"Children coughing in my face." 40 things I won't miss now I've quit teaching.

I quit!” I shout from behind the closed office door. Well, at least that’s how I envisioned the conversation going in my head when I asked for a meeting. I was so excited to scream it from the rooftops.

But instead, I had a civilised meeting, discussing why and when. All very mature. Last Friday was my final day of teaching, and boy was I excited to walk out the front gates.

I quit teaching, not for the reasons you probably think first either – pay. I quit for me. For my health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

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I thought quitting would lift up the weight I had felt on my chest, heart and head since I graduated. But it didn’t, I actually don’t know how I feel.

Part of me feels exuberant relief that I no longer have to lie and act. Part of me will miss the ‘light bulb’ moments that make all the sh*t (sometimes literal) worth it.

Yet, as I neared the end, people keep saying to me “Don’t you want to keep that in case you come back?” and I can honestly say I am one more person asking that away from yelling “I AIN’T COMING BACK TO THIS CAREER!” The career that transformed me from a happy, excited, sociable person, into one who would come home from work and sit in silence for hours because acting happy and like I enjoyed my job was exhausting.

It turned me into someone who would cry on the way to work, at work, and then often on the way home from work because I knew I would have to turn around and do it all again tomorrow.

But, now that I have quit, I can look back at EVERYTHING that happened in my four years. I look back and I laugh because let’s be honest, sometimes you have to laugh to not cry.

I look back and cry because of the pain I was in. I look back and wonder how I survived certain years with certain kids. I look back and wonder why I didn’t handle situations differently.

I look back and wonder why and how a man took my job, why I was told about it, and why I didn’t make a song and dance about it. I look back and think about how thankful I was to have a contract each year because it did provide for me financially.


But I also look back and know that I could never and will never stay in a situation that affects me so much. I now know that I am priority one and I will never take that for granted again.

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So in saying all this, I have compiled a list of things I won’t miss and maybe even a few I will.

In no particular order:

1. Anything… I actually don’t think I’ll miss a thing!

2. Only being able to go to the toilet at specific times – seriously.

3. Not getting to each lunch until after school so let’s face it, dinner.

4. Parents. Seriously, do an hour in my job and let’s see how much you have to say after that.

5. Yard duty.

6. The photocopier – why does everyone need it at the same time?

7. Planning.

8. Marking.

9. Children coughing in my face.

10. Students sneezing everywhere.

11. Parents… have I already mentioned them?

12. Explaining instructions over, and over and over and over again just for students to still not listen.

13. Staying long after hours for parent/teacher interviews (we don’t get paid overtime people!).

14. Camp. I despise spending overnight trips with kids that aren’t mine (and I don’t even have my own).

15. Meetings. Ever heard of email?

16. Having to parent children because their own parents don’t.

17. Parents telling me how to do my job.

18. Comments about our holidays.

19. Class sizes, 30 humans with one of me really isn’t great.

20. Paperwork.

21. The media constantly putting my profession down.

22. Teacher bragging… cool, you spent all holidays in your classroom and now it’s Pinterest-worthy? Stoked for you.


23. Applying for my job every year

24. Dealing with bad behaviour.

25. NAPLAN. Why are we even still doing this?

26. Standardised testing.

27. Feeling bad for leaving early.

28. Being made to feel bad for taking a sick day.

29. Planning for sick days – I think we are one of the only professions where having a day off actually requires more work

30. Permanent teachers. Some of you are amazing, but many of you need to get with the times

31. Emails from parents. Yes, I’m talking to you parent who sends emails in shouty caps!

32. Writing weekly blog posts for parents.

33. Staff meetings.

34. Having to lodge professional development hours.

35. Having to pay a fee to be registered in my job (my new job has no fee!).

36. Using my downtime to work.

37. Constantly being told we don’t work hard enough or long enough.

38. Teacher observations.

39. Pay. For the hours we work, the time we put in, the crap we have to deal with, we should be paid a lot better.

40. And did I mention parents?

What I will miss:

1. Seeing students have those light bulb moments.

2. The wonderful teacher next door.

3. When students laugh at my jokes.

4. Getting hand-drawn pictures.

5. Seeing kids help one other.

See, deciding to walk away was the easiest decision I’ve made in the last few years. I’ve had tougher decisions ordering off Uber Eats.

I am excited to step into a career I really want, one I’ve worked hard for.

In parting, if you’re a teacher who is struggling with the profession, I want you to remember: You are priority number one, and we are so easily replaceable – put YOU first.

Feature Image: Getty.

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