It's all the buzz - it's gone viral more times than I can count. You know what I'm talking about. The "Why I Quit Teaching" videos, public letters, blog posts. Honestly, I absolutely, 100%, without blinking, understand where these people are coming from.
I really do.
I'm in complete support of somebody who needs to make life changes. If something in your world is dragging you down to the the point where it's impacting your health and well being - I stand behind you doing something - anything - to better your situation.
If quitting is "that thing", I'm behind you. Do it. If that's what will make you happy. Just make sure it's what YOU really want and not what some legislator has made you THINK you want.
Me, on the other hand, I just can't do it. Quit. Oh, I've wanted to, more times than a person could keep track of. I've said to my husband a 1,000 times over "I just can't do it anymore", "I can't take the stress", "The pressure is more than I can bear", "I can't end each day feeling like I didn't do enough, that I wasn't enough".
Then I remember that old oak.
I am strong - so I look for that strength.
I find it and I say "You won't quit".
I won't quit and maybe you won't either.
You're going to feel like quitting. I know you will because the added pressures of this job make us feel like doing it.
Here's why we won't...
1. We were put on this earth to teach.
I really believe that. I think teaching is a calling. Don't let anybody or anything rob you of that.
2. Teaching is more than just something you wake up each day and go do - it's something you feel in your heart of hearts - it's IN you...deep rooted like an old oak tree.
I really believe that. C'mon, you're reading this blog on your "free time". It's deep rooted in you too.
3. We love it.
I really believe that. Dig down REAL deep and remember why you went into teaching. Granted, it wasn't for the test giving and data collection; but if you dig deep enough you'll remember that you love those "a-ha moments", you love making your students laugh. You just love it. We really do. So, spend time each week just enjoying your kids. Put down the anecdotal notes, quit collecting data and just enjoy the hum of your classroom and the coolness of your students.
4. Office supplies.
Yes, I even believe that it can be as simple as that - office supplies are one reason we teachers teach. Seriously, that pack of new flair pens and Scentos markers don't make YOU smile? I've loved crayons, shuffling papers, organizing things since I was a little kid. I bet you can say the same. Office supplies are another reason I won't quit and you won't either!
5. Making a difference.
I know it sounds like a cliche but it's not, right? Our world can be so ugly but what we do with our students isn't. Brush aside the stuff you don't like and allow the beauty of what we proudly do shine through. We know that we aren't just teaching the ABC's and 123's we're mentoring & motivating. Somebody who might have been on a path to nowhere is now on a path to ANYWHERE...because of US!!!!!
So, if you need to quit I get it. I do, and I would NEVER make you feel horrible for it. I get that you need to think of yourself and your family.
If there's even a small part of you that feels like you want to stick with it. Do. Please do.
Let's stick together and hold onto this calling.
Be an oak.