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Another NYC teacher-blogger is leaving?

January 17, 2010 pm31 4:13 pm

More update 1/18:  she’s not quitting, and plans on a few more years in Gotham. It was a vent/rant. But the points at the bottom are still valid. And her story is still worth reading. It’s only 18 months of scattered archives.

Update 1/18: the post was removed.

Probably. In June. It’s not really a story – since it happens every day.

But “They Call Me Teacher” says she’s done. The system chewed up another new teacher.

Quietly. Publicly. A year and a half in New York. She taught previously, in the Midwest. She knew NYC would have greater challenges.

Go read her post. Read the archives. Go back to the beginning, to August and September 2008. When she was excited. Read forward. Do you see what was happening?

The DoE will be absolutely brutal to new teachers. But we (other teachers) need good, new teachers to stay. To grow into good seasoned teachers. To stand with us. To work with us.

The DoE wants high turnover. How can we (other teachers, the UFT) make it less likely for new teachers to leave?

Because this awful turnover hurts us, hurts the schools, hurts the kids.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 pm31 8:05 pm 8:05 pm

    At the end of my second year, I told myself: One more year. I would give it one more year to see if I could hack it in this job and in this city. My first two years had been painful, long, difficult experiences, and going back to corporate America was very tempting.

    In my third year, though, I hit my stride. I did a lot of planning and rethinking that summer between years 2 and 3. I was nervous, but I was determined to get through it and earn tenure. I did, aided in no small part by two of the most wonderful groups of children I could ever have hoped to teach. For whatever reason, they decided that I was worth humoring and cooperating with, and we had a great year together.

    This year, I also have some great groups of kids, but there’s new leadership in my school and once again I’m thinking of at least switching schools, if not quitting altogether. Much of the confidence and joy I built up in my job by the end of year 3 is rapidly dissipating, and once again I feel tentative and nervous.

    I guess all I’m trying to say is that while I wish someone as smart and conscientious as They Call Me Teacher wasn’t thinking of backing out, I certainly know how s/he feels.

  2. January 17, 2010 pm31 9:10 pm 9:10 pm

    And I had a horribly flat learning curve. It took me 2 years to make the progress that some make in their first term. I remember how awful it was – how exhausting – how overwhelming. I didn’t really have a non-teaching option to return to, at least for a while, so I was stuck.

    It was probably my third year before I was close to ok.

    Later, I taught pre-service fellows, and saw how roughly the system treated them.

    My experiences inform my views. We should (us, teachers, and our union) be reaching out to new teachers from Day 1, and earlier. Not only for union business, but also survival business. Seasoned teachers should keep their newer colleagues out of harms way. But we should also be lending a hand with the day to day… difficult kids, copier codes, how to structure a lesson to meet the expectations of a nutso admin…

    Man, do I know how she feels. And in turn, I am sorry she got roughed up that badly. And I feel sad for the rest of us. We should, we must do better for our own.

  3. January 17, 2010 pm31 9:18 pm 9:18 pm

    The answer is let teachers teach and get mentoring from experienced teachers in their subject area. However, in this DOE teachers are forced to follow a “one-size-fits-all” method and to ignore student discipline problems that disrupt classrooms.

  4. February 11, 2010 pm28 4:06 pm 4:06 pm


    Given the looming shortage of teachers, we put together a positive article for prospective teachers as well as those currently employed as teachers called: “100 Reasons To Be A Teacher.”

    If you wouldn’t mind, could you share our article with your readers?

    Please feel free to contact me at wndgrahamATgmailDOTcom if you are interested.

    Many thanks!

    Wendy Graham

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