Why did I leave K-12 public education system? Some might say it was the kids, others might say it was because of the parents. Still others could say that it was due to the testing or they might even say it was because of the pay. I have examined these and other factors that could have contributed to my leaving K-12 public education. The reasons I left were probably not the reasons you might think.
Lets look at the people that a teacher deals with the most, the little people. I taught some of the best kids that I could have ever asked for. We worked together to find their successes. We did not dwell on their failures, but used them as learning experiences. Every student that came through the threshold of my classroom help to shape me to be the teacher I am. They taught me that it was okay to smile in August, and not wait until January. They taught me offer multiple opportunities so that they could show what they knew, one size does not fit all. They also taught me that one could love many different individuals, but still have enough to continue to love them once they were gone. Interacting with my students, my kids, my babies is what made the job of teaching more than a job. My students gave me a purpose to show up to the classroom door everyday. They inspired me to think outside the box, because they are not compressed materials. Unfortunately, the forces that drew me away from education became so great that my students could not overcome their grasp.
I was very blessed to have some awesome parents that have now grown into friendships. I wanted my parents to know that they were heard, even if we disagreed on the issue. Because I encouraged my parents to be as involved with their student as they wanted, student success grew at a interesting rate. I had more students become commended on their state testing then had been commended the year before. I am know friends with a number of parents that I taught their children. The relationship began building with the students and progressed to the parents. No, the parents did not drive me from K-12 Education.
The amount of testing that was continually required from my students was one brick in the wall to separate me from a career that I loved. the lack of support from those around me, especially the administration, caused me to feel like a small fish swimming up a stream in a hurricane. I have always loved my students and still do. They are the part of education that I continue to hold on to.