Laura D. Brown
3 min readJan 30, 2023


To Those That Remain

It’s midyear, mid-winter, mid-life.

The new teacher has resigned; she is hoping a move to social work will cure her dissatisfaction with a broken system. Maybe by working on social ills, she can impact change. She leaves mid year with looks of bewilderment and good wishes.

The rest of us remain.

The extremely dedicated teacher (who 20 years ago began her time with you at your high school as a second career) has cleaned out her room. Her retirement celebrated with a heartfelt gathering. You could not bring yourself to walk down to her room on Friday. You are happy for her but you are mired in the mud of the trenches: marking period grades and semester class lessons. Your eyes are heavy, and you have finished entire courses but your district gives you a half day to reset. Your colleague is off to bake incredible works of art and you will remain. You are happy for her but you can’t stay in her space. She is changing and you are steady.

The number of administrators who have observed you is higher than your grocery bill. You know, that weekly adventure that increases in price and decreases in quantity. Your bosses, age reversing from you, demonstrate their youth in their attire, high heeled shoes, and enthusiasm. Previous mentees now wear suits and ask you what you might do differently if you taught the lesson again. You recognize the power dynamic and snicker at the ridiculous evaluation system that perpetually yells: “We must watch those teachers! They can’t be trusted.”