Anyone out there that actually wants to be a teacher?

I’m currently at the midway point of summer school. To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about the idea but I couldn’t pass up the money. I’m at a different school than my home base and as it turns out, the kids are a lot better behaved than at my school. This has made all the difference in the world as I’m not nearly as tired at the end of the day as I was when I did summer school at my home base last year. This is not a remedial summer school – it’s an opportunity for kids to get a head start on next year’s curriculum.

Does your school look like this?

I learned through the grapevine that this elementary school has only *five* teachers returning next year. One factor is that the principal is heading to another school and is likely taking her trusted teachers with her. It’s also very likely that another factor is the current trend of teachers leaving the profession. As I’ve written about previously, there’s all kinds of trendy new career paths for teachers who are ready to leave the classroom. If you believe Reddit and other sources, you would think that teachers are working in conditions so deplorable that they are in violation of the Geneva Convention.

I’m not suggesting that anyone is exaggerating their situation. All day long I see colleagues at the end of their tether for very good reasons. I’m extremely fortunate to have made a switch from being a classroom teacher to working in special ed. Sure, there are a host of other things I deal with (and maybe I’ll get to those another time). However, I realize that I am blessed. I’ve added a few years to my career by getting out of the classroom. One of the things that has helped me is the realization that I can only do so much as one person vs. the multitude of things that stand in the way – disengaged parents, difficult living situations, lack of funding, etc. This does not mean that I’ve given up; it means that I’m going to do the best I can every day. I can still get that buzz when a kid gets something that was elusive for so long. There are far too many of us who have lost the Eye of the Tiger.

As long as we live in a system that feels that the solution to the teacher exodus is to do things like reducing qualifications to teach and bolstering school privatization, we will fall further down the rabbit hole. Once all of the good teachers are gone, how will our kids get what they need to live successful lives?