There are a number of teachers who have taken to social media to discuss why they’re quitting their careers in education.
For some, it’s a question of being bullied by their own students, and for others, it’s the stress and workload that they endure on a daily basis not being commensurate with the pay that they’re receiving, sparking them to change their vocations entirely.
A TikToker named Rubie (@pharm.bff) added to the conversation in a stitched response to another user on the platform, @millennialmsfrizz, who posted several TikTok videos about her decision to leave teaching to go and work at Costco.
Rubie echoed the other former teacher’s sentiments, stating that she opted to get a job at Walgreens. She claimed to enjoy it more than working in the education field, as the environment is much less stressful, and that she makes more money being employed for the retailer than what she was earning in her previous job as a teacher.
@pharm.bff #stitch with @Millennial Ms. Frizzle It's not worth staying because you went to college for it! #exteachertiktok #exteacher #exteacherthings #exteachertok #exteacherlife #exteachersoftiktok #pharmtech ♬ original sound – Rubie | Your Pharmacy Bestie
Rubie says in her trending clip, with more than 18,600 views and 1,000 likes since going up on Monday, “Listen if you don’t like the job you’re in, just get out of it. Watch that teacher’s video she’s talking about how she does not work as a teacher anymore, she left to go to Costco and guess what she’s probably making more.
“But even if she wasn’t,” she continues, “her peace of mind is worth it. So, you know, I relate so much because I left teaching and I went to Walgreens and I ended up making more. So, do what you gotta do, follow the Lord, and you know, guess what? He’s gonna still bless you wherever you are.”
She added in a caption for the video that folks shouldn’t feel some sort of loyalty to their career path just because they are certified or earned a college degree to do it: “It’s not worth staying because you went to college for it!”
Judging from some of the comments left by other TikTok users on the platform, it would seem that there are other folks who’ve had similar experiences.
“Left teaching,” someone shared. “Still trying to figure out where I’m going lol. My peace of mind is everything though.”
Someone else admitted, “Yes, I finally left after 25 years.”
It wasn’t just teachers who felt undervalued. Another commenter noted, “As a nurse I feel this.”
One person asked Rubie what her position at Walgreens was, asking if she decided to become a cashier for the drugstore franchise. However, Rubie said that actually became a pharmacy tech, which, according to Coursera requires one of two stipulations to be fulfilled: completing the PTCE or ExCPT examinations.
This type of content isn’t entirely new on TikTok. Last July, the Daily Dot covered a teacher who went on TikTok to discuss becoming a Walmart manager, providing a new angle on the discussion about how underpaid and underappreciated teachers might be.
News Nation has reported that there are approximately tens of thousands of teaching vacancies in the United States, and the outlet provided further data to suggest that the best and brightest are leaving the profession in droves, resulting in a nationwide educator shortage:
CNN reported that many of these vacancies are due to “rising school violence, burnout and stagnating salaries,” adding, “Nearly half of the public education employees — working in elementary, secondary and postsecondary institutions — who left the profession in March resigned, according to preliminary numbers released in May by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
Universities.com reported that the 10 states with the most dire current need for educators are California, Nevada, Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Washington D.C., Virginia, Montana, and Nebraska.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Rubie via TikTok comment.