As a principal new to the district, one of the first pieces of advice i was given was “watch your back”. I too tired of comforting weeping colleagues, of wondering why fellow principals of ‘failing’ schools had suddenly disappeared, of being required to adminster programs and practices that I knew were damaging my kids. I understand why people jump ship. But I admire those who weather the storm.
In response to the post from North Carolina teacher Kris Neilsen on why he quit, this teacher has good advice on how to survive the deluge of mean-spirited policies now raining down on students, teachers, and schools. My suggestion: Hang in there until this house of cards collapses, as it will.
As a twenty-year veteran of public education (secondary ELA) I found many of my fears and frustrations in this letter. I could well have written it myself, but I would be hard-pressed to refrain from vituperation. Kris was so much more eloquent than I could have hoped to be. Recently, my colleagues and I have made a pact: We’re determined to share the good things that are happening in our classrooms. We are committed to supporting each other, because no one else will. I am comforted by the words of the Mahatma Ghandi- “When I despair, I remember that…
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