A teacher explains why she gave up a career she loved

Teacher Jordan Kohanim left her school and her room with a white board that was a focal point for her students.

Teacher Jordan Kohanim left her school and her room with a white board that was a focal point for her students.

Jordan Kohanim is a former Fulton County high school teacher and one of my favorite posters on the blog because of her eloquence, her candor and her willingness to put her name behind her comments.

She quit teaching. Here, she tells us why:

By Jordan Kohanim

I have decided to quit teaching. Maybe not forever, but definitely for a year or two. This is not a decision I came to lightly, and I did not feel triumphant in it at all. To be frank, I had never felt more defeated in my life.

It’s true that I am statistic. More than 50 percent of teachers leave teaching in the first seven years. Most of those are in the first five years. This was year seven for me.

I told a colleague that I planned on leaving the profession and he told me something that really hurt at first. He said, “Your leaving won’t change anything.” Emphasis on the anything. It felt like an arrow through my heart.

In the long run, he’s right, though. That is part of the reason I am quitting. I know —ego drives us all — but I really thought I made a difference. And I did — for about a dozen or so kids, but there is no way I can make difference enough for long enough, all while keeping my sanity.

I have lost my faith in public education. That means it is time to walk away.

It started last year when I was chair of the student support team, which addresses the needs of struggling students. I watched the neediest of students get declined services, while the most deceptive of parents used their lawyers to manipulate the system into giving their children unfair advantage. I saw so many students and teachers hurt in this process, so many adults whose sole concern was not education or the well-being of children, so many lawyers and politicians who cared nothing about learning, that I broke.

I broke. No one can fix education when everyone just wants to sue. No one can fix a system where every success is countered with a failure. Where blame-shifting is status-quo. Where the responsibility for success and failure relies on everyone but the child. I became disgusted. I stopped doing the student support team and went back to just teaching full time.

I thought this last school year I would regain my love for teaching. Maybe it was too late.

My classes were too big. If I work six-hour days with no breaks, it takes 28 days to grade essays for my 159 students. That is for one semester. I am an English teacher. My kids must write. I must grade it. I actually enjoy grading, but 159 is too much,  28 days is too much.

Merit pay is coming, whether I like it or not. It is already in effect in other places. My dad says they have been threatening it for years and it hasn’t happened. Well, now it is tied to federal dollars for Georgia. So, like it or not — our kids are data points. They are numbers on someone’s spreadsheet.

Their purpose in school is not learning — it is education. And there is a difference between learning and education. I didn’t realize it before. I guess that makes me very naive.

When I coached debate my kids learned. They learned about rhetoric, philosophy, policy, government, language and discipline. I spent so many hours making sure they truly understood just how powerful those concepts are. Even that, though, was so much time. I did it alone. I neglected my family, myself.

That’s what this boils down to. My family comes first. I have given so much to other peoples’ families. I have fought so hard to always do the right thing — and to be honest, I’m tired. I can’t do this job half-way. I just can’t. It’s too important. It means too much.

My husband stood up to his boss and moved to a better company. I guess I am doing the same thing. Funny, I don’t feel as victorious. I just feel sad and a little angry, but not satisfied.

This isn’t a decision I am proud of. I will ultimately be happier for leaving teaching. I will make more money, I will have more time and I will no longer neglect myself for the sake of others’ children. I would like to go back some day when the system finally figures out how lucky it is that people are willing to teach.

Maybe I could have found a different school. Maybe I should have gone to private school. Maybe I should just move on and not look back. That will be difficult, though.

On the bright side, I have a new job. It’s actually a lot like teaching — I just educate my clients on their health and Medicare supplement insurance options. I still get to serve a group of people. They are just a different group of people. That being said, I cannot ignore that I am leaving a profession I love dearly. Everyone in my family has been part of public education. I viewed it as a calling. I guess now the call has changed its tune.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

320 comments Add your comment

Elizabeth

June 22nd, 2012
5:22 am

Bravo, Jordan.This is the best summation I have read of the defeat and and despair that good teachers feel every day. And it was not that way when I started 30 years ago. I can’t do the job halfway either. It is why I am leaving next year. I don’t want to retire. But , like this teacher, I don’t have a choice emotionally. I also teach English. People have no idea how long it takes to grade essays . It is overwhelming.One more year, and then, with 30 years, I am gone too. She waited seven years. Most good teachers won’t wait that long– when they can find other jobs, they will leave too. It will be the end of learning in our schools. All that will be left is beauracracy and babysitting. The artlcle should be entitled “Epitaph for Real Teaching. RIP.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

June 22nd, 2012
5:39 am

Tell me it ain’t so, JOrdan.

I left in March 2005 when, after 31 years, I “couldn’t take it anymore.”

Now, “I’m (just) mad as Hell.”

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

June 22nd, 2012
5:42 am

Jordan,

PLEASE e-mail me at Georgians for Educational Excellence@ gmail.com.

Peter Smagorinsky

June 22nd, 2012
5:49 am

Thanks to Jordan for giving an insider’s perspective on what the current educational climate is doing to people who love to teach, but find that under RTTT the profession has become punitive and unrewarding. Arne Duncan believes that his regime will improve the teaching force. The fact is that he’s killing it by a thousand cuts and a few major slices and stabs.

Right on point!

June 22nd, 2012
6:00 am

It is sad to see a young and talented teacher leave the ranks yet again. I am sorry that your experiences at your school have lead you to leave education but I completely understand. I have to wonder if your administrative staff (i.e. principal) might need to change in order to improve the climate at your school.

seabeau

June 22nd, 2012
6:09 am

My daughter will be finishing her education in the fall. She is taking a position as a teacher in a private school because she and many of her peers have realized the utter futility of teaching in the public schools.

Aquagirl

June 22nd, 2012
6:24 am

I watched the neediest of students get declined services, while the most deceptive of parents used their lawyers to manipulate the system into giving their children unfair advantage.

….Aaaaaaand right on schedule, the Momania blog had a long discussion yesterday on working the IEP/504 system. Including instructions to always sign “disagree” so you can go back later and fight it, and never sign the first time, make them set another meeting, and….geez.

My sympathies to Ms. Jordan. I’m glad she learned the system is about education, not learning, and has found a new job that allows her to truly teach.

Aquagirl

June 22nd, 2012
6:38 am

Correction: my sympathies to Ms. Kohanim. I would apologize for mixing up her name but it’s the servant’s fault for not fetching my coffee in a timely fashion.

Now let me find a lawyer, there must be someone I can sue for my mistake. Maureen, the AJC, my sixth grade English teacher…it’s surely not my fault.

mountain man

June 22nd, 2012
6:44 am

I commend you on your decision. It will be a lot better for you in the long run.

What it is going to take to turn education around is a mass exodus of trained, experienced teachers, along with a scarcity of new teacherss wanting to enter the profession. Until there is a grave shortage, there will never be a realistic assessment of why teachers are leaving the profession. The administrators right now just say, ” Oh well, there are plenty of teachers out there who would love to take that job.” Unfortunately, it is the best teachers who leave and go to private schools, to industry, or to other jobs. That leaves only the dregs in public schools, and the worst dregs in school systems that have chronically abused their teachers – such as APS. Good luck with that.

Public School Teacher

June 22nd, 2012
6:50 am

I completely understand your feelings,Ms. Jordan,but destroying public schools is not the answer. Public schools are over regulated by too many layers of government rules.The U.S. Department of Education should be abolished and education should be decentralized. The state government should fund most of it and develop a flexible,commom curriculum and local BOE’s should have the vast majority of the power.

Mary

June 22nd, 2012
7:02 am

Eloquently written, Ms. Kohanim. It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to walk away from a profession you love, especially in today’s job market. You will be an asset to your new employer. I hope they realize how fortunate they are.

After 23 years in the classroom, I must say that the past year has been the worst I’ve ever experienced. With new administration in our building, and said administration’s nonsensical decisions and heavy-handed management style, there were many days I would have gladly walked out forever. The morale was the worst I’d ever seen it, and that was during preplanning. Things only got worse throughout the year.

I was fortunate to secure a position in another school, one in which my contributions will be valued. The teachers stay because they’re happy. The principal isn’t using her position as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things; she’s vested in the school, the students, and her staff. I hope that when you return to teaching someday, Ms. Kohanim, that you’re as fortunate. The profession needs you.

drew (former teacher)

June 22nd, 2012
7:11 am

“I have lost my faith in public education. That means it is time to walk away.”

Jordan,
Welcome to the ranks of those who thought they could make a difference, only to drown in the indifferent and nonsensical world of public education. I didn’t so much lose faith as come to the realization that the deck was stacked against us (teachers), and administrators (with a few exceptions) simply wanted to avoid controversy and provide the “appearance” of success.

I was 40 when I decided I wanted to teach; I wanted to make a difference. Like you I was naive…I thought schools were about learning, but it’s become more about numbers and appearances than learning. When it reached the point that I dreaded getting up and going to work in the morning, it was time to leave. Teaching is not a job you can do well if you don’t love it.

Teaching is the toughest jobs I’ve ever had. I also taught seven years, and when I left I told myself is was just a break…that I’d go back to it after a short hiatus. But I’ve been out of it for six years now, and have no desire to go back, particularly in the current climate. I miss the students…but that’s the ONLY thing I miss.

Good luck to you in your new endeavors. Enjoy being around adults for a change; enjoy eating a quiet, relaxed lunch; and enjoy leaving your job in the afternoon without a bag full of papers to grade. And never say never…once you’ve been out of for a while and recharged your battery, maybe you’ll want to give it another shot.

just retired NB English teacher

June 22nd, 2012
7:17 am

Mountain man is right! I spent my last four years in administration, so I’ve seen the problems from both sides. One thing I know, however – good teachers and administrators are worn out and looking for other options. I know that I am – still love to teach and looking for something to do that will allow me to use the talents and skills I’ve developed during my career.

NTLB

June 22nd, 2012
7:26 am

Bravo! What a loss to Fulton County–where “Parents, then Students Come First”.

Linda

June 22nd, 2012
7:35 am

Schools have been lucky for a long time to have talented teachers like Jordan who put up with a lot in order to do what they love. Instead of being thankful to have this talent, they demoralized these teachers They told them they are replaceable by the line of teachers who want their jobs so to leave if they are not happy (yes, in these exact words). Yes, we had better than we deserved for a long time considering the working conditions and low pay for skill and experience. Those days are ending and I am terrified. Will we enter a modern day version of the dark ages where only certain people may obtain an education? A few good teachers are hanging around for retirement, the others ARE leaving. We need to start planning for ten years down the road right now, but the egos of those in power are the roadblock that I don’t know how to move. Sometimes I feel I am the only one who understands this.

Solutions

June 22nd, 2012
7:36 am

Many schools have become day prisons for the young, little wonder the teachers feel more like prison guards than teachers. So the students and their parents get all lawyered up, just like prison! Let us limit free public education to 10 years or less, then we will generate a little urgency, focus, and effort on the part of the young to learn while they can do so for free (to them). We should also end all student loans, and make college grants dependent on academic performance and potential based on IQ tests and SAT performance. We need to identify the high IQ people and give them the best education we can, while providing an IQ appropriate education for the rest, all within a ten year time limit on free public education. Good luck in your new career Jordan!

adam

June 22nd, 2012
7:42 am

jordan !!!! If you can’t handle the heat get outta the kitchen. Teachers are paid with public tax dollars so stop complaining. If you are not teaching in the summer, you should be volunteering time doing community service. Perhaps daycare in inner city schools. Teachers need to teach and stop complaining. Do what your principal tells you to do and teach !!!

bootney farnsworth

June 22nd, 2012
7:43 am

@ solutions

that didn’t work so well under the Soviets.

Student Advocate

June 22nd, 2012
7:47 am

Ditto for me! There is an old joke about the perfect pastor and people (admin, parents) have similar unrealistic expectations of teachers. Maybe someone creative can change this to The Perfect Teacher

The Perfect Pastor

The perfect pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes.
He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone’s feelings.
He works from 8am until midnight and is also the church janitor.
The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car,
buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.
He is 29 years old and has 40 years experience.
Above all, he is handsome.
The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers,
and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor
that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.
He makes 15 home visits a day
and is always in his office to be handy when needed.
The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees.

bootney farnsworth

June 22nd, 2012
7:47 am

@ maureen

it can’t be coincidence that education is in trouble at every level across Georgia.
something is obviously wrong down to the core.

is the AJC investigating this?

d

June 22nd, 2012
7:47 am

This needs to be sent to Arne Duncan and President Obama. They need to see what they are doing to educators throughout this country. As an educator, I wish both parties would restart the nomination process because we’re out of luck no matter which one of the candidates win in November.

Mortimer Collins

June 22nd, 2012
7:47 am

Awww boo hoo, Cry me a river! If ya cant take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Good Riddance.

Zane Smith's Teeth

June 22nd, 2012
7:47 am

I’ve taught 11 years in a public high school (going to be 12 and counting this Fall) and I can definitely see where the author is coming from in some aspects. Class sizes are larger (but then again tell me a profession that hasn’t been asked to do more with less in the last 4 years). However, I do not share the sense of despair that she felt after 7 short years. Maybe it’s because she was in a crappy school with bad administration..I can’t say. I will say that ” Only the dregs are left in public school” as one poster alluded to is not the case at my school. There are plenty of top notch hard working professional teachers that do the job everyday. Unfortunately, they are concentrated at a relatively small handful of schools (I’m just speaking about high school).
I’m a little surprised that the teacher writing this did not leave to go to a better school if they truely felt the way they did about education. If making more money and not putting up with some of the headaches associated with education was the real reason for quitting, there is nothing wrong with that; just be honest with yourself and do not overgeneralize to the entire profession.

NW GA Math/Science Teacher

June 22nd, 2012
7:48 am

Frightening article and comments! I hope that I’m not also taking a break after seven years. I resigned from where I was last year for a lot of the reasons already listed above. I’ve not yet found anything for next year – with both math and broad field science. Maybe the admin is right that we are disposable. Aren’t they really the most important part of the system?

I wish there were private school options for me here, but there are something like three northwest of Atlanta (at least at the HS level). If there are administrators out there that want a true idealist who wants to teach and does it damn well (value added scores last year were great) let me know which rock you’re hiding under and how to identify you in an interview. Last two places I’ve signed up for, I thought they were looking for improvement and zeal. They certainly did not continue to want it when I brought it! They say things in interviews that I hear and want to do. Apparently those things mean something different than what I think they mean…

bootney farnsworth

June 22nd, 2012
7:48 am

@ d

do you really think they would care?

William

June 22nd, 2012
7:54 am

My wife has been with Dekalb County schools for 23 years. She earned her Masters, Specialist and Doctor’s degrees (from GA State, not online) during this time. She started in South Dekalb’s worst schools and finally made it to North Dekalb 10 years ago.
In the last seven years.
-Not one scheduled wage increase
-in 5 of the last seven years, her pay has been cut
-She now makes less than she did 8 years ago, and Deklab (against her contract, has ceased making retirement payments)

This will be her last year in Dekalb county. She was offered several higher paying positions in Forsythe and Fulton county over the summer, but she had one particular student that she wanted to help this year in her class. It’s sad to see this happen to the system that she has poured her life into.. but like Jordon, it’s time to move on.
My wife got 5 calls from her teachers last night, all saying they had accepted positions outside Dekalb county. She will now have to interview and place much less qualified teachers, willing to work more for less money, to teach our kids. Sad, Sad, Sad

teacher&mom

June 22nd, 2012
7:54 am

I very saddened by all of this. My district lost a record number of teachers this year. Most were eligible for retirement, too many simply walked away in disgust. The ones who weren’t eligible to retire have forever walked away from the profession. One teacher left for a part-time job. This teacher taught my own children and it breaks my heart that others will not have to opportunity to sit in his classroom.

I spent the past year trying to bolster the morale of our very best teachers. Trying to convince them to stay “one more year.” Yet, in the back of my mind was the question…..”Do YOU really want to continue?” I ended the school year exhausted and depressed.

I’m at a crossroads in my career. This next year will be a pivotal year. I may leave the profession, move into administration, or somehow learn a better way to drown out the negatives.

d

June 22nd, 2012
7:56 am

@bootney Probably not…. but I feel better having sent it to them.

HOPE

June 22nd, 2012
7:56 am

It’s sad to say Jordan is right. But there is HOPE. I have been an educator for more than 23 years and its just not the same anymore. Jordan just don’t walk away and not do anything about it. Walk away with a purpose. Organize a group to help educators and students. Get parents involved. In the long run its going hurt our children. As a matter of fact any educator who’s realizes that there is problem can organize it. Change won’t happen unless we speak out more about it. Our country is backwards. It cares more about corprations that it does about education. Write Arne Duncans your concerns. Write the state department of education. Write your local school districts. Let’s be the group of educators to make a differerence.

Dc

June 22nd, 2012
7:57 am

Bummer to ever lose good teachers. I will always contend that if the good teachers were actually rewarded with pay, bonuses, and recognition then it would be worth it. There is nothing worse for morale than giving your all for the kids and school, and watching others who dont give a darn get the same ewards. Over time it saps the life out of caring teachers.

We all need to see that our hard work is recognized and rewarded

Sam the Sham

June 22nd, 2012
7:57 am

Interestingly, 60 percent of ALL employees leave employment by 5 years, and 75 percent have left before they reach 10 years. She has her reasons, but that is true for everyone who moves on. Thank God for those who have the vision, fortitude, and perseverance to remain dedicated to their goals. Thank God for those teachers who remain dedicated to this potentially lost generation.

I_teach!!

June 22nd, 2012
7:57 am

The school-and the administration-have much to do with it.

Yes-we are being pounded from all sides…I’m entering my 16th year in GA (I taught for 4 years in 2 other northern states…wanna talk apples and oranges?)…and my current administrators work harder than we do, demand that we do our best..but support us in every endeavor.

Had Jordan had great, supportive administration, with a good parent backing? She wouldn’t be walking away so quickly, or so quick to condemn public schools in general…

Sad. But honestly? This job becomes tougher every year…you’ve got to truly love doing it to stay in it.

I’ve got 14 years to go….then I am OUT. That doesn’t mean that there are days when I think I am done that minute….I know I’ve made a difference to more than a few dozen kids; I need only to ask my sons how their teachers have impacted them (they are adults now).

If you’re in an intolerable situation? Try a new building, county, state….don’t run.

teacher&mom

June 22nd, 2012
8:04 am

@Bootney: I agree.

A. Duncan could care less and the boys and girls under the gold dome are just as bad. They would rather take advice from Rhee, Gates, and ALEC than listen to their own teachers.

Mortimer Collins

June 22nd, 2012
8:04 am

LOL!! All these moonie eyed optimist. They come in full of joy and attempt to model their hero JFK so they can make a difference. Truth be told, very few make a difference. SO, do you job, pick up your paycheck and go home.

Sound to me like the problem is this lady thinks that teaching requires too much work and she is using a “noble” excuse to garner sympathy from the uninformed, gullible masses.

“Winners never quit and quitters never win”

“Those who can do, those who cant teach” or in this case “Those who can do, those who cant QUIT”

Solutions

June 22nd, 2012
8:08 am

bootney farnsworth – You apparently know little about education in the former Soviet Union, here, educate yourself a little: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_Soviet_Union

NTLB

June 22nd, 2012
8:10 am

@bootney—most of the problem lies is that there is an absence of union power for teachers, coupled with inept cronies functioning as school administrators.

We do not have leaders in our school systems, we have bad managers and sometimes even tyrants. When Georgia’s government ceases its “good old boys” corruptive practices, then maybe we can see some light at the end of the tunnel for education.

Fled

June 22nd, 2012
8:11 am

@I_teach: to the contrary, run, flee. Unless and until people realize that all the good teachers are going to leave, nothing will change. I left Georgia three years ago, and I only wish I had left earlier. I understand where Jordan is coming from; it’s hard to give up something you love to do and are passionate about. However, education in Georgia is a dead-end–and has been for a long time. On the toughest days now, I always stop to remind myself that not only do I not have to teach in Georgia (north Fulton in particular), but that my children will never know what it is like to be subject to the school system there.

FWIW, Jordan, I also found it hard to leave, but I would never, never, never go back. If you want to teach again, look into a nice position overseas, where teachers are wanted, respected, and paid (what a strange idea to someone from Georgia).

Had enough yet, teachers? Give up. Throw in the towel. Flee.

learned

June 22nd, 2012
8:20 am

“Where the responsibility for success and failure relies on everyone but the child.” Truer words have never been spoken !

Jesse Jacksonn

June 22nd, 2012
8:24 am

Another person with unrealistic expectations realizes that he/she’s in the wrong career. And that the world doesn’t measure up to her childish hopes. Boo-hoo!

And I wonder how she “determined” she was such an effective teacher—at least to the handful of kids she cites. Objective criteria like achievement test scores? Or just her “heart?” ;-)

She should by the way blame liberals (a.k.a. the Grievance Industry) for long ago turning our public schools into the first battle zone for the Culture Wars ravaging society, now including even our military.

Grateful to be teaching

June 22nd, 2012
8:25 am

Thank you, Jordan, for a well written, thoughtful letter regarding your experience in education and subsequent decision to leave your job.  I hope you find peace and professional fulfillment in your new career.

After being treated poorly by the Gwinnett County school system, I, too, left teaching.  Burned by the system, ostracized for efforts to advocate for my special education students, and lied to and about by my administration, I had no plans to return to the classroom.  I found a job working in the private sector in a job related to education.  I didn’t have to write IEPs, I didn’t have to fear being sued by parents if I didn’t collect every piece of data, I didn’t have to show up an hour early for a faculty meeting.  And I was miserable.  

I knew almost immediately I belonged in a classroom, no matter the red tape, the hassles, the seemingly inept administration.  I ached to be back, to have that daily contact, to make a difference, even if it was only to one student.  Adult conversation, duty free hour long lunches, not lugging work home – none of that is comparable to the way teaching affects me.

After one year away, and numerous interviews and rejections, I found my way back into the classroom.  I landed my dream position and just completed an amazing year being the best I could be for four hundred twelve year olds.  No, I didn’t teach 400 kids, but I affected them everyday.  They saw me in the hallway, they saw me have conversations with my colleagues at the lunch table, they heard me deliver directives and lessons mandated by my administration and guidance department.  They saw me uphold the vision, rules, and standards of my school.  

They came to me when they had problems, because they heard I was a teacher who could be trusted and who would help.  Students I had never spoken to before came to me for help and guidance.  They talked about how “mean” I was about rules, but they came to me still.  Those I had the pleasure of actually teaching made tremendous gains in their grades, test scores, and confidence.  They begged me to follow them to the next grade.  And we all cried like babies on the last day of school, sad to know our time together had come to an end.

This year wasn’t without its disappointments, head shakes, and frustration.  But it was all worth it when one, yes, just one, 6th grader handed me a letter on the last day of school, her eyes filling with tears.  That letter told me I had done my job, academically and emotionally.  And I did it within the red tape that is American education in 2012.

jd

June 22nd, 2012
8:27 am

We are all at fault. The founding fathers said an educated populace would elect representatives that would be responsive or the voters would kick em out. We don’t take the time to involve ourselves — so school board elections are boot camp for aspiring C-Span wantabees… instead of good citizens who work to make a public education a true value to all. There was a time when school board members were respected. There was a time when voters took the time to get engaged. There was a time…

Don't Tread

June 22nd, 2012
8:34 am

When the teachers have lost their faith in public education, it’s past time to send your kids to private school, and institute the voucher system.

These overpaid administrators will get the message when it hits them in the wallet.

Kitty

June 22nd, 2012
8:34 am

I, too, resigned because I just couldn’t jump through any more hoops! I spent so much time documenting that I was doing my job, that I didn’t have time to teach. I LOVED teaching. I taught middle school – loved those eighth graders!

I had two principals out of five who refused to kow tow to parents and to the BOE. BOTH lost their contracts to return after a few years, even though the almighty test scores increased significantly.

Until the upper echelon of politcs can be removed, nothing will change!

Jane Dubya

June 22nd, 2012
8:36 am

My guess is she’s boring her new workmates to death with self-serving stories about her schoolmarm days.

HoneyFern School

June 22nd, 2012
8:41 am

I left for the same reasons Jordan left, two years ago, and started a school. We are tiny, we are struggling, but for the first time in a long time, I get to teach, and I know I make a difference.
We are a private school who takes everyone and charges half of what other private schools charge. Why? Because it was never about the money for me, and it was never about only having certain students.

I lost faith in public schools awhile ago but am still in education, and I am glad of it.

old school doc

June 22nd, 2012
8:42 am

Please send this to every elected local and national politician you know. This article is so well written, and nicely explains what public education for many has come to. So sad… when will we wake up and stop demanding something ( ie great teachers) for nothing ( ie low pay/low control).
We all talk a good game about valuing teachers– when will we as a country begin to pay them appropriately?

Another View

June 22nd, 2012
8:52 am

This is happening more at the university level than is being reported. Many faculty are leaving, especially leaving southern universities, for the similar reasons. Georgia is becoming a four year stop before taking better paid and better rewarded institutions in the north were research and teaching can both be accomplished.

Mortimer Collins

June 22nd, 2012
8:53 am

“I, too, resigned because I just couldn’t jump through any more hoops!”

Couldnt? Couldnt you say? Just more excuse making. You resigned because you WOULDNT jump thru more hoops. All these public sector employees think they should be exempt from hard work and/or earning their keep.

Seems we have many X-teachers/malcontents now jumping on the bandwagon. Please, no more of these pitiful storys as my tear glands are working overtime. Its a virtual waterworks over here.

☺☻Have A Smile!

June 22nd, 2012
8:55 am

Why feel bad? You are facing (to a degree) some of the same realizations that those of us working for private companies discover: management who doesn’t care, crappy employees and/or clientel (so to speak), and a lack of appropriate pay & awards for your effort.

In that case, just do like the rest of us do and move on to opportunities worth your time and effort.

It’s a lost cause when you have your heart in something and nobody cares. Why waste your time?

I had a friend who now is a teacher in a private school, and he’s really happy. Why not go down that road?

The guy who said “you won’t change anything” was WRONG. Your are changing something…you’re allowing yourself to be happy and move one to a fulfilling life. That is not something to take for granted!

Proud Teacher

June 22nd, 2012
8:55 am

To so many who are critical of this eloquent writing, you obviously have not taught or at least taught well. It’s a pity that someone took the time to teach you to read and write and forgot to teach you empathy and integrity toward education. I wonder how many of you would like to have your job rely on a group of fourteen year olds who include “children” who are sexually active in any alcove, have criminal records, did not pass a class in middle school, who will drop the “f” word over nothing, refuse to do classwork, snore in class, and crack rude jokes about anyone in the class who actually does want to learn in spite of their peers. Teachers are not public servants to suffer the ills and whims of so many rude people who hold teachers in disdain.

I wish there could be more teachers like Ms. Kohamin in our school systems. I wish the teacher like Ms. Kohamin could stay. There is nothing more rewarding that the one child from the class from hell who comes to you and says “I really liked your class. I hope I have you next year.” But one child out of 159 is not enough. Just why aren’t there more? Look in the mirror, Mortimer Collins. It’s “you” who are the problem.