So we are officially in the month of May and this year, for some of us, is swiftly coming to an end. Others of us are watching the clock shamelessly wondering IF this year is ever going to end. Ya'll I have personally spoken with many, many teachers who are feeling the latter. Whatever side of the field you are on, you either are the person, or know the person that the following letter was written for.
To the Teacher who Hates her Job:
I really need you to know something. Something that has been stinging at your heart for months now. Something that has left you feeling inadequate, confused, and questioning your future. I know you. I have been you. I feel you.
If you are in a dark place professionally, you know the kind I mean... I want to advise you to take a moment and step back. Look at what has brought you to this tunnel of darkness. Is it the fact that you have a class from H-E- double hockey sticks? Is it that your teammates aren't really teammates at all, but rather hurdles that are slowing you down? What about your administration? Are they your biggest cheerleader and coach or are they on the opposing team ready to knock out any idea or strategy that comes their way? OR, perhaps, is it you?
Wait. Did we just question if it was YOU that's the problem? Yes. I said it. Because for so long you thought it was you. You have been running in circles but not going anywhere. You cry on your way home from work wondering if this too shall pass or if maybe you should pass on this whole education gig. You've been brainwashed lately into thinking you are not effective, you don't care deeply about your students, or that what you morally stand for has no place in a classroom. I know you. I have been you. I feel you.
How can this be so hard? Have you felt like you just want to teach but your hands are tied, your students don't care, and evaluations are emotionally biased? Unfortunately, some of us have learned this the hard way. I can promise you this- sometimes it is not you! See, this wonderful world of education has so many surfaced dynamics but then, if you dig deep, you see so much more than that. Sometimes people have a hidden agenda, sometimes schools just aren't cut out for certain personalities, and sometimes it takes a certain "look" to be a teacher in certain buildings.
The truth is, it can be you. And if you are the problem- fix it.
If you are not the problem- fix it. I mean quit dwelling on how much this school year has sucked, how much you hate your school, teammates, or admin and DO SOMETHING. That darkness is an extra scary place to be, but you are your only way out. So, take a look down the tunnel of darkness. Decide what the true issue is, and decide how you are going to fix it. Is this problem like this everywhere? If so, how can it be solved? Is it a toxic building you need to get out of? Sure, make the move to a different school. Is it the administration picking favorites and leaving you in the dust? Great- run for the hills but be prepared for the work that goes along with a new school.
Look at yourself in the mirror. Really think about who you are as a person. Think about the effect you have on your students. Think about the work that you do every single day. Is this something that you are truly ready to walk away from? Or is this something you need to fix and move on? I know you. I have been you. I feel you.
Quit thinking that other people have the power to change you or your career path. If you have been sitting pretty and never had any issues until this year, I encourage you to recognize that. Examine yourself. Decide where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there from here. Sometimes that means moving schools or districts. Sometimes that means changing grade levels. Sometimes that means kissing the education world good-bye altogether.
Please know this: sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side.... OH, BUT SOMETIMES IT IS. Take that leap out of the darkness. You are not stuck on this playing field- the ball is in your court. I know you. I have been you. I feel you.
Good luck. Play hard, but play smart.