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‘Teaching was two full-time jobs.’ 28-year-old shares why she left SC classroom

A former SC teacher shares why standardized teaching drove her from the classroom

Former teacher Elizabeth Walen describes how a shift in education - away from individualized learning and towards test preparation - made her work as a teacher unpleasant.
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Former teacher Elizabeth Walen describes how a shift in education - away from individualized learning and towards test preparation - made her work as a teacher unpleasant.

A former South Carolina teacher said “unrealistic demands” drove her to leave her job in the middle of the school year, according to her resignation letter published Tuesday in The Washington Post.

After working about five years as a teacher, Sariah McCall, 28, stepped away from her classroom at Charleston County School District in November, WSOC reports.

“I always joked that teaching was two full-time jobs,” McCall told The Washington Post. “One was actually teaching, and the more time-consuming one was all the extra that comes with it.”

In the letter, McCall wrote she had a lack of resources to devote attention to her job. She said she didn’t resign earlier because she enjoyed being a teacher, according to the letter, which has been published by WSOC and other news outlets.

“However, I cannot set myself on fire to keep someone else warm,” she continued, per the letter.

The letter drew attention from teachers and education officials, according to The Post and Courier. Education Superintendent Molly Spearman told the newspaper she plans to put emphasis on teacher pay and support.

Public school teachers will probably get a pay raise this year after a budget approval Thursday in the South Carolina senate, The State reported.

As for McCall, she now works in Savannah as a waitress and says “the hours are shorter and the pay is better,” according to WSOC.

Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.


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