Leaving the Classroom Episode 1: Top 5 Reasons for Leaving the Classroom

Mar 07, 2023

Leaving the Classroom: A Transitioning Teacher Podcast

Top 5 Reasons for Leaving the Classroom Episode 1 

In this episode, meet me, Kristi Oliva, former teacher turned instructional designer. Learn how I left the classroom and pursued a corporate career. I have now worked for three Fortune 10 companies including CVS, Google, and now Amazon. I left the classroom for so many reasons, and in this episode I take you through the top 5 reasons I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore.

Enjoy the podcast transcription:  

Welcome to leaving the classroom. This is a podcast for teachers who are ready to transition out of the classroom and into a new career. Each week, I'll share stories about what I've learned moving from education to the corporate world. I'll answer the most common questions and share my best tips to help you get started. If you are considering leaving the classroom, this show is for you.

Welcome everyone to the very first episode of the leaving the classroom Podcast. I'm Kristi Oliva and I am so excited to be here. Now a little bit about me. I'm a former middle school teacher. But now I work in corporate learning and development. I was a teacher for 15 years. And I thought it was all I was ever going to do. I mean, it was all I ever wanted to do since I was really little. I loved interacting with the kids and I was a good teacher. But then I became a single mom, I had an 18 month old and was four months pregnant when suddenly I was on my own. I was making less than 40k a year. So I knew I had to do something else for my career, or I wouldn't be able to support my family. Just like any other teacher looking to leave the classroom, I started reviewing my options. So first I thought maybe I could be a principal. But no, I didn't want to be a principal dealing with the kids at school was certainly bad enough. I didn't want to deal with the parents. So next I thought maybe a professor, but to be a professor, you need a PhD. That was not an option for me.

Fast forward three years later, I have now worked for three fortune 10 companies and currently work as a program manager for Amazon. I apply skills I gained as a teacher, but the difference is that I'm well paid for it. I feel valued for my ideas, and I have incredible flexibility in my work schedule. So how did I get here? Honestly, sometimes I still wonder that myself. Really the answer is that I discovered instructional design and found IDOL courses Academy. Now I'm going to talk about IDOL courses for a minute. They sponsor this podcast and are the beginning of my journey to leaving the classroom. I don't courses Academy is the first and only authorized trade school for instructional design and online learning development. That's a huge deal you guys, I joined cohort three of IDOL in January of 2020. Through the Academy, I built a portfolio, learn the tools of the trade and translated my teacher skills to corporate language. I also made a ton of friends. I started interviewing in February 2020. And in March 2020, I received my first offer for an instructional design position which I accepted without hesitation, I was so happy to be done with teaching. Now that job instantly increased my income by 40%. And I was working for a fortune 10 company. Since then, I've held two roles working for other leading Fortune companies and teaser, so can you.

So let's get into it. This week, I'm going to share the top five reasons I left teaching. I'm sure you can relate to some of these.

Number five, I hated the large class sizes. You all know what I'm talking about. Class sizes just seem to be going up and up and isn't always just your own class that affects your class size. I don't know about where you teach. But many times in the schools I worked for, we had a severe lack of substitute teachers, and when a teacher was out sick or had an appointment, the office would split their class and send certain teachers a fraction of their class. So several teachers would receive random 5 to 10 kids from another class depending on capacity. It was so disruptive and difficult on both the teachers and the students. We basically became babysitters at that point. And never once did any of the admin take the class for the day to relieve that burden and do what was best for the students. Just saying.

Number four, I was not valued as a professional. Now I'm not necessarily talking about every year, or every district or every school that I worked for. Because believe me, there was a time that I loved being a teacher and felt so good about my job. But my last three to five years of teaching is when it started to change for me.

Number three, my work hours were inflexible. I mean, this one's pretty obvious school happens between certain amount of hours, but it can get to be pretty ridiculous. Now listen, I'm an early bird. I like waking up early.

Number two, there is a lack of disciplinary standards in many schools. Now this can vary from district to district and principal to principal, but I have so many stories about this one and I'm sure you do too. One of the last schools I worked for had a policy that students got a fresh start each learning period. This was a middle school and I taught sixth grade, where I saw students for two subjects, two periods a day. There was one student who seemed to basically time his misbehavior. So he didn't get enough warnings for me to send him out of class. And then he would come back to my class later that day and start his shenanigans all over again. I mean, I get the idea of letting kids have a fresh start, but it was really designed for the principal to be able to report low numbers of referrals.

And number one, low pay. I don't think I need to say anything else.

Now I bet you can relate to many of my stories and reasons for leaving the classroom. And surely you have some of your own. What are you going to do about it? I invite you to check out IDOL courses Academy where I learned how to successfully transition to a corporate career, believe me, it changes your life. And if you sign up using the code CLASSROOM100 You will get $100 off enrollment, just enter the code CLASSROOM100 at checkout. Thanks again for joining me on leaving the classroom.

This is Kristi Oliva. See you next time. You can also email us at [email protected] or find us on Instagram @leavingtheclassroom.



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