Teacher's Epic Resignation Letter: Profession 'No Longer Exists'

Gerald Conti resignation letter
Gerald Conti resignation letter

As K-12 education in America has tumbled in global rankings, states have responded: more focus on math and science, more teacher accountability, more testing, and more standardized lesson plans. But one history teacher's resignation letter, posted two weeks ago on Facebook, reads like a last cry from the old guard. The new system, retiring teacher Gerald Conti writes, "seeks only conformity" and "zombie-like adherence." The profession of teaching, Conti says, "no longer exists."

In his letter, which has already been shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook (a printout of it is pictured at right), Conti describes the passion that kept him in teaching for 40 years, 27 of them at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y. He describes his approach of "teaching heavy," based on immersion, intensive research and obsessive attention to detail. He mentions the two signs that hang in his classroom, reading "Words Matter" and "Ideas Matter." "I have truly attempted to live John Dewey's famous quotation," Conti writes, "... that 'Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.'"