I opened up my email this afternoon to find a letter from my son’s favorite teacher—his reading teacher. She is accepting an instructional coach position and leaving the classroom—after the first nine weeks of school.
My son loves her because she’s excited about the subject she teaches and has a great connection to the students. Now, a substitute will be coming in to teach these eager young souls.
I know exactly how she felt—the need to apply and accept that position. I’ve been there myself fairly recently—like the end of last year. There were so many moments that it felt just right to say “This is the end, I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to leave the classroom.”
We tell ourselves it’s because we can serve more outside the classroom. Or that we have a higher calling. Or just that we want to stay in education and we want to grow.
Whatever the reason, a person who was born to be a teacher—meaning it’s their CALLING—gives it up most often because they didn’t have the help they needed.
I get it. I really do. Teaching is so tough—every day can be a really difficult challenge. But the more we let little things add up to big things—the quicker “I’m out of here!” becomes more attractive. Just search “teacher overwhelm”. You don’t find help. Instead you find blog posts and articles about jobs that are good for teachers who want to leave teaching.
When I polled my readers about their biggest challenges—the most frequent response was feeling overwhelmed. But many teachers won’t seek the help they need. So many of us find a strange comfort in the language of overwhelm, living with it rather than doing something about it.
When it’s time to take action, too many good teachers leave. What keeps me from feeling overwhelmed?
Everyday I begin anew with the 22 souls that are mine this year. I work hard to get them exactly where they need to be. I’m good at it and I would rather spend my day with 22 quirky, fun kids than with a group of grown-ups with the life sucked out of them.
Simply put, I accept my calling every day with intention, even with all of its faults. When you truly love someone, you love all of them. That goes for your calling too. It’s a choice I make every single day. It’s not the easy path, it’s the right path.