A Not So Graceful Exit: Why I Left Teaching

And we lose another great teacher – one who just cannot give one more test or hurt her students one more time.


“Finally, please hope and pray that my kids get a qualified teacher quickly. One that isn’t jaded by the system, that loves them in spite of their challenges, and has the strength to withstand the foolishness that educators endure.  I couldn’t be that for them anymore and the grief that causes me is suffocating at times.  I will miss them every day. ” – Kara Reeves


Yesterday, I quit.  In the middle of the school year, I quit.  After fourteen years in education, I quit.  I.  Quit.  Quitting isn’t something I do, particularly when children are involved, so this is still quite difficult to think or talk about.  It might seem an abrupt decision to some, but for those that know me well, you know this is something I have flirted with for a few years now.  I think it started about five years ago…

I was teaching in an inner-city school in Memphis.  I loved my principal.  I loved my kids.  I loved teaching.  Now, of course, there were issues.  Too much paperwork.  Not enough hours in the day.  Uninvolved parents.  Disobedient children.  District mandates that made no sense.  Still, overall, I was happy being a teacher.  I knew that I would either drop dead teaching or they would have to roll me out in…

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One thought on “A Not So Graceful Exit: Why I Left Teaching

  1. Thanks, Jo. I bookmarked Kara Reeves blog and reblogged her post with this comment:

    ❝The exodus of teachers is a warning for all. For every teacher who makes a public statement when leaving, more leave without making one. Even more teachers want to leave but cannot.

    What if all spoke out at once. Would they be heard? The least the rest of us can do is amplify that message (like an Occupy general assembly)❞

    As powerful as Kara’s post is, comments may be even more so. The ones from teachers who want to leave but cannot are heartbreaking. Their situation reminds me of so many contingent faculty in higher education.


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