Here's a confession: Sometimes when I'm at a lovely restaurant, having a lovely meal, with lovely people, I wonder what it would be like to have one of those grand exits you see in movies. You know the kind I'm talking about. Where the underdog has finally had enough, stands up, delivers some parting words to a suddenly hushed restaurant, and then walks out the door: heroic, empowered, liberated.
Of course, I've never had one of those moments, in a restaurant or otherwise. Partially because I would never have the gumption to actually do it, and partially because I'm always left wondering about the ones who stay. The movies rarely show us what happens in the wake of the valiant exit. Do people just keep eating? Do others leave too? Do some continue, but with a bad taste in their mouths? Has the ambience been lost for the rest of the evening? Or do the ones who stay deliberately resolve to do so?
It's a tough time to be an educator. For myriad reasons, I understand why some make grand exits in defiance of systems that too often marginalize us. But there are a lot of us who stay, too. There may be pangs of vicarious envy as we watch others take those outward stands. Yet, those of us who stay and finish the meal are taking a stand, too. Some of our colleagues (you'll probably recognize Sean McComb, 2014 National Teacher of the Year as one of them) are celebrating how many of us take a stand by staying in a campaign called #LoveTeaching that begins Saturday, February 8th. You can Tweet, blog, or share why YOU love teaching. They've even made this fantastic toolkit to help you get started. I know I'll be sharing why I #LoveTeaching, and I hope you will too!
Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. Connect with Sarah on Twitter – @SarahWessling.