regaled us today with the sorrowful tale of why she is leaving the classroom. In typical Asshat style, she tells her tale of woe while informing us--repeatedly--what a wonderful teacher she is and what a shame it is to lose her. She tells us she is a great teacher "by all measures". She lumps herself in with the "irreplaceable" teachers the city loses every year. She talks about being in the Master Teacher program, and refers to herself as a Master Teacher at every conceivable opportunity. No, really. She uses the title on LinkedIn and on Twitter. She even got NY1 to refer to her that way.
I don't know Ms. Wheal at all, but I do know that people who feel the need to toot their own horns all the time are usually the weakest and most insecure teachers.
So what's causing Ms. Wheal to leave and put the entire NYC school system in jeopardy of imminent collapse? Well, she was (as you may have heard) a Master Teacher at a turnaround school, and now that position has been eliminated because those schools will not be closed. This has left poor Master Teacher Wheal hopeless, as her precious "career ladder" has been yanked out from under her. Clearly, she has no option but to leave the system, because despite her Master Teacher credentials, she no longer has any intention of teaching children and wants to turn to education policy.
Maybe there's a way to introduce Master Teacher Wheal to Ruben Brosbe, another Asshat who had no trouble telling everyone else how to teach but headed for the hills when there was real teaching to be done.
I've got news for the boo-hoo-ing Asshats like Master Teacher Wheal: Teaching is its own career path. If you have gone into teaching because you hope one day to run a school district, you are in the wrong profession. If telling other teachers how wonderful you are is more important to you than getting in front of kids and doing the day in, day out work of actually educating children, you are in the wrong profession.
I may not know as much as Master Teacher Wheal; after all, I have only been teaching for more than twice as long as she has. But I do know that getting a gig in a turnaround school with a nifty title doesn't make you a master teacher.
What makes you a master teacher is dedication to those children in the classroom. It's sticking it out even when the going gets tough. It's being dedicated to teaching as a career and not looking at it as a stepping stone to greater things for your own advancement. It's knowing that every year in the classroom teaches you something you can use the next year, and the next.
If you go into education with the view that being a classroom teacher is the bottom rung of the ladder, you are a disgrace to the profession and you should leave.
That means you, Master Teacher Wheal.
Don't let the door hit you on the asshat on the way out.