Next week I will finish my 19th year of teaching. I work with high school juniors and seniors teaching Civics, AP US History and American Cultural History. The students are your perfect bell curve, of course, but they are easily the best part of my job. Honestly, were it not for them, I would have quit years ago.
I had 13 days of state and federal testing this year. Add to that 16 days of "test prep" mandated by the district. That was one sixth of my classroom teaching time for the year.
Add to this the layoffs, pay cuts, benefit cuts, and a public very openly hostile towards my profession, and the extrinsic obstacles to teaching have been piled so high that I can no longer clearly see the intrinsic motivators that kept me in the classroom.
I'm done. Next week will be my last week as a public school teacher.