Pros & Cons

It’s gonna be a raise. Possibly as much as $10K.

I actually make plenty of money right now, and I’m getting so much extra on class coverage
that “you’ll get a big raise!” isn’t the motivator you might think it is.

It’ll be a less chaotic environment.

Maybe. And the building is old, and the classroom has no exterior windows, and there’s
not enough whiteboard space, and you had that technology in your room in 2007.

You get to teach honors classes.

I have to leave my current kids, who I really like.
The commute’s gonna suck.

It’s literally a ten minute difference each way.

… right, at 7:30 in the morning.

You’ll get home earlier, and you really only have to get up an hour earlier.

Dude you can barely drag your ass out of bed in the winter now.
You get to keep taking your kid to school every day. You love that and you know it.

…okay, you have a point there, but it’s a small one.

That’s what she said.

Shut up. Are you really willing to be the last teacher standing?

Are you willing to be the reason four or five other teachers leave?
Because if you jump a whole bunch of people are going to jump.

That is not my fault. They’re grown-ups and make their own decisions.

Look me in the eye and say that like you mean it.

Shut up.

There’s also the St. Mary’s kid to worry about. You gonna fuck up her semester?

Again, I’m not convinced that’s my fault, and I’m sure St. Mary’s has encountered this before.

Two weeks of conversations about how you’re leaving.
Because you know it’s gonna get out. You can’t do this in secret.

How many summers in a row have you tried to get out of this district and failed?
You can’t count on switching this summer. Everybody will be looking to go.
What happens if some parent decides to get litigious about the fact that their kids’ IEPs
aren’t being followed? You psyched about getting sued?

New District is probably laced with Republicans.

I note that you’ve changed the subject.
You’re teaching Math. Dude, you taught at a Catholic school for three years and got along.
You can handle this. Just teach Math. What if they actually do close the school mid-year?
They’re gonna reassign you someplace. You up to that?

I don’t have an answer for that one either.

That sounds like “leave” is winning.
Also, you’re already nearly out of sick days because Covid. Moving hits reset on that.

That’s not a good reason. If we’re gonna use that we may as well
point out that we’re a lock for Teacher of the Year this year.

Okay. You get some meaningless resume-padding. Everybody who sticks around gets that eventually.

Three times? In three different jobs in two different buildings?
You stand a chance for district TOTY this year.

And then you’ll leave anyway. Kinda rude, bruh.

Don’t say “bruh.” You’re 46.

Right. And you’ve done your time. You don’t owe anyone anything.

There’s no guarantee this school will be better. Not really.

There’s no guarantee of ANYTHING.

Shut up, Epicurus.

You enjoyed that reference a little bit too much.

I am LITERALLY a pedant.

What’s the best reason to stay?

The kids.

There will always be more kids. You can’t leave teaching without disappointing someone.
Shit, they use that against you. “The kids!” is how they know they can fuck teachers over
endlessly and keep getting away with it. Because they know we put up with it.

Okay, what’s the best reason to leave? Money?

The sneer is unbecoming. And the best reason to leave is your sanity.

It’s not that bad.

How long is that going to last? Do you really want to see what February is like,
after three more months of being short teachers?
We had eighteen people out on Friday. Imagine that being every day.

Friday was kinda fun, actually.

Downtown is not going to start emptying out every day to fill positions
at your school and you know it. They’ll close you first, and then you end up with NO control.

I hate that you’re probably right.

Can you find a SINGLE ADULT who will tell you they think you need to stay?

I haven’t yet, no. Including other teachers. Including co-workers. Including my wife.
Fuck. Are you winning? You’re winning, aren’t you?

The only real reasons you don’t want to go are that you don’t want to disappoint
your kids and you don’t want to have to tell everyone you’re leaving.

These are not minor reasons!

Half of them are literally cowardice.

Shut up.

I’m right and you know it.

You’re right and I hate it.

If you can look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t think this is going to
get worse, you can stay.

It might not.

I said if you can look me in the eye and tell me you don’t think this is going to get worse.

You’re a computer screen. You don’t have eyes.

Ah, yes, dodge the obvious point and retreat into humor.

… I need to go take a shower. It’s 2:15. I should be dressed by now.

That’s what I thought.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.