This just makes me want to BAWL with recognition! I was "failed" twice in a BEd program in my mid-40s. The THING about greeting by name is such a big deal... I watched my sponsor teacher do it, even as a I knew she didn't give a rat's ass about the minds and souls behind those faces. It takes daily/hourly/minutely time and care to truly connect with a class of kids. It took weeks before I'd made some connection with each (grade 7 and distrusting...as they should be by then, in that psychotic element...) but finally, the last clicked into place, and I felt as if we were all working together... only to be told, yes, that line about "poor relationship." Anyway, I could go on, but will stop. I stopped when I felt every muscle and joint in my body screaming at me. And have now left university teaching too. (Thank you for signing up for my Substack Unschool For Writers btw!)
I am very sorry you went through this. I think that urge to stay has to do with disbelief that so-called adult humans can actually behave as they do (and for WHAT purpose??!!) I suspect that a number of young people observed all this with you--kids are good at that!--and have been inspired to live their lives, even if it means stepping out of a system!
LOVE the paragraph about your life now--so good to read. And you are writing! Yes!