frustrated_teacherI feel betrayed. Hurt. Education has betrayed me and hurt me. It has turned on me like a rabid dog in the noonday sun on the hottest day in July.  I thought that I was valued as a part of this great institution called “education.”  Even before I became a teacher, I knew the value in the profession. I was fully aware of the promises, as well as the pitfalls. Even with this knowledge, I chose to leave the field of Public Relations and enter education (Okay, chose is the wrong word; forced by a Higher Power is more accurate, but that is a story for another time). I was tired of the instability in my career. I needed a guarantee, and education was it. After all, there will always be a need for teachers, right?

That was 12 years ago, and my rose colored glasses are now off. In fact, I lost those glasses long ago. When you have been involved with an activity for so long, you begin to differentiate fantasy and reality. My first five years were spent at a low performing school and the pressures placed on the students and the teachers was a hard slap of reality in my naive little face. Even though those around me were leaving in droves, I still stayed in education. I stayed because I liked what I did and I knew that those kids needed me. They needed someone who cared.

Because of my love for sharing knowledge with the future of our city and nation (our world, even), I stayed. I stayed through budget cuts, changes in administration, one change of school, change of subjects taught, and added responsibilities. I went back to school, at my own expense, so that I could be able to support an increasingly technological classroom. I was the teacher who stayed after school to provide tutoring and to sponsor extra-curricular activities so that we would educate a “whole” child. I was the teacher who took activities as mundane as a bowling field trip and turned it into a fun, yet educational experience. I gave and I gave.

I have given my all (until as recently as February 2013) and now I have nothing left to give. I feel betrayed. Hurt is probably more accurate. Our school system is undergoing drastic changes and substantial upheaval. The more I watch the news and read the newspaper stories, I am disheartened. In all that is being done, it seems that the main two stakeholders are being forgotten. It seems to me that all the “higher-ups” care about is the bottom line. The teachers have been reduced to Stepford  staff trained to follow the directions of politicians with no background or experience in education. The students have been turned into guinea pigs for the next educational idea from someone who has no concept of what it is to teach real people. Where did we lose the concept of teaching students to think and making learning exciting? When did education become a rote activity done because of a compulsory education statute? It is rare that I see a spark in the eyes of students who have just discovered something new or understood something they had never understood before.

Do I still believe in education? YES; it is the education system that we are now a part of that I am not so sure about. The Educator’s Room founder, Franchesca Warren, posed some questions to her writers: What would you do if you longer had a teaching job? What is your brand? I began to think about those questions and I decided that it was time for me to develop my brand. I took what I learned in school and my on the job training in education and I started to develop my brand. I am not yet ready to reveal my plans, but just know that it is somewhat of an education “out of the box.”  In the words of one of my business mentors, I have to have a plan. I am writing my plan, as well as working it. Yes, I am hurt and betrayed, but I am turning that thing meant for bad into something that will do lots of good.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. I hope to share more with you as my journey continues. Now, back on my grind….[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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