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Reading the title, you might think I hate my job. Actually, the truth is the opposite; I absolutely love teaching. I work at a great school, which has won awards and been featured in magazines and newspapers. I think my students are great, and I truly enjoy teaching literature. Unfortunately, there is progressively less space for that in today’s education landscape.

Each year, literature is squeezed out in favor of more technical and informational text. Of course, we need students to be proficient in understanding these texts, but there seems to be an underlying message that literature no longer has a place.

At the same time, the standardized testing beast grows larger and more powerful every year, which means additional paperwork, whether it’s mandated minutes of data charts, charts of students, logs of standards-specific remediation, the beats needs to be fed. This leaves me feeling line a data analyst or more accurately, like a secretary.

Then, there are the all of the non sequitur. More accountability for me as far as producing higher test scores, but more interruptions to teaching time for endless weeks of testing. Tying my evaluation to students’ test scores, but not releasing them until well into the following school year. Claiming all of these changes are meant to compete globally, yet ignoring best practices from other countries.

In brief, I see teaching becoming more like a factory assembly line job, and I don’t like it. So as much as I love teaching, I don’t want to stay so long that I become one of those miserable teachers who make students pay the price of their own disappointments.

This means I need to:

  1. Make an inventory of my skills
  2. Decide on an approximate timeline
  3. List other jobs I would consider
  4. Decide what I want out of a job
  5. Find the best location for those job