Ex-Kindergarten Teacher Explains Why She Quit, Strikes Chord With Other Teachers Who Are Also Struggling With New Technology And Burn-Out
Many of us know teachers and are mindful of their legendary work ethic. Daily, they run the gauntlet of classrooms full of children, ranging from angelic to demonic, while earning less-than stellar wages. Oh, and they have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning. And we wonder why so many teachers reach their wit’s end...
Jessica Gentry was one of those teachers who reached her limit. In one brutally honest Facebook post which garnered over 300,000 likes, she defined five reasons her job stressed her out to the point of walking away from what she loved to do.
*Spoiler Alert* Her salary had NOTHING to do with her decision.
Jessica’s first reason for leaving the profession was the belief that parents aren’t taking responsibility for their children’s action. She states that parenting has changed due to, among other things, longer working hours and the increase of technology as a way to occupy their children’s time. This takes away from parents teaching structure and discipline, and showing love.
“Our classrooms are the first place they've ever heard 'no', been given boundaries, shown love through respect,” she says.
Her second gripe focused on how technology-driven education reduces students’ ability to interact with each other and society. “So forget the basics of relationship building and hands on learning,” was the nicest thing she had to say about that.
The third issue that struck a nerve with the ex-educator centered on the reduction of time teachers are allowed to plan and prepare their lesson plans. The time formerly used for lesson planning is now used to train teachers on more technological-based methods.
“We had to attend a training on a school day (time missed with students) then it took us THREE WEEKS to administer it... one on one... to 21 students. Such. A. Waste.”
The fourth issue outlined in her epic Facebook rant, somewhat similar to her first reason, again targeted her inability to hold irresponsible parents accountable. She expressed her frustration with having to adopt a “customer service mindset” with parents instead of “making them true partners.”
Jessica’s fifth and final reason for permanently leaving the classroom can be emphatically summed up as follows: “Sitting in one meeting after another, begging for more support, only to be told 'don't lose sleep over them'... when you LOVE your kids and are PASSIONATE about your mission... these messages tear you apart. Watching them come in... dirty clothes... chaos at home... and knowing they need more than you can give them in a classroom of 21, with less and less support, multiple languages spoken, several different disabilities... it breaks you.”
Her post currently has over 275,000 reactions, nearly 1,000 comments, and almost 225,000 shares! Clearly, she isn't alone.
What do you think? Do teachers get a bad rap? Is her problem over exaggerated, or is there a real disconnect between our educators and their support systems?