Last Friday I resigned from my teaching position. I have another non-teaching job lined up with my union, and I cannot express to you the sense of freedom I feel. Free from countless hours of obligated work outside of work. Free from the feeling of herding cats on a day to day basis. Free from the inevitable feeling of never feeling good enough at my job.
Both assistant principals of instruction at my school came by to speak with me upon hearing news of my resignation. You see, I was deemed one of the best teachers at my school by my supervisors and peers. In fact, I am currently teacher of the year. And I am stepping down. With a smile on my face and optimistic about the future.
I was asked why I was leaving by one assistant principal, and I told her the truth. “Honestly, I’m just not motivated by test scores. Everybody’s on the data crack,” I said. Then I turned away and added, “I’m motivated my my content. I like teaching, but nowadays it’s all about data. I feel like I’m obsolete.” She seemed to understand.
In all honesty I do feel obsolete. I can create magic in the classroom and get my students interested in reading and writing. At the end of the day I want my students to love my subject as much as I do. I like to imagine that I am auditioning my subject to be the love of their lives.
Increasingly more and more I am prompted to teach them how to actually pass the test. Reading, writing, discussing, and generating our own questions about the text isn’t enough. We have to figure out what the testmakers believe is the best answer. It’s just not fun anymore. It’s not creative. And I no longer feel inspired.
So I eagerly accepted a job with the teacher’s union. Before, I was called to be a teacher. Now, I heeding the call to protect the integrity of the profession. Too many teachers are miserable at their jobs, and it’s not because they don’t love teaching, but because being a teacher now carries with it so many unfulfilled desires.
Hopefully, I can help make things better for my colleagues. Wish me luck folks. You’ll be hearing a lot more from me soon!