Have you ever had trouble cutting the purse strings with an ex- employer? Perhaps an employer who threw out all the stops to keep you on staff? Pleaded their cause and at the same time, made sure you knew that you were inconveniencing them by putting in your notice to explore a better opportunity? Who even went as far as to cry and yell during your exit interview?
Much to my chagrin; I have had this happen. And, in all honesty: I said it didn’t bother me. But, now that I have to be completely transparent- It bothers me to no end!
I am still getting text messages from ex-fellow peers who are still indebted to my ex-employer and I am at a loss as to what to do about it. Is there truly anything I can do but add fire to an already (years in existence) flaming fire? No, not really. Can I pick them up and carry them out of the fire and flames? Nope. Do I have the ability to somehow mysteriously transform the already corrupted minds of the young employees that are so eager to get a paycheck they stick around? Nada. Is it in my power to somehow secretly show up and organize some stealthy plan of action to save the seasoned employees who have come to terms with the fact that it is too late to get out? That would be a RESOUNDING NO.
Okay, so now that we have that established. Now, that we have resolved to run from any attempt at changing an environment that is, let’s just be real: TOXIC…let’s call it what it is. Let’s agree that, at this point, I have the right to be at peace. And by that, I mean that I need to shake the guilt of leaving.
Now let me preface this discussion with the fact that, honestly; I am a small person, soft spoken yet passionate about my views and the importance of the quality education of our short friends. I am one who strongly believes that if you hate teaching so much…do us all a favor and find another job. I don’t want to hear the complaining, better yet; I really don’t want to hear you screaming at your students or using inappropriate language in your classroom. If it is that much of an inconvenience and you are unable to learn something new from what continuing education and research is saying about the growth and development of the child and how important it is to provide a loving environment, then get the hell out. Go work somewhere else.
Okay, so why all of the anger, you ask? Well it is just this: my theory is that (and this pertains to every career path) If you love what you do, do it well, do it with passion and do it with 180% commitment to do it well every. single. day. Now, obviously, you by now know that I am heavily invested in the education field. I love it. I have worked as a teacher, a researcher, a developer, a writer as well as a facilitator. I love every aspect of the field of education (except the pay…shhhhhh). But the part I love most, is seeing the fire in my teacher’s eyes, the passion they exude when their students excel and when they are able to show growth by implementing what works in their classrooms. Now, the other end of this is the burnout- I do see this and I will address in a later blog- If you are curious about actual relative statistics on this- I have them available in an article I wrote a while back. It is available at iwriters.com/work2getitdone. The statistics are real but, this is not what I am talking about….
What I am referring to is the dead, disheartened attitude that begins to grow within an organization when routines and every day tasks become monotonous, stagnant and employees begin to feel the need work in mediocrity. This is like a cancer that spreads quicker than you realize. Before long, your staff has succumbed to negative attitudes and an, almost, hostile environment begins to breed. Before long, you are one of them: you hate your job, hate teaching, don’t love your classroom experiences and you are on edge with your students. This makes for a terribly negative environment. Your teachers are burnt out and they are falling hostage to negative work habits. Pretty soon before you know it, you are losing staff and losing business. Heretofore, the most unfortunate thing begins to unwind: YOUR STUDENTS BEGIN TO SUFFER, your families begin to leave to seek quality education elsewhere and you are in danger of your doors closing.
These are some of the reasons I chose to leave. Along with the fact that our staff and teachers were so unhappy they were smoking illegal substances on their lunch breaks (not that I’m judging where it is already legal, in a private setting) and calling in with “flat tires” and almost unimaginable cases of “adult” chicken pox and impetigo). Seriously??? When it happens consecutively, maybe you should start looking in to the real reasons your employees are no where to be found:-/
With that being said; I recently accepted a management position with an incredibly progressive, STEAM focused, teacher guided and child directed school. I love the family atmosphere, within a rather large company (because we hire quality, passionate staff) and I love being a part of a team with purpose! Did I mention how I have amazing support from my corporate admin team? I mean I am held accountable for my work, my numbers, my ability to manage my team but, we all can come together and know that we love what is at the core of our daily jobs: children! I now have the opportunity to connect my local community with a program that is child centered and developmentally appropriate across the board. I finally feel like that I am serving my local community and am in a position in which I can serve families and actually provide them with the best possible platform for their children. I love educating, I love the fact that I am giving children the opportunity to do better than previous generations, I am giving them a chance and I am helping families raise healthy kids. I am helping our youth become productive citizens. I love that! And you know what? My ex boss? Well, I guess I don’t really give a damn. I know I am serving a purpose and I know I love what I do. I am not not just a money maker….I am here to serve families–No guilt here!