Reasons For Exiting The Classroom
Going from teacher to mom has been rewarding & frustrating, to say the least...
Last May was an easy but tough decision to leave the classroom. It was for a variety of reasons. The kids in the classroom were out of control, people were in the administration that had no right to be, and there was absolutely zero support from parents or the administration.
If you're not in a school volunteering, subbing, or teaching in any capacity, you just don't know and cannot understand. Kids are disrespectful, they're rude, and they are entitled. There are still those sweethearts that make teaching amazing and wonderful. Those few kids are the kids that keep educators going on a daily basis.
But what I was starting to see were those great kids getting so frustrated and discouraged by the disrespectful bad apples. There is a group in every class. Students would start defending me in class telling others to be quiet and stop being disrespectful. They were feeling like their time in class was being wasted!
Not all students can be reached
Now, this has nothing to do with classroom management or relationships. Even the best teachers with the best classroom management cannot control what a student thinks or what they do. Teachers cannot control what happens in their student's homes. It's like a divorced co-parenting relationship that is going nowhere because the two sides can't agree.
Students come to school sometimes on an empty stomach, being verbally and emotionally abused, and have no experience in being nurtured. Step in the teachers. We would nurture these kiddos every day like they were our own because we genuinely grow to love our students and want what's best for them. When contacting parents, responses were "Don't call me again", "when they're at school they're your problem", "we don't know what to do", and so many more.
Teachers were having to "parent" and teach those kids manners and values while at school. How to respect others and themselves, how to be polite, what disrespect is, what it looks like, etc. Students would go home where they were getting none of that, come back to school and teachers were back to square one. No amount of incentive or reward will change those students unless their home lives change.
What's happening to teachers?
Educators are physically harmed, spit at, cussed at, and disrespected on a daily basis. Ready for a shock? Not all the disrespect and abuse come from students. It also comes from other teachers and administration. I am not saying this happens everywhere. I know for a fact good administration means happy teachers and employees, which means a great working environment for them and for students.
I think as a society we've always thought teachers and schools were almost like this untouchable magical place where nothing could be wrong or go wrong. Covid quarantine blew the doors wide open for people to really see what sometimes happens. Teachers already had a lot on their plate, then enter covid and all the consequences it brought with it.
Teaching is a profession of heart. It is or should be, at our very core a high priority and privilege. Teachers have been told how to do their profession, when to do it, told to adapt and change, then told they were doing it wrong. There is no help in taking disciplinary action with students because the administration is "too afraid" to deal with parents or most of all, they don't want their "numbers" to look bad at their principal meetings.
Teachers are leaving the profession because they're waking up and realizing they don't have to put up with the shit. It's not quitting to be a quitter. It's realizing that time is short and we should be happy. We should go where we are appreciated and we can have a healthier mindset which in turn leads to better overall health.
Why I quit
I quit for all of these reasons. I was lied to and told my peers were saying horrible things about me. When I said I wanted a meeting to talk things out and move on I was told I couldn't because that would be confrontational. Then I was told to go home, drink some wine in the bathtub, take it all in, and reevaluate myself.
I'd worked in my district for 15 years. I never had a bad review, I got along with everyone. It was fun. But working under a toxic, pessimistic administration did me in. I've been through a pretty shitty divorce years ago, and I know that everyone deserves to be happy and to be treated with respect. No one should be talked down to.
Over 28 employees left my school at the end of the year. They realized their worth too and they took the chance. Some weren't so lucky. When your administration thinks they make up the rules about when "they" will "let" someone transfer....it usually does not end well once the employee checks with HR.
Enter this school year, and guess what? Nothing has changed and there are people who have quit in the middle of the year and are trying to get out. This is only from one school! I know you're probably thinking, "Well did you go to HR? Did you report anything?" As hard as it was, yes I did. I did it for all my teacher friends who either couldn't for fear of living in hell while still stuck there or who transferred to a different school but still lived in fear of retaliation. Guess what? If you don't report an incident to legal after 15 days they won't even look at it. If you give it to HR you're told they will look into it and leave it at that.
Education is in crisis mode and it's for a variety of reasons. There is a meanness that has invaded a profession where there is not and should not be any room for it. We are losing such amazing educators because they are not being treated respectfully by students, parents, and administration.
Again, not all schools are like this, not all teachers are like this, and not all administration is like this. I miss my teacher friends dearly and I miss those happy times. BUT walking out of the school building was the absolute best decision I have made. It was my decision, it was my path to take, my adventure to start, and boy what an adventure it has been.
I'm going on an adventure...
Stay tuned to see what exactly I've been up to since leaving the classroom. There's been ups and downs, and it's only the beginning!