Many schools reported having shortages in teachers this year due to unsafe covid protocols and burnout. Often underpaid for their incredibly important labor, teachers have historically been undervalued, and it looks like the pandemic has been the tipping point for teachers leaving the profession.
Teachers cite overwork, underpay, and unsuitable Covid protocols as reasons for their exit from the industry. This is true for both teachers getting their start in the profession and educators who have decades of experience under their belt.
The mass exodus of teachers from their classrooms comes at an interesting time. At the same time that pressure and demands have reached extreme levels in schools, the “creator economy” has generated the equivalent of almost 400,000 full-time U.S. jobs.
Imagine if conventional teachers could pivot their calling and skills into a new industry, changing the education world as we know it. Teachers have already had to adapt to the new world of digital learning. This knowledge, along with their ample experience in the field of education, gives teachers who are leaving the classroom the unique opportunity to find a new way to do what they love.
According to mental wellness expert Sahara Rose, “Teacher” is one of the 9 purpose archetypes. While the majority of people have one main archetype, purpose archetypes are not fixed, and they can change throughout our lives. In fact, Sahara has a book on finding your purpose, which has been endorsed by Deepak Chopra.
According to Sahara, who went on her own personal journey to tap into her life calling, we are all guided by the same purpose, also known as dharma: to raise consciousness. However, we each do so in a unique way, depending on which dharma archetype we identify with.
From “Teacher” to “Entrepreneur”
One of the 9 dharma archetypes is the Teacher, who has been put on this earth to “share the experiences they undergo”. In other words, “the Teacher’s mission is to serve through knowledge”. However, teaching doesn’t just have to happen in the classroom.
As we’ve seen, this new creator economy has opened up new doors in the realms of teaching and learning. What a teacher can share in front of a class of students can be shared just as well in a YouTube tutorial, a social media post, or through other digital platforms.
Sahara herself is a Visionary and a Teacher, and she highlights attributes like leadership and empathy as traits that characterize people who fit into this archetype.
But remember what we mentioned earlier: unlike horoscope signs, dharma archetypes are not static, and they can evolve throughout the course of our lives. That’s why some Teachers may also find themselves identifying with another one of our 9 dharma archetypesб for example the Entrepreneur.
The Entrepreneur “is here to address the problems of society through business solutions”. These individuals are characterized as problem-solvers, and rather than worrying about the issues that they see in this world, they work to find solutions and build infrastructures that will solve them.
Interestingly enough, many Teachers have had to embrace the Entrepreneur archetype during the pandemic. They have had to create solutions to allow them to adapt to the challenges involved with navigating remote learning, class quarantines, parent demands, lack of Covid protocol, and more.
After all, searching for solutions is one of the things that teachers are best at. Educators must find ways to get a challenging student to work well in groups, convince a stubborn parent to trust a teaching method, or see eye to eye with a principal or coworker with differing opinions. These are just a few examples of the countless ways that the teaching profession has prepared educators for so much more than the traditional classroom education model.
How Teachers Can Adapt to New Roles
Just because a teacher wants to leave his or her current teaching position doesn’t mean that the passion for educating must be left behind. Teachers can harness the many skills that they have learned throughout their careers, like negotiating, multitasking, people skills, and more, to pivot into an entirely new industry.
Alternatively, teachers can continue to share their knowledge in alternative ways. The important thing is to harness something that you are educated and passionate about and find the right audience who wants to hear what you have to say. With the endless platforms that exist today for reaching new audiences, teachers have a world of possibilities when it comes to fulfilling their passion for teaching in a way that doesn’t leave them drained and underpaid.
It’s never too late to find our true calling, and that’s exactly what Sahara Rose, founder of the Dharma Coaching Institute, urges us to do. When we make the conscious choice to dedicate ourselves to what we were truly meant to be doing, we practice the ultimate form of self-love. For many teachers, their purpose is to educate, whether that be in the classroom, in YouTube tutorials, at yoga retreats, or wherever else knowledge can be shared.
While some other teachers are discovering that they may not actually be the Teacher archetype that they thought they were, but rather are Entrepreneurs, Artists, Activists, Researchers, and more. We are born with unique gifts that are meant to be shared with the world, and once we tap into our true potential, it’s remarkable how much is possible.
While the pandemic has proven to be an incredibly difficult time for educators, it has also given them the opportunity to reflect on what they are truly called to be doing. So whether you are a Teacher who thrives on sharing your knowledge, an Entrepreneur who strives to find solutions to the world’s toughest challenges, or any other dharma archetype, take this as a sign to find a deep connection with your truest inner self.