Sat. May 25th, 2024

I quit my corporate job after one year to return to teaching. I feel like I’ve chosen something I enjoy over long-term financial success.<!-- wp:html --><p>Rachel Volk is currently teaching US history at a school in Texas.</p> <p class="copyright">Courtesy of Rachel Volk.</p> <p>Rachel Volk left her teaching job after struggling with virtual teaching during the pandemic. She took a job in corporate training but quit to go back to the classroom after a year. She said she missed the regular hours that came with teaching, as well as student interaction.</p> <p><em>This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Rachel Volk, a 30-year-old teacher. Business Insider has verified her employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.</em></p> <p>I've always really enjoyed teaching. It didn't really feel like I was going to work because it was just fun to chit-chat with high schoolers all day and talk about history, a subject I love.</p> <p>I grew up in Dallas-Fort Worth and started my first teaching job in Brooklyn when I was 24.</p> <p>I taught there for five years and never saw myself leaving education or the city, but then, a few things happened that made me consider a change.</p> <p>I <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/teacher-quit-her-job-burnout-feelings-about-back-to-school-2023-8" rel="noopener">resigned from teaching</a> and took a corporate job as a learning and development consultant. I did the job for about a year but missed interacting with students.</p> <p>Ultimately, I decided to go back to teaching, and am now working in a school in Texas. </p> <p>I learned a lot from my corporate job, and it was kind of nice to see what life on the other side was like, but I'm happy to be back in an environment where I get to interact with students all day and talk about topics I'm interested in.</p> <h2><strong>The pandemic put a sour taste in my mouth as a teacher </strong></h2> <p>When the pandemic struck in 2020, I temporarily moved back to my hometown in Texas and taught classes virtually. During that time, I realized I missed the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/moving-to-texas-surprised-at-what-cities-they-are-choosing-2023-12" rel="noopener">lifestyle in Texas</a>, and I decided I wanted to move back there more permanently. </p> <p>My mother passed away in 2019, and living far away from family in Texas got increasingly harder as time went on. </p> <p>When I looked at school district salaries around Dallas-Fort Worth compared to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/teacher-salary-in-every-state-2018-4" rel="noopener">teacher salaries in New York</a>, I saw they were mostly lower, which made me a bit nervous. </p> <p>Rachel Volk (left) with her father and sister in New York City.</p> <p class="copyright">Courtesy of Rachel Volk.</p> <p>I also enjoyed the flexibility of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/employees-work-from-home-benefits-as-good-as-raise-2023-8" rel="noopener">working remotely during the pandemic</a>, so I thought I might try out a different job.</p> <p>My school was fully remote for the rest of the spring 2020 semester, but in August, it was announced that New York City schools could reopen with social distancing measures in place. </p> <p>Because our school was so large, we didn't fully reopen. I was back in New York and going into my school building. However, the students were fully remote, and I <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/fully-remote-students-are-less-engaged-with-learning-classmates-2021-3" rel="noopener">taught them virtually</a>.</p> <p>One of my favorite parts of teaching is sharing fun facts about history and interacting with the students. If I shared an interesting fact, it felt like I was talking into the void. I couldn't see the expressions on their faces, as we couldn't require them to turn their cameras on. Everybody was on mute. It put a sour taste in my mouth.</p> <p>All of these factors drove me to look for other opportunities. I found a fully remote corporate job at a learning and development consultancy firm that helps other companies with learning initiatives like training.</p> <h2><strong>I realized I much preferred teaching students over training adults</strong></h2> <p>I started my new job in August 2022. I stayed in New York until my lease was up and moved back to Texas in March 2023. </p> <p>Volk moved back to Texas in March 2023.</p> <p class="copyright">Courtesy of Rachel Volk.</p> <p>Resigning from my teaching job destroyed me. I was very sad, so I kept comparing the new job to teaching in my first month, which made the transition a bit harder. </p> <p>My role involved project management and delivering training to my client's employees. I realized that I much preferred teaching students over training adults. I love using a funny meme in my history lessons, but adults didn't respond to jokes in the same way. </p> <p>There was a long chain of approval and many rounds of feedback involved in getting things done. Even making one handout or slideshow could take a couple of weeks. </p> <p>In teaching, I felt like my own boss. It was my classroom.</p> <p>Because my corporate role was client-facing, my schedule depended on everybody else's availability. If a client could meet at 8 a.m., we were meeting at 8 a.m. If somebody had to move a meeting to 4 p.m., we had to move it. I found it very hard to plan my day.</p> <p>I missed the stability of getting to work every day around 7:15 a.m. and leaving at 3:30 p.m.</p> <p>I also realized how hard it was to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/remote-work-innovation-collaboration-return-to-office-work-from-home-2023-12" rel="noopener">work from home full-time</a>. I <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/loneliness-socializing-hard-work-from-home-return-to-office-2023-8" rel="noopener">missed social interactions</a> and having to get up to go somewhere.</p> <p>I started looking for other jobs in the spring of 2023. I was looking for teaching and non-teaching roles and wanted to see what bit first. </p> <p>I got an offer to teach US history, which I'd never taught before, in a school close to me in Texas. I thought it could be super exciting, and I <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/quit-my-job-due-return-to-office-in-person-work-2023-12" rel="noopener">quit my job</a> in July 2023.</p> <h2><strong>I've chosen something I enjoy over long-term financial success</strong></h2> <p>When I decided to accept the teaching job, finances were probably my biggest concern, but I feel that with what I'm making now as a teacher, I'm able to live just fine. </p> <p>When I got my first paycheck, I was pleasantly surprised because the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/moving-texas-jobs-houston-dallas-income-taxes-weather-food-state-2023-12" rel="noopener">tax situation</a> is so different between New York City and Texas. In New York, you have to pay state income tax and an additional tax as a city resident. The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/top-states-with-highest-living-expenses-2023-8" rel="noopener">cost of living</a> is much lower in Texas, and overall, I've actually ended up being a bit more financially stable as a teacher here.</p> <p>Rachel Volk with two of her childhood friends in Texas.</p> <p class="copyright">Courtesy of Rachel Volk.</p> <p>In New York, I took home about $3,600 a month after taxes as a teacher. My average take-home salary for my corporate position was around $4,300 a month while living in New York, which is similar to what I'm taking home as a teacher here in Texas, despite my lower salary.</p> <p>I don't think <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/school-teacher-shortage-moving-california-florida-pay-cut-classroom-problems-2023-11" rel="noopener">teacher salaries</a> reflect the work we put in. I wonder about having kids in the future and whether I'd be able to afford it on a teacher's salary. However, having scheduled breaks in my school year does allow me to explore other ways of making money on the side through <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/former-teacher-side-hustle-job-youtube-english-2023-11" rel="noopener">social-media content</a> and selling things on a website called Teachers Pay Teachers, where teachers can share resources like worksheets or slideshows. </p> <p>I feel like I've chosen something I enjoy over long-term financial success. As a teacher, the only way to really make more money is by years served. In the corporate world, there are many roles people can grow into that come with a big pay bump.</p> <p>My dad always said that if you're <a target="_blank" href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-find-a-job-you-love-questions-to-ask-2023-6" rel="noopener">doing something you love</a>, you'll never work a day in your life, and I feel like that with teaching.</p> <div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/returning-to-teaching-after-quitting-corporate-job-2024-2">Business Insider</a></div><!-- /wp:html -->

Rachel Volk is currently teaching US history at a school in Texas.

Rachel Volk left her teaching job after struggling with virtual teaching during the pandemic. She took a job in corporate training but quit to go back to the classroom after a year. She said she missed the regular hours that came with teaching, as well as student interaction.

This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Rachel Volk, a 30-year-old teacher. Business Insider has verified her employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I’ve always really enjoyed teaching. It didn’t really feel like I was going to work because it was just fun to chit-chat with high schoolers all day and talk about history, a subject I love.

I grew up in Dallas-Fort Worth and started my first teaching job in Brooklyn when I was 24.

I taught there for five years and never saw myself leaving education or the city, but then, a few things happened that made me consider a change.

I resigned from teaching and took a corporate job as a learning and development consultant. I did the job for about a year but missed interacting with students.

Ultimately, I decided to go back to teaching, and am now working in a school in Texas. 

I learned a lot from my corporate job, and it was kind of nice to see what life on the other side was like, but I’m happy to be back in an environment where I get to interact with students all day and talk about topics I’m interested in.

The pandemic put a sour taste in my mouth as a teacher 

When the pandemic struck in 2020, I temporarily moved back to my hometown in Texas and taught classes virtually. During that time, I realized I missed the lifestyle in Texas, and I decided I wanted to move back there more permanently.

My mother passed away in 2019, and living far away from family in Texas got increasingly harder as time went on. 

When I looked at school district salaries around Dallas-Fort Worth compared to teacher salaries in New York, I saw they were mostly lower, which made me a bit nervous. 

Rachel Volk (left) with her father and sister in New York City.

I also enjoyed the flexibility of working remotely during the pandemic, so I thought I might try out a different job.

My school was fully remote for the rest of the spring 2020 semester, but in August, it was announced that New York City schools could reopen with social distancing measures in place. 

Because our school was so large, we didn’t fully reopen. I was back in New York and going into my school building. However, the students were fully remote, and I taught them virtually.

One of my favorite parts of teaching is sharing fun facts about history and interacting with the students. If I shared an interesting fact, it felt like I was talking into the void. I couldn’t see the expressions on their faces, as we couldn’t require them to turn their cameras on. Everybody was on mute. It put a sour taste in my mouth.

All of these factors drove me to look for other opportunities. I found a fully remote corporate job at a learning and development consultancy firm that helps other companies with learning initiatives like training.

I realized I much preferred teaching students over training adults

I started my new job in August 2022. I stayed in New York until my lease was up and moved back to Texas in March 2023. 

Volk moved back to Texas in March 2023.

Resigning from my teaching job destroyed me. I was very sad, so I kept comparing the new job to teaching in my first month, which made the transition a bit harder. 

My role involved project management and delivering training to my client’s employees. I realized that I much preferred teaching students over training adults. I love using a funny meme in my history lessons, but adults didn’t respond to jokes in the same way. 

There was a long chain of approval and many rounds of feedback involved in getting things done. Even making one handout or slideshow could take a couple of weeks. 

In teaching, I felt like my own boss. It was my classroom.

Because my corporate role was client-facing, my schedule depended on everybody else’s availability. If a client could meet at 8 a.m., we were meeting at 8 a.m. If somebody had to move a meeting to 4 p.m., we had to move it. I found it very hard to plan my day.

I missed the stability of getting to work every day around 7:15 a.m. and leaving at 3:30 p.m.

I also realized how hard it was to work from home full-time. I missed social interactions and having to get up to go somewhere.

I started looking for other jobs in the spring of 2023. I was looking for teaching and non-teaching roles and wanted to see what bit first. 

I got an offer to teach US history, which I’d never taught before, in a school close to me in Texas. I thought it could be super exciting, and I quit my job in July 2023.

I’ve chosen something I enjoy over long-term financial success

When I decided to accept the teaching job, finances were probably my biggest concern, but I feel that with what I’m making now as a teacher, I’m able to live just fine. 

When I got my first paycheck, I was pleasantly surprised because the tax situation is so different between New York City and Texas. In New York, you have to pay state income tax and an additional tax as a city resident. The cost of living is much lower in Texas, and overall, I’ve actually ended up being a bit more financially stable as a teacher here.

Rachel Volk with two of her childhood friends in Texas.

In New York, I took home about $3,600 a month after taxes as a teacher. My average take-home salary for my corporate position was around $4,300 a month while living in New York, which is similar to what I’m taking home as a teacher here in Texas, despite my lower salary.

I don’t think teacher salaries reflect the work we put in. I wonder about having kids in the future and whether I’d be able to afford it on a teacher’s salary. However, having scheduled breaks in my school year does allow me to explore other ways of making money on the side through social-media content and selling things on a website called Teachers Pay Teachers, where teachers can share resources like worksheets or slideshows. 

I feel like I’ve chosen something I enjoy over long-term financial success. As a teacher, the only way to really make more money is by years served. In the corporate world, there are many roles people can grow into that come with a big pay bump.

My dad always said that if you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, and I feel like that with teaching.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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