Re: DSM: I Quit!

Susan Jarquin (
Wed, 28 Mar 2001 09:30:44 -0800

Dear Tammy,
    Congratulations!!!! I am currently witnessing my sweet wonderful sister
trying her best to make it all better. It's really hard.
Susan Jarquin
A parent trying to find others interested in starting a Sudbury School in the
Los Angeles, California area.

Tammy Inman wrote:

> Several years ago I decided to become a teacher in public schools. These
> were my reasons:
> 1. I thought I could find the problems in public schools and then come up
> with solutions. I would reform public education in America!
> 2. I thought that I would run my classroom differently so that my students
> would have a taste of the freedom they would normally never get in public
> school.
> 3. Having been in the school system all my life, leaving it seemed too
> frightening, despite all its faults.
> This is what I found out:
> 1. I found that most problems in public schools are instrinsic parts of the
> system. I also found that school reform in the public arena requires so
> many compromises that it is doomed to failure before it begins.
> 2. I wanted to run my classroom differently but since my salary and job
> depended upon students taking and passing tests, I felt pressured to teach
> to those tests. Besides, how can you realistically give freedom to thirty
> five students trapped in your class without losing your sanity (or at least
> your hearing)? I tried to rationalize that at least they had more freedom
> in my class in others but I wasn't fooling myself and I especially wasn't
> fooling them.
> 3. Staying in the school system now frightens me more than leaving. More
> and more I find myself behaving in the same conrolling manner as other
> teachers. An example is when I tell a student he can't use the bathroom and
> realize that my only reason is because I don't think he has to go badly
> enough.
> So I'm finally going to do what I should have done four years ago. I'll
> look for a position at a school I believe in, or I'll do something else
> altogether.
> I share this because I know that there are some prospective teachers on this
> list, and I think they should have fair warning about what they are getting
> into. Also, most of my friends and family are sad that I am "giving up" on
> such a noble profession, and I figure I probably won't get that reaction
> from most of you.
> Tammy
> _________________________________________________________________
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