I did it again. I read the troll comments on news stories.
I know, I know. Not smart. But I just can’t help it! I need to know what people are saying.
But I always wish I hadn’t looked.
This time, the comment that got under my skin was the “Just quit if it’s such a bad gig” variety of comment. And my skin is pretty thick. So you know how often it’s been needled with similar statements if this has started to get to me.
So, I’m here to today to tell you why I won’t quit. Because quitting? That wouldn’t be anything new for me. I’ve been working for more than half my life. I’d been employed by eight companies prior to becoming a teacher, and I’ve never been fired. So, yeah, I have some experience with quitting.
I quit McDonald’s in grade 12 when they kept scheduling me to work on my high school Theatre Company’s rehearsal nights.
I quit the pet food store when the job turned out to be much different than described.
I quit the travel company when promises were made and broken.
I quit the orthopeadics job when it became clear that there was no room for career advancement.
But I won’t quit being a public school teacher – even though the schedule sometimes gets in the way of my life, and even though this job is so much different than I ever thought it would be. I won’t stop teaching in BC’s public schools even though my employer has broken promises and I can never trade in the title of “Teacher” for anything that would show any sort of career progression.
I won’t quit.
I love my job. Even on my most stressful days, I find more enjoyment in teaching than I ever found sitting in a cubicle. Short of moving to another province – which isn’t an option, even if I did like snow – I only have one choice of employer: the province of BC.
It’s not like when I worked in offices and could transfer my skills to a similar role elsewhere.
Because I can’t.
I’m not just a teacher: I’m a public school teacher.
I believe in the right to a quality education for all. I believe in opportunities and in narrowing the space between the possible and the impossible. I believe in equality, and taking chances, and a work ethic that carries on throughout life. I believe in chasing dreams and recovering from failures. I believe in self-discovery and discovering others unlike yourself.
I believe in the future.
And they sit in my classroom each day. Ready to learn. Ready to carry BC forward, to do amazing things for our province.
In return, I want to do great things for them. I want to teach them. To care for them. To help them figure out who they are and how they fit into this world of ours.
So quitting isn’t an option.
But fighting for quality public education is.