I have come to the conclusion that I am going to be stuck in Public Education/Special Education for the rest of my life!!
I want out, but I cannot figure out how to translate my skills into marketable/desirable qualities for companies outside of education. I mean “Professional Cat Herder,” “Translator of Complex Concepts,” “Keeper of Keys,” “Idea Illumination Expert,” “Confidence Builder,” and “Shaper of Tomorrow” doesn’t really fit into any defined boxes that other companies have.
I love teaching. Please don’t misunderstand. I love when students begin to understand a concept that had previously escaped them. I love when they begin to see the world beyond what they have known. I love when students who thought they were weird finally see the value of being unique. I love when light bulbs come on and dreams begin to form into tangible realities. I love when hope flickers back to life in eyes that had once been blank.
However, I have become disillusioned, disenfranchised, disheartened with the state of education in this country. I’m tired of trying to improve an irrelevant system that insists on remaining the same as it was more than 100 years ago. I’m tired of being treated like a second class citizen when it’s time for budgets. I’m tired of not having enough supplies. I’m tired of trying to decide if I can afford to buy pencils for class and vegetables for my home.
My soul is bent under the weight of expectations heaped upon us while the rug is being pulled from under our feet. I’m tired of watching students lose hope because we measure their success not by their efforts at understanding but by arbitrary numbers that have never been a true reflection of talent or spirit. I’m tired of seeing students give up before they begin because one four-hour segment out of one day has told them that they will never be successful.
I’m tired of seeing students not even attempt an idea or a problem because they are afraid to get the answer wrong. I’m tired of emails and phone calls from parents because their child is not making an “A” in the class. I’m tired of prepping for drills that shouldn’t be happening. I’m tired of defending why deadly weapons in the classroom are not the answer to a greater problem.
I’m tired of losing hope because our country doesn’t value our greatest treasure – our youth.