NO RESIGNATIONS ALLOWED
By Dr. Sabrina “Bri” Moore
- Founder of 3Ls: Literacy, Leadership & Liberation
- Program Director Systemic Instructional Review Alameda County Office of Education
- Oakland Native: Former OUSD Student, Teacher and Principal
As a former student, teacher and principal and current director in education, I have a question. Am I the only one wondering how THE GREAT RESIGNATION will impact an already exacerbated teacher shortage? If I am alone in this wondering, please do not keep reading. If, however, like me, you’ve seen the statistics that say over 4 million and growing individuals have decided to leave their jobs for greener pastures and you remember what it was like when you or someone you know became an overnight homeschool educator; then you’re still reading.
According to Jill Tucker of the S.F. Chronicle, the pandemic ushered in unprecedented numbers of teachers retiring from the profession, “a survey found that 62% of [retired teachers] … decided to retire earlier than they had planned to.” This blog post is my meager attempt to plead with and support all teachers and educators to stay in your job; whatever you do, do not resign. You are needed and greatly appreciated. Nothing about teaching and leading is schools has ever been simple or easy. In fact after the last few years we have had, I can say with certainty, I am not alone in my belief that teaching and leading in schools is not for the faint of heart. Daily educators wear the hats of many as they impart knowledge and provide conditions that support student learning and social emotional wellbeing; sometimes without consideration of their own. Compound this with wearing masks, staying safe and contact tracing and, I too am at a loss for words.
All that being said, educators, school folx, the people who show up for our young people each day, to you, I have a few words of wisdom for your own learning and social emotional wellbeing; do all of this and when you return in the Fall you have my word that the students you love and learning that follows good teaching will be there waiting.
The words of wisdom I will share are as follows:
- Pause to remember “your” why. Why did you become a teacher / educator / champion of students? (Make a list.)
- Pause, take the break you need, with the holidays approaching what type of rest do you need? Are you like me and want to just read a good book and listen to your family argue about nothing or maybe a completely quiet space for reflection.
- Pause and think about all of the wins this year; what’s going well? What has brought you joy that you can build on?
If none of that works for you, fill in the blank. Pause __________________. What any therapist, counselor or coach will tell you is before making a decision that will impact your life in ever rippling ways and in the case of school educators the lives of so many others you should Pause.
Pausing is not what we are best known for in Oakland. We [as an Oakland native I feel like I can speak for the we of us] are known for leading out on the latest and greatest campaign, initiative, change, challenge or charge for social justice, civil rights, advocacy and action. We are not however known for the EPIC PAUSE. Yes I just made that up but, stay with me. I’m starting a new campaign for all educators and if you are not an educator (which is debatable; we all are in some way) you too. Until the FALL of 2022 let’s commit to the EPIC PAUSE. The epic pause is the moment we take to think deeply about our why, ask great questions, remember what it was like before the Covid-19 Crisis and what it could be like if we all banded together to build the diverse and stable staff called out in the Oakland Unified School District’s strategic plan.
If you all commit to that, my team and I at 3Ls will commit our work, life, passion and energy to the mission of 3Ls: Literacy, Leadership and Liberation. Where we offer a “whole child” full-service community model for alternative literacy opportunities to educate and empower students, families, community members and educators, led by people within the community itself, to break cycles of illiteracy and generational poverty one neighborhood at a time. We promise to show up everyday so that every student can read, every school we serve receive quality coaching and professional development leading to better literacy, leadership and liberatory ways of being for all.
Dr. Sabrina “Bri” Moore
3Ls: Literacy, Leadership & Liberation
Follow us: 3Ls on Social Media
Bri is also an alumni of ELP’s Deeper Learning Leadership Forum.