Posted May 28, 2022 Updated May 28, 2022 9:22 AM CDT
It’s hard to argue that teaching in the United States is, in many cases, not a thankless job. Instructor salaries have long been considered disproportionate to the sheer amount of professional responsibility teachers assume.
There have been wage increases, but these have not kept pace with inflation. Then there was the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced teachers to adapt their entire teaching model to online learning. This presented a litany of new challenges and expectations, and despite it all, they were expected to see their students achieve the same milestones and meet requirements as if they were being taught in a traditional classroom.
While steering all of these changes and enforcing the curriculum, which is set by standardized testing requirements, teachers are expected to also act as bureaucrats, all for a low salary, while they reach into their own pockets to fill their classrooms with materials equip.
So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that there are so many teachers choosing to quit their jobs en masse. This is an issue that has been brewing for quite some time, and TikToker @reaganmillerrr_ is just one of many teachers turning in their keys and leaving the classroom for good.
@reaganmillerrr_ It’s not worth it to me anymore #movingon #newthings #quittok #thegreatresignation #mentalhealthmatters #teachershortage #payteachersmore #goodbye ♬ Send Me on My Way – Guy Meets Girl
In a viral TikTok video for Rusted Roots “Send me on my way,” Reagan writes in a text overlay, “Last Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. I had my end-of-year meeting where it was clear that my needs would continue to be ignored. I was barely able to return to my room after leaving this meeting. I took the next day off to think things over, but I knew it was over.”
In the clip, she cut between several different videos of her in her classroom and playing with a baby outdoors on a plastic seesaw.
She wrote: “I returned on Friday for a final goodbye. It was hard.” In the clip, a kid who appears to be one of her students puts a necklace on her and tells Reagan, “It looks great.”
The former teacher continues with another text overlay: “I’ve been outsourcing my stuff for the weekend and I’m glad it’s moving on.”
Commentators on Reagan’s video were divided. Some believed that just because the job got tough, the TikTokers were abandoning their students.
“Typical of people today, when the going gets tough, you quit,” said one viewer.
However, there were others who were not only shocked to see their post, but also said that they, too, were retiring from teaching.
“I can’t believe my favorite Tiktok teacher had to quit. I have a feeling this is a sign I’m about to freak out,” wrote one user.
“I’m sorry. I enjoyed your calm and relaxed relationship with the kids. It’s different than my own so I was always learning… blessings,” said another.
“I left last year at the end of the year. It’s hard, but worth it. My mental health and work-life balance are better and my new career is amazing!” argued a third viewer.
“I quit too. Hardest decision I’ve ever made, but my mental health has definitely benefited from it. Don’t know where I’m going next but I’m feeling better,” wrote another former teacher.
“There are soooo many wonderful teachers leaving. We just can’t take it anymore,” said one user.
Then there were some commenters who noted that there was “mass exodus”.[es]” of teachers found in certain regions, claiming that some instructors have chosen to remain in their positions just to collect pensions.
“A mass exodus is taking place in PA. Most of the teachers I know now only stay because of their pension. It’s tough,” wrote one viewer.
Several studies have been conducted on mental health problems that teachers have developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to typical problems that usually develop over the course of the classroom in general.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Reagan for further comment.
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*Initial publication: May 28, 2022 at 9:21 am CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He’s always trying to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and pertinent facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/teacher-quits-job-not-worth-it/ Viral video of teacher’s resignation sparks debate about profession