Several teachers have explained why they left their jobs, and many former educators describe the impact of their careers on their mental and physical health.
On TikTok, several people used the hashtag #TeacherQuitTok, which has over 87 million views, when uploading videos about what made them quit education.
For example, in a video posted by @jeskazeeeee, a woman shared “one of a thousand reasons” she quit teaching. He began his clip by recalling an experience in which a stranger “broke” into his classroom, as his students were queuing at the door to leave the school.
She then explained how the man began to ‘push’ his students and approached her, causing the teacher to be ‘against the wall’. The TikToker also said he started having a “frantic” conversation with her, which she told her students to leave.
“I don’t know him and have no idea what he’s saying,” @jeskazeeeee explained in his video, which has over 1.7 million views. “I quickly realized that my students were in danger. So I tell them, without trying to alarm them, to get out of the building.
He noted that he remained calm, because “that’s what the teachers are told”, before calling the school administration, because there was a “stranger in the class who wanted to have a strange conversation” with her. Although she does not remember what happened right after that call, she did remember what happened the next day with the school administrator, who informed her that the Stranger was a former student.
“[El administrador] told me he had graduated and [me preguntó si lo conocía]”, he continued. “And I said no. Look, I taught in a high school, seventh and ninth grade. And apparently he was a graduate from the previous year. So he was an adult, not a student, let alone a seventh through ninth grader.
She pointed out that the graduate had no siblings in the class and had never had any siblings in his class before. However, he clarified that nothing had been done about the man’s rampant entry into his class.
“This administrator tells me he can’t do anything because he is a graduate,” he added. And also the mother [del exalumno] she is very angry with me because she thought it was too dramatic and he agreed. And that’s just one example of why I left.”
In the comments to his video, several viewers sympathized with the TikTok user and questioned the school environment.
“The fact that he passed through the main office is alarming,” one wrote. “Protocols need to be stricter in terms of security.”
“I always thought it was rare for graduates to come back for no reason. Very weird people,” a second person wrote.
Another former teacher, Holly, @hollyacre, also shared a video on TikTok last week explaining why she quit her job in the middle of the school year. He began his clip with an explanation of how teaching affected his mental health.
“Due to the stress and vicarious trauma in class, I developed anxiety and fell into depression,” she said. “I had to go to the doctor and he prescribed me psychotherapy and antidepressants, all to cope with my daily work.”
She then detailed how she began to dread going to work every day, before realizing how important money was to her.
“I really couldn’t afford to live the life I wanted on a teacher’s salary,” Holly added. “So I was going to have to do something else that would make more money.”
She also shared that as a teacher, she had no time for herself, which caused problems in her personal life.
Holly recounted at the end of the video what led her to officially quit teaching, adding, “The number one reason I didn’t want to do it anymore was because of behavioral issues. I was tired of dealing with them and I knew it was time for me to leave.”
In a video posted in June by the podcast Teachers off duty On TikTok, a former educator named Brit described being “constantly sick” when teaching and having panic attacks at school.
Brit noted that with the help of her sister, she realized the teaching environment was what was stressing her out, which is why she left.
He also noted that there is nothing wrong with stepping away from the profession.
“I know that many teachers have various reasons why they left the class,” she explained. “And there’s nothing wrong with that, if in the end you do what’s best for you and your family, that’s fine.”
Recent data revealed that several teachers across the country have left the profession. According to a survey conducted by the US Department of Education, more than 50% of public schools nationwide were understaffed at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Sixty-nine percent of these schools also reported that there were not enough teachers applying for available positions.