A Middle School Teacher Was So Burnt Out She Quit To Work At Costco & She's 'Better Now'

Most people will agree that teachers are heroes. They spend the bulk of their days watching, nurturing, protecting, and educating children that are not their own. Many of them spend their own money to furnish classrooms or provide supplies for students in need.

The statistic that teachers make 1,500 decisions each day — four decisions every minute — is quite staggering. If you’ve taken care of a single child for even a couple of hours, you know how mentally and physically exhausting this work can be. And sadly, for all of the effort teachers put into educating the children of this country, much of their work goes unappreciated and under-compensated.

Many are leaving the profession and it's not hard to understand why. One former middle school teacher recently took to TikTok to explain that she quit her teaching job to work at Costco, and her explanation is enlightening.

Maggie Perkins said her job was literally making her sick.

The conditions got so bad that she left the profession to work at Costco. While this career change might surprise many people, Maggie Perkins said she’s happier than she’s been in years. Perkins, who goes by @millenialmsfrizz on TikTok, said in one video, "This is my first year not having a winter break, and how do I feel? I feel great.”

Even though Perkins worked seven days straight, including Christmas Eve, last month, she says that she feels fine. As a teacher, she said she felt like she was just surviving every moment.

“When I got to Christmas break, I was so exhausted that I was literally sick,” she said.

Other teachers agree, calling the education system 'abusive.'

Perkins worked retail for the first year after quitting her job as a sixth grade ELA and Social Studies teacher. Since then, she says she has so much more energy.

“I am better now that I have been in my livable memory,” she said. Sadly, in her comments section, there are more than a fellow teachers who share her feelings.

“I’m a HS math teacher and I compare teaching like being in an abusive marriage,” one user wrote. "You’re scared to leave."

Teachers are experiencing more burnout than any other profession. Perkins shared that there was a certain level of gaslighting involved with her 8-year career in education. In an interview with BuzzFeed, she said she finally left the profession because she couldn’t find any more reasons to stay.

“I began to see that I had no boundaries, and when I established boundaries I experienced intense gaslighting to coerce me to stay and be overworked,” she explained. Perkins said that conditions for educators are getting worse and there are no signs that it will get better any time soon.

Perkins is far from alone. A June 2022 poll by Gallup found that K-12 teachers experience higher burnout rates than any other job in the country.

“I left because my success as an educator was measured by how well I ignored systemic issues, how compliant I was, and how much trauma I could endure while smiling and doing it 'for the kids,'” Perkins said.

While many can relate, not everyone is eager to hear Perkins' story.

In response to her confessions, there are those who empathize, those who are shocked by her revelations, and then there are people are angered by her characterization. In one video, Perkins said people are triggered by her content because it “conflicts with their expectation that teachers be small, compliant, and quiet.”

She said teachers are suffering more than people realize. “Teachers experience trauma in 'small' and significant ways. It happens on weekly and daily basis. It’s not just something 'notable' like a shooting,” she said.

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