English Lesson: Colonial Literature And Tattoos (Repost From iAchieveLearning.com)

Below is lesson I recently shared with iAchievelearning.com. The lesson gives American literature students a chance to design tattoos for figures from the Colonial Period. I provide some annotation and suggestions for adapting the lesson for a variety of learners. Visit iAchievelearning.com for tips, tutoring, and more.



English Lesson: Colonial Literature And Tattoos (Repost From iAchieveLearning.com)

A Collection of “Why I Quit Teaching” Essays

I’ve noticed that the “Why I Quit Teaching” essay has become something of its own literary subgenre. Do financial consultants write such pieces when they leave their field? Perhaps people in other professions don’t flee their respective fields as often as teachers flee theirs. Those who do leave other fields might not feel as strong of a connection to what they’d been doing as what teachers feel. I suppose teachers might be more verbose and sentimental than some other professionals might be. Whatever the reason, “Why I Quit Teaching” essays abound. With the proliferation of writing on the web along with the stampede of teachers running away from schools, these essays are likely to become even more common. I’m interested in how the subgenre will evolve.

For this post, I’ve collected fourteen “Why I Quit Teaching” essays I’ve found floating around online and put them together in one place. I’ve used only those written in the first person. I’ve excluded biographical pieces or interviews. I’ve ignored pieces built from collections of short blurbs. These are personal epistles offered to the world as an explanation for abandoning the “Noble Profession” (or at least that’s what some still call it).

Most examples are from 2015. Actually, the majority I found in my search were no more than two or three years old. This might reflect the swelling of personal narratives available on the web. Perhaps it reflects the tendency of one article on any topic to spawn twelve more just like it. Of course, an increase in the number of deserters might explain it, too. Regardless of why so many are so recent, the pieces have some common themes. Ex-teachers cite reasons for leaving such as a lack of voice, an over-reliance on testing, not enough or this, and too much of that. The redundancy makes the subgenre somewhat stale. The voices of these ex-teachers blends after just a few articles. Their repeated complaints suggest that public schools have become lousy places to work.

I take credit for none of these articles. I’ve penned a pair of my own, but I haven’t included those in the collection. I submit this collection for general curiosity. The links below are testaments to what teaching does to people. They’re windows into the way people willing to teach for a living think. I’ve listed them in no particular order and I’ve not placed titles with any of them. This gives the collection a look reminiscent of the grave markers at Arlington.

Enjoy. Or weep.


  1. http://www.ednewsdaily.com/why-i-left-teaching-and-when-you-should-too/


  1. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/03/why-love-teaching-leave-profession


  1. http://mylifemylove.com/uncategorized/why-ive-left-teaching/


  1. http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2015/07/02/reasons-gilbert-teacher-left-profession-cbt/29635311/


  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080702046.html


  1. http://truthinamericaneducation.com/federalized-education/why-i-quit-my-teaching-job/


  1. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2015/08/another-teacher-who-is-mad-as-hell-and.html


  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/abby-rosmarin/quitting-the-quitting-the_b_7213984.html


  1. http://www.citizen-times.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/04/03/teachers-confession-quit/25237327/


  1. http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-i-quit-teaching-by-anonymous-i-dont.html


  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-i-quit-teaching/2015/09/04/3ab28518-51ba-11e5-9812-92d5948a40f8_story.html


  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-kirk-edgerton/teachers-unions-issues_b_1856371.html


  1. http://nicoleculverblog.com/2011/08/i-quit.html


14. http://yomista.blogspot.com/2015/08/why-i-quit-teaching.html

A Collection of “Why I Quit Teaching” Essays

Teaching Students With LD To Understand Their Disabilities (Repost From IAchieveLearning.com)

Below is an article I wrote for iAchievelearning.com  about empowering students with learning disabilities to understand their own learning needs. Visit iAchievelearning.com for tips, tutoring, and more.


Teaching Students With LD To Understand Their Disabilities (Repost From IAchieveLearning.com)

What a Master’s Degree In Education Gets You

To elaborate on the title of this article: not much beyond the walls of a school. I can attest to this. In recent months, I’ve sought high and low for a salaried gig (you know, just for something to supplement my wildly successful writing career). With no experience other than my work in schools, my Master’s degree is worth little. The jobs for which I qualify pay less than half of what I made teaching. No one seems to want me for any of these jobs, so the low pay doesn’t even get the chance to be an issue.

The lackluster versatility of a Master’s in education usually isn’t a problem for anyone who has one. Most people who get education degrees aim to teach for a living. Some enter the field with a Bachelor’s degree and stick around long enough to get a Master’s. Others enter laterally from other fields, adding a Master’s on top of some other degree. A Master’s in education is for people who want to teach. Most of these people don’t need to consider what else they could do with the degree.

An emerging problem might alter the way people view the Master’s in education. Evidence seems to point to decrease in the number of people who want to teach. Several states have been reporting decreasing enrollments in teacher training programs. The degree might become something fewer and fewer people even want. Meanwhile, many who have come to the field are becoming disillusioned with it. With teacher satisfaction reportedly plummeting, the potential exists for an exodus. This could send a glut of ex-teachers with Master’s degrees looking for second careers. Pickings could be slim for them.

Experience working in schools helps teacher develop what should be transferrable skills. Teachers have to be quick-thinking problem solvers. They have to have superb customer relations skills. Running a classroom demands splinter skills ranging from data management to ad hoc therapy. What working in a school doesn’t do is expose teachers to protocols and cultures of other fields. Teachers tend to become somewhat insulated from how anything outside of schools works. Employers apparently think this, even if it isn’t completely accurate. Despite the transferrable skills teaching might foster, some employers see former teachers as damaged goods.

Ex-teachers don’t starve, though. Many find work in industry as staff trainers. Some work for colleges and universities, sometimes as instructors, but more often as administrators. Still others become consultants, while a select few work for educational publishers. Doctoral candidates are often teachers seeking to use their existing degrees to leave the K through twelve hustle. A few discouraged teachers ditch the field entirely and move into sectors like insurance or real estate. Those who want to start in completely different fields either have to be extraordinarily deft at networking, or they have to go get new degrees.

An ex-teacher looking to use a Master’s in education for anything unrelated to education will find it has limited utility. Those supposedly transferrable skills don’t shine as brightly as does previous experience in sales or marketing. Training in IT or finance look much better in the competitive job market than a battery of pedagogy courses. The Master’s in education is good for jobs that have some relationship to the field, but many of these jobs aren’t going to offer even as much satisfaction or pay as teaching. Teachers could be in for a shock when they see what a drop off in salary waits for them in related human service-type fields.

Education isn’t the only field affected by this lack of transferability. Paralegals can’t just leap into nursing without jumping through some hoops. However, I’m guessing an engineer could break into teaching easier than a teacher could break into engineering. Complicating matters for everyone is the trend in higher education of granting highly specific degrees. Some Master’s degrees might be too specific to be practical. This might help in certain technical fields in which highly nuanced expertise is important. Otherwise, it seems more likely to help those higher education institutions who stand to profit from people having to continually acquire new degrees and certifications. I suppose this is a syndrome of the service economy.

Perhaps I’m completely off base about all of this. Maybe I’ve just had no luck finding a gig outside of education because I’m working under self-imposed limitations. I don’t own a car. I’m reticent to relocate. My work history has a few weird gaps. Networking kind of makes me sick. I’m holding to the crazy notion that I should be able to earn at least half of what I earned working in schools. A better title for this article might be “What a Master’s Degree in Education Gets Me.” I keep reading about other teachers who thrive after their teaching careers. Of course, I’ve also read stories about eight-foot-tall apes roaming North American forests.

I’ll close with this: seeking non-teaching jobs has made me almost completely dismissive of teachers who complain that they don’t get paid enough. Yes, I understand the notion of teachers deserving more for what they do, but I’m talking about the absolute value of their degrees combined with their experience. I’m talking about what worth they bring with them in the open job market. I invite those teachers who feel sour about their earnings to look for other work with their degrees to see what they can get. Of course, teachers know their earning ceiling when they sign up for the job. Of course, other degrees come with higher ceilings. Those with no degree at all sometimes can earn more than teachers. Even UPS drives can out earn them. Despite this, I don’t see much being available to teachers with Master’s degrees that will provide for them as well as teaching will. Considering all of this, someone has to really dislike this field to bail on it.

What a Master’s Degree In Education Gets You

Pros and Cons of Extended School Year (Repost from KokuaNetwork.com)

Below is an article I wrote for kokuanetwork.com about the benefits versus the pitfalls of Extended School Year (ESY) services. The article is intended for parents considering such services for a child with special needs. Visit Kokua Network to find resources for parents of children with special needs.



Pros and Cons of Extended School Year (Repost from KokuaNetwork.com)

The Flipped Classroom and Guitar Instruction (Repost from iAchievelearning.com)

Below is an article I wrote for iAchievelearning.com about using the flipped classroom model for teaching guitar. Visit iAchievelearning.com for tutoring, test preparation, and other resources.



The Flipped Classroom and Guitar Instruction (Repost from iAchievelearning.com)

The Advantages of 504 Plans for Incoming Freshmen with Disabilities (Repost from iAchievelearning.com)

Below is an article I wrote for iAchievelearning.com about the benefits of securing 504 plans for a college-bound students with disabilities. Visit iAchievelearning.com for tutoring, test preparation, and other resources.


The Advantages of 504 Plans for Incoming Freshmen with Disabilities (Repost from iAchievelearning.com)