I Had To Quit Teaching Due To Lack Of Reform, And My Heart Is Broken

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The Disrespect Issue

“I left work early today as a teacher after an incident with a parent left me emotionally unable to continue for the day. I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don’t know if I will make it even that long.

Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do…teach kids.

I am including photos that I took in my classroom over the past two days. This is how my classroom regularly looks after my students spend all day there.

Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students are my personal possessions or supplies I had to purchase myself, because I have NO classroom budget.

I have finally had enough of the disregard for personal and school property and I am drawing a line in the sand on a myriad of behaviors I am through tolerating.

Unfortunately, one parent today thought it was wrong of me to hold her son accountable for his behavior and decided to very rudely tell me so, in front of her son.

Broken classroom bookshelf with disorderly piles of books
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
iPad and headphones lying on classroom floor
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Disorganized classroom school desks
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
chewed gum stuck to classroom window
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
pages ripped out of classroom children's book
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Two green Merriam-Webster's dictionaries under school desk
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger
Messy classroom wall decorations
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger

Why My Students Are Failing

Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8-10) missing assignments.

Most of these students and their parents haven’t seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted.

I’m probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents wanting to know why I failed their kid.

My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I’ve done practically everything short of doing the work for them. And behavior in my class will deteriorate even more.

I am expecting this, because it is what has happened at the end of every other term thus far.

I have never heard of a profession where people put so much of their heart and soul into their job, taking time and resources from their home and family, and getting paid such an insultingly measly amount.

Teachers are some of the most kind and giving people I have ever met, yet they get treated so disrespectfully from all sides. Most parents can’t stand to spend more than a couple hours a day with their kid, but we spend 8 with yours and 140 others just like him.

Is it too much to ask for a little common courtesy and civil conversation?

The Need For Education Reform

It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to have a classroom of my own, and now my heart is broken to have become so disillusioned in these short two years.

This is almost all I hear from other teachers as well, and they are leaving the profession in droves. There is going to be a teacher crisis in this country before too many more years have passed unless the abuse of teachers stops.

People absolutely have to stop enabling their children. It’s a problem that’s going to spread through our society like wildfire. It’s not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life.

Many will say I shouldn’t be saying such things publicly, that I should promote education and be positive, but I don’t care anymore. Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me; maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP.

That being said, I have many amazing, hard-working, respectful students who show up every day and give their best and also many supportive, loving parents. For them, I am thankful. My frustration is also on their behalf, because the actions of some are hindering their educational experience.

I believe there are three main issues we must address as a society:

First, the education system as we know it needs reform. It is broken and inadequate for our children.

Second, we absolutely have to hold our children to a higher standard of accountability in all areas. Inflating their success doesn’t raise self-esteem. If it did, we wouldn’t have the highest teen suicide rates in history right now.

Third, we as a society have to get back to treating one another with manners and respect. We are only going downhill with hatred and name-calling. No one wins when kindness dies.

I have been quite reflective this week on the good that I can bring to this world because of this experience. I hope many of you will join me in the discussion.

If we all work together, we can make the changes we need for our collective success.”

Selfie of school teacher smiling in black glasses
Courtesy of Julie Davis Marburger

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Julie Davis Marburger of Richmond, Utah. You can follow her on Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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