God’s child isn’t a failure—a schoolteacher’s story

Despite putting forth my best effort, I felt like a failure. I was not used to feeling that way. 

This occurred several years ago, when I was teaching at a high-energy school whose purpose was to enable underperforming students to close the achievement gap. Every school day I worked a 12-hour day, and I dedicated time to my work on the weekends as well. I gave everything that I could in my role as a lead teacher, and was embarrassed to admit that working at a K–8 school could be so stressful. I felt consistently overwhelmed and as though I was the weakest link in the chain. 

After 19 days of teaching, I was called to a meeting with the principal and the curriculum director and told that I was not meeting the expectations for an educator at this school. I was then given two options. The first was that I would be given three weeks to turn around my classroom culture. If I was successful, I could continue in my position. If I was unsuccessful, my employment would be terminated. The second option was for me to step down into a support role as an assistant teacher. 

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

What helped me help my son
March 11, 2019

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.