(WTRF) – Many people are closing their books and walking away from the classroom. 

The national teacher shortage has left schools across the country with vacant positions and the possibility of overcrowded classrooms only weeks before students head back to school.

I was told just teach math and mind your own business.

Dr. Kathleen Miller, Former Public Educator

Dr. Kathleen Miller is one example of how the public school system is pushing teachers out of the door.  

Dr. Miller said her goal was to graduate and later return to her alma mater as a high school calculous teacher.  Never in a million years did she expect to leave her dream job, but after a little over 11-years, things changed. 

It was a gradual process to where I felt like there was a wall that was being forced in front of me and the students that I was not encouraged to have relationships with them or to care for them as a human being.

Dr. Kathleen Miller, Former Public Educator

Dr. Miller said as her time in public school continued, the curriculum grew more test-based.  

She looked for a solution and soon found herself working in private education.  

I am never going to knock a teacher in a public-school cause I know all of our hearts are the same. You go into the profession because you love kids and you want to teach. It’s just the system itself, it’s so frustrating and restrictive.

Dr. Kathleen Miller, Former Public Educator

It could be discouraging for those entering the profession, but for Timmi Snyder, it couldn’t be more motivating. Synder decided to return to the classroom because her passion for teaching in the public school system is just that strong.  

Timmi Snyder, JMHS 9th Grade Teacher

There are still some people that actually love this job and come here every day ready to inspire these kids. I want them to feel special, nurtured, welcomed into this high school experience and feel that I can be a person that they can come to.

Timmi Snyder, Teacher

Whatever it may be that pushed countless teachers away, Snyder said in every job you will face obstacles, but that won’t stop her from doing what she loves.  

All these people are escaping these kids and I feel like today these kids need us more than ever.

Timmi Snyder, Teacher

Schools in the Ohio Valley start back up this week, so 7News will be watching to see if this nationwide teacher shortage impacts schools in our area.