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“I cannot set myself on fire to keep someone else warm” former teacher pens in viral resignation letter

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Image via pxhere

Sariah McCall, elementary school teacher, was in her classroom every morning at 6:45 a.m. teaching bell-to-bell class, going to meetings during her planning period and worked assigned lunch as well as recess duties with little to zero time to eat or go to the restroom.

And when the bell rang for the 2:15 p.m. student dismissal, she worked an assigned bus or hall duty — which was followed by lesson and classroom prep.

Some days, McCall left school by 5 p.m. and when she did finally get home, she would work on grading and paperwork until 11 p.m. or midnight, then falling asleep and repeating.

Image via pxhere

But as the workload was not sustainable, she now shares her powerful letter she wrote explaining why she left teaching forever.

“The only things keeping me from resigning until now were the love I have for my students, the love I have for the act of teaching, and the heavy guilt I feel for my children being negatively impacted by this in any way: emotionally or academically,” McCall penned to the Charleston County School District back in November.

“However, I cannot set myself on fire to keep someone else warm,”

“I felt like I was running on a hamster while going nowhere. I was just working all the time and there was still more to do. The to-do-list was never-ending,” McCall shared with Yahoo Lifestyle. “I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

Image via pexels

McCall claims that she never saw herself leaving teaching until it was happening.

“You can’t keep killing yourself over it because it’s not helping anybody. I had to prioritize that I had to be more important than my career. And it still sounds really selfish and I still feel guilty about it,” McCall shared.



After submitting her resignation letter, McCall claims that she was requested by her school district administrators to re-write her letter to “something that was a little less emotional.”

It was then that McCall’s former teachers encouraged her to post it publicly and was later published by the Washington Post.

“I feel like with just how raw it was, it really resonated because we are hurting and it can feel hopeless,” says McCall. “But when you know that you’re not the only teacher and it’s not just your school, it can kind of empower you because you know you’re not alone anymore.”

Image via U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick

The former teacher has since moved back to Savannah where she works in the food and beverage industry.

McCall hopes that her letter will convince legislators and the public to support public education along with its humble teachers.

McCall says writing the emotional resignation letter was a “cathartic experience” when deciding whether or not she would be able to finish out the school year.

Image via Free Good Photos

“I realized I just couldn’t. That letter wasn’t just an experience, it was my reality. I had to submit it. I couldn’t go back after that,” the 28-year-old says.

In the letter, McCall addresses the Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait, stating:

“Do more with less time, funding and resources. Take more of the blame, guilt, and responsibility. Be ready to sacrifice your personal life, mental health, and physical safety. Don’t be a complainer,” McCall wrote in her letter.

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