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So, encouragement isn’t your strong suit, eh?

The other day, I posted on Facebook that I was done with all the work I needed to do in order to renew my teacher certification, and announced that I was headed back to the classroom.

And one person’s comment was this: “Good luck to you! Right now is a scary time in education, you are brave to re-enter now. Wish you the best!”

This is from a teacher.

Today I was volunteering at the high school and got to chatting with a very talkative teacher there who was telling me, essentially, about all the reasons it’s hard to go into teaching now: the job market stinks, there are a lot of new regulations (Common Core is the biggest one), federal and state funding has been cut and will likely be cut more (and that means lots of electives are being eliminated), and the school voucher program — as well as charter schools — are luring students out of public school and redirecting them to charter or private schools.

Wow, guys.  Way to be supportive.

Now, maybe they are thinking that I really need to know what I’m getting myself into.  And there’s something to be said for helping someone to be sure she’s not going blindly and blithely into a bad choice.  But I’ve been a teacher, and I know teachers, and I’m aware of a lot of the changes.  (I do pay attention to the news, after all.)

Also, the job market stinks all over right now — not just in education.

And companies — not just schools and governments — are making cuts.  No one’s job is truly safe.

And everybody has regulations they have to follow.

And in every profession, you have to succeed in order to edge out the competition.

Public education has been insulated from a lot of these corporate realities for a long time, and now educators are freaking out because they have to adjust to what every other industry has dealt with for decades.

Besides, I don’t think I’m “brave” for re-entering education now.  I think “obedient” would be a better word.  I kind of think this is where God wants me.  (No, I’m not positive, and I’m always amazed by people who seem absolutely certain they are doing what God has called them to do.  But it seems like this is where God is leading, so I’m following as best I can.)  And when you’re being obedient to God, you just do it even when it seems stupid to some people.

All the same, it doesn’t seem stupid to me.  It just seems right.

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About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

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