Chewing gum by itself doesn’t seem like a good reason for anyone to quit teaching. So when people ask why I left the profession, and I answer “penguin eggs and chewing gum”, they always look confused. It’s a quick, easy answer to a question that isn’t at all quick or easy to answer. We'll call this student Jose. He came in halfway through the first quarter, a large boy, easily twice the size as most of the other sixth graders. Right away there was something not quite okay with Jose. He giggled a lot, spoke in very simple sentences, and didn’t seem to know what was going on around him. Continue reading "Grizzly Bears, Class Size, and Chewing Gum"
When people ask me why I stopped teaching, I think I am just going to say "Penguin Eggs and Chewing Gum". After all, I haven’t figured out how to wrap up five years of frustrations, tears, joys, triumphs, defeats, red tape, and nightmares into a quick, easy answer. It doesn’t really fit into one sentence all neat and cheery with a bow. I left teaching for many reasons. First and foremost, to follow my dreams. That being said, it is a scary economic proposition to leave a full-time job to pursue the unknown. So it would have been better to have a job I could love, enjoy, tolerate, or not slit my wrists over to substantiate our income while I become the me I've always wanted to be. I did not leave teaching because I hated teaching. I actually enjoyed teaching. I loved the “light bulb” moment, the "click" and the eyes lighting up when students actually got it. To be able to help them understand something, or to help them see it in a new way, was incredible. Continue reading "Penguin Eggs and Chewing Gum: Why I Quit Teaching"