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Why Teachers Leave: Toxicity, Tolerance, & Transitions (with Daphne Gomez)

Updated: Feb 18, 2022

In this episode, I interview a special guest, Daphne Gomez. You may know Daphne as the Teacher Career Coach and the work she does helping teachers make transitions - whether it's within the classroom space or outside of k12 education altogether. I met Daphne a while back and I had the privilege of being on her podcast, The Teacher Career Coach Podcast, back in September of 2021. If you’re interested in hearing more of our conversation, I’ll have the episode linked below!

Daphne is a former 5th-grade teacher turned educational consultant and she empowers teachers to think of themselves outside of the "teaching box". She helps teachers realize just how much they have to offer in any setting.

In our conversation today, we explore what it means to work in a toxic environment, why teachers tolerate poor working conditions, and the next best steps you can take if you’re an educator looking to transition - whether it’s to a new school, a new district, or a new career path altogether. Right now, across the United States, hundreds of thousands of teachers leave the profession each year. There are many things that are attributed to this choice, some of which are deeply personal and have nothing to do with the changes that are needed in education. Often though, even the personal choices are tied to the working conditions that teachers are expected to tolerate.

During our conversation, Daphne discusses:

  • Reasons why teachers are choosing to leave the profession.

  • What it means to work in a toxic work environment.

  • Why teachers tolerate staying in education.

  • The next best steps to take if you’re thinking about leaving teaching.

She wants teachers to know that it’s OKAY to leave teaching - if that’s the right move for YOU. There seems to be this impression - for some people - that teaching is a “lifelong career” and to even THINK about leaving is unacceptable. Subscribing to this narrative creates a deep-rooted stigma that creates feelings of shame when teachers consider changing careers. Teachers are even manipulated and guilted to stay in the classroom because they are told that, if they leave, they are somehow letting the kids down.

The truth of the matter is that you only have ONE life to live. And it’s not fair to make yourself stay in a situation or profession that is no longer sustainable or true to you and your life’s goals.

If you are thinking about leaving teaching, Daphne feels that the thing that you need to do is to research your options. Take the time to find out what’s out there, find out what feels right or not right for YOU. Finding this clarity is important in ensuring that whatever your next step is, it’s truly what you want and is in alignment with the life YOU want to live.

Daphne believes that you can teach and live authentically by focusing on what brings you joy so that you can translate that joy into whatever you do, wherever you are.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Find Daphne

Instagram: @teachercareercoach

Twitter: @tcareercoach


Click HERE to listen to The Teacher Career Coach Podcast

Guest Bio

Daphne is a former 5th-grade teacher turned educational consultant. She works to empower teachers to think of themselves outside the "teacher box". She also supports and guides teachers in realizing how much they have to offer in any professional setting.

If you are enjoying the podcast, please do me a HUGE favor and rate, share, and subscribe to this podcast. My hope is that the experiences and gems shared on this show will inspire teachers to become better versions of themselves as they redefine what it means to teach well and prioritize themselves.

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