- Shaking, Sanitized Hands: Building New Student Relationships while Grieving Old Ones - November 19, 2020
- Class Divide in Emergency Learning: A Crisis Overseas - September 10, 2020
- Practicing Self-Care in the Midst of Chaos - August 31, 2020
- Do the Work: Equity Symposium for Teachers - August 23, 2020
- Universities Collaborate on the Biggest Experiment in Higher Ed: Reopening - August 3, 2020
- The Day of Teacher Self-Care is Happening August 1, 2020 - July 21, 2020
- Do the Work: A Conversation Around Anti-Racist Teaching in K-12 Schools - June 14, 2020
- My Daughter Has Found Her Passion Using Getty Unshuttered - May 11, 2020
- Dear Teachers of the Arts: The World Still Needs You - April 30, 2020
- Urban Districts Warn That 275,000 Teacher Jobs Could Be At Risk Due to COVID-19 - April 30, 2020
One of the first questions I ask dismayed teachers who are worried about their lack of job security is, “What’s your brand? If you suddenly no longer have a job, what will you do with that brand?” Instead of proudly answering these questions with all their accolades, most teachers are awkwardly silent. They have no idea how to answer questions that asked them to value what they do daily as an educator. Unfortunately, I used to be that teacher. What did I know about being a brand? In my mind, I was simply an employee of a school district who taught children. I was simply trying to educate under-served children and make it to the end of the year in the midst of budget cuts.
Last spring I received an email that made my entire career almost come to a screeching halt. Through no fault of my own, I was going to have to reapply for my position due the district’s reduction in force. I was shocked. I worked day and night to perfect my performance in the classroom all to have it possibly ended due to budget mishaps. I had devoted 10 years of my life to teaching despite having plenty of opportunities to leave for more lucrative careers. However, in a matter of minutes, my future in the classroom was now uncertain and my faith in the district I worked for was gone.
Over the next couple of months, I pondered about the direction of my career. What would I do if I was not in a classroom the following semester? I would surely apply for other positions but with the economy still rebounding, I knew that the likelihood of me finding another position would be scarce. As I talked to my friends who had been in education, I realized that a lot of people I knew had already left the classroom. Some were great teachers who left for more pay in better positions, but a good portion of teachers left because they couldn’t handle the pressures associated with teaching and ‘high stakes’ testing.