Nobody Tells This to Beginners

This needs to be hung next to my desk as inspiration every day. It needs to be shown at every new teacher PD and new teacher program everywhere.


As it is, 33% of teachers quit after their first year and 46% are gone within the first 5 (NEAForbes). Teacher satisfaction is at a 20-year low (DoE).  New teachers who make it past those first 5 years are becoming discouraged teachers who write articles entitled “A Warning to Young People: Don’t Become a Teacher“, which garnered 30 pages of sympathetic comments from educators across the country.

Teachers are being forced to be something they’re not- molded into a one-size-fits-all that is reminiscent of the education system people are so quick to criticize- just because it used to work or it looks like it will work on paper.

So we need to pass on Ira’s lesson to beginning teachers. Beginning teachers need colleagues who are gracious and supportive as they find their way. Because sooner rather than later, we will find our way.



  1. I’m always astonished at how lucky I was to have the kind of education I did prior to college. I realize now that this was in part due to a school that, generally, did not try to force teachers into boxes and- when it did- the teachers had the fortitude to fight back.
    I have very little faith in the ability of ‘the system’ to bring us the changes in education that the nation needs. Even the most well meaning efforts, such as No Child Left Behind, end up hampering teachers more than helping students, forcing them into another box. If the teachers can come forth and bring change, however difficult, we may still have a chance.

Learning is having new questions to ask (thanks, Chris Danielson).

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