When It’s Time to Give Up

Do you ever feel like your life is featuring a series of demotivational posters? You followed the right path, and everyone agreed it seemed the right one for you. It just didn’t turn out that way, in the kind of way that (had he been a failure) Frost would have written “The Path I Wish I’d Gone Back and Taken.”

stolen from Despair, Inc.

Yeah, pretty much like that. Except, no one is actually telling you that. Not even your mom, but she has suggested going back to school or changing careers a few times. Ok, every holiday dinner and 5 other times. Crap. I’m beginning to very much feel like Matthew McConaughey’s character in Failure to Launch.

So I have set a deadline for myself. This summer is the last time I voluntarily join the merry-go-round of teacher-hiring season. And I’m not even sure I want to include public schools, creating a VERY small hiring pool. It actually hurts to talk to interns these days. I’ve run into a few—all shiny and bright-eyed, with ideas brimming, hopeful to motivate future generations, unconcerned about anything currently plaguing the field they are about to sink into. Ah, what to tell them?

another stole picture. Sorry Despair, Inc.

another stolen picture. Sorry Despair, Inc.

Or a teacher…but you can use all that training to be a..um..server, no, ah receptionist?, no how about a customer service representative? No? Oh, you have a liberal arts degree AND a master’s? Then you are overqualified to do anything but teach my dear. But you have rent to pay? Oh, honey. You better lie through your teeth that you’ll do anything and “no, I won’t leave if I’m offered a teaching job.”

I know it’s negative. It’s a lot negative. And I’m normally a pretty cheerful person. But you have caught me nearly 15 years later and a dollar short in the teaching department. To quote Lethal Weapon, “I’m too old for this.” I’m tired of school hopping, of filling someone’s shoes when they’re out for maternity leave or when they resign because it’s just “too much”. Plus, I’m wiser. I’m keenly aware that the following go hand in hand these days with the legislating of education:

I love you, Despair, Inc!

I love you, Despair, Inc!

In my state, we are desperately trying to climb out of the hole of bad test scores and low literacy–bad, bad, bad. Read the newspapers–politicians and lobbyists say teachers are to blame. Of course, we live in the state where even the Education Commissioner has a child outside of public education (did I mention that child also belong’s to Michelle Rhee?), while he pushes for charter schools and vouchers. Ask the teachers (by the way, the best place to gather this particular info is in the teacher’s lunch area) and you hear they want to have time to teach, really teach, because scores only tell one side of the story. Also, numbers are easier to fake, see Atlanta’s scandal with changing scores to look good.

So, what do we do? Heck I don’t know.

I just want to teach.

You are my sunshine, Despair, Inc.

You are my sunshine, Despair, Inc.

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