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Former Teacher Reveals Why 'You Couldn't Pay Me Enough' To Go Back To Teaching

Photo: TikTok via @itsbethanymorris
Bethany Morris explains why she won't be a teacher again.

Being a teacher is an incredibly important but also difficult job.

Bethany Morris, a mother of four and former third-grade teacher, recently shared her experience teaching in what she called an unsupportive environment. In a candid video shared to TikTok, she recounted an incident that made her realize why she could never return to teaching despite the noble nature of the profession.

She revealed why 'you couldn't pay me enough' to go back to teaching.

One day, Morris had returned to find that a basket full of candies and dollar store toys — trinkets beloved by her students — that she kept for rewarding or treating them on special occasions was empty. To her surprise, she discovered that one of the students had snuck back into the classroom after school hours and taken everything from the bucket while no one else was there.

"One day, I was gone, and I came back, and everything was gone from that little bucket," she said. "Come to find out, a student had literally left their bus line at the end of the day, ran back to my classroom [and] taken everything." 

She was surprised by this act of petty theft committed by such a young child who should have been under adult supervision even when school hours were over. But she still showed understanding towards it, recognizing it as more mischievous than malicious.



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"No big deal," she said. "They're toys [and] they're candy ... not a big deal to me personally." However, as an educator responsible for instilling values in young minds alongside academic knowledge, she knew this behavior couldn't go unaddressed.

She reached out to inform parents about what happened without any serious accusation or demand for reimbursement but acknowledged that he would not be able to receive a treat from the bucket for the rest of the semester. "I naturally emailed the parent and let them know what had happened," she explained.

Still hoping that they would understand and help correct their child's behavior, what transpired was, sadly, the straw that broke the camel's back and intensified her disillusionment with teaching.

Instead of offering even a modicum of remorse, the young boy's mom tried to shift blame for the incident. "Maybe you shouldn't leave a bucket of fun things out and entice an eight-year-old boy," she accused.

The mom's response not only failed to acknowledge the issue but also indirectly blamed Morris for the incident. The mother even disagreed with Morris' decision to restrict her son from picking items from the basket for the rest of the semester.

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What further disheartened Morris was the lack of support from her school administrators when she sought advice on handling this situation. 

"Upon talking with my administrators about this, I did not have support," she said. "And they were like, 'yeah, just let it go.'"

This incident was a turning point for her. It made her realize that often, the challenges facing teachers aren't students, but instead an unsupportive school system and uncooperative parents.

"That was the day I realized that the students and kids weren't the problem," she said.

Bethany's story is a stark reminder of some overlooked challenges faced by educators today — a lack of parental and institutional support.

USA Today reports that record numbers of teachers are quitting since the pandemic for a variety of reasons, including compensation, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Increased workloads due to teacher shortages, lack of support from administration and behavior issues among students are creating a pervasive sense of burnout and frustration with no resolution in sight. 

Since 2015, school districts have found it increasingly difficult to fill roles with qualified teachers. The incentives to teach seem to be diminishing by the day. 

Now more than ever, it's time for both parents and school administrators to step up to help teachers out. Our future depends on it. The better the education children receive, the better our society will become — and per Morris' story, the lessons don't have to just be academic. 

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.