According to an October 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that over 270,000 teachers are projected to leave classrooms across the United States each year from 2016–2026. While some are retiring or staying home with children, over half of them are leaving for new careers.


The most common answer from academics themselves is burnout. They cope with stressful student-teacher ratios, standardized testing, and lack of resources, student behavior, ineffective administrations, and more. Teachers feel like they’re not making a difference. The teachers pay teachers for online material also so they are tired.

For educators feeling stuck in a stressful career they no longer enjoy, the next questions are, “What else can I do?” and “How?” Some may still have student loans to pay off and are afraid of leaving a stable paycheck or losing benefits. Many simply don’t shrewdness to send the abilities they have already got. .Transitioning out of an established career into something else can be daunting, but for K–12 teachers suffering burnout or seeking to make a bigger impact, it may have gotten just a little less intimidating. Kari Kinsley, a self-described lifelong learner, has successfully made that transition and has a desire to share with other teachers how she gained that freedom. In an interview in Apr 2019, Kinsley said, “I’ve heard from a lot of teachers.

This is a hot topic.

I desire i want to try to one thing regarding it.”

After settling into teaching as a career, Kinsley found that there were some things she liked about teachings—such as relationships she developed with some students—and some that she did not. “It takes a special person to be a lecturer,” Kinsley stated. “I fell in love with teaching. It was amazing, but it was really hard and challenging.”

Stress + Pointlessness = Burnout

A stressful job that feels pointless can wear a person out quickly. Many of the staff had grown apathetic, most likely due to the stress of high expectations and little ability to make changes in the system. It had begun to alter her perceptions. She did not like how it was changing her or the way the stress was affecting her physically.

Kinsley decided to leave. She sought out resources and new training. Those methods successfully landed her in the field of instructional design.

Refreshing Work

“So, I had somewhat of a plan.” She continued, “I completed my masters in educational technology in 2012 and had also taken a course in instructional design. The professors would talk about getting involved in a professional organization, which is how I connected with ATD. It was the most effective skilled call I ever created.” For many people, a career change can be a cure for burnout.

The purpose is vital, and so is work-life integration, and many teachers are finding them in a freelance lifestyle.

Along her journey from the schoolroom to a freelance tutorial-style adviser, Kinsley discovered a passion for helping other teachers switch career paths as she did. Her partnership with the Association for Talent Development (ATD) includes a webinar on the topic, where she can guide them in matching up their skills to opportunities available in the instructional design and talent development industries. Kinsley adds, “With ATD, I learned more, became confident in my abilities, and learned to transfer my skills into other areas—and I have much less stress in my life now. That’s what I want to help other teachers do.”

With the increased popularity of the gig economy and freelancing, many side hustles are turning into full-fledged careers. While the idea of being self-employed is nothing new, the internet, advancing app technology, and social media platforms have combined to drastically widen the net for potential shifts.

Forbes shares the story of former teacher Anna DiGilio, who built her side gig into a million-dollar business. According to Kinsley, “With tutorial style, there is a unit such a lot of prospects. I think it is a great growing career opportunity, and instructional design is only one of the options available in talent development.”

A Healthy Shift

Stressed out and burned out teachers are looking for careers that are better for their mental and physical health. According to ADT, the talent development profession is on track to see a steady and consistent growth year after year. They also share from their 2017 ATD Salary Report that, “The average talent development professional makes between $80,000 and $89,000. And teachers are skilled in many of the same areas in which trainers, talent development managers, and instructional designers are skilled.”