don’t know where to start” page, I have a set of steps that I would suggest that you follow if you don’t know where to start.

Either click on the link above, or click on any of the following links:

  1. Do a SWOT Analysis or other Self-assessment
  2. Research Jobs
  3. Learn any skills that you may need
  4. Update your CV and complete application forms with ‘non-teacher’ language
  5. Job Hunting – Knowing Which Job Sites To Use
  6. Networking and LinkedIn
  7. Predict interview questions and create a story of why you are leaving/left teaching

8) Other Jobs That You can Do

Take a look at my Other Jobs You Can Do section of this website. That page will help shed some light on what other jobs you can do apart from teaching. In many of these jobs, a teaching qualification is desirable.

You can also find Featured Businesses on the Other Jobs You Can Do section of this website.

Logos of businesses

9) Leaving Teaching Success Stories

As of May 2024, there are around 210 success stories from ex-teachers who got jobs from Academic Developer to Youth Staff Entertainment.

The jobs/success stories can be found at the Success Stories page here on my website and are organised into the following categories:


10) Jobs for Your Degree

You are not defined by the degree you have. However, a number of people in The Thinking of Leaving Teaching? Group have asked for job ideas, based on the subject taught.

Click on the Jobs Related to your Degree link.


11) The Thinking of Leaving Teaching Facebook Group

My private Thinking of Leaving Teaching? Facebook Group is a safe place for people to ask for help and advice about jobs you can do if you leave teaching. It is a good place to get ideas, especially from those who share their experiences of leaving teaching. With an anonymous posting option, it is a safe place for those who may be concerned about privacy. The advantage of it being a private group is that comments are not open to the public.

Facebook groups to do with leaving teaching are where you will find useful information, such as questions asking what careers people do now, comments about transferable skills and recruitment agencies, teaching in universities, online teaching of English and other subjects, and much more.


Please contact me if you would like to advertise your services or business opportunities here.

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