Archived Opinion

I quit teaching because I love children

To the Editor:

Recently, I had to make a tough but necessary decision. As I entered my 23rd year of teaching in North Carolina in traditional public schools as well as a charter school and in all regions of our great state, I realized that teaching was not the job I had signed up for. 

I want to offer that along with my North Carolina certification for grades K-6 as well as reading grades K-12, I also hold my National Board Certification in Literacy as a way to help readers understand I had put my heart and soul into the profession. I was not just sitting stagnate waiting for retirement time. 

I did what some think unspeakable. Yes, I quit halfway through this school year to take a job in another field. So, I am a teacher who quit. Quitting and entering another profession was not a decision I took lightly. It took a lot of soul searching, prayer, a pay cut, and graduate school. I want to use this opportunity to clarify why I quit:

• I quit because of the ever-increasing role of bureaucracy and red tape involved in our present system of education.

• I quit because my best was no longer good enough.

• I quit because a test score took precedence over a living, breathing student.

• I quit because I could not live under the pressure of being off schedule.

• I quit because I want to have a positive impact on learning which cannot be accurately measured through a test score.

• I quit because professional judgment was essentially a thing of the past.

• I quit because I wanted to be treated as a professional. 

• I quit because I no longer felt I could speak my mind without fear of being singled out.

• I quit because I was no longer a teacher, but someone who had been given a job that was physically impossible to complete.

• I quit because of the overuse of assessments no matter the name they are given.  

• I quit because we have created students who see reading as a test and not a pathway to learning.

• I quit because teaching students became secondary to assessing students.

• I quit because I love children and learning and had to find another way to have a positive impact on them.

As a teacher who quit, I want to implore everyone to stand up and be a part of doing what is right for children. Our future depends on it.

Deanna Lyles


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