Dear John

In my role as an administrator, I have the opportunity to meet with a variety of educators from all over the State of New Jersey, and even connect with educators from across the country and world during conferences, workshops or even online. In my work for Four O’Clock Faculty, many educators share their passions for education with me. I recently came across the following letter written by an anonymous teacher, and wanted to share via Four O’Clock Faculty. I believe that this teacher holds education with the highest regard, however, but has concerns that may be shared by many.


Dear John,

I think this letter is long overdue. However, better late than never. With that being said I need to tell you, I am seriously considering breaking up with you.  Hopefully that doesn’t come as a complete shock to you, the signs have been there for ages, just ignored or avoided.

Let me start by saying, you haven’t had my back for a long, long, time.  You promised that our kids were the most important thing to you and we would never lose sight of them, you lied. When I needed your help most, you failed to be there. When I was struggling and my load was too heavy, you turned away and made it even heavier. You built me up and gave me compliments thinking that would compensate for what you’ve taken away from me.  You have zero regard for the time I spend with you and the time spent away from you. Relationships built on sandy bottoms eventually start to collapse.  Ours is sinking very quickly.

When I say you have no regard for my time, I need you to know, it hurts when you just assume I can take on one more responsibility, when I haven’t even mastered the last one you foisted upon me. There are only so many hours in a day, I can’t possibly commit all of them to you. If I want to be highly effective in your eyes, I must work on our relationship constantly especially when we are apart. Even that isn’t enough. It hurts that you might misinterpret my frustration as resistance to change. I thought you knew me better. I trusted you to know me well enough that I would be there for you no matter what. I trusted you enough to think you would never take advantage of that.  You have.  You need to know, you are chipping away at my loyalty.

When I said you lied about our kids being the most important part of our relationship, I need you to know, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can handle you having no regard for me or my needs.  I can handle you throwing way too many responsibilities my way. I can not handle you ignoring the kids. It has been ages since I last heard you mention them.  It has been ages since you’ve asked how they are.  It has been ages since you’ve shown me that you even remember we have any kids. MY kids are my reason for getting up early in the morning and for staying up late at night. When did they stop being OUR priority and become just my priority? You should be ashamed, you have forgotten the kids, you have broken your promises. You need to know, you are chipping away at my heart.

If you don’t seriously reflect on what is wrong with our relationship and join me to repair and strengthen what little we have, I will have no choice but to break up with you.  I realize that means way more to me than to you, because we both know, there are plenty of fish in the sea. However, if I ever meant anything to you, you will take on this challenge to work really hard to repair the damage done. The old saying “it is never too late to try” does not stand the test of time here.  If you don’t make changes now, it will be lost, because soon the kids will be gone and all that we will be left with is our regret.  You need to know, you are chipping away at my passion.

An old friend always reminds me that when we die the only thing we really leave behind, that no one can change, is our reputation. Change your ways John or I will change mine.


Above & Beyond

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