No more screens!

A teacher needs a break after a year of distance learning.

Our elder can empathize – and has some tips on how to make a plan for what’s next.


Dear EWC

I am currently in my sixth year of teaching. With the shift to distance learning, I am finding that I do not like it at all. It is not fun or rewarding. I stare at screens all day and come home with headaches. I have wanted to be a teacher most of my life so changing careers is a bit scary, but I think I may need to take a break from the field. I am not sure what exactly I would like to do or what I am even qualified to do. I am also moving as soon as this school year is over, though I haven’t decided on where I want to move yet. I live in California and am hoping to maybe move somewhere in the Bay Area. I just need a change in my life to become happy again and need some help coming up with a plan.


Dave-Scott replies

Just a few thoughts:

  •       Virtual learning is hard on everyone; kids, teachers, parents and grandparents (who have the kids everyday and work to keep them focused – my expertise). What I see teachers doing is amazing, but I can imagine how difficult and time consuming this type of instruction must be for them.
  •       This is not going to last forever. It is starting to look like there will be a vaccine by next summer or earlier
  •       My wife taught 2-5 for 25 years and so I know how demanding teaching is. Teachers have to work long hours without pay, handle unrully kids with little support, work with aging books and computers, pay for your own training for certification, and a dozen other things that can drain you after awhile.
  •       For all of this, you are paid – well, paid less than any other well-educated person. Because we so desperately need good teachers, I would hope your gratification comes in the joy of being able to educate kids, help them cope with the world and life, and defend them from the monsters (I can’t see that happening with virtual learning). Money is not the basis of happiness, but it is the basis of dispair if the lack of it causes sadness.


If you teach, you are qualified for most any job not requiring specific expertise. Anyone who can handle classrooms of kids for six years can accomplish most anything. You are still young and if you want to try something different (or even go back to school) now is probably the time to do it.

With my wife teaching, I know what some of what you are going through. She lived to teach and yet in the later years before retirement, things had gotten so bad even she lost some of her enthusiasm. She could have continued to teach, but when she reached retirement age she left (money wise she actually made more money on her pension and SS than she would get teaching with small paltry cost of living raises).

This may not be the best time to be looking for a job, so I would suggest you nail down a new career offer before resigning. Start exploring your opportunities, make some contacts, learn some new skills, and then consider taking action.

If you decide to continue to teach, you will have the gratitude and thanks of at least one person – me.

I would also recommend a great self-help book for you: You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I really think it might provide you with many answers. This is a book that I read late in life that I wish I had read earlier.

Please let me know if any of this advice seemed worthwhile. Contact me again if I can be of further assistance.

Good luck.

Career #465131

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