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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Why she quit

After 10 mostly good years of teaching kindergarten in North Carolina, Natalie Parmenter quit her job, she writes on EdSurge.

When her school returned to in-person teaching in 2021-22, there was more testing, more surveys, "endless" training sessions and meetings -- and "inspirational videos" to get her to buy into it all, she writes.

There was the NCELI (N.C. early learning inventory), an entirely new grading system for my students — but only for kindergarten and not aligned to the criteria included on the report cards we sent home. Then there was the district social-emotional learning survey, used to quantify the mental health and well-being of children in the district. But since my students were too young to complete it for themselves, I had to do it for them, basically guessing the status of their mental health so that my district could prove that its investment in SEL was working.
Later, it was data reflections on every assessment I gave in class, regardless of the size, scope or whether the whole class had aced it or not.

"All the extra hours were going toward meaningless tasks," she writes. "I worked at an amazing school that valued me, but even the best administrators could not shield me from politics, the pandemic and everything else that teachers have carried these past few years."

She started an educational content site, Primary Focus.

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