Miss Bennett makes a move

After two years as a Teach for America teacher at a low-income, mostly Hispanic school in San Jose, Miss Bennett will leave to teach at a low-income, mostly Hispanic charter school. Why is she leaving?

I’m ready for the challenge of working in a school that actually has high expectations for both teachers and students, and actually helps teachers and students meet those expectations. I’m ready to feel valued as a professional. I’m ready to make an impact in educational reform.

. . . why on Earth would I ever want to stay in a place that simply wants me to uphold the status quo?

She wants to be a leader. That’s not possible where she is, Miss Bennett writes.

. . .  I’m not willing to spend the next 10 years of my life killing myself fighting mediocrity. Every day, I know I make an impact in my own classroom, but beyond that door, I see nothing change. The district is too big, overwhelmed, and powerful to respond to one teacher.

After two years, her new school has shown signs of success working with the same kind of students she now teaches.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. I think two years is more than long enough to evaluate your impact on the school you are in, and to assess the potential for a future there. Miss Bennett let her feet do the talking. Sticking it out in a situation where you are growing unhappy is what? Martyrdom?

  2. “I’m not willing to spend the next 10 years of my life killing myself fighting mediocrity.”

    Not sure how this statement was meant, but as many previous posts on this blog have mentioned the charter school movement has a long and tough fight ahead.

  3. I read her post when she first made it. Then, and now, I don’t understand all the breastbeating. She’s quitting her job and moving to a different school. BFD. People do it all the time. What does that have to do with TFA?

    And of course she’ll have an easier time at a charter school, which cherry picks the students. I mean. Duh.

  4. Andy Freeman says:

    > And of course she’ll have an easier time at a charter school, which cherry picks the students.

    Instead of addressing the cherry-picks myth, I’ll point out that the public schools are happy to let cherries rot.

  5. I can understand a teacher who feels that the rest of the faculty in a school is not striving as hard as they should for excellence. However, many teachers who find themselves in this situation find meaningful, professional learning communities on Web 2.0.

    http://www.lessontech.blogspot.com

  6. There are many job sites, not only educational job sites, where you will find some employees more motivated than others. Also, you will find large coorporations where the decisions come far detached from the front line labor force.

    Not all employees choose to quit their jobs and move on. Some need to have more control over the jobs they do.

    Not all Charter schools afford their employees the flexibility to make independant decisions that will make the impact they foresee either. I think this article is not realistic.