A Teacher's Confession: Why I Quit

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North Carolina has lost another teacher. Lyles of Waynesville penned a great article in the Asheville Citizen-Times that details why she made the difficult decision to leave the profession after over twenty years. 

From the article,

Yes, I quit half way through this school year to take a job in another field. So, I am a teacher who quit. Quitting and entering another profession was not a decision I took lightly. It took a lot of soul searching, prayer, a pay cut and graduate school. I want to clarify why I quit.

I quit because of the ever increasing role of bureaucracy and red tape involved in our system of education.

I quit because my best was no longer good enough.

I quit because a test score took precedence over a living, breathing student.

I quit because I could not live under the pressure of being off schedule.

I quit because I want to have a positive impact on learning, which cannot be accurately measured through a test score.

I quit because professional judgment was essentially a thing of the past.

I quit because I wanted to be treated as a professional.

I quit because I no longer thought I could speak my mind without fear of being singled out.

I quit because I was no longer a teacher, but someone who had been given a job that was physically impossible to complete.

I quit because of the overuse of assessments, no matter the name they are given.

I quit because we have created students who see reading as a test and not a pathway to learning.

I quit because teaching students became secondary to assessing students.

I quit because I love children and learning and had to find another way to have a positive impact on them.

As a teacher who quit, I want to implore everyone to stand up and be a part of doing what is right for children. Our future depends on it.


  1. Charles Richardson's avatar
    Charles Richardson
    | Permalink
    I can say I understand the preponderance of the reasons stated. I see one major flaw in the statements, that I saw in professional that I oversaw in another field, the idea that numbers mean nothing. Test scores are important. Levels of learning can be quantified. HOWEVER understanding the meanings of the outcomes and the context of the outcome is hard work, hard work that most politicians don't want to undertake. Testing is used by all teachers in their classes, but most teachers take the time to figure out why great student suddenly did poorly or a poor student suddenly did great or they look at the trends of students test as a whole to look for the strengths and weaknesses of their teaching. Don't blame testing, blame the black and white politician understanding. Also blame the politicians' agenda, which is to divert students from public schools to assuage voter blocks even as they harm the future of the state and the children.
  2. Lavonda Hill's avatar
    Lavonda Hill
    | Permalink
    It is a sad day in NJ for children?!
  3. James Petro's avatar
    James Petro
    | Permalink
    like so many areas of our lives politics has taken over our thinking. We need to reevaluate our thinking of the values that used to be held dear to us and our families in the past. Not to live in the past but to hold on to the good things that made us strong. We also need to remember these things when we vote. Party is not ment to be the deciding factor in choosing a representative. It is the stuff of which the man is made of. Remember he or she is supposed to represent you not an organization that is not interested in the people. Remember! One nation of the people and for the people.
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