47 Reasons I Can’t Find A Teaching Job


Summer is over, which means kids are back to school (and parents are rejoicing).

I’m still at home.

I’ve completed paperwork in several districts. I’ve applied for teaching positions. I’ve emailed principals and called them on the phone. I’ve reached out to friends who have suggested jobs and let me know of openings in their orbit.


I filed for unemployment the other day. I’m going to try to get a teaching job for another few weeks and then…

I’m trying not to think about the rest of that sentence.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching as I’ve contemplated if I’m a good teacher and if I even want to continue teaching.  And along the way–as schools continue to ignore me, as my friends go back to school without me–I’ve made a list.

47 Reasons I Can’t Find A Teaching Job

I haven’t been hired because…

My classroom has never been Pinterest-worthy.

I don’t fit the prototype of size 2 perky blonde girl that some principals want for their schools (the kind where everyone on their website looks the same).

My years of experience mean I’m more costly than other (coughyoungercough) teachers.

My multiple degrees mean the same thing. Double whammy.

I consider data to be a four letter word. Figuratively as well as literally.

So are words like grit and rigor. I don’t think a word that is normally used in conjunction with the word “mortis” should be used to describe lively, inquisitive children.

I don’t hang up a data wall.

I think it’s wrong to stress kids out about what reading level they’re not on or how many letters they don’t know yet.

I consider growth of any kind to be important, even if the benchmark isn’t reached.

I know the stages of language acquisition for my ELL kids, and I know that what they need most of all is time.

I know they all need time, regardless of artificial testing deadlines.

I have yet to see the importance of littering my walls or white boards with “I can” statements–especially when young students can’t even read them.

Because I don’t see the value, I’ve been known to leave the same “I can” statements up for days at a time. (And by “days” I mean “weeks.”)

I think that time putting on coats and gloves and time walking in the hallway should not count as recess time.

And bathroom breaks should not be called a loss of instructional time. (Last time I checked, adults get bathroom breaks. Why can’t kids?)

I consider play to be important. All day long.

I read to my kids. A lot.

I read to them so much that I can recite some books from memory.

The workbooks we get at the beginning of the year often sit on the shelf all year long.

I give my kids time to read every day. I’ve been told it’s a waste of time. I disagree.

I love the sound of them groaning when it is time to put their books away.

I don’t think the world will end if kids get to play games and use manipulatives to learn instead of having to write down an explanation for every math problem.

I care about who my kids are as people.

Sometimes you need to deviate from the lesson plan, and that’s okay.

Believe it or not, I like field trips.

And I find them valuable.

I love teaching science.

And social studies. (Even if it won’t be on a test.)

I don’t consider an iPad a teacher.

Sometimes the low-tech version is just fine.

I’m not the kind of teacher who is valued these days.

I’m an active union member in a right to work state.

I attend school board meetings.

I read.

I ask questions.

I think for myself.

Because of BATs and Diane Ravitch, I know what’s happening to education across the nation.

I know the problems are bigger than my school, my district, my state.

I know the game.

I don’t want to play the game.

And I don’t play the game.

If you tell me about mandate XYZ in a meeting, I’m going to need to know why it is so important.

And then I’m going to need to believe mandate XYZ is really important.

But usually I will stay quiet in the meeting and go back to my room and close my door, ignoring mandate XYZ.

I often have a target on my back.

It’s easier to silence teachers like me rather than stand up for what’s right for our children.

….But really, it boils down to this:

Because sometimes the bullies win.




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23 thoughts on “47 Reasons I Can’t Find A Teaching Job

  1. maryjholden October 5, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    This is so heart breaking. You are an excellent teacher, the kind of teacher parents want for their children, the kind of teacher that students remember fondly when they are all grown up. I hope something opens up for you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT October 12, 2016 / 12:23 am

      Thank you, Mary. I would like to think that I am that kind of teacher, and the fact that former students would come back every morning seems to attest to that. But stuff like that doesn’t matter to the powers that be.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. stiegem October 5, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    This is exactly how I feel. You said what you meant, and you meant what you said. Truly resonates. I’m grateful for your forthright statements, and the very way you express them on your page. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stiegem October 6, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    I received an e-mail notification undercoverbat “liked” my comment.

    As stated in my last comment, “This is exactly how I feel.”

    ” I read.

    I ask questions.

    I think for myself.

    Because of BATs and Diane Ravitch, I know what’s happening to education across the nation.

    I know the problems are bigger than my school, my district, my state.

    I know the game.

    I don’t want to play the game.

    And I don’t play the game.”

    I resigned from my position as Speech/Language Pathologist with Dearborn Schools in Michigan effective September 6, 2016.

    I don’t want to play the game either.

    And I now don’t play the game.

    I am glad I made that heart wrenching decision.

    I know it will take its tole.

    We all need the support for one another in this war.

    Keep on. And thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT October 12, 2016 / 12:24 am

      Congratulations…I think….on resigning your position. Welcome to the ever-growing club of teachers who are leaving. People focus on those who leave within the first five years, but there is a growing contingent of us who are leaving as experienced teachers…and no one seems to care.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. stevenmsinger October 8, 2016 / 9:15 am

    You have really captured the truth about teaching. I marvel at how you can be so heartbreaking one moment and so hilarious the next. I’m pulling for you. Any child would be lucky to have a teacher like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. undercoverBAT October 12, 2016 / 12:26 am

    Man, I wish I knew how to use that “heartbreaking and hilarious” bit somewhere…I guess that’s a good summation of me. (Maybe?) Thanks for your kind words. I don’t seem to have a problem with teachers liking me and thinking I’m a good teacher. The problem lies with those who hire and fire. And right now, I’m untouchable.

    Thank you for the encouragement as always, friend.


  6. Joe October 14, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    Oklahoma has a teacher shortage.

    Don’t come here. I don’t think you’d like it. I mean, our schools could absolutely use your services, but you sound like too good of a person to experience Oklahoma education at the ground level.

    Just from reading, I can assure you that you were a great teacher. Maybe even an excellent one.

    Keep your head up. Figure out what you want to be and go be it. You’re more than capable. You’re done with the game. Now go be better than the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT October 17, 2016 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you for the kind words, Joe. It seems that the way you describe Oklahoma schools could be used to describe schools across the U.S.

      Keeping my head up is easier some days than others, but I’m trying. Thanks for the encouragement.


  7. 1teacherleftbehindblog October 19, 2016 / 11:21 am

    We share common concerns. I’ve learned the higher ups do not like to be questioned. And certainly not made fun of … they are not open to solutions … they say that but not really. I agree with master teachers leaving the business bc of exactly that … the business. It’s so sad, if you can’t find the humor in it you will morn all your passions for making the world a better place. Changemakers are not welcomed in education. And whatever you do, don’t have a mind of your own. And yes, sometimes Bullies do win … sadly.


  8. Crystal N. October 21, 2016 / 4:30 pm

    I respect you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Barry O'Leary October 23, 2016 / 2:01 am

    Shame you haven’t found a job, you sound like a great teacher. Have you tried teaching abroad?


    • undercoverBAT October 24, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Teaching abroad isn’t an option due to family obligations. Thanks for reading and commenting!


  10. Mrs HippyGeek October 24, 2016 / 5:34 pm

    It’s not just the US. You sound like the teachers who inspired me to become one. These days, I wish they hadn’t been such an inspiration.


    • undercoverBAT October 24, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Oh, that’s a powerful line, and so true. Thanks for reading and commenting!


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