TMAO outlines what aren’t his reasons for leaving the game, which include inadequate support, inadequate compensation, and basically anyone’s pet explanation for his attrition. He then explains:
I’m not happy unless I’m being the teacher I see in my head, but the process of finding that guy and living as him no longer makes me happy.
You all realize the only solution to this conundrum is a lobotomy, right? I don’t know how many teachers have played in the intersection of hard work and creativity for TMAO’s sustained stretch but year after year in that place, from my limited experience, the work eases up, the returns diminish, but the latter outstrips the former.
Foreshadowing from TMAO last May:
The cool thing I did to boost achievement is still a cool thing that effectively boosts achievement, but the seventh time through felt a little less cool than the sixth time, which felt a little less cool than the fifth, which felt a little less cool than… and it’s not always about me, but it has to be a little about me, too.
I hate to eulogize a writer who is obviously still writing but lemme just say that, while so many bloggers content themselves (eg.) debating Del.icio.us and Diigo ad nauseum, TMAO has been a rare fount of professional development in my reader, a writer focused intently on the classroom, on the issues facing the classrooms which rarely receive even lip service from the most heavily trafficked blogs.
He has been the bard of the new teacher experience for three years running and, if he is finished writing as well as teaching, I have no idea where to find the same stuff on tap.
The job won’t save you.
Lester Freamon, to Jimmy McNulty, from The Wire, a show which seems like an unfortunately apt touchstone right here. The excerpted clip is NSFW but, if you click through, try to resist the connection.