New Teacher Profiles: If You Hate It, Leave It

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“One day I was sitting at my cubicle staring at a project in front of me and realized I didn’t understand its ‘societal importance’ and didn’t care about the job as a whole, so I quit,” quipped Michael Slotnick about his time as advertising media planner.

Mr. Slotnick is an Integrated III math teacher for tenth and eleventh graders.  After three years of stress and hard work, he resigned from his job. The aspect he disliked most was seeing people stress so much about things he found to be insignificant for what he thought truly matters in life. According to him, “people were too concerned with simply making money, which is the opposite of my philosophy.”

Starting as a substitute, he later taught at a charter school, New Heights, located in New York, where our very own Stephen Brennan taught. Today, they are both teaching at the same school, Miami Country Day. According to Mr. Slotnick, “it is faster paced here than in New York.”

Occasionally, he wonders if he would have enjoyed doing advertising for a non-profit or for a cause that he really supports. In a curious way, Mr. Slotnick compares his teaching techniques to something he learned in advertising: in order to sell anything, one needs to teach it first. Mr. Slotnick feels he is using his advertising techniques for math in order to motivate his students to learn. “So in a way I never really changed professions,” says Slotnick.

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