November 6, 2021

Tyler Rablin: A Candid Conversation About This Year and Our Profession

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At the blog Teacher Totter, Tyler Rablin offers his candid and frank (warning: language) thoughts about the year teachers are working through. 

I was ready to quit teaching a few weeks ago.

I don’t mean theoretically. I mean that I had updated my resumé, was looking at job postings, and daydreaming constantly about a life outside of teaching. I was ready. Really, really ready.

The weird part is that I honestly couldn’t pin down exactly why I was so done with teaching. This is a career that I have loved from the moment I walked into my own classroom so many years ago now. This is a career that I’ve poured my heart and soul into, not out of a sense of obligation, but because I genuinely wanted to. This is a career that just a few years ago, I was about as happy as I’d ever imagined I could be with a job.

Yet, I was done. Ready to quit.

Because if I didn’t quit, quite frankly, I was afraid of where I would end up.

Things had to change.

I was coming to school every morning with a sense of dread, waking up in the middle of the night to try to fight off panic attacks, coming home exhausted and defeated after almost every single day – it was a battle I was losing.

From what I saw, read, and heard, I wasn’t alone. Not even close.

I was watching a flood of teachers talk online about how they were leaving the profession. In trainings, I cried with a participant in a breakout room who couldn’t identify a single win from the year and felt the same defeat I was trying to cover up. I’ve teared up multiple times in trainings just trying to say thank you to the participants because in that thank you I just want to acknowledge all the burdens they are carrying and not getting any help with.

This whole post isn’t going to be doom and gloom, but we can’t toxic positivity our way out of this situation by ignoring what’s going on and sharing empty platitudes. We have to acknowledge that there is a real and powerful sense of despair and dread making its way through what feels like the entire teaching profession. We have to name the feeling and identify the root causes of it. The unknown is undefeatable. The unspoken is all-powerful.

The hard part for me was simply that I couldn’t exactly pinpoint the root cause of it. My brain doesn’t do well without being able to identify the problem, so I spent a lot of time trying to really nail down what is creating this environment for teachers.

The full post offers not just a name for the issues facing teachers, but Rablin’s explanation of what is helping him cope. Read the full post here.

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