Teaching isn’t all scantron grading and summers off. It is, or can be, a harrowing experience that separates the wheat from the chaff, and then wheat from slightly unconventional-and-therefore-undesirable wheat.

Pressure comes from the principal or administration, frustrated with low test scores. It comes from parents, whose malevolent child can do no wrong in their eyes. It comes from students, in any number of unprintable ways.

The budget crisis doesn’t help. As student teachers, we hear about how teachers in the early part of their second year of teaching were laid off — formally, their contract wasn’t renewed — because the district couldn’t afford a full-time, third-year teacher.

Throw in the sexual assault “epidemic,” and you have a recipe for disaster for new teachers.

Under extreme pressure and higher scrutiny, for little pay, half of all new teachers quit within five years. Let’s see if I even make it that long.


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