I was born to be a teacher. Since middle school, I have taken every teaching opportunity I could from being a camp counselor to a pre-school teaching assistant. After getting my Master’s degree in teaching, I finally landed my dream job as a high school French teacher.
And it is hands down the most draining experience that I have ever had. This is my second year and I am ready to throw in the towel.
I know that you are thinking that I am another statistic — someone who “can’t manage the classroom” or “isn’t tough enough.” That’s not the case at all. For a second year teacher, I am really good. I know my shit and I do my research and I get in trouble for teaching my students mindfulness and contacting parents too often. I’m not burnt out.
I’m sad. I am in it for the kids but I am not ready to commit the rest of my life to be a public servant that is disrespected by literally everyone, barely scraping by on the salary I earn (with a Master’s degree).
America has given up on their kids. Hell, they gave up when I was in school. My generation couldn’t find jobs for the life of them. And the kids know it. That’s why they are so mean to their teachers. That’s why their parents are so mean to their teachers. That’s why politicians continue to cut our salaries and impose more hurdles because they know that we are the only people that give a damn about America’s kids anymore. It’s our passion. We are here for them.
But it hurts. I am spending all my time and energy trying to fix a broken education system that doesn’t love me back. We all know what it is like to love someone that doesn’t love you back. And to see them everyday. And think about them all the time. And put in the extra mile, with the slightest glimmer of hope that it will make a difference, but you know that it won’t.
Then the relationship becomes toxic. I spend my own money supplying my classroom with basic needs like paper, pencils, crayons — even a pencil sharpener — but to what avail? Kids use every inch. I have literally no more pencils. My electronic pencil sharpener broke. I don’t have the money to get all new supplies at this point in the year. But I know that I have to, because I am these kids’ only caretaker.
This brought on a serious bout of depression that is only caused by this abusive relationship that I have with education, but web development came along. And suddenly, I fell in love.
It was so hard — I had to fight the temptation to flirt with Ruby while I was with education, or work on WordPress when education thought I was grading papers. I felt guilty — but alive again.
Then web development and I started having nightly meetings. I even enrolled in more than one web development course online without telling education. I couldn’t help it — web development was good to me. Really good. And promised me a place in society that I wouldn’t be spat on.
Now, all I can think about is web development. Education is just something that depends on me now. It’s sad, because I can’t leave education after everything we have been through together, but I want the benefits of being with web development.
I know that I am going to have to end it with education eventually — especially with even more laws and pay-cuts being forced on teachers — but it is going to be difficult. But I know that my life will be so much better when I am committed to web development.