…You’re Out

She calls me one night, tears clogging her voice. She’s turned in her resignation, she has a new job lined up, but she still can’t believe she won’t be a teacher anymore. 

She entered teaching after years in the business world. Desire to teach and make a difference won out, so she took the requisite classes. Completed student teaching. Got her masters degree and thousands of dollars of student loan debt.

All to be leaving five years later. The politics, the bullying have been wearing her down. The insinuation that she’s not a good teacher. She’s had enough.

So she started filling out applications. Jobs where she can start out making twenty thousand more than she will on her teacher’s salary. And it wasn’t too long before an HR manager called her.

One of the first things he asked was why she was leaving teaching. Her answer was simple: it was the most political environment she’d ever been in. And there was never time to teach anymore.

strike one

The fact that she was ready to quit wasn’t surprising. In her short time in the building she had already been bounced around grade levels, depending on enrollment. She spoke up for her students and families, which earned her a spot on “the list.”

No, what was surprising was that she had decided before Thanksgiving that she was done. She would finish the year, but then she was running as far away from teaching as possible.

She’s still a newer teacher, but her potential is palpable. She’s a good teacher who could quickly become great. But that would require support from her administrators, which she lacks.

So as other teachers pack up for the summer, she’s packing up for good.

strike two

It wasn’t her first year teaching–not by a long shot–but it felt like a new beginning of sorts. Mentoring new teachers over the summer led to a flurry of reading and pinning and planning for all of them. Texts and phone calls were exchanged back and forth as the first day of school approached. She felt revitalized, younger than she had in years.

And then the school year began.

All of those ideas she read about and pinned and planned to use? Who cared? Certainly not her administrators. Teacher morale plummeted as administrative bullying increased every week. Once unflappable, she found herself dissolving into tears on more than one occasion.

They didn’t want a teacher, she realized. They wanted someone to push around. And she’s not a pushover.

She retired before the year was out.

strike three


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