High School Science Teacher Reveals Why It Was The Worst Job They've Ever Had — 'I Was A Teacher First, Human Second'

"Resigning was the best choice I ever made."

stressed out teacher ESB Professional / Shutterstock

Being a teacher is an incredibly challenging and often underappreciated job. Between controlling a classroom of nearly 30 students, formulating lesson plans, and dealing with unruly parents and unhelpful admin, the demands would be enough to make anyone lose their mind. 

One former high school teacher is all too familiar with the grueling aspects of the job, all of which eventually led them to decide that they no longer wanted to work as an educator. 


The high school science teacher revealed some of the most difficult parts of the job, and it had nothing to do with the students. 

Sharing their frustrations to the r/antiwork subreddit, the anonymous former teacher admitted that working at a high school was the worst job they had ever had due to the “unsustainable, unhealthy, and unrealistic work culture [that] caused two mental breakdowns."

“Being a teacher was the worst due to the sheer breadth of responsibilities that kept being piled on without any support in accomplishing those responsibilities,” they wrote. 

They shared that, due to overcrowded classrooms and a lack of adequate support from the school, they taught in a classroom that was not designed to accommodate the number of students, leaving some without a desk and forcing them to learn on the floor. They also found themself unable to effectively assist students with IEPs (Individualized Learning Plans), learning disabilities, and those for whom English was a second language. 


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High School Science Teacher Reveals Why It Was The Worst Job They've Ever HadPhoto: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

Those were far from the only issues they experienced as an educator. "[The] district didn't have substitutes so kids whose teachers weren't there just got dumped in other people's rooms with no instruction, no attendance roster, and no textbooks," the teacher revealed.


Moreover, most of the supplies needed for experiments and science labs were not provided by the school. Rather, they were required to pay for the supplies out of pocket

Additionally, the teacher often had to work weekends to get all of their work done without being compensated for their extra time. On top of that, their supervisors wanted them to help out with extracurriculars including the safety team, science olympiad, and even coaching sports teams after school that would require them to be present at every home game. 

The teacher was also not given their first paycheck until October despite starting their job in July. “[I] had to keep borrowing money from my significant other. I kept all the receipts,” the teacher shared. 

Due to the never-ending demands of the job, the teacher began to lose touch with who they were outside of work. 

“I turned into someone with no identity outside of teaching. I was a teacher first, human second,” they wrote. “The job consumes you, it IS you.” 


"You are never good enough and [are] blamed for everything despite getting no support from administration or parents," they added.

High School Science Teacher Reveals Why It Was The Worst Job They've Ever HadPhoto: Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock

The teacher eventually felt as if they had no choice but to resign to spare their sanity. 

In the Reddit post, they claimed that it was the best decision that they had ever made. 


“I loved those kids, but the other adults made the job unbearable and I honestly felt so hopeless and so much despair for myself and those kids,” they wrote, adding that their students supported their resignation. 

“I thought I could be part of the solution for public education. Instead of complaining that public schools suck and that we need to be better, I wanted to do something about it. But I couldn't do it,” the teacher confessed.  “It was so profoundly dysfunctional on every level that even thinking back on it fills me with hopelessness. Everything was about securing funding and avoiding lawsuits.” 



The teacher is not alone in their beliefs regarding the public education system. 


Other teachers shared their own appalling experiences while working in schools. 

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“I was told I'd be classified as a long-term temporary teacher with benefits and instead I was paid $15/hr working 11-hour days and no benefits. It's legal for the district,” one Reddit user revealed.  “I finally quit not because of the crippling headaches but because the job was more about taking attendance and being a prison guard than teaching.” 

“I am a teacher also and it's beyond unsustainable. I have nine classes when we only have six periods a day. So yes, that means I teach two classes during one period, splitting it down the middle. It's insane,” another user shared. “I'm exhausted, depressed, burned out beyond belief, and treated like [crap] by my colleagues.” 

“This is why I high-tailed it out of teaching. The teaching part is generally fine. The constant work (UNPAID) isn't. Dealing with vacuous administrators (and more vacuous parents) is atrocious,” a third Redditor wrote. 


High School Science Teacher Reveals Why It Was The Worst Job They've Ever HadPhoto: FatCamera / Canva Pro

While teachers often enjoy the opportunity to shape kids’ education, many of them dread going to work due to the lack of support from their administrators. 

Data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Teacher and Principal Survey revealed that the relationships between teachers and their administrators are often negative.


Half of the teachers reported not feeling supported or encouraged, and 6 out of 10 reported a lack of cooperation among staff members. Additionally, many of them felt as if they had little control over what goes on in their classrooms, with 71.3% reporting not having much influence over the content, topics, and skills they will be teaching. 

Over 1 in 4 of these teachers are at the end of their rope, and plan to quit should they be presented with another job opportunity. 



The teacher shortage is a growing national crisis that needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner,” Research Associate Elaine Weiss told the Economic Policy Institute.  “Obviously compensation is a major part of the issue, but improving teaching environments would go a long way toward helping teachers feel more supported.”


It is not too late for school administrations to step in and lend a hand to all of their dedicated teachers. 

For one, they can provide resources needed in classrooms and ensure that teachers have access to the necessary teaching materials, technology, and support staff to effectively carry out their responsibilities. They can implement policies that prioritize teachers' well-being, such as reasonable workloads, flexible scheduling, and fair evaluation systems that consider the challenges teachers face. 

It is also crucial for administrations to recognize all of the grueling work teachers provide that keeps the classrooms lively. Acknowledge and celebrate teachers' achievements, milestones, and contributions to the school community through awards, shout-outs, public recognition, and, most importantly, proper compensation.



Teachers devote so much of themselves to their students, their classrooms, and their schools overall. It is time we start giving them the support they deserve. 


If you know a teacher, make to thank them and let them know how much their efforts are appreciated! They are the vital core of students' learning journeys. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.