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Danny H. in Alabama asked for help and you guys stepped up with a bunch of emails

In Monday’s edition of Screencaps, military vet Danny H., who is in his seventh year of teaching, wrote about how he’s become disillusioned by his job. He’s being called into the principal’s office over things he says in class and via email. The vise is tightening and Danny is looking for advice from people who have left the classroom.

Danny writes:

I feel like every time I open my mouth, I hurt someone’s feelings. I’m starting to feel like there’s no place for me in education because I don’t buy into the woke politics of the day.

https://www.outkick.com/elizabeth-hurley-shares-royals-memories-wayne-gretzky-kid-rock-hanging-out-plus-jj-watt-hits-the-pool/

Al W. in Lansing, MI writes:

If your job feels like a job and not a calling (what you’re meant to do) find something else. If mowing lawns brings you peace and joy then do it. It will lead to other opportunities that you never expected.

Chris in NE writes:

Was reading ‘caps this morning and saw Danny’s note about career transition opportunities from teaching.  I work in recruiting so a piece of my job is helping candidates focus on their transitional skills.  A couple of thoughts for Danny…

-First, Danny isn’t alone with his thoughts, Reddit has a dedicated forum for teachers and the topic of career transition is a popular topic there.  That would be a good resource.  

-Second, He may also want to look at teaching adjacent positions like learning and development jobs (L&D) and also corporate training positions.

-Lastly, a subtle plug for my industry of recruiting.  Some of the best recruiters I’ve met were former teachers.  They often possess a soft skill set from their years of having to deal with unpredictable situations (because let’s be honest, kids are insane).  They keep cool under pressure, which I’m sure goes double for Danny as a former Marine and they are often excellent listeners too which is a great skill to have when you’re helping to find people jobs.

Browning H. writes:

Love what you do at SC, it has been fun to see it grow the last year. For the teachers in transition, I would recommend https://vendition.com. Vendition measures aptitude for a transition into tech sales, which are done fully remotely.

Teachers often make great salespeople due to their ability to relate to the customer, as they did with students. Just something to pass along. Thanks for what you do and great job as the coach on Saturday. I coach my daughter’s soccer team and know those conversations well. 

Scott W. in CLT says it might be time to get into the trades:

Great content as always and, to the ScreenCaps family, thank you for the advice and personal stories. Life is too short not to be in community/fellowship with other like-minded people.

Danny – Thank you for your service as a Marine and as a teacher. Many are leaving for the same reasons you are citing. In Charlotte, the pursuit of learning a trade is catching on (electrician, plumber, A/V installer, etc.). Your work ethic, etc will allow you to create a nice living for your family and (eventually) schedule/customer flexibility so you can enjoy watching your family grow up. If you like teaching – become a tutor for a side stream of income. Parents are seeking the extra help for their kids.

Jose R. in Arizona writes:

Checking in from sunny Arizona with some advice for Danny H. on leaving the classroom.  I was fortunate to be in education for 13 years.  I worked in a high school, 6 years as a Social Studies instructor, World History, U.S History, Economics, Government, and Arizona History is what I taught. 

I made sure to teach students what it means to be an American, and how fortunate we are to live here.  Then I became assistant principal, during those 13 years, I was also the flag football coach and basketball coach for the school.  We won 2 league titles in each sport and to this day, former students/players will reach out to me and call me coach. 

I left the classroom in 2019 and don’t regret it, not even for a second.  The reason I left was simple, I wanted to spend more time with my family and be a more attentive husband and father.  I am working on my Master’s degree in my spare time and work an office job for now. 

My advice to Danny would be this, teaching is an honorable profession, but if he is no longer happy teaching, he has to move on.  Life is too short.  Maybe he can start his own lawn service company.  Cultivate his passion.  He could call it, “Danny’s lawn service, a cut above” Danny’s military training, the attention to detail that is a staple in the Marine Corp, would give him an edge over others. 

Finally, he mentioned wanting to “help raise a generation of kids that can protect our country and keep our economy going” he may not know it, but I am positive in his 7 years of teaching he had a positive impact in the lives of his students.  Thank you for your service, Danny, if you ever visit Arizona, I am buying you a beer.

Joe M. says Danny might not have to leave the profession, just make a shift:

Try teaching night classes to adults/non traditional students.  It’s a different world from high school/college kids.

I finished school (third time is the charm) by getting a degree in Adult, International, and Extension Education from the College of Agriculture.  This is the kind of degree program where you find a 40 year old that needs a degree to get promoted to regional manager of an auto parts store, the 50 year old that works for the parish (county) that can only become a supervisor with a degree, etc.  Most of these people have a decent amount on the line, which makes for motivated students.  It’s the polar opposite of having a 12 year old at the school you’re student teaching at hit on you with a Cardi B sourced vocabulary.

While we’re on the Ag subject (not meaning the dirty, dirty, Texas Aggies), that’s generally a pretty good industry to target to use your communication skills learned in the military and while teaching.  As a rule, people in that industry care about results far, far more than feelings.  Extension offices do all kinds of interesting things that don’t involve pronouns and CRT.  https://www.aces.edu/blog/category/about-us/  You may not think you have any interest in helping people grow corn in their backyard, but you’ll probably at least like helping people.  As a bonus, it will almost certainly keep adding to your state retirement credits.

Dillon L. in North Dakota has advice for Danny & needs Nashville advice if any of you can help him:

Hey Joe, writing in response to Danny about wanting to leave teaching.  It is unfortunate that our country (and school systems) seems to give the loud, woke minority the time of day.  I would give some advice to Danny to try out a different school district.  Luckily, there are still a few districts out there with (some) common sense. 

Try to find a system that believes in hard-working values and discipline, which might be tough to find in a densely populated area.  Another option to stay in teaching would be to find a juvenile detention school job.  I have heard that it is very challenging but can also be extremely rewarding.  No clue if any of this is at all beneficial but it sucks hearing about so many good teachers being pushed out for this new age-no discipline type of educator.   

On a completely different note…   My fiance and I are getting married in early June and then honeymooning in Nashville.  I know you’re not from there but maybe some readers (or Clay) would have some advice on cool stuff to do other than the usual stuff everyone does.  Any sort of diviest of dive bars, local hidden eateries, etc.  

Scott B. in SC has advice for Danny:

If Danny wants to remain a teacher, he should look at Private or Online institutions.  With parents getting more of a glimpse into some of the things that are being taught in public schools, there has been a shift in people attending these types of schools and so there is a need for teachers.  

My son has attended two private schools and their vision for education was very different.  Some research will be needed to make sure that their vision for education matches what your vision is.  The parents are all paying money to get their children educated and so the level of cooperation, responsiveness and resources will be very different.

Brian from the FBI writes:

I just read your Screencaps post for today and wanted to reach out with a possible career switch for Danny. He sounds like an excellent candidate for a Special Agent (SA) position with the FBI. I am the Applicant Coordinator/Recruiter for the Cleveland Division of the FBI.

Given his military experience and his professional work experience, I believe he would excel with the FBI. I personally love seeing former military members become SAs with the FBI. It is an excellent time to apply and we are actively seeking applicants from all backgrounds. He is not alone; I have had many teachers apply the last two years. COVID has crushed their will to continue teaching. There is a place for him in the FBI.

He would be processed out of our Birmingham Division but I am happy to talk with him and answer any questions. He said he fought for his country, he can now continue his service and protect and defend this great land of ours. It may be hard to compete with Steve’s Wack-N-Sack but I think he should give it a shot. Please pass along my contact information to him and keep up the fantastic work with Outkick.

(Ed. note: I forwarded Brian’s email to Danny.)

Bob G. in PA writes:

30-year veteran teacher here, father of 3, still In the classroom and loving the job. I also spent 3 years as a Principal, which my wife calls my mid-life temporary insanity crisis. I still have a good attitude and most of my hair. Spending the day with 10th graders keeps me young.

I do not have a specific bit of advice for Danny, except that I would be happy to talk with him about the job. I’ve ridden out a couple of tough stretches over the years, but I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.  I might have a bit of wisdom to share on the topic.

P.S.: Keep up the great work on Screencaps. When I have grandkids, I’m using that bag of candy idea.

You may forward this email to him and he can contact me if it suits him.

(Ed. note: I forwarded Bob’s email to Danny.)

Levi P. writes:

Asking for advice often means you might not like what you hear…

It sounds like you might have gone into teaching for an ideal, not for the glory of the struggle.  That is my opinion and without knowing what grade and/or subject you teach your statements make it sound like you have been intentionally picking fights.  You have the freedom (thanks to the wisdom and sacrifices of humans wiser than you and I) to ignore this invitation for self-reflection, and indeed my entire E-mail but I will now offer practical advice.

If teaching is your passion and only these problems regarding what you say are ruining it for you then fight.  Your first step should be joining your local education association (teacher’s union).  Whenever an administrator wants to speak with you about these issues request your building rep be present.  I promise the conversations will be drastically different.

If teaching is spoiled but you are interested in education consider two “alternatives”.  Commit to a small amount of additional schooling and become a SPED teacher.  Alternatively, you could fully embrace the dark side and begin working towards becoming an administrator yourself.

Also online education has exploded lately and flexible opportunities both full and part-time are easy to find no matter how destitute your local job market may be.

Best of luck sir.

Galen in Tennessee, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite breakout Screencaps & TNML stars of 2022, writes:

First, and foremost Danny in AL, thank you for your service to our great country. The Screencaps post of Danny’s email made me respond via Joe. After all, Joe is the guy that brings all people together with common bond(s).

Comparing the classrooms of today to when I taught from 1984-2014 is useless. I understand the disconnection with today’s students, parents, and community. If you don’t feel it, Danny H,  then cut bait. Just make sure that it is the best decision for your family and your heart.

Entrepreneurship is the answer! Upon my retirement, I started a Lawn Care company. You may need to work a few years and learn the business (as you should), but strongly suggest becoming your own boss as soon as you can. Be in control of your hours because, as we have learned from Screencaps, “Don’t blink!”

Lastly, I hope an average Joe from Johnson City, TN (yes, of Wagon Wheel fame) and a US Veteran and educator from Ala-damn-bama can come together and inspire this country to unite. If Tennessee and Alabama can agree, then ANYTHING is possible!

Landon C. writes:

I’m not a teacher but my mother was for 37 years and my wife has been in education for the past eight years. So I’m partial to anyone in the education profession. The past two years have been really rough on my wife and I’ve asked her if she would ever contemplate leaving the classroom (which she won’t) but her response would always be “I don’t know what else I can go do.”

I work in IT sales and I’ve tried to explain to my wife that my company and all the IT companies in the world have to constantly train (teach) their new and tendered employees about new products and upgrades to existing tools. This is implemented by the enablement teams. These are great roles for anyone with a background in eduction. These roles can also be done remotely due to sales teams being dispersed all over the map. So, there should be no problem working from Bama, because all of the trainings are done virtually anyways. Not to mention the fact that tech companies love good PR, and helping a former teacher transition into tech is a story they will most likely love to tell… Hope this helps.

Jason D. writes:

I wanted to lead with the most important part of my email to Danny H. Thank you for serving our country. Those words get thrown around a lot but I hope veterans like Danny never get tired of hearing that. On to my advice about leaving the education field.

I beg you to reconsider.

I almost left the profession after my 10th year. I was frustrated that I had worked my butt off as both a teacher and coach but still saw no real financial reward. My new boss was a complete jackass. I hated my job. I felt like the hard work that I had put in for 10 years didn’t really matter. Two of my closest friends were working for the railroad at the time and were making at least twice what I was. I honestly thought I would be happier joining them on the railroad. I decided to give teaching one more year so I switched school districts. I’d like to tell you that everything was perfect at my new school and things got a lot easier but it didn’t. What the move made me realize is that there are a ton of kids in every school that are searching for someone to look up to and for someone to believe in them. 

I’m finishing my 17th year in education and things are tougher now than they have ever been. Teachers aren’t respected by a lot of parents so in turn, a lot of kids don’t respect their teachers. Teacher pay, in most states, is a joke. Those not in education will tell you how nice it must be to work 8-3 and have the whole summer off. That is not reality. I have had a number of jobs in my life. When I clocked out at the end of the day, I didn’t think about my job until I clocked back in the next day. Teaching is nothing like that. It follows you home and can consume your evenings, weekends, and yes, even summers. That doesn’t sound like a good reason to stay in the profession, but I’m guessing that you didn’t join the military because you wanted something easy. 

I have 3 young kids of my own. My wife, who is also a teacher, and I have debated on whether we want them to follow in our footsteps and become teachers. We have come up with a ton of reasons to discourage them from entering the education field. Those reasons are always outweighed by the long-standing, simple fact that a lot is riding on future generations. We need good people to become teachers so we can raise good people. 

I hope you will give teaching another chance. I would suggest moving to another district for a year if at all possible. There are plenty of bad principals out there, but there are also some good ones.

Someone who volunteers to put their life on the line to protect our freedoms is the best type of person to stand up again and answer the call from a nation that is in desperate need of good teachers. I hope someone along the way can make you feel their gratitude towards your teaching as much as you hopefully have felt it about your military service. Regardless of what you decide, thank you for your service both on the battlefield and in the classroom. 

Now some advice from a guy who was disillusioned by the newspaper industry

I’ve written on this subject a few times, so what’s one more? My experience is that I determined that my life was at a crossroads and I had to take control and do something about it.

  1. I had to make myself happy and I went back to what always made me happy from an early age — writing. That was the baseline.
  2. Then I had to determine how to turn that into a job, but that would require intense self-learning and insane hours for approximately two years before I could entertain making the internet a career.
  3. Find mentors. Use Screencaps emailers as mentors. Connect with them. I’ll forward your messages and you guys can determine whether to trade emails.
  4. The original industry email group I was in featured The Chive founders, John & Leo, before they even started that behemoth site. Connect, connect, connect. This is going to lead to an email from Tony C. in Louisville telling me to stop being so hard on Linkedin.
  5. Keep pushing. It sounds so cliché and something slapped on a poster sold at At Home, but it’s the truth. Do I enjoy working late on Friday nights so Saturday Screencaps doesn’t kick my ass on Saturday mornings? It’s not horrible, but it’s still sitting in front of a computer on a Friday night.
  6. Find happiness. Have FUN. Determine how to put a smile on your face and absolutely put the HAMMER down. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve had to remind that they’re free agents…unless you’re under a contract. Never forget that a company will cut your ass in a heartbeat, if needed. I worked at a newspaper where editors were asked to grade their staff by letter grade. Then, when the parent company needed to show profits at the end of a quarter, those with the lowest grade were escorted out of the building by security to meet numbers.
  7. I determined I was done being a number and I was going to determine my own destiny. I will work my ass off for an employer to a fault, but in 2007 I concluded I was done being a number. I was going to take back control of my life. Now we’re sitting on the Best Damn Morning Column In The United States® via pure balls to the walls work.
  8. It’s still surreal I’m paid to do this.

I can’t emphasize it enough, if you’re in a spot like Danny, pick out a Screencaps emailer and connect. Pick their brains. Pick my brain. I sit here watching sports and trading messages across 50 different social media apps.

• Speaking of taking control of life, I started following this guy via all the photos of Montana that have run on Screencaps. This video literally popped up on his feed this morning. Maybe it was meant to be.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Andy Austin | Montana 🏔 and Travel ✈️ (@andyaustinphoto)

####

Now, I have to get out the door to get my five-year-old to preschool. My wife is on my ass to make sure I’m on schedule here. Have a great day across this great country and make sure you’re not being a stranger.

Send those emails. Send that TNML content — the hats are arriving in mailboxes! Let’s go out there and put the HAMMER down on another day of work and then get home to fire up those Traegers and Blackstones.

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com

Numbers from :

https://twitter.com/StatsBySTATS/status/1521345009152372742

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

One Comment

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  1. I don’t understand the lawn mowing. The less mowing the better. It’s like haircuts, if you can’t immediately notice it’s been cut then you are cutting it way too soon. Ideally grass shouldn’t be cut at all but if you have to because of the neighbors then let it get to about a foot and cut it to 6″ and then wait until it gets to 12″ again.

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