Talks with Teachers Interview

Talks with Teachers Interview

Back in June, I received an email from Brian Sztabnik, an English teacher and varsity basketball coach in New York. Brian read my post about leaving the classroom, and wondered if we could sit down for an interview on his podcast, Talks with Teachers.

Brian is a talented educator who works hard to inspire students and bring more honor to the teaching profession. He developed the Talks with Teachers podcast, along with his wife Jessica, to help teachers find joy and purpose.

Obviously, my departure from the classroom was a somewhat unconventional fit for the podcast, but Brian wanted me to share my thought process with other teachers who may sometimes question their calling. If you’d like to hear the podcast, you can listen here. I welcome criticisms, feedback and questions in the comments section below.

More importantly, I encourage you to listen to some of the other interviews. The Talks with Teachers’ podcasts are formatted intelligently, and Brian’s interviews with inspirational teachers are often thought-provoking.

Visit or subscribe to the TalkswithTeachers podcast on iTunes.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Josh, your blog post was shared with me on Facebook, and I was very disappointed as I read it. As an educator for the last 21 years, I too have seen all of the things that you have in your 6 years. The difference is I made the choice to stay, while you made the choice to leave. I don’t deny anything that you’ve said is true. It’s all true. Teaching is a hard job no matter what, and sometimes you just have to listen to what’s in your heart and do what you’re called to do. It disappoints me that after 6 short years, you’ve given up on the most important profession in the world. At the end of the day, regardless of budget constraints, testing constraints, new policies and politics, or lack of commitment by community, parents, or anyone else, your commitment to students is what really matters. This weekend, is a great example of that. I’m in Virginia going to a wedding of a student whom I taught in 7th Grade. It is sad that you haven’t decided to stick it out long enough for something as wonderful and satisfying as that. I have the opportunity to change someone’s life, and this changes mine! That’s why I teach, that’s why I continue to teach, and that’s why I will stay in this profession for the rest of my life.

  2. 2

    I currently work in the technology world and one day had hoped to get certified and teach what I love to do to high school students. I commend you on making the decision to leave even after getting an award for your teaching! My oldest daughter has ADHD and is currently in fourth grade. In second grade, I asked for an IEP many times. I purposely lived in the same school district I grew up in so she could go to my elementary school. Her teacher in second grade had been there since I had attended school there. In fact, it was to be her last year after being there 39 years. She refused my daughter an IEP many times. I was finally enlightened by her physciotrist that I was asking for the wrong thing and said I needed to ask for a child study to be done because by law I could not be denied that. So I did just that. And yes one was done. Her teacher got flat out angery I had asked for that. And guess who paid….my child. Her teacher was so jaded after working with kids for so long, she didn’t care about helping my daughter, she looked at her as an inconvenience. She moved my daughters desk to the very front of the room right beside her desk. I watched my happy, bubbly child become withdrawn, ashamed, and sad. The teacher sent me an email asking me to attend a field trip because she felt it would be unfair to have another parent “deal” with my daughter. And don’t you worry, the principal was made aware of all this. But it was her first year and this teacher was leaving anyway so not much help. We had moved during that year and to keep her routine the same I kept her at that school and kick myself for doing it. Last year she went to the school in the area we lived, in the same county and was truly blessed with the teacher she had and the administration there as well. Unfortunately, I am still trying to mend her self-esteem and confidence. This year she is with another teacher who is a bit jaded and it shows. I’m in constant communication with the teacher, assistant principal, and head of the special ed department so that she does not have another year that demends her.
    I no longer wish to join others in a teaching role. Not because of the pay but for other reasons many ones being the same as the ones you mentioned needed to change. My kids are my world and I focus now on advocating for them and gaining knowledge on ADHD to help my oldest daughter. So once again I commend you on focusing on what’s right for your family when you have been given the facts not an opinion. My daughter is on a 6th grade reading level yet failed her reading SOL last year….makes perfect sense…oh wait no it really doesn’t. The new way of doing math that I can’t wrap my head around but have to help her and end up showing her how I learned it and then using the way she understands from me and getting to correct answer she gets it marked incorrect because it’s not done a certain way??!?! I seriously consider a private school almost weekly now for her future.
    Anyway, I wish you the very best in you and your family’s future and hope the teaching world improves for teachers and their students!

+ Leave a Comment