Thursday, August 18, 2005

Feeling Guilty?

I was reading an article on CNN's webpage about the high number of teachers leaving the teaching profession. It was mainly focused on the older teachers who are soon reaching retirement. That's not what I want to talke about though.

Why is it that when teachers choose to retire or to change careers they are portrayed as quitters who are letting down their students? Many people change careers but most of them get the "oh that's so nice" reaction as opposed to a guilt trip. Perhaps it's a compliment that people get upset when a good teacher decides to pursue something else, but what about first or second year teachers who simply decide that teaching isn't for them? I overheard a conversation recently where the girl who wanted to try social work or something was being made to feel guilty by her friend.

In my opinion if you want to try something new and you make appropriate arrangements with your school go for it! I'd rather have a good teacher leave while they are still a happy productive teacher then wait until they are bitter and really don't want to be there any more.

That having been said, I'm off to the beach for a week.


At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Traci said...


You make a really good point. Having just left the classroom for another job in education, I know what it's like to feel that guilt. Choosing to make a change has been difficult, but it was the right choice for me. As you so wisely pointed out, it's much better to leave teaching while you're still good at it instead of waiting until you've become cynical and burned out. If only more teachers felt they HAD other options...


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