After 13 years as an educator, Ty Cochran needed a change. Cochran, a former business teacher at CHS, is now working for Missouri Enterprise as a sales associate.
“We are a manufacturing consultant company,” Cochran said. “I go in and build relationships with these companies, find out what needs they have, and then connect them to our project managers to see if they can help.”
Not only did Cochran need a change, but he also felt that the standard at Clayton was falling. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many teachers and classes have become easier for students. Although many people were enjoying the benefits of this, Cochran recognized
the problems. “I felt like we were really lowering the bar for students, which seemed nice on the surface, but in the long run it was really hurting them,” he said.
For Cochran, the corporate world gives him a chance to set a higher standard for himself.
“I don’t have to do a lot of busy work now, with teaching there’s a lot of that,” he said. “I just feel like I’m treated more like an adult in the corporate world.”
Not only was Cochran frustrated by lowered standards, but also by how teachers were compensated. “It didn’t matter how good or crappy of a teacher I was, I was still going to get paid the same amount as [any other] teacher,” he said.
Cochran’s concerns for Clayton didn’t end at teacher pay. He also felt that his beliefs and values were not fully accepted by the district. “Clayton is a great place, there are so many great educators and students, I built some great relationships there,” Cochran said, “But my
values and beliefs didn’t really align with Clayton’s. I just didn’t feel like it was a place that I should stay at.”
Clayton is a great place, there are so many great educators and students, I built some great relationships there, but my values and beliefs didn’t really align with Clayton’s. I just didn’t feel like it was a place that I should stay at.
— Ty Cochran
Not only did he feel that his values were not accepted, but also the values of some of his students. “I was in charge of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and we talked about if they felt comfortable sharing their beliefs in the classroom,”
Cochran said. “All of them said no.”
The feeling of not having a space to share his beliefs was ultimately one of the factors that lead him to leave education. Although he does not see a life of coming back to teaching, there are some aspects of work that he cannot get outside of the classroom.
“I miss the students the most,” Cochran said. “When I was in the classroom teaching, building relationships with my students, that’s what I loved.”