Fifteen Minutes of Fame

One of my former students shared this image with me when I asked Facebook for a map back to my comfort zone after my third of three interviews.

One of my former students shared this image with me when I asked Facebook for a map back to my comfort zone after my third of three interviews.

Today I accidentally left my comfort zone in a big way… teach me to open my big mouth on Facebook! 🙂

It all started this morning when, in response to this story, I posted the following on Facebook:

I am one of the 150. While I have multiple reasons for leaving, the BIG one is fear that my district has not only become a sinking ship but that no lifeboats have been provided for its students and teachers — none of whom contributed to the crash. For too long we’ve tried to do more and more with less and less, with only the promise of more hardship in the future. As hard as NSD teachers and admins are working to try to provide a good education to children, at a certain point it fails to be possible. Eventually, there is no more milk to squeeze from the stone. I LOVED working at Columbia, but how long can I go on working 50-80 hour weeks on an insultingly low salary without enough photocopies to make two assignments for every one of my students? How many more “oops, another missing million” announcements should I weather, knowing that in the end the ones who will suffer for these “oops” moments will be those in the classroom?

And the idea that, in this day and age, a TEACHER in AMERICA should be denied six measly weeks of 2/3-pay maternity leave… it is criminal. Six weeks of paid maternity leave is laughably stingy on a global basis, and has mothers returning to work at a crucial stage in infant development — but at least it was a nice token. If NSD takes away short term disability from its employees, the message is pretty clear: it no longer thinks of its employees as human beings, and is no longer a suitable place for teachers — and is increasingly no longer a suitable place for students.

Teachers aren’t asking for anything more than the basics they need to take care of their children — those in their classrooms and in their own homes. Anyone who thinks that robbing teachers of basic human dignity won’t affect the students is ignorant at best.

I guess that was the equivalent of calling a press conference, because my friend at Channel 6 and then my friend at Channel 7 both contacted me, wondering if I would go on camera and talk about why I was leaving. As I’d already planned to be packing up my classroom that afternoon, they were pretty excited to catch a teacher actually in the act of leaving.

(I felt weird talking to two different channels! Not only did it feel like a press conference, but I worried a bit about whether exclusivity was an issue. To be fair, I didn’t know I’d be contacted by Channel 7 when I talked to Channel 6, and I warned Channel 7 that Channel 6 got to me first.)

You know, I’m not the least bit intimidated by public speaking. Give me a microphone and an auditorium full of people and I’m just fine. But put me in front of a video camera, even when it is manned by someone I’ve known for over a decade, and I turn into a hot mess! I was so sweaty, felt like a moron, and had an upset stomach after it was all over. And then I spent most of the evening worrying that someone was going to be angry at me. I am definitely not cut out to be a politician….

Anyway, I’m on Channel 6 here:

And I’m on Channel 7 — with Henry and Ryan for a moment! — here:


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