I Give Up...
Every time I have to look the other way, lower a standard, or cater to political agendas makes me feel like I am selling my soul to the devil.
October 15th was my last day of being a public school teacher. I’d like to say that I was joyfully retiring, but the truth is, I gave up. I hope people out there understand how taxing this profession has become. In the upper grades, we teach around 120 students in a day. That’s 120 different ways to try to connect with each child and 120 sets of parents that have expectations. We have to remember which pronouns that we should refer to for a child, not to mention what names they decide to be called by each day. If we don’t remember, we are called out, and we are reprimanded by parents for not making their child feel accepted. We have to be careful to not stare or be too judgmental when kids show up cross dressing or wearing clothing that makes a common street walker uncomfortable. On a daily basis, someone on campus is dealing with a student that curses them out, throws furniture across the room, punches another student, or brings drugs to school. Kids are destroying the bathrooms by ripping dispensers off the wall and flooding toilets. When we send a kid to the office, parents are calling and cursing us out, demanding that we apologize to the kids for singling them out, refusing to allow their child to have a consequence to their behavior while threatening lawsuits. We teach, and then we are required to let the kids do their work over and over until they pass. We have to dumb everything down so that we don’t have low scores or have parents upset. Teachers are in tears daily because they don’t feel supported. Students come up to me all the time telling me that they fear coming to school, and they fear certain students. They won’t tell me names of kids that are bullying them because they fear being jumped. I have had teachers tell me that they fear coming to school because of aggressive behaviors. What it boils down to is that I feel like I need hazard pay everyday I go into work.Every time I have to look the other way, lower a standard, or cater to political agendas makes me feel like I am selling my soul to the devil.
On campus, we often discuss what has happened to education and why we are seeing such awful behavior. Society has lost its mind! These kids see everything! They have seen people fighting over the presidential election, hate groups, masks vs. no masks, vaccine vs. no vaccine. They see people rioting in the streets, burning buildings, shooting cops, vandalizing, looting, etc.. Kids emulate what they see. These people doing those things are often these kids' family members. What kind of example is this setting? Then, they come to school and exude hate and imitate all of these attention seeking activities. Public education will not get any better until the system allows us to start giving consequences for bad behavior. Students will not start learning until we are allowed to teach effectively. Parents, every time your kid comes home, don’t assume that what they say is always true. Please give your teacher the benefit of the doubt. Understand that your child needs to learn how to cope with all types of people. They might not like their teacher. They might think they are too strict. Quit bailing them out. They have to learn how to adjust in society! No teacher that I have ever worked with in my 20 years of teaching, made it a mission to be mean to a child. We can’t conform to everybody’s personality and be the picture perfect teacher that you think we should be. I guarantee you that one parent or child might think I am a horrible teacher, but there are ten more that think I’ve made a huge difference. Remember, teachers are human beings with feelings. Every day that we have to deal with an ugly phone call or hateful email, pushes us further out the door. I hope that something happens soon. The educational system is losing so many really good teachers. These teacher’s voices are being stifled. They cannot speak for themselves without repercussions. To all my awesome parents and students, I am sorry that I wasn’t strong enough to hang in there. I do appreciate those that were supportive, but in today’s educational system, I am not allowed to be an effective teacher.
This testimonial was read to the School Board on October 21, 2021 by a friend of the teacher who was not comfortable sharing their name.