Saying Goodbye to Teaching - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Career Decisions

Saying Goodbye to Teaching

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Tradland Tradland is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
New Member

Tradland
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
New Member
Saying Goodbye to Teaching
Old 06-27-2010, 10:26 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Well, I am looking for some words of support out there.

I will be entering my 3rd year of teaching this year at a low-income public school. I taught 4th grade my first year, was RIFed and then re-hired to teach 7th grade ELL, self-contained (all subjects). I have been asked to do this circus work again. I am dreading it. I am crying constantly during the summer and have a pit in my stomach as the school year approaches.

Teaching was a change of career for me. I wanted to "give back" to those less fortunate. What I have found is that the life in me has been taken. Working for no money one can really live on and doing ridiculous amounts of paper work, lesson plans, district and state oversight and nothing but negative feedback about what "more" needs to be done, has left me without a soul.

I know in my heart that teaching does not fit me. I enjoyed some of my students but frankly, many in the 7th grade did not want to learn. They were in school because they had to be. Parents have shown no support for education and many of my students read at a 1st grade level in 7th grade. How did they get this far in school? Where have their parents been in the home to see that homework gets done and their kids practice reading?

They do not read at home. They have their iPODS, cell phones, video games, but books? Of course not!

I see the education system as broken in the United States. We teach to the test now. We are data-driven with teachers being the scapegoat if students do not "perform". First, parents must take responsibility to honor education. Second, students need to embrace a willingness to learn and third, Administrators need to support their teachers. With all of these things not happening, I have found myself sad and not motivated to be the teacher I thought I could be.

So, I am close to quitting. Life is too short to be sad. If we do not compensate nor support teachers, I fear more and more of us will be leaving the profession. I just cannot get excited anymore about teaching. I may go back into politics and law (my first career). Maybe my new profession will be to lobby on behalf of teachers and get our education system back to normalcy. "No Child Left Behind" has been a complete disaster.

I am saddened that I don't have the strength to continue in this profession, but know that I need a life too and deserve to have my soul back.

Respectfully Submitted, "Saying Goodbye to Teaching"


Tradland is offline   Reply With Quote

multigrade's Avatar
multigrade multigrade is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,748
Senior Member

multigrade
 
multigrade's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 11,748
Senior Member

Old 06-28-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

I'm sorry you've had such a hard time. You've been in extreme situations and weren't appreciated. Only you'll know if you need to go back to your other career or something else. I wonder if a school without extreme situations and younger kids would have helped.

I certainly don't blame you. If you go back, maybe you can get rid of NCLB!

Did you tell them you're not returning?
multigrade is offline   Reply With Quote
76lake's Avatar
76lake 76lake is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,931
Senior Member

76lake
 
76lake's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,931
Senior Member

Old 07-01-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I am sorry that you're unhappy with teaching. I agree with the other PP in that maybe a younger grade might have been better suited for you. I used to do a lot of subbing and found that every school was different. Some had better administrators than others. Have you thought of teaching at a different school or grade level? Maybe you'll have a much better experience at another campus. Only you can make the best decision for you. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Last edited by 76lake; 07-01-2010 at 08:29 PM.. Reason: typo
76lake is offline   Reply With Quote
tiger4th tiger4th is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 41
Junior Member

tiger4th
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 41
Junior Member
Saying Goodbye
Old 07-11-2010, 05:15 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I understand totally how you feel. Teaching is a profession where the majority of the time we have to support each other. You hit the nail on the head as far as the education system of today. I couldn't agree with you more. On the other hand, I love teaching and feel that by sticking with it maybe in some small way I can make a difference. Ironically, my son went to college to become a high school teacher and quit after the first semester. He is now working on his paralegal degree.--
It sounds like our profession is losing a great and caring teacher.
tiger4th is offline   Reply With Quote
G2teach
 
 
Guest

G2teach
 
 
Guest

Old 07-22-2010, 08:20 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I understand your frustration, Tradland. I teach 7th & 8th grade, and although I do not teach in an urban school or school-in-need, I do have exposure to many of the situations and circumstances you are speaking about. It sounds like you have had little mentoring support in your school. Mentoring is such an invaluable tool for new teachers learning to cope with ALL the juggling a teacher has to master. It is overwhelming and daunting for anyone to enter this field – especially most recently, with data driven expectations and a shift away from parent accountability and moving even more toward teacher accountability.

In addition, with the infusion of technology flooding our lives, kids do not know a world without it, and this creates a big problem. Over the 10 years I have been teaching (and I returned to school to get my Masters degree in teaching when my kids were in high school), I am noticing that kids are getting acutely accustomed to the immediacy that technology manifests; and therefore many are losing the spark for intrinsic motivation to achieve, that I did indeed see my first 5 or 6 years of teaching. Technology is another way for parents to relinquish their responsibility, another mode of babysitting – a destructive force that is raising a generation of children that know too much, too soon, and have no idea how to sort it all out in their innocence that is being blended with mature and/or provocative and/or miss-information.

I am so saddened to see valuable educators like yourself get downtrodden by a system that screams achievement, accountability, best practices, educational responsibility, et al…when the system can’t recognize that THEY are in fact most of the problem. It is so hypocritical. Instead of preaching to the choir, the focus should be on family, parental support, getting back to basics when parents put their faith and support and respect in teachers to do their jobs and when administrators united with their teachers and helped them by supporting them. It has become such a numbers game – whether it is about budgets, or tax hikes, or test scores, or rankings and standings…creating a very muddled picture of what is, and what is not, utmost important. So the question remains: what about the students?

I feel for you, truly I do, and ironically, when I decided 14 years ago to go back to school and change my career to teaching, my second choice was law. Teaching won out, as I felt I had the best shot at helping kids; although maybe I was wrong. So far for me, the frustration is not as heavy as your experience tells, and at the end of every year I do know I have helped kids, at least for now. But, the frustration I feel increases every year, and I fear it could become an inner conflict one day – when the kids I’m able to help don’t tip the scale.

Good luck to you with your decision, and whatever you decide keep in mind that the kids are really what matters. May your choice benefit them - using your talents to the maximum for kids!


  Reply With Quote
GreenGables's Avatar
GreenGables GreenGables is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 146
Full Member

GreenGables
 
GreenGables's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 146
Full Member

Old 07-27-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

First of all, I am truly sorry that you have lost your joy! I agree life is too short to be sad. Change is definitely in order, but maybe a change of grade or school, like some of the others suggested. Sometimes the grass truly is greener.
One line that stands out to me in your post is " I know in my heart that teaching does not fit me". Is it teaching? or is it the situation you were in? How did you like the 4th graders? Can you live with the pay if you find a position in which the students have a more teachable attitude? I suspect the answer is yes, since I'm sure you went into this profession initially understanding what you were giving up. Something is causing you to pause before quit - otherwise you would walk away and not reach out for support. Find out what that something is and where you can best fulfill your desire to help.

If you can afford the pay change, substitute teaching would allow you to "shop" around for a more positive work environment, try different grades, and take a break from the paperwork.

What about a charter school? Many students in these schools come from families that are looking for better opportunities and are really motivated to learn and succeed, as they are grateful for the opportunity at a better or skill/art focused school.

I wish you peace in your decisions! I believe you'll find joy again! You've already made the first step by admitting that you need some kind of change.
GreenGables is offline   Reply With Quote
Honeyone Honeyone is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4
New Member

Honeyone
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4
New Member
Don't Go!
Old 08-05-2010, 09:41 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

I am continuing my BA in ECE and I am 62 years of age. I figured it will be tough teaching today's kids because of all you stated, but if I can get through to one or two I know I have made a difference. I hope that you stay in however You must do what is best for you. So take a break and a deep breath. We and they need you!!!!
Honeyone is offline   Reply With Quote
AboutTheKids
 
 
Guest

AboutTheKids
 
 
Guest
leaving teaching
Old 05-30-2011, 09:14 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

Wish I had words of support but I had almost this exact same experience over the last year after leaving a 25 year career in media to get my Masters and work with kids. Teaching for the test has killed the art of great teaching - and the students' desire to learn along the way. Parents who blame the teacher and school, students who dont want to learn and resent being there, a system that now faults the teacher (8th grade language arts) for being unable to teach To Kill A Mockingbird to kids who can barely read, and who's parents don't read.
I had some wonderful students who made my time worthwhile but overall, the experience was a nightmare I will never repeat. I don't regret it or the insight I gained- just regret that people who went into the field with great passion and ideas like myself get so discouraged and beaten down that they leave. I worked two jobs just to support my girls and I while teaching, and had little to no support along the way from the administration, the district, or the vast majority of the parents.
It became so crystal clear to me early on that the kids with parents who care create students who care and actually enjoy learning. The others come in with little desire to learn and even less awareness of how a lack of education will affect their future. I am still grieving but moving on to teach at a private college with kids who want to learn. Its part-time now, but was worth quitting my middle school job. I have never been so demoralized in a job in my life and would rather waitress then repeat that experience. No Child Left Behind has been a total disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Career Decisions
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:34 AM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net