Verklempt

I’m trying hard not to be depressed over this, but its hard.  Here’s the skinny.  A woman I mentored and wrote letters of recommendation for has decided to resign her teaching position.  I really don’t blame her.  She’s an excellent teacher, certainly more adept and energetic in the classroom than I could ever be.  So it disturbs me that she quit. 
I think I know why she resigned.  This job, and you’ll note that I called it a job, because teaching as a career has become a thing as extinct as a dinosaur, grinds you down.  Your authority in the classroom is nonexistent, and what shreds are left are quickly erroded by overbearing parents, adminstrators, and “specialists” whose purpose is to coach, not coach, lay blame, or gossip to higher ups.  Not that they actually do any of that.  The RTI (response to instruction: an identification system for struggling students) process resembles not so much a collaborative effort to identify student learning issues but a Spanish Inquisition, where you spend your defending your instructional interventions for your students.  There are many stressors and everybody (it seems) questions your professional judgement every single day. This and the volume of paperwork and redundant testing buries the teacher under without even factoring the regular workload of paper grading. Is it any wonder, that teachers, in general, are depressed individuals.  I heard that teachers, as a group seek help for a variety of mental health issues, most commonly depression.
What does it say about the profession when the best and brightest leave?
I don’t know how to feel right now.
I know she made a tough decision but in the end you have to do what’s best for you. I wish her
well in her future endeavors and I know whatever she chooses to do she will land on her feet. But that is just it. What about those of us who are still teaching…still dealing with the grind in order to pay off exorbitant student loan debt? People that have discovered, to their horror, that the time they spent gaining a higher education is suddenly devalued by by your employers and the degree you’ve struggled to get for eight years is worthless.
Why would anyone stay in those conditions? I think the real question is…what else can an ex-teacher do to make a living? 
I don’t know…but I don’t like that fear the unknown.  Maybe, she’ll lead the way…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s