I'm finally ready to leave K12

Hello everyone!

I'm Mo; 7th Grade Math Teacher. I'm finally able to do a laundry list of things:

  • Read Elpha posts
  • Get a clearer roadmap or where I'd like to start in Tech
  • Study/learn more

I have officially made it clear (with myself) that this is my last year as a public school Teacher. I had to get over my frustration and anger with the current system being as terrible as it is and accept that I have done all I can do. I will miss working with kids, but I will not miss being gaslit and having my knowledge and experience o overlooked time and time again.

Is there anyone in the group who made a major career change post mid-life mark? I'm excited and nervous at the same time, but I know I have to go.

Thanks in advance for reading and any words of encouragement!

I am cheering for you, Mo! My mom and my grandmother were both career educators, and I understand how frustrating it can be to operate within the K-12 educational system. I wish my mom had found the courage to make a switch in her career. Compared to the educational system (where certain degrees or credentials automatically unlock pay raises, everything is paperwork and bureaucracy) the "rules" are totally different in tech. Transitioning into tech is all about 1) building your personal network and 2) showing people your work.I wouldn't worry too much about studying, achieving certifications, or having the perfect roadmap to start. If you can build a published portfolio of example projects and start telling your story—online, blogging, videos, on LinkedIn, in forums like this one, in meetup groups, etc.—you will eventually find somebody who needs something that maps to your skills and potential. Once you get your first tech role, you'll be able to clearly see all the career paths available in the space. The opportunities are endless. You can do this!!
Hello! This is such a big and exciting decision, and I know it can be really bittersweet. I transitioned out of the classroom about six years ago and sometimes feel bad saying that I haven’t looked back.Your plan sounds great! There are lots of support-type groups on LinkedIn as well for “transitioning teachers”. It can feel really overwhelming but just keeping moving ahead one step at a time.I’m not sure if this is helpful to you, but it feels like once a week a transitioning teacher reaches out to me on LinkedIn asking to discuss “my journey”. Cold messaging people with similar paths you want to take could be a way for you to a) understand different tactical approaches people have taken to get out of the classroom and into tech and 2) start building up a network of connections in the industry. A few things I’ve learned about this process:- A lot of people like to say that teachers skills are highly transferable and that they just need to reframe them into “business language” on their resumes. Well, I of course agree that teachers have incredibly transferable skills, I do think, depending on the roles, you’re looking to go into that sometimes finessing these on your résumé is not enough. Augmenting your résumé through professional learning is a great strategy, and it looks like you have this mentioned above.- Your skills will be a one-to-one for L&D and customer facing roles. Even if these types of rules aren’t your long-term professional grow in tech, they are a great starting place! You can always use this as an opportunity to lateral transition and then carve out a professional growth path once you get into a company.- Sales gets a bad rap, but in my opinion, it is a fantastic place to begin. Again, so many teachers have the skills needed to do well in sales., And it is a great way to get good exposure to customers and product.- The hiring process for tech is very different than the hiring process for educators, especially right now. Prime yourself mentally for a different scale of applications, and do not be afraid to start leveraging and growing your professional network! As I mentioned above, most people who are currently working in tech roles and were in the classroom understand what you were going through and would be glad to connect to share their journey! - And one lost thought on networking, especially via cold outreach. Look for people with similar journeys to yours, as I mentioned, and also enrolls, you are curious about or could see yourself working in. Use these conversations as an opportunity to let those people talk (people love to talk, ha) - come prepared with a few questions for them, ask if you can stay connected, and if you can actually stay connected! Send them a relevant article everyone once in a while, etc. it is great to be able to have a warm connection so that if, and when you see a future job posting that aligns with your interest, you can go back to that person and ask if they would be willing to make a referral.Hope this is helpful to you! Excited for your journey to begin, I know the classroom and public education system can be such a grind. I wish you less gaslighting, more stability, more pay, and a good work life balance in your future career!
Thank you so much, Kelsey! I am connected to a few Teachers who left K12 on LinkedIN. This has been in the works for awhile's time to move!
🙋🏽‍♀️ I taught for 15 years and left the classroom in 2022. I’m currently a Customer Success manager at an EdTech company seeking a new CSM role. I’ve also upskilled in UX Research.
Hey! Do you like your current role/duties? I thought about Customer Success but I guess my experiences in Retail (mgmt) and K12 weren't impressive enough.🙃 I'm going full-on Tech!
Yes and No. I enjoy helping people. I think I would like it better if it were just a SaaS with no physical products. Ohhhhh full-on tech, SWE? meant something like Cyber as opposed to CSM unless I get a job with a company that specializes in Cyber...I'd definitely consider CSM then.