The Return to Teaching: How to Come Back After Taking Time Off


Life happens, and sometimes teachers need to take time off from their profession. Whether due to personal reasons or pursuing other career opportunities, educators may find themselves looking to resume their teaching careers after a break. This article provides tips and strategies on how to successfully re-enter the world of teaching after taking time away.

1. Reflect on Your Teaching Philosophy

Coming back to teaching requires a fresh start, and reassessing your teaching philosophy will help put you in the right mindset. Reflect on what initially inspired you to become a teacher and determine what you want to bring back into your practice this time around. Identify your core beliefs about education and how you can align them with the current educational landscape.

2. Update Your Education and Credentials

If your teaching certification has lapsed or if you want to specialize in a new subject area, it’s crucial to update your credentials accordingly. Research the requirements for recertification in your area or consider attending professional development courses and workshops. Updating your skills and knowledge will make your transition back into the classroom smoother, allowing you to better serve your students from day one.

3. Network with Fellow Educators

Connect with other teachers who have returned to the profession or who are currently working in the field. Reach out via social media, professional organizations or local networking events. Engaging with fellow educators will provide valuable insights into best practices, recent trends, and useful resources for teachers returning after a hiatus.

4. Craft an Effective Resume & Cover Letter

Update your resume by highlighting relevant experiences during your time away from teaching that could translate well into the classroom, such as coaching sports teams or volunteering at local schools. Craft a compelling cover letter that explains why you left the profession, what you gained from your time off, and why you are ready to return now.

5. Prepare for Interviews

Research potential interview questions specific to your situation and consider responses that demonstrate your enthusiasm for teaching and what you have learned during your time away. Practice articulating how your experiences have prepared you for this new chapter in your career.

6. Embrace Changes in Education

Be open to the changes that have occurred in education since you last taught, such as curriculum updates and the growing use of technology in the classroom. Familiarize yourself with these shifts and focus on the positives they can contribute to your teaching practice.

7. Find a Support System

Re-entering the field of teaching can be challenging, so it’s essential to seek out positive relationships within your school community like mentors or fellow teachers who will support you through this transition.

8. Be Patient and Adaptable

Give yourself time to adjust to the new demands and routines of your teaching role. Be patient with the learning curve that comes with coming back after time off, focusing on personal growth as well as professional development.


Returning to teaching after taking time away can be an exciting journey filled with opportunities for growth and success. By reflecting on your teaching philosophy, updating credentials, engaging with others in the profession, and embracing change, you can confidently re-enter the world of education with renewed passion and purpose.

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