“You’re giving me a million reasons to let you go
You’re giving me a million reasons to quit the show
You’re givin’ me a million reasons
Give me a million reasons
Givin’ me a million reasons
About a million reasons (Lady Gaga).”
Let’s just come out and say it. It’s a tough time to be an educator in a public school. We have always been under scrutiny, but I’m beginning to see more and more signs of teachers, support staff, and administrators showing just how tough it is. We’ve all thought about pursuing a different career path fromt time to time, but I now hear this conversation on a daily basis. From cake decorating to real estate, teachers are leaving or looking to leave in droves.While there may not be a million reasons to quit the show, the list is growing:
- On a daily basis, the media, traditional and social, is full of news and views that are not just critical of public education, but in full-on attack mode.
- Public school districts across the nation are in financial distress. Whether due to mismanagement or broken funding formulas, the burden is most often heaviest on those on the front lines of education.
- The needs of our students continue to grow, while supports do not.
- The daily demands of the job are like a mass of zombies. Zombies of data, assessments, and “to-do” lists refuse to be vanquished, but seem to keep coming. Even when one task is defeated, more and more come to take its place.
- Two words: Betsy. Devos.
With all that, it may be the worst of times, and the worst of times. So, what should we (instructional coaches, Teachers on Special Assignment, instructional leaders) do when it feels like there are a million reasons to let it go?
Take care of each other. Take care of the educators you work with every day.
Relentlessly focus on the positives.
Public Education may be in rough seas, but is by no means a sinking ship. We will continue to sail.
No matter how many reasons we are given to quit and let go. We must remember:
“I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away.
But baby, I just need one good one to stay (Lady Gaga)”
We all have at least that one good reason to stay: to make a difference in the lives of the people we work with each day, our students.