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Teacher Quits Via YouTube: 'Everything I Loved About Teaching Is Extinct'

2:08 PM, May 29, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A teacher took to YouTube last week to quit her job and to give a passionate 10 minute explanation.

In the video called "In Pursuit of Happiness" uploaded by "iquityoucantfireme," the teacher says, "Raising students' test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal. And in order to achieve it, the creativity, flexibility and spontaneity that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated. Everything I loved about teaching is extinct."

Her description of her frustration brings her nearly to tears about 8 minutes into the video. She says in the video, "I thought I would be a teacher for the rest of my life. But I no longer feel that I am doing anything meaningful. I'm not being allowed to spark enthusiasm for learning in children in my own way. Rather, I am being forced to function like a cog in a wheel and the wheel is not turning in the right direction."

She later shares a passage from Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hatches An Egg," which she read to her four-year-old daughter:

"When the hunters arrive and see Horton the Elephant defending his egg in a tree, they decide to sell him to a circus. They force him to leave his branch so that they can put him on display in a cage ... Horton backed down with a sad heavy heart."

The teacher says her daughter would always tear up when it was read, knowing that it was a "moment of defeat and loss," and that she empathized with Horton.

She goes on to compare herself to Horton: "They want to take away my freedom to nurture my students and help them grow. But I won't go into their cage so I'm leaving my post and I too am backing down with a sad, heavy heart."

The teacher then submits her resignation.

According to Babble, the teacher is Ellie Rubenstein. She used to teach at an elementary school in Illinois, according to Babble.

A few days later, Rubenstein updated the text for her YouTube video. It reads:

"5/26/13: The outpouring of love and support is overwhelming. I originally intended for this video to be watched by my administrators and my community; I had no idea it would reach so many. The thousands of stories already shared with me from around the globe that mirror my own are both critical and heartbreaking. I cannot change the system from within, so I leave to allow myself to continue teaching in my way, on my terms. I never planned on giving up, and I never will. If you are interested in learning more about me and my future educational endeavors, feel free to visit I have the deepest respect and gratitude for those whose voices join with mine, and for those who are still fighting to find their own."

What do you think about her points in the video? Are you a teacher or do you know a teacher who feels the same way?

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