education station

So you want to be a teacher?

Be careful.

I’ve wanted to share my thoughts about teaching for a while. In the middle of the last decade I graduated from teachers’ college. Since then I’ve spent a great deal of time as a substitute teacher. However, I’ve also had glimpses into the world of full-time teaching. I believe I’ve had enough experience that I can honestly say that at this time, the world of public education isn’t where I belong.

Don’t get me wrong. I have tremendous respect for the profession. I have family members and old friends who are teachers.  I understand that it’s one of the hardest jobs out there, and that saying such a thing is truly not a cliché.

Yet I can’t shake the notion that more light needs to be shed on what teachers really go through. As I look back on my career, in some ways, the bad has outweighed the good. And this “bad” is something that I feel more people need to be honest about.

Mind you, I don’t know how much I want to say. Earlier this week, I read Kate’s story and felt inspired to speak up. My experiences don’t match hers. Yet nothing that she said came as a surprise to me. The classroom is a domestic battleground. The stress of working in one is constantly underestimated.

Overall, when I hear about people who want to teach, I wonder if they truly have any idea of what they might have to face. I understand that attrition rates teaching are high. (Google terms like “teacher turnover”.) The public needs to know that this isn’t taking place for frivolous reasons.


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