Today was the first day of school. I have a full teaching schedule, which is something to wear with pride.
One of my major annoyances with the education field is that too many good teachers leave the battlefront right in the middle of the war.
This can happen in several ways. They can become professional mentors and help new teachers do do their new job. They can become consultants of types, traveling around and basically telling other teachers how to do their jobs. Or, they become administrators and enforce that teachers actually do their jobs--or something like that. :-)
The point is: they leave the classroom. The second they do, they are no longer on the front line, and their impact on students immediately is diminished. I know, we try to justify these moves, saying things like, "but this way she can help other teachers improve their classes and, in turn, help a lot of students." I think that's pretty much a load of crap.
The minute they leave the responsibilities of the classroom, their impact on the lives of students takes a huge nosedive. Something changes in their heads. They become one of "them" and not one of "us". They've left the front. They've been discharged. They've become brass.
My father retired a teacher, which is really amazing, as he's now the Village President in my hometown and seems to do well in the administrative role. He never considered leaving the classroom prematurely, however, nor will I.
Today I had three full 90 minute blocks of programming classes. That was 75 students or so--my numbers will no doubt increase to 90 by mid semester. Not all of them are easy students to teach. Not all of them are really thrilled to be in my class (yet). But, they are all MY STUDENTS. Those who leave the classroom behind can't say that anymore.
Teachers, if you are worth your weight in gold--like any excellent teacher is--please stay in the classroom. Your students need you.