Ya’ll, the bottom is about to drop. Get ready for the mass exodus of educators. I can’t tell you how many colleagues I have spoken to that are in search of another path. We are tired. Go ahead… tell us that we chose to work in education. Tell us that we get breaks in the fall, winter, spring and summer (I wish you could hear my sassiness and sarcasm). We don’t care (think about hand claps while saying each word). Just head over to @teachermisery, @teachertrauma or @teachergoals and read the posts and memes. Not a lie is told. What I will acknowledge is that the pandemic most likely progressed the current situation in K-12 faster than expected. This is not just limited to the US, but the international school landscape as well. I just read an article in Forbes titled “Why Education is About to Reach a Crisis of Epic Proportion.” Perna (2022), states “Teachers and administrators alike are stressed, overworked and at the end of their rope. After the tremendous pressures of the past two years, they have nothing more to give. They are already giving everything—time, energy, mental wellbeing, and heart. They’re beyond tired. They’re exhausted”. The article was published January 4th and it cites that almost 50% of teachers thought about walking out in the last 30 days and just over 30% are thinking of leaving the profession. Put this into perspective and think about it…. Like educators thought I am done. Forget the income, the benefits, health insurance, holidays. We want out.
So personally, turning 40 combined with the start of a near calendar year obviously causes one to reflect on their past, present and future. For me, I’ve been in education for 18 years. I’ve seen and experienced it all in multiple roles; teacher to administrator. Don’t get me wrong, I love education, I strongly believe that you need some type of formal education foundation to pursue opportunities. By this I mean attending training, certificate programs, degrees; whatever you need to achieve your goals. Now, if you would have asked me 5-8 years ago if I planned to do 30 years I would have eagerly responded of course! Well that’s because I wanted to be like my grandmother. She was an elementary guidance counselor that kept going after she completed 30 years. I thought that was so admirable of her. But it’s not for me sis.
This leads to what next? Last year I started thinking about the areas that I strongly feel I have expertise in when it comes to K-12 education. Here they are:
- Classroom Management
- School Culture and Climate
- Delivering Professional Development ( it can be a range of areas if I have the resources or background knowledge to create the training)
- Teacher Effectiveness through observation and feedback ( think coaching/mentoring)
What I will say is that I feel like I have been well trained through professional development, higher education and work experience. I’m highly confident in my ability to perform various roles in K-12 education.
Now, if you are familiar with all of those areas one would recognize that I most likely would have to be in a building to successfully perform duties associated with those responsibilities. Back in September when I was creating my goal for this school year, I was looking into post grad certification programs (usually 12-15 hours) that I could complete in one of those areas. I kept coming across Instructional Design certificates. Honestly I would read the description and be thrown off by it because it seemed more technical than education related, if you understand. So it felt more like learn this program or that program, but not how to truly be an Instructional Designer. I am very much a hands-on learner and I like to dive into project based learning. I think I also kept aligning it to Curriculum and Instruction type roles in the school setting. But let me tell you… I have been on my research grind in 2022 and I clearly understand the function and role of an Instructional Designer.
What I will tell you is I want to live a nomadic lifestyle that is supported by remote work opportunities. Here’s to getting my Instructional Design ducks in row in the next 9 months. It’s scary. But what is even scarier to me is still being trapped when the bottom falls out.
Adios school buildings!