Kindergarten Teachers Are Quitting, and Here Is Why

By Peter Gray for Psychology Today

Last month, I posted an article describing the stand that kindergarten teachers in Brookline, Massachusetts, took in protesting the policies imposed upon them from above—the excessive testing, dreary drill, and lack of opportunity for playful, creative, joyful activities. The post went somewhat viral, quickly receiving over 200,000 views and more than 80 comments. Most of the comments were in support of the protesting teachers, and many added further confirmation that the child abuse occurring in Brookline kindergartens is occurring in kindergartens throughout the country.  

The abuse is occurring not because kindergarten teachers are mean. Most of them are kindhearted people who love children; that’s why they chose the career that they did (though this may change over time as the loving ones quit). The abuse is occurring because the teachers are not being allowed to do what they believe and know is right. They are being required to follow policies imposed from above by people who know little about children and don’t have to see the anger, anxiety, and tears that the teachers see in the classrooms.  If teachers are at fault, they are so primarily for lack of courage to resist the outrageous demands imposed on them and on the children in their classrooms.

In recent years, I’ve heard from many elementary school teachers who are quitting, or taking early retirement, because they are no longer willing to take part in an educational system that is harming children. I heard from a new set of them in the comments section of that post describing the Brookline protest. Here, below, are quotations from 16 of those comments. The first 14 are all from different kindergarten teachers, and the final two are from teachers of later grades, who describe the debilitating effects on children as they go beyond kindergarten.

Read more here.

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