Why I Love Teaching And Why I Chose To Stay

Everyone is talking about how teachers are tired and overworked. Week after week we see stories, articles, social media debates on how teaching just simply isn’t worth risking your life and well-being in the pandemic.

Constantly seeing people complain about how being back in school isn’t providing students with what they need. But virtual learning isn’t working either. Nothing seems to be good enough for what teachers are doing in the classroom.

Teachers across America work under immense pressure from school and district administration to improve achievement based on high stakes testing data.

The district leaders are working to beat the odds for high stakes testing not to provide improved, innovative ways of learning. This is the real reason why parents are complaining about learning loss.

Learning loss is not new, it’s just more evident now that teaching to high stakes tests is more visible. The pandemic has made it impossible to hide now.

On top of all this, teachers are still providing the needed resources and books for our classrooms. We’re also serving in multiple, needed capacities to ensure the social, emotional and academic well being of our students is met.

According to the article, The National Education Association poll, conducted in January, helps those outside of education better understand the stress being placed on educators, especially teachers right now.

Shivy Brooks, Econ and History Teacher in Clayton County Highlighted the thoughts of teachers  to a community partner asking what can the community do to support teachers in providing all these things to students.

We need to change the thought process around this. Teachers cannot be all of these things when the school is a place that should be driving academic learning. – Alfred “Shivy” Brooks

He goes on to say, “For too long people have expected teachers to make their classrooms the hospital, therapist office, food bank, donor’s closet and recreation center for students!” We demand of teachers what we demand of those who are performing at the levels of engineers, doctors and lawyers. The pay inequities in education, especially for teachers, is way below what other professionals make.

What does the pay inequity say about our value of children; of women in this country who have led this field for such a long time?

According to the NEA, teachers are quitting because they are realizing that the superpower of teaching is being abused. Teachers aren’t just physically overwhelmed, they are emotional and mentally drained from not just pay inequities but also the educational inequities. Per the NEA survey of teachers. . .

  • 90% of its members say that feeling burned out is a serious problem.
  • 86% say they have seen more educators leaving the profession or retiring early since the start of the pandemic.
  • 80% report that unfilled job openings have led to more work obligations for those left.

Some of the experiences discussed in one of my previous classes were horrible. It made me thankful that I’m at my home school. All of the teachers had such varied experiences, definitely some better than others. The common denominator as expressed in the NEA survey results is that the teachers were drained and unsatisfied with their mistreatment. 

Despite these numbers, while many are fleeing the classroom there are teachers like myself who are working our way back.

Teachers like myself are working our way back into the classroom. The vacancies will be filled with those finishing some of the top educational programs in Georgia.

Having so many experienced educators leaving the field, we need those who are passionate about the art of teaching and  about helping students overcome learning challenges. This is creating space for teachers who are passionate about teaching and who want to see children be able to grow, learn and develop in a safe space to reimagine education.

Many of the future graduates are excited about returning to full time teaching positions in our Georgia public schools. I believe going through this program in the onset of the pandemic really helped elevate our perseverance.

The experience of being able to support a teacher and students during this time is so important. It has definitely made me appreciate Paraeducators more. The work they do with our exceptional learners is something that every child should have.

Public education is at a major turning point. I believe teachers are going to be at the forefront of this change, ensuring that systemic racism isn’t embedded in the future of how we do education.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Up Next