Teachers all over the country describe problems that touch every aspect of our culture and society, from technology dependence to stats-obsessed bureaucracy to a post-COVID behavior crisis.
Paige worked in corporate America for several years before deciding at the beginning of 2020 to switch to a career she found more meaningful.
When the pandemic hit a short time later, she second-guessed her decision, but the crisis also made her feel “more compelled to rise to the occasion.”
She completed virtual training. Paige — who spoke on the condition that only her middle name be used — started her first job as a teacher at an under-resourced Dallas-area middle school in January 2021.
The district was using a hybrid classroom model, blending remote and in-person instruction. Paige had the advantage of a previous career that prepared her for the technological headache. She felt she was able to build constructive relationships with her students, especially the roughly 30% who came to school in person.
Though her subject, reading, is a perennial testing priority, she was liberated from test pressure since states were given the option to waive the usual battery of exams that year. In hindsight, her first few months of teaching were “breezy and manageable” in comparison to what came after.