I’ve decided that this will be my last semester as an educator. Once I finish out this contract, I will not seek further employment within the business model that has undermined and crippled contemporary education in this nation. Life is too short to be overworked, underpaid, blamed for student laziness, and treated as a second-class citizen. I will teach to the best of my abilities this semester based on the techniques and practices that have most favorably served my students for the last fifteen years, and I will try to end my teaching career on a positive note. After this, however, I will not be part of an educational system that views teachers as customer service reps, students as customers, and grades as a commodity.
Beyond this semester, I have no idea what the future holds for me. I will make every effort this year to have a breakthrough with my series, but given the glutted market and difficulties for an independent to reach a mass audience, my hopes for that happening are tenuous, at best. Regardless, I will continue to write and should finish the final book in The Brotherhood of Dwarves series this year. I’ve also begun writing a new series of novellas, Weird Westerns about a fallen Presbyterian minister who battles demons in post-Civil War Appalachia. After that, I intend to start a futuristic, trans-human novel about a cyborg soldier in a post-apocalyptic America. Whether or not I can ever earn a living from it, I will continue to create as a writer.
I have until summer before I have to start worrying about replacing my teaching salary. At this point, I don’t know what my real options are, but hopefully, something will materialize. Whatever I do, I intend to pursue some path where I can use my creativity. I will weigh my opportunities and figure something out. For now, I’m just going to focus on bringing book five to life and making the culmination of that series into something special. For this book, I want to push my skills to new boundaries and create a conclusion and resolution worthy of the overall series. Beyond that, I have no idea what my future holds.
10 thoughts on “The Nameless Post (Because I Forgot to Give It a Title)”
Presbyterians can fall?
Don’t worry, they’ll land on the passed out Baptists, it’ll help break their fall.
I think any minister who loses his belief in god has “fallen.”
Good Luck Alex. You are a great writer. I also understand your frustration about the education system in America. As with all things, when Politicians get their hands in the pot, it is immediate spoilage.
Life’s too short to do something you hate. You have been unhappy there for a while so I hope the change works out for you and you find something to do that makes you happy.
I must say, that I am disappointed that the field of education will be losing a great asset. However, not only do I understand, I am at the exact same crossroads. This will most likely be my last semester as an educator. Who knows what the future may hold? It is time to leave on your quest; if you see a hot dwarf-chick who wields a mean bow, snatch her up. Good luck, eyes forward, the best is yet to come.
The best is yet to come.
May I ask a question only because I have begun my pursuit of becoming an English teacher for which I’ve always wanted to do. I understand your frustration with the educational system but I want to know is this frustration a localized thing or can I expect the same frustration anywhere I may teach? Does the frustration come from the new Common Core I’m hearing about? I have this idealized picture in my head of what teaching English will be like…
Robert, first off, please understand that I don’t want to deflate your dreams or diminish your passion, but from conversations I’ve had, this seems to be nationwide. It’s more complicated than Common Core, which hasn’t had time for any substantive impact. It seems to be a by-product of several factors. First is No Child Left Behind and the insane over-inflation of the importance of standardized testing. This generation can kill a multiple choice test, but can barely compose a complete thought. Second is technology. They cannot go more than a couple of minutes without some electronic distraction, and if it’s not YouTube, it’s Twitter or SnapChat or games or whatever the latest fad happens to be. Third are the helicopter parents who believe their child is special and shouldn’t be subjugated to the same rules and standards as everyone else. These people have eroded teacher authority to the point that we have virtually no authority over our own classrooms. The fourth and last thing I’ll mention here is the shift to the business model that has completely transformed education on a fundamental level. Anything intangible that cannot be measured or quantified has been devalued to the point of worthlessness, and everything operates under manufacturing principles of efficiency. There is truly an assembly line mentality, and we are viewed as disposable labor. Administration for the most part has zero concern for teacher well-being. We can and will be replaced by cheaper labor. At this point, fifteen years later, I wish I had done just about anything else with my life than enter this profession, which I once loved so dearly.
I must admit that I am deeply disappointed by this revelation. It’s been twenty years since I was in school and I know things have changed in that time but to hear just how dysfunctional things have gotten makes me think twice. What really sucks is the fact that I’m not interested in going after a career in my current field either. I seem to be stuck at a crossroad. I’ve always wanted to be an English teacher but didn’t think I had the opportunity to chase after it. Then I started going to a local community college for manufacturing and it occurred to me that I could go after what I had wanted to be all along. However, I don’t want to go into something that I might regret in the long run even though it’s something I’ve wanted to do.