The Teachers’ Rite of Spring

teachers rite of spring


There is such optimism at the beginning of the year. No matter if it is a new calendar year or school year–either way, people convince themselves that things will be different this year.

Just before school started in 2015, I found a job. I had applied and emailed and searched for jobs all summer long–with a lot of help from my teacher friends–but nothing happened until the end of the summer. Then suddenly I had a phone call from a principal and an interview the next day and a job offer less than thirty minutes later.

I had a job. There would be new challenges–a new school to learn, a new grade level to teach, family concerns at home. But it was a job, and there was relief.

On Facebook there was much rejoicing.

YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!


CONGRATS! I’m so happy for you!

So happy that you found something! Congrats and they are lucky to have you!

I know you’ll do a great job!

So excited for you!!!

What a lucky class. Have fun!

Friends and family were congratulating me. Teacher friends from years past were convinced that this was going to be a great experience for both me and my class.




And then there were hints in the fall that things weren’t quite right. Odd behavior from administrators. Policies that were more about “gotcha” moments than helping teachers and students.

By spring there were the statements that reading was a waste of instructional time and that someday, with a lot of work, I could be a great teacher. At that point I could see the signs even when others couldn’t.

What had begun with such promise ended in mayhem and destroyed my career.

It still hasn’t recovered.




Flowers are blooming again. They days are growing longer. It’s springtime…decision time…and for once I don’t have to worry about that.

There is a lot wrong with unemployment and underemployment, but it is a relief for once to not have to worry about losing my teaching job. I already know the answer to that question.

All across the country, there are teachers right now petrified of losing their livelihood. One misstep, one time they disagree with the administration, one time they choose teaching versus test prep, and they could lose it all.

If you’re a teacher, have you ever felt that way? Has something like this happened to you or someone you know?




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5 thoughts on “The Teachers’ Rite of Spring

  1. mgminer April 18, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    I read your post and all the links to other posts. I’m actually dumbfounded and am struggling to wrap my head around what your experience says about the consequences of ignorance. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT April 18, 2017 / 10:51 pm

      Thanks for saying that. The last few years don’t make sense to me either, and in some way it’s gratifying that you’re having trouble wrapping your head around it too.


  2. Karen LaBonte April 19, 2017 / 11:38 pm

    Your experiences are examples that we are living in some kind of Twilight Zone, where everything that we know to be right and pedagogically sound is suddenly not and the people who have decided that not only are not educators, they don’t even really like kids. Or adults, for that matter. I wish you weren’t a casualty of the times. I wish you peace and good fortune.

    Liked by 1 person

    • undercoverBAT May 2, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you. The Twilight Zone is a good descriptor for this.


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