Johanna, commenting on my departure from classroom teaching for graduate study:
I am going to be the gadfly in your comments nook. Why? Because I think it’s sad when leaving the classroom is considered a step up. Because your students are losing one heck of a teacher. Because too many inspirational teachers leave the classroom, burn out, or check out.
I don’t know where we got the idea that leaving students to some (possibly) less-able teacher is so laudable. I see this time and again. Stellar teachers come, they leave. Each rung above Direct Student Instruction comes ribboned with the prize called “Increased Status”. Just look at the comments on this thread. You’re leaving the classroom, and it’s as if you’ve won the lottery!
You’ll have time now to rare back in a comfortable chair and think. The bell won’t ring, papers won’t pile up, you don’t have small kids of your own to pick up. All well and good, no fault there. But you left the classroom. Too many good teachers do. Why you did, and what that gesture means for the rest of the teaching profession has implications far beyond a newsletter goodbye.