Julie Marburger was at wit’s end by the time grades were due for report cards.
Though it is just her second year teaching, she says knew what was coming next.
“I’m probably going to spend my entire next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid,” Marburger, a sixth-grade teacher at Cedar Creek Intermediate School, wrote in a Facebook post.
In the post she said that nearly half her students were failing as a result of assignments that were simply not turned in, and when she reaches out to parents in weekly progress reports, she gets no feedback. Only when the failing grades are put down on record do the angry parents come out of the woodwork, she says.
Then there are parents who undermine her authority when she tries to hold her students accountable. Then there is the deteriorating behavior in the classroom, and the damaged and destroyed property, often her own, since she says she has “NO classroom budget.”
Then, ultimately, there are the calls from her administrators, wondering “why I let so many fail without giving them support.”
It’s why she says she’ll be leaving the profession at the end of the school year, if she can even make it that long. All those who commented on her post agreed with Marburger.
“This is why I retired when I did,” Alice Ash wrote. “We desperately need parenting courses for young people.”
Her post, which as of Wednesday afternoon had been shared on Facebook nearly 300,000 times, came at a time when Oklahoma teachers have walked out of the classroom and marched on the state Capitol demanding higher pay and more funding for education, and as Kentucky teachers did the same over funding cuts and changes to their pension.
Oklahoma’s teachers were offered a pay increase by the state Legislature, but protests continued in the state with the country’s next-to-worst average teacher salary because the proposed raise was not as much as the teachers had asked for. Kentucky and Texas fell in the middle — ranked 26th and 27th, respectively, in the U.S. — in teacher pay for 2016, according to the National Education Agency.
But Marburger’s account still left some in the comment section wondering whether teacher pay was high enough anywhere in the U.S.
“Teachers should be paid so much better than they are,” Tani DeAdder wrote.
According to WalletHub, only eight states treated teachers worse than Oklahoma. Kentucky treats teachers better than all but 11 states, and Texas ranks 20th on the same list.
But just because the pay is better than in some places doesn’t mean teachers in Texas don’t get frazzled, though, according to Marburger’s post.
“People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children,” she wrote. “It’s a problem that’s going to spread through our society like wildfire. It’s not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life. Many will say I shouldn’t be posting such things on social media...that I should promote education and be positive. But I don’t care anymore. Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP.”