Post # 1
I’ve started threads about teaching before and this is not any different… I just got off the phone with my mom, after I told her what happened today. I got my last observation of the year back from my observation yesterday. There were several negative comments and not that many positive ones. It is like the administrator saw everything that went wrong and did not see what I did/handled in a positive manner. I am now in the process of attaching my comments to explain what happened (such as the computer failures that occurred that she did not even bother to mention, directions being on the board yet students were disregarding that, etc.)
My mom started her lecture again about how when is it going to be enough for me and when will I realize that it isn’t worth it… She says I’m the only one who can answer that question. I agree with her. I know I have a lot of thinking to do. She asked, “Is this really what you went to college for? To deal with disrespectful teenagers, parents who give you no support, and an administration that needs work on their own discipline policies?”… She knows that it is not 100% of students, parents, and administration that are like this but she just thinks that it is time for me to look for something else and take a break from teaching. I am 26 and teaching high school. I still get mistaken for a student at school even when I’m wearing professional clothes.
Honestly, I do like teaching. This year is only my second year. I know they say it gets better but my mom said that it is only getting better because I’m “numb” to it. She used the simile that it’s like a husband and wife.. Husband abuses his wife at times, they have their good days and bad days. I also have my good days and bad days with teaching. However, just like in the husband and wife scenario, it is usually better to leave since the situation will not change – it’s just good some days.
I’m at a loss on what to do. I see the positive in teaching because I have my students who do care and respect me and love me. I don’t really know why I started this thread and what I wanted out of it. I just need some words of advice, hear from other teachers, and just some comforting words, maybe?
I love my principal and many of the administrators. It is the school’s overall discipline policy that needs work. The students see that they can get away with so much and the “consequences” of ISS, getting suspended, etc. doesn’t really bother them. There have been many write-ups that were written off as a warning for students when teachers have felt that it should’ve have definitely been more than a warning.
Post # 3
It honestly sounds like you are miserable at your job. It also sounds like your mom is listening to you, being intuitive, and giving you advice from the POV of seeing the effect it has on you.
I would listen to my mother.
Post # 4
Have you thought about moving to a different school or even a private school? The pay might not be as good if you go to a private school, but it might be worth it for smaller class sizes, better parents (on average), and the likelihood of a better administration.
I’m so sorry this is happening! I’m about a year and some months away from being a teacher myself (elementary), and this is my biggest fear.
Post # 5
I also teach high school, and I can definitely relate. The first few years are the hardest, but I’m in my 8th year and have all the same problems you are having. I wish I had advice, but I’m in the same exact situation as you. Some days I love my job, but most days I come home feeling defeated.
Post # 6
If you like the day to day of teaching, you should stay. If it’s just an administrator giving you a hard time, move to another school. I had an administrator make my life hell. I loved teaching, but it was a struggle for me (I was exhausted all the time and drowning in paperwork). Then the admin had it out for me. I ended up leaving the profession.
I would also ask if another good teacher would mind observing you to see if the admin was right (meaning you need improvement) or just being an a$$.
BTW- when the senior teacher(20+years) (from another school) observed me she thought I was awesome and even took some of my ideas and lesson plans back with her.
But karma is a bitch, the evil admin got fired a year later because he had been arrested for his 2nd DUI.
Post # 7
@alotlikelove: I’m a high school teacher too. And it really does get better, and NOT at all in the abusive relationship analogy way! Obviously I don’t exactly know your situation and maybe teaching isn’t for you. But you said yourself that you like teaching. As far as negative comments in your evaluation, are your administrators doing anything to try to help you improve? Evaluations aren’t supposed to be like oh you are bad at xyz, just letting you know you suck. They’re supposed to serve to help you improve, which as a new teacher there are usually a million ways in which you can get better.
Anyway, only you can know what you should do, but the way I read this is that you generally like teaching, you are obviously not perfect at it, but my sense is that you want to keep at it for now. So please don’t let your mom try to convince you otherwise if that is not what you want.
(This is coming from a teacher in her 7th year, who also gets confused for a student sometimes, who wanted to quit at the end of her first year, but thankfully kept at it and loves her job.)
Post # 8
Sorry you are having a rough time. I am a teacher and in my experience, some administrators are there to truly support you, but there are quite a few I’ve come across who operate like they have massive chips on their shoulders and can be unreasonably harsh, especially in their treatment of new teachers. It always amazes me that as teachers we are told to emphasize the positive when dealing with students- but some admininstrators cannot do the same for us teachers in return.
My mother still remarks once in a while that I got 2 master’s degrees in order to become a glorified babysitter/diaper changer (I work in preschool special ed). And granted there are some days where that hits home! But at the end of each day I think of at least one thing that happened that made the day all worthwhile- it’s been enough to keep me going for 6 years 🙂
If you are truly unhappy, is it worth it in the long run? Only you can answer that!
Post # 9
@alotlikelove: I’m a teacher and I’ve taught high school for the last 7 years. My first 2 years were MISERABLE. I really thought I was going to quit. I also got reviews like yours and thought the same thing – didn’t they see the good things I do?
It does get better, not because I’m numb to the ‘abuse’ but because I hate to say it, you learn how to play the game as far as administration is concerned. I too look young for my age even though I’m almost 29 and at first it was hard to gain that respect from both students and parents. I learned to develop a thick skin. I am known as the ‘tough’ teacher but I have had students come back and thank me for pushing them. I have had parents tell me that I’ve been a positive influence on their child. It’s those kind of things that keep me in teaching.
You also have to realize that no job is perfect and the grass is always greener. I obviously cannot tell you whether or not you should stay in teaching as I think there are many things that come into play. I am lucky to work in a school district that does appreciate what teachers do. I have crappy days and I have good days just like every other job. I have always wanted to be a teacher so for me I couldn’t picture doing anything else so that also could be why I was able to stick it out.
I hope things get better for you. You don’t need to make a decision ‘today’. Think about things when you’re not emotional (not saying you are, but in general it’s obviously better to make a decision with a clear head after you’ve weighed everything). Write a pros and cons list. What else could you do with your degree if you left teaching? What other areas interest you? Do you have a master’s degree? What about teaching at a community college? What about getting certification to go into administration? Don’t feel as though you don’t have any options because you do.
I’m rooting for you
Post # 10
@alotlikelove: it sounds like you still like teaching, just not your admin. It is awful to work with a principal you are not particularly fond of. I would say switch schools! I luckily love all of my admin but I have heard horror stories…and I will also say not every year is going to be fantastic. This my 5th and probably roughest group. Keep your head up, summer will be here before you know it!!
Post # 11
I’m sorry that you are having a tough time….. I completely understand! I’m a high school teacher as well in an inner city district …. This is my 12th year there and some days I can’t believe I’m still there after all of the stress it has caused me. But then I think about the students who are really trying and want to learn….. It makes me forget about all of the crap that goes on every day. I have had really supportive administrators and really unsupportive ones….. And every year I say I’m going to leave I end of coming back simply because a few kids tell me they miss my class. Funny, but sometimes that’s all it takes. I would speak one on one with your administrator (post observation conference) and express your concerns. It does get better, but it also depends on your relationship with your admin.
My observation is next week and after 12 years I still get nervous beforehand.
Post # 12
Oh hunny. I am so sorry. Take an evening to yourself. Put aside the review. Remember WHY you went to school for what you did. Make a list of your best experiences and your worst experiences. Does the good outweigh the bad? What about the students, sure some of them are annoying, but is there one this year where you made a difference? Would that difference have been made without there?
I know it is hard. I know it is frustrating. While parent’s may not always say it… we appreciate it. I emailed my 7 year old’s teacher this week and thanked her for bed time. Yup bed time. At the beginning of 2nd grade we would struggle thru kids books while my daughter stumbled over words and took forever. I dreaded it, but we did it. Something happened, her teacher figured something out and worked with her and now bed time is awesome. We are reading chapter books together and really having a great time. I wanted to thank her for it. But I think more often than not, that goes unseen.
Is it possible for you to talk to the parents? do you know one personally?
Don’t give up… finding a job right now is difficult. Especially teaching. Nothing is guarenteed. So look around, but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, until you get there.
Good luck hun…. Believe in yourself.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
Today I had a hell of a day with some of my end of term students. They decided they were going to not do the exam because I had not given them enough time to revise (they were given time not a lot but i explained at the beginning of the class exactly what they had to do, majority of which was selecting words from a box) so I cant make them, anyway half way through the test they decided they didnt want to fail and started and asked for extra time at the end. They were rude, irritating, broke rules etc etc.
Ive decided teaching foreign languages is not for me although im good at it and in June I will finish out the term and not touch it again and that makes me feel happy. I have taught other things though, I hae taught dance before which I loved, I have also been a mentor and a tutor another thing that I love.
Teaching is such a broad subject why dont you try looking up and researching different areas you may want to teach and feel more enthusiastic about?
Children will get away with hell at school these days (damn I sound old!!!) that is becoming universal, its just the way things are moving. Children are more worldly nowadays and not as fearful as when i was at scchool. You got to work out if you can tolerate that or not
Post # 14
The first couple of years of teaching are very difficult because you are still earning a reputation at the school (as to what you will and won’t take from kids) and you are still learning your own style and what works and doesn’t work for you. Evaluations are supposed to be helpful, not make you stress out more- it sounds like your evaluator hasn’t been trained on how to give useful evaluations. How are you supposed to learn and grow with negativity? No one likes observations, but they shouldn’t be something to be feared.
I’ve been teaching for 13 years. There are days I want to bash my head up against a wall, and days I want to sing because I reached a kid (or five) and made a difference. It can be exhausting, rewarding, a learning experience, and there are great benefits to the job if you can hang in there. This time of year is also hard because everyone is getting burned out- we are in the home stretch! (unless you work in a year-round school, lol.) All my grades were due this week and I was about to rip my hair out. But I also had kids pass this quarter who didn’t pass last semester and it was because I pushed and encouraged them and I’m so proud. It’s things like that that keep me going. I also learn something from my kids every day.
It’s easy for people who are not teachers and who are not ‘in the trenches’ so to speak, to give advice- especially peeople who care about you and see that you are stressed or hurting. Your mom obviously wants what’s best for you, but you really shouldn’t give up until you have weathered through at least 3-4 years (unless of course you feel that you mentally cannot continue, but I don’t get the feeling that you are at this point.) After that time, you will have a good feel for teaching, you will be able to do so many more things instinctually and it does get easier. In the meantime, perhaps find a senior teacher or mentor (do you have a new teacher mentor? all new teachers should have one) who you could talk to about your concerns regarding the evaluation. Preferably not the person who evaluated you. It’s always helpful to have an outside eye. You could have them come and watch you for a class period and give you pointers and point out some of the positive things you are doing. You will see that it’s not as bad as you think. Your evaluator probably had good intentions, and didn’t realize the importance of positive feedback. This is why people need to be properly trained.
Hang in there hon!! What do you teach? I teach high school science. 🙂 It really helps when you are passionate about the subject you are teaching too. And keep your sense of humor. Some days, all you can do is laugh or just shake your head. 😉
Post # 15
I can totally relate. I’ve actually been substituting in a couple districts for 3 or 4 years now, mostly at a highschool, and I absolutely hate it. But my parents are on the opposite side as your mom. They hear me complain and even cry at times at how bad the kids are and how awful things are handled “these days” but they still think I went to school for it, I have to do it. My dad continues to look for jobs for me and is always on me to apply at different schools. It’s sad that I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st grade, and I do enjoy it when kids are interested and there’s discipline, but that’s just so rare anymore.
However, I got a full time job this week as a manager in a different field, and I can already say I am so relieved to no longer be in the schools. It’s probably going to be even more work than teaching, but I already sleep better at night knowing I don’t have to wake up to a career I hate!!
So, do whatever your heart tells you to. I tell myself if kids are this bad now, and they’re allowed to do whatever they do now, just wait a few more years, it will be impossible. But to each their own!!
Post # 16
@DamaskBride47: Subbing is really completely different than having your own classroom. I have to give kudos to subs, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be one. It’s a lot harder to go in and be with kids who you don’t know day after day. Even long term subs have a hard time with the discipline, and they rarely get to actually teach in the field they are specialized in. If you start of the year with students and stick through with discipline and content, it is a whole lot different, I assure you. I started as a long-term sub, and it was a rough ride! Having my own classroom where the kids have known me from day one has made worlds of difference. And experience matters too. Once you’ve been doing it a few years it gets easier. 🙂 Good luck to you with your new job!