Diane\'s Blog

Virginia Teacher’s Story

I believe I am going through a change of mindset regarding education reform. A lot of it has to do with you.

I blindly followed Michelle Rhee’s call and moved from a comfortable job in the suburbs to one of the more highly politicized middle schools in D.C. I was excited and ready to work. I should have noticed something was up. The first week of meetings included all the responsibilities of the teacher. Administrators went though all these power points and we were now accountable to follow through. I had no clue how to do a fraction of what they expected.

I worked there for 3 weeks and realized I could not emotionally and physically keep up with the expectations. I walked in on a Sunday night and resigned. I brought my wife and she told my assistant principal that I was depressed and hating going to work for the first time in my life. I never spoke to the head principal again. He emailed me and said I was making the decision based on emotions. The assistant principal said the head principal was clueless that I was stressed. She said he believed in me. I just said he was not the leader I thought he was going to be.

I got a job the next day in the suburbs (Fairfax County). The experience has totally rocked my thinking about testing. My students usually scored very high, but my vision was much longer term. The testing world demands quick, immediate results. You can not immediately change a way a student thinks. Sometimes you never do. It comes with the job.

I appreciate every tweet you make. It is helping me reason why things went so badly when I worked for DCPS. Keep fighting — you are representing teachers that know there is no quick fix.

Forever Grateful,