it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news:

1.  “I’ve never written in, but I read the site every single day. I’ve been at my current company for over 12 years, and just last year I finally landed in a role that I love. My company merged with another one about a year ago, so I went from being the only person in my role to being one of two people. Then we hired a third. Thanks to this site, I knew we were well within our rights to discuss salary. We’re all doing the exact same work with the exact same title. I came to find out that the other two people in my role were making 25% more than me! For the same

I took this info to our division HR rep, and then wheels got put in motion. She told me that the company we merged with had ‘different compensation philosophies’ than my legacy company, so that’s why there was such a big pay discrepancy. The new person apparently got hired with the ‘compensation philosophy’ of the other legacy company. It took about two months, but I’m happy to report that I just got a 25% raise to be on par with my peers! A one-time raise of that size is basically unheard of at my company. If it weren’t for this site, I wouldn’t have felt I had the power to advocate for myself the way that I did. Now I’m in a role that I love and I know I’m being paid what I’m worth.

Thank you, Alison, for empowering us with information.”

2.  “In March 2020, I was let go from my job. The resulting soul-searching led to a realization: If I want to Ask a Manager constantly about the job, it’s probably not a good fit for me.

In my three-year tenure at that job, I emailed you five separate times asking about issues I was dealing with there (!). Countless other times, I wondered if a letter complaining about a coworker or direct report was about me, or contemplated writing in about something or other.

In the end, though I was incredibly worried about job-searching in a pandemic, I am much better off now.”

3.  “This time last year I was in my 6th year working as a teacher. I was making $49,500 pre-tax. I was miserable, dreaded going into work each day, felt unsupported by admin, attacked by parents and students, and experienced low career self esteem. To paint a quick picture: a vice principal said that I wasn’t doing enough to earn my paycheck, parents would call and tell me what and how to teach my class, I had to pick up the slack of a colleague who would fall asleep during a co-taught class and then be told to ‘let it go’ because he was probably tired (?!), among many other instances that left me feeling totally defeated. I felt like I had wasted time and money getting a master’s degree in education, only to realize it wasn’t what I thought it would be, especially in the wake of the pandemic. I was at a crossroads. I decided to aggressively start networking, revamped my resume, pored over your site, and put my all into the job search process. It honestly felt like a second job. It was stressful, I doubted myself every step of the way, and wondered if I would be trapped in the education field forever.

Now, I know there are some sensitive feelings around folks leaving education with some current teachers and admin lambasting former teachers for leaving them and the kids high and dry. But at the end of the day, I knew that I had to do what was right for me, my family, and my mental health, and that was to leave. I’m so glad I did. I landed a job in the corporate world and even though I’m starting again from the bottom of the ladder, so to speak, I am so grateful and happy I was able to make this transition out of the classroom. I work a solid 9-5, fully remote with lots of flexibility, great insurance benefits, really generous PTO, and a great company culture. My manager and team are so supportive and encouraging of me. I’ve learned loads already in the few months I’ve been here, and I am treated with respect and dignity every single day. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m now making $80,000 before our year end bonus and raises are announced. I’m very grateful to you and your site for your advice and the insights from this thoughtful community. Thank you!”

Note: I am approaching the end of my stockpile of good news posts, so you’d like the feature to keep going, please send in your own!

{ 110 comments… read them below }

  1. Observer*

    #3 – I’m glad you are in a better place.

    I’m sad that you felt that your only choice was to get out of education. Not all schools are as bad as what you describe, although the pay is probably pretty much as good as you would get anywhere else.

    PS I’m *sad* not mad. No one should stay in teaching if they don’t want to be there.

    1. Stacy*

      I worked in a few different school districts in various positions before switching careers after 15 years in education. The pay varied, but even when I was making a fantastic salary, the same issues that OP described were at each district I worked. I think the education system really needs a massive shift in the treatment and responsibilities of teachers if we want to avoid a mass exodus

      1. Gracely*

        This. I left teaching for a lower paying job, and it was completely worth it just in terms of my physical and mental health (my high blood pressure went back to normal, I was no longer crying on Saturday about having to go back on Monday). I loved the actual teaching in the classroom with the students. Everything else was a dumpster fire (especially parents), and that was across 3 different districts.

      2. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

        Teachers have been leaned on for years in ways that would not be acceptable in other jobs–uncompensated work, providing their own supplies, in addition to all the nonsense around teaching to tests and dealing with parents. Instead of this changing with the pandemic, it ramped up. The crisis caused by the exodus of teachers will hopefully cause a shift in the compensation and support of teachers.

        1. Stacy*

          Over the course of my career in education, the amount of responsibilities and expectations for teachers has completely exploded. Districts have cut costs by eliminating support staff positions and shifting that work onto teachers.

          When I started the majority of student paperwork I received was given to office staff to manage, document, and file, but over time, those staff members were reduced and the work reassigned to teachers. Same for custodial work. Districts have eliminated full-time, in-house custodial staff and replaced with part-time, outside contractors. I went from having my classroom vacuumed and mopped daily to only having my trash taken out (and not consistently) by cleaning staff. If my floors needed cleaned that was up to me.

      3. Daisy*

        Yes, in the USA teachers overall are not held in high esteem by many and very rarely are they paid what they are worth. This is in direct contrast to many other countries which, not coincidentally, do not have teacher shortages.

        OP3 – congratulations on your new job! NO ONE should ever throw shade to those who left the profession. I truly believe it will only change when enough people outside of the educational system are demanding better conditions for teachers, paraprofessionals, and others educating the next generation.

      4. Momma Bear*

        Agreed. The fact that teachers are leaving because of burn out, lack of support, and low pay/benefits should not be ignored. We entrust them with our children and too often fail to give them the respect and compensation they deserve for the job they do.

        I’m glad LW was able to find a new role that works for them.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          The low pay was what made me finally give up. I loved the kids, but when I added up all the hours I was working (for me it was averaging 60 a week) and then took my $32,000 for teaching kindergarten, and weighed it against never seeing my own kids……..I left. And sadly I now work a guaranteed 40 hours and am making just under $40,000 (doing medical records filing).

          Education, especially with the younger grades, just isn’t paid as if it’s important. And that’s sad – because if the younger grades are messed up then so are all the fundamental skills you need for the older grades.

    2. tw1968*

      LW3: NO, this is NOT your fault, it’s the fault of parents and administrators that didn’t support you and constantly attacked you for…DOING YOUR JOB. Reach out to everyone who did this and say “I QUIT–feel free to get a degree and teach yourselves since you didn’t like the way I did it–making more $$ somewhere else, have a great day!” (joke)

      [Now, I know there are some sensitive feelings around folks leaving education with some current teachers and admin lambasting former teachers for leaving them and the kids high and dry.]

    3. Not a teacher*

      I don’t blame any teachers for getting out of education entirely. when you think about contracts and flexibility and timing of hiring, it seems like that adds a really tough logistical component. You could leave a job at the end of the contract only to get locked into a teaching contract at another toxic environment. I wouldn’t want to take that risk yknow? You can’t really come and go mid year like you can in many other jobs.

      1. Chief Petty Officer Tabby*

        Personally, I think they should all quit — we don’t treat them right as a society, here in the US. They don’t owe people their health.

        1. Not a teacher*

          Seriously. We need like a mega union of teachers, health care workers, grocery store workers and every other profession that’s gotten dumped on for ages, but especially in the last 3 years. Let’s all quit en masse and see what everyone thinks about that.

          1. Sel*

            A friend of mine is an accomplished economist and he routinely tells me that a solid 7 day general strike across the US would be all it took to completely break our current economic system. I think about it often.

            1. Caffeinated in California*

              Yep, especially if truckers and warehouse workers joined in.

              Many people don’t realize just how tightly scheduled and integrated our supply chain is. JIT is great for avoiding “excess inventory”, but not good for handling hiccups and multiple day interruptions. We saw a little of it with the pandemic, but there were people actually busting their butts trying to make it work. If all of those “essential” people went on general strike even the super rich would have to take notice, IMO.

        2. Susannah*

          Totally. Nationwide strike until they can be assured they won’t deal with administrators who don’t support them, kids who disrespect (and attack, and SHOOT) them, politicians who think they know what and how to teach, and parents who blame teachers for poor grades instead of their kids, and think their kids would never, ever act out in class so the teacher must be lying.
          Sure, they’re underpaid – but there’s no amount of money that would get me to put up with that kind of abuse (not to mention that they have to buy their own work supplies!)

          1. Gumby*

            That sounds ideal, but those are not the sort of things you can negotiate. IME, most teachers *are* in a union. And their contracts talk about pay and vacation and continuing education and… But no contract can guarantee reasonable parents or respectful students. There’s a little more leeway on administrators but enforcing “administrators must support teachers” is fraught on its own.

            *My parents were fortunate to have excellent administrators who did support their staff . Most commonly in the face of “my Susie would never” but also against “my Susie did but it’s excusable and she shouldn’t have to face consequences” ooh, also “you are ruining Susie’s whole life and she will never get into college with a B+ in calculus on her transcript, how could you?”

            *OTOH, I also have a nephew whose second grade teacher declared he could no longer leave the classroom to deal with his nosebleeds because they happened too often. As if he were doing it on purpose. The administrators there didn’t so much support the teacher as shrug and say that sounded bad but they wouldn’t do anything.

      2. Lenora Rose*

        I am very angry — outright furious — about the fact that teachers are so abused/exhausted/underpaid that many, especially in the US, need to leave the profession entirely due to burnout in record numbers right now – but NONE of that anger is directed at teachers – or former teachers.

        It’s not as bad in Canada, teachers are better paid and there seems to be more genuine support from above (Though imperfect and dependent far too much on the whims of government or upper echelon management) but there’s enough of it that we’re seeing a lesser but still distinct attrition. And a bit of that also goes for lower end support staff; EAs, clerks, secretaries, etc. though some of that is a promising job market elsewhere.

        1. NorthernTeacher (just on sn adjusted path)*

          I am glad to hear that there are places in Canada that are better. But I am in a city in Ontario, and I resigned from the public school board this past Jan. Pay better than OP 3, but the same stressors. Possibly a few more because of student’s physical aggression towards each other, verbal aggression in the classroom and even a student running into traffic threatening to hurt himself in anger. I burnt out two years ago and reached a point of no return with this most recent class. Even going on stress leave didn’t help because the principal lost my grade book, assessment notes ..etc and emailed me to provide back up copies a week before report cards were due at the end of Jan. I didn’t have back up copies, was on leave and hadn’t seen the students in 3 months. HR told me to call the union and the union said I would have to meet with them and the principal to discuss the situation. I sent in my resignation after 48 hours of being emotionally back to the same ment state as in Nov. Getting completely away and focusing on therapy has really helped. Slight dip when HR called a week after my resignation to question me about my choice to leave. But, it ended any second thoughts I had about leaving. I’m in the process of applying for education adjacent work and was encouraged to hear of your success.
          OP3 Please know that there are many former educators and in the system educators who understand and will support your decision. You did the right thing.

    4. Stretchy McGillicuddy*

      I’m on the PTA at my kids school, and I deal with only a sliver of a fraction of what teachers deal with, re: entitled parents, and I STILL need to take mental health breaks from it. You are absolutely not required to stay at a job where you are constantly bullied and belittled. I am so sorry that so many entitled, rude people are running teachers out on a rail, but that problem will not be solved by you, or any teacher, becoming a martyr.

    5. Asenath*

      LW 3 – You did the right thing. Not everyone is suited to teaching or happy doing it, and when that happens, you’re best option is usually moving on. And that’s not even considering the bad working conditions you might have in some schools, and the lack of respect… Been there, done that – and I stuck at teaching much longer than, in retrospect, I should have. It wasn’t doing me, or honestly, most of the students, having me there under those circumstances. I did eventually get out, not under the best circumstances, and found a nice low-stress office job that I liked a lot better and was much better at. I was soooo glad I left instead of continuing to struggle, once I was settled in my new job. And I found out I wasn’t alone – I don’t know about your part of the world, but teachers have a high attrition rate here. Lots of them leave the profession entirely.

    6. Caffeinated in California*


      I think it’s awful that administration, parents and lawmakers treat teaching professionals like disposable, underpaid serfs, then try to apply a guilt trip when people have had more than enough of the abuse and leave the profession. I wanted to be a teacher once, then I saw what kind of garbage they put up with on the back end, and noped out before I started.

      I’m sorry that the situation made it necessary to leave that profession, but I’m glad that LW #3 was able to make the move to something better. Congratulations!

      1. A Teacher’s Wife*

        Yes! Teachers in my very red state are not treated with any respect. When my husband was just starting out as a teacher, he attended a function at the statehouse with other educators. He sat down to visit with one of our county’s legislators and told him his biggest problem so far was not being able to subsist on the then $25k salary. The legislator had the gall to say that teaching is really a calling and not a career and that most teachers take on second and third jobs to make ends meet since teaching is only part-time. He had to retire early in 2020 from a profession he was very good at and loved to do because his school district had their head in the sand about Covid. Being 60 with a lung disease made working in that environment dangerous. His doctor told him he must request basic precautions or he couldn’t teach. At his simple request that the students be required to wear masks in his class, the board said ‘no, we don’t want to make this political’. He was devastated. We’re fine now, but we took a big financial hit.

        1. Podcast*

          A calling? A part-time job? That legislator was describing their own job perfectly! Except they have the added benefit of bribe money.

  2. Amber Rose*

    Ugh, the entitlement that people have around teachers is so awful. You aren’t leaving the kids high and dry, you’re leaving a job. Other people’s kids are not your responsibility if you don’t choose it to be. I’m glad you’re free of that toxicity.

    (If my review goes well next week I will write in my own good news.)

    1. Somehow_I_Manage*

      +1. If we were all doing our jobs simply out of moral obligation, they wouldn’t need to pay us to show up!

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        Nobody ever has any kind of moral obligation to stay in a job that’s no longer for them. It doesn’t matter if the job is teaching, medicine, customer service, academia, warehouse worker, prime minister – whatever it is, if you just can’t do it anymore, do NOT stay just because you feel you should. If aspects of the job suck badly enough that nobody wants to do it, your employers will either find a way to improve the bad parts, or they will no longer be able to hire people. Either way, it’s not your problem.

        1. Goldenrod*

          “Nobody ever has any kind of moral obligation to stay in a job that’s no longer for them.”


    2. MigraineMonth*

      Exactly. If a ship is sinking, that’s not the fault of the people getting into the lifeboats. Eventually, you and other teachers leaving the field will push up the salaries of those who remain teachers. After all, if our country wants to have any teachers, it can either improve both pay and conditions, or it can massively improve pay.

    3. higheredadmin*

      Totally agree. My mom became a teacher after graduating from college in the 1960s because, as she said, her career choices were secretary, nurse or teacher. She didn’t want to deal with blood, and didn’t want to sit down all day, so teacher it was. Schools/districts need to realize that this is no longer the time we live in.

    4. Elsie*

      Yes, please don’t feel guilty, OP! You have to put yourself first. Many helping professions (education , social work, public health, etc) have poor pay and treatment and essentially rely on people staying because they truly care about helping people/communities even when it isn’t in their best interests.

      After years of working in academia, government, and non-profit jobs, I went into private industry. I actually really wanted to work in government so I could serve the community but I had so much educational debt and I had spent years being broke to go to graduate school in my field. I eventually realized that I couldn’t destroy my own life to help other people.

      If we really care about our society, we need to do better for people in education and other helping professions and value the important contributions they make.

    5. Danish*

      Even if it is leaving them high and dry, well, maybe the complainers should have made it nicer to stay. Sure things are bad, but there’s bad and there’s actively making it worse, which is what unsupportive admin and awful parents are doing.

  3. StarHunter*

    LW – I would love to hear how you were able to transfer your skill set to your new job and what type of job and in what industry you are in now (if you can say). I am in the market for a new job and new industry so trying to figure out the best way to approach the job hunt. Congratulations!

    1. Cookie*

      Me too, StarHunter! I was like “wow, where do I start at 80k and enjoy the work?” OP, please comment!

    2. overburdened teacher*

      Me too, LW 3! I’m a private school teacher and while my situation is not nearly as bad as yours, I’m contemplating a career switch because I don’t make nearly enough for someone with an MA and the demands are so high…I’d love to hear more about how you made the switch and what industry you landed in that pays so well!

    3. OP3*

      I’m happy to share some highlights from my experience. I started by identifying what qualities I was looking for in my next role. For me, some of those qualities included set hours, room for career growth, guidance under a qualified manager, flexibility, and strong company culture. Then, I focused on networking – reaching out to former colleagues, friends of friends, LinkedIn connections, etc. – to gain some insight on various industries, and also what possible roles within those industries could look like. I learned a lot from these conversations and realized that I may be looking for some sort of corporate position. I re-vamped my resume to reflect my responsibilities as an educator, but worded in a way that was more recognizable in corporate spaces, highlighting my strengths in program management, facilitation skills, data analysis and synthesis, client relations, etc. From there, I used AAM resources like Alison’s “How to get a job” guide, and practiced interviewing like crazy. I received many “nos” along the way, but eventually found a job as a management consultant (still very junior, but very grateful for the possibility of career growth)!

    4. juicebox*

      Definitely look into instructional design roles. Companies always need someone to design training whether it’s for internal use or customer-facing.

  4. DivergentStitches*

    Just want to support the former teacher: I’d never say boo to a teacher leaving the education field to do what’s best for their family! I just left a job I enjoyed because it just didn’t pay enough. You gotta do what’s right for you!

  5. Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii*

    To paint a quick picture: a vice principal said that I wasn’t doing enough to earn my paycheck, parents would call and tell me what and how to teach my class, I had to pick up the slack of a colleague who would fall asleep during a co-taught class and then be told to ‘let it go’ because he was probably tired (?!)So wait you get dumped on while the person sleeping on the job is coddled.
    Glad you got out of that dumpster fire.

    1. Radioactive Cyborg Llama*

      I note that the teacher being coddled was a “he.” And I’ll bet that the LW is a woman.

  6. Duck Duck Bug*

    #2: I keep a note in my phone called “AAM” where I write letters to AAM. I have never sent one in, but I often figure out a solution while writing the letter. (It’s like “rubber duck debugging” in IT)

    #3: Many of my kid’s very best teachers have left. I don’t blame them at all; I’m happy for them. I live in one of the worst states for public education, and if I had kids who still had years to go, I’d be actively looking to move to another state. Teachers already had a difficult job, but the last few years have been a total nightmare. I would not expect anyone to stay in that situation for any reason.

    1. UnpopularOpinion*

      Thanks for saving me from not know what “rubber duck debugging” is! I’ve felt this as a concept, but didn’t know it had a formal name.

      1. Duck Duck Bug*

        It’s a really good way to figure things out. There’s a delightful writeup of the process (such as it is) at rubberduckdebugging dot com.

          1. magc*

            I’d rather just have the rubber duck, but then I WFH full-time and the other residents of the house won’t care if I talk to myself. Or a duck, for that matter.

            Plus I can talk a lot faster than I can type…

    2. Chilipepper Attitude*

      I wrote Alison so many letters in my old job; I mailed more than one of them. I have yet to even think about writing her a letter in my new job. It is not perfect, but because of pretty great management, I don’t need to care about the ways it is not perfect.

      I hear you OP#2. If you are writing that many letters, even ones you don’t mail, there is a problem with that job.

  7. Goldenrod*

    These are all great! Well done, all of you!

    LW #2: Hang in there! I predict you will find something MUCH better.

    1. Heinous Eli*

      Hi, LW #2 here! Thank you for your kind words. I did find something A LOT better in October 2020. Well, it started out only a little bit better tbh, because of my grandboss. Then, in 2021, she left and now it’s the best job I’ve ever had in pretty much every way. I just got back from a weeklong all-hands for the org and I am in awe of the cool people I work with and what I get to do for a job.

  8. Lifelong student*

    Teaching has always been unappreciated. Historically teaching was consider “women’s work” and it was very uncommon- if not forbidden for women to remain as a teacher if they married. Of course it was during WW2- but when my mother was in elementary school all the teachers were unmarried women. Later- even in the 60″s although married women were hired as teachers, they were forced to take leave as soon as they became pregnant. Male teachers were rare- I only had two in elementary school. Later- with the Vietnam war – more men went into teaching as it was a deferred occupation. Wages began to come up because of that to some degree. I have posited that the influx and performance of those who became teachers for the deferments alone did not raise the caliber of the education system. They did, however, increase the appeal of the profession because of the increase in compensation. I wonder if there are any studies on the relationship between demographics and compensation? I think the undervaluing of teachers is based on the “women’s work” syndrome- even though it is clearly that nothing except actually giving birth is restricted to the female sex.

    1. Silver Robin*

      Men entering a field and the field subsequently becoming more respectable is absolutely a thing. Or men doing something professionally is impressive but women doing it is considered part of their societal obligations

      – chefs being overwhelmingly male but home cooking being overwhelmingly female
      – male nurses paid higher than female nurses
      – drawing/poetry/the arts generally are “girly” as a kid but men are at the top when it comes to doing it professionally and/or in academia
      – men are large and in charge regarding women’s fashion but women are the ones who do clothing creation/adjustment at home; or even just the social cache around “seamstress” vs “tailor”

      Having men engage in something legitimizes it while women’s engagement is seen as less serious, less important, and/or frivolous

      1. Silver Robin*


        Women teach children/elementary school/preschool. More men show up as teachers around high school, and then once you hit college/grad school, professors and deans etc are more likely to be men than women. The principles in primary/secondary schools: willing to bet that skews male. Are they all underpaid? Absolutely. But within the system, men get the prestige.

        And this absolutely harms them to an extent as well, because men wanting to teach younger children are met with extreme suspicion. Really gross.

        1. Edna*

          I can tell you as a teacher that my male colleagues are absolutely encouraged to go into administration from almost the start of their careers. They are coddled beyond belief.

          1. An actual teacher*

            No, they aren’t. If they want to each elementary school, they are told they shouldn’t want to work with kids and parents pull their kids from their classes. If they do high school, there’s still a sexist stigma attached, and they are told they are less than anyone working a “real” profession. And male teachers are still underpaid like all teachers.

            Then we get told to “toughen up” if anything goes wrong – we can’t be showing any emotions.

            All of you, understand that teaching is a difficult profession no matter who you are, and it takes a special person to do it. Comments like this are unkind, unprofessional, and don’t speak to a larger actual experience.

            1. overburdened teacher*

              All of that can be true without in anyway contradicting what Edna’s experienced. As a female teacher I’ve seen the same thing happen–male teachers are coddled and encouraged into administration. It’s the flip side of the exact same sexist stigma you’re naming, “Actual teacher,” because treating women like the preferred caregiving sex still tends to be accompanied by an attitude that men should be the ones making decisions about the business side of things or teaching STEM (actual things I have heard, and I’m a pretty young teacher).

              I’m not saying you haven’t experienced this, but you yourself point out that teaching is a strongly gendered thing. So while yes of course it is a difficult profession regardless of background, it would be insane not to name the ways that men are treated differently and often better by the field at large. That’s not unprofessional, that’s just being an adult with observation skills.

              1. overburdened teacher*

                And for the record, the trends Edna and others are commenting on about gendered differences in treatments of teachers were noted by most of my peers, male and female, in my large masters cohort a few years back; we were all working through our degrees so these were observations based in practice. There was agreement that male teachers were in some ways judged more harshly, but most of the women and a lot of them agreed with the stuff you, “Actual Teacher,” are claiming is not rooted in actual experience.

      2. Cyborg Llama Horde*

        Programming used to be “women’s work” (it was given to “calculators,” secretaries, and women who ran telephone exchanges), while Real Men did hardware. At some point men figured out that programming was where the interesting work was happening, and Developer became a male-dominated job that one mostly went to college for. It abruptly became much more prestigious and much higher-paid, too.

        (Recommended reading: Broad Band by Claire L. Evans)

    2. KateM*

      This depends how far back to history you go, I think, and maybe also where in the world – in this corner and before 20th century, women doing any kind of professional work was almost unheard of.

      1. Zelda*

        This is partly because, at least in Europe, the history of wage labor isn’t really all that long. And when a medieval woman, say, did more than half of the actual labor in running a bakery or tannery that was nominally her husband’s, records are a little sparse. People with more qualifications than I have are now delving into the real story about “women doing any kind of professional work,” but our casual cultural assumptions that of course they Just Don’t date from maybe the Victorian era-ish.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Ruth Goodman’s work in this field is amazing and all her books are terrific reads. It’s interesting to note that during, say, the actual Elizabethan age it was not considered at all unusual for women to run all sorts of businesses from dairies to shops, and while women certainly didn’t have the kind of standing or rights accorded to modern day, nobody questioned their existence, or abilities in their fields of labor. Even during Victorian times on up when the idea of the “angel in the house” turned up as a marker of economic prestige, far more women did (badly) paid labor than didn’t.

        2. Reluctant Mezzo*

          I notice that in The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens, a woman runs a law office and writes all the briefs, but she has to keep her brother around to sign things (and wake him up from drunken stupors) and to be the Remington Steele of the place.

    3. Reluctant Mezzo*

      Notice that wages for nursing went up as soon as a lot of men entered it (the 2008 bank crash had a lot to do with that). And of course men now take over the admin positions in nursing. There just seems to be something about them!

  9. Mark Baron*

    I can fully understand someone wanting to get out of education. Last fall a friend of mine was at that decision point where she needed to determine if the major was going to be in teaching or another specific field. I suggested she talk to people who are in both fields to get their opinion. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single teacher told her that if they knew back then what would have to deal with daily, they would never have become a teacher. All of them advised her to stay out of the profession.

  10. Schrodinger's Cat*

    This makes me so sad. I knew even as a kid that I did not have the temperament to be a teacher. I have the utmost respect for my kids’ teachers, and trying to stay sane during COVID directing kids to online classes while trying to work made it even greater. I’m so sorry that so many other parents don’t seem to feel the same way.

  11. Sara without an H*

    LW#3: It might help if some of the citizens who have “sensitive feelings” about teachers leaving the profession put some of their energy into making it a profession that intelligent, talented people would be happy to work in.

    Congratulations, and I hope your new career is satisfying and successful.

    1. Observer*


      It’s sad that good teachers get forced out of the profession by this kind of toxicity. But, “lambasting” people? Coming from admins, that’s *especially* bad, because more often than not, they are a real part of the problem. (As can be seen by some of the OP’s examples.)

  12. Sara without an H*

    Hi, OP#1: Congratulations! One of the major services I think Alison has provided at this site is realistic information on the rights that employees do and don’t have in the workplace. And I’m glad that your new coworkers were willing to discuss salary with you–not everybody is.

      1. Not_a_Newb*

        OP#1, would love to know how you got your peers to discuss salary so openly! Everyone I have ever worked with has been pretty cagey about it – maybe because people don’t feel empowered to try to do anything if they find out that the answers are not equitable.

        1. OP1*

          I didn’t do anything special. We just have a really good rapport. One day, one of us was just like, “Should we talk about the thing? We should talk about the thing, right?” And we did. And I had a good cry about it, then went to work making it right. They had my back with it, too. I’m generally an “above and beyond” person, but during the 2 months this was being worked on, I did basically the bare minimum at work and my teammates picked up any extra projects. Every time they were like, “You don’t get paid enough to deal with this crap. I got it.”

          1. Not_a_Newb*

            Really cool all the way around. You have great co-workers and it’s awesome that your company stepped up to do the right thing for you.

            I could see how this could have dead-ended though quickly without good co-workers. I really doubt that most companies will take the initiative to adjust salaries based on new hires without prodding.

  13. Samwise*

    Anyone who throws shade at teachers who leave education needs to STFU. Want to keep teachers? Pay them well, treat them with respect, hire enough teachers AND support staff so that they can have reasonably reasonable hours.

    It’s sad that teachers are *forced out* of education.

  14. Too Many Tabs Open*

    LW #3, as a parent with children in school who hopes there will be decent teachers around long enough to get them through high school, you did the right thing.

    If we as a society want good teachers to stick around, we need to pay and respect them like the skilled professionals they are. If we’re not going to treat them well, they should leave the profession and find a job where they’ll get better pay and respect.

    1. Justme, The OG*

      I agree with your first statement so much, and my kid is starting high school next year. And I agree with the rest, too.

  15. AnonymousForThisOne*

    I am cautiously optimistic I will be sending in my own good news in a few weeks. (Does anyone else have the internal deadline of having to get past X weeks before announcing a new job? No, just me? Okey dokey . . . )

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Also hoping to have something soon……but my HR is running at the speed of freezing molasses (because they also need more hands to do the work).

  16. Cat's Paw for Cats*

    I’m a recently retired public library director and I hired a number of excellent employees straight from the school systems because they were being crushed under the weight of unreasonable workloads and disrespect. I encouraged most of them to go on and get their MLS degrees and make librarianship a profession and am proud to say many of them did. Education’s loss was librarianship’s gain.

    1. Sara without an H*

      Good call, given how much teaching is involved in librarianship. Glad to hear you supported them.

  17. Teacher behind the walls*

    LW#3: I almost thought that the description of your teaching experience was mine. It was awful!! Degrading!! Undermining!! Then I moved to another state & went to office work because my teaching license would have cost too much to transfer/renew. (seriously)

    Then I was told by a supervisor that I was wasting my brain & my education. I explained about the teaching license & the response was that my division would pay for it. (I worked & still work for the state). I applied to a few postings & was hired as a teacher!! I work 8-5. No homework. No written lesson plans to turn in. No parent-teacher conference. No work past the 40 hours.

    It is heaven!! I’m extremely happy. I’m teaching stuff I know backwards & forwards. No tussles in the classroom. I’m actually safer here than back in the public schools!! And best of all: I make a huge difference in the lives of my students!! Where do I work. In a state prison.

    The work isn’t for everyone, but it’s right for me. I’m teaching & I’m very happy. Thank you, Jackie!!

    1. MediumEd*

      Wow, that’s awesome! That was quite a twist at the end and I am sure those inmates lives are made better by a passionate educator like you who loves their work.

    2. Properlike*

      I would LOVE to work in a state prison, but the commute would be hell. It sounds wonderful, helping people who need and value the education!

  18. Susannah*

    Former teacher – don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about “leaving the kids behind.” If they really cared about that, they’d treat teachers with respect, pay them what they are worth and give them the authority to do their jobs.
    Maybe teachers leaving in drives will be the only thing that will make change happen. And I’m so happy for your success in your new job!

  19. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    “Now, I know there are some sensitive feelings around folks leaving education with some current teachers and admin lambasting former teachers for leaving them and the kids high and dry. But at the end of the day, I knew that I had to do what was right for me, my family, and my mental health, and that was to leave.”

    OP 3 – it’s true in many places, when someone leaves one situation for a better one. Way back in the 70s-80s-90s, when job-jumping in the computer industry was a common practice, peers would lambast someone for finding a higher ground.

    But there was a common expression used = “TAKE CARE OF NUMBER ONE” – number one being – YOURSELF.

    You did the right thing. Your financial situation is a lot better, And you’ve found something that’s more “up your alley”. Congratulations, and GOOD FOR YOU!

  20. Semi-retired admin*

    LW #3, I’m so glad you’ve made a great change! As someone who has also left education, I really believe that as long as teachers (and other school staff) continue to work under terrible conditions, for sub-par salaries, nothing will change. There needs to be a mass exodus out of the schools for a total re-vamp of the system to happen. I can’t think of any other work place where staff are expected to tolerate what elementary and secondary educators are exposed to daily.

  21. Free Meerkats*

    Re: #1: Complete compensation transparency should be mandated by law. That’s the only way that pay disparities due to sex/race/etc will be rooted out and eliminated.

  22. mlem*

    LW3, you were 100% to get out. No one has to stay and be abused just because it’s “for the kids”.

    To the commenters who note that keeping teachers would require paying and treating them right, that’s true, of course … but there’s an unfortunately significant portion of the populace, very much represented in politics, who want to see public education collapse. Driving teachers out serves their goals quite well by making charter schools and public funding of private/religious schools, which are not held to the same standards at all, seem appealing — after all, can’t you see that public schools Just Can’t Succeed???

    1. Marz*

      I agree that they want that to happen but I’m not sure it will; the fact is, at least in my area and the teachers I have known, public schools pay way better and support/good administration wise probably varies as anywhere but is at least as good on average, considering again the pay is better – so I can’t see these teachers moving over there. Teachers are just plain quitting the profession, they aren’t trying to get into private education, which they mostly know is worse/the same/ and details doesn’t solve the respect/entitlement/abuse problems.

      With enough political power and money they can make it happen anyways – as you say, they aren’t held to the same standard so if they insist they want to pay more for worse outcomes they certainly can, but that’s a political issue, and I can’t imagine a way that advocating for teachers to get respect and pay they deserve to backfire, or at least, if it does, that’s a failure of humanity, doesn’t make it the wrong thing to have done.

      1. Reluctant Mezzo*

        The point is to destroy public education and have the private/religious schools be the only ones. Gotta keep those poor people poorly educated, after all.

  23. the Viking Diva*

    hey readers, love to hear those job-hunting, job-changing, and self-advocacy posts from the employees, but I really want to read more manager success stories in the Friday Good News posts. What’s something you’ve gotten right or felt good about as a manager lately?

      1. Chutney Jitney*

        Why on earth do you say that? There was a recent manager success story just a few Fridays ago and it was very well received. People said it was a nice change to hear from a manager.

      2. the Viking Diva*

        I couldn’t disagree more. Alison responds to lots of managers seeking help about how to handle tricky situations. I’d like to hear stories of when people in a manager role use the advice and resolve a problem or support an employee well.

  24. ProcessMeister*

    To Lw3, don’t feel bad about getting out of education. You can’t help anyone unless you first help number one. It’s also not your job to fix the world’s problems, as much as it may have felt like you were in a position to make a difference. Who knows, maybe if more educators left, it might become more obvious to society as a whole that education is severely undervalued.

  25. Current Teacher*

    I’m currently a teacher in a job I love, but I one hundred percent support teachers who choose to leave right now. Last year, I was threatened with violence and sexually harassed by a student, harassed and lied about by an administrator, and saw one of my fellow teachers punched in the face by another violent student. When I asked for help I was ignored or belittled, and when we warned admins about threats and dangerous student behavior we were ignored again. I was so thoroughly abused and disrespected at my teaching job I was getting panic attacks and showing signs of PTSD. I’m profoundly lucky this year to have found a school with decent administrators and reasonable student discipline, where I can teach a subject I love. But it’s still been hard in some ways because I often feel panicked about ordinary things, like meeting with a parent or talking to my boss. I’m getting better, but I can’t believe how badly everything effected me.
    Maybe if enough teachers flee the system will eventually step up to stop the violence, threats, and abuse teachers endure.

  26. lnelson1218*

    At a previous job, we bought on board an employee into the accounting department. No previous experience in that field.
    But she was a kindergarten teacher. Most people joked that her experience with kids would actually benefit her since the group could be very childish. While not obvious, some skills are transferable to other fields.

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