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First Year Teacher About to be a New Mom... and I Think About Quitting Every Day

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First Year Teacher About to be a New Mom... and I Think About Quitting Every Day
Old 01-23-2016, 08:41 AM
 
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I feel like I'm in quite a pickle. I am a first year teacher starting the teaching game mid-year. That in itself has been challenging, but that hasn't been the only issue. I started with NO curriculum, and I am the ONLY high school English teacher, meaning I was supposed to teach four classes... which would have been fine, if the principal didn't decide to change one of my English classes into a "Journalism" class in order to get the IEP kids out of taking the PARCC so that the scores look better. I now teach 5 classes, one of them being a dual credit with the local community college, with no curriculum. I basically take it week by week, which turns into day by day. I have no idea where we are going, what we are doing, and I think of checkpoints, objectives, standards, assessments as we go along.

I also found out that I'm pregnant. This is fantastic news. My husband and I, though only very recently married, are extremely excited to be having a little one of our own. However, I'm not sure if I can keep up with teaching while being a new mom. Here's the thing: I love my students. They give me relatively little problems, and I learned in student teaching that dealing with little classroom management problems in the beginning eradicate bigger issues. This has worked well. It's not my students that are the problem. It is the massive workload that I have now, and the even more massive workload looming on the horizon. I know administration has been cutting me a break because I'm new, but I know that the grace period won't last long. In our school, we are responsible for keeping up with missing assignments and formally submitting missing assignment reports to admin, we are not allowed to discipline, we are to develop pre-test/post-tests for every unit, our evals require tedious, time consuming amounts of work that result in scores that are never high enough, and every year teachers are given more and more work.

So it's not the students, it's the public school politics. I think about my job 24/7. It is relatively low-paying, but it will be financially hard on us if I quit, especially with a baby on the way. I am wondering if being a teacher's aide would be more fitting for my life. I love helping kids, I'm good at helping them one-on-one, ESPECIALLY with writing, but I don't know if I can keep this up. I feel guilty for going on a date with my husband, or taking time for a first-trimester induced nap. I feel guilty for not planning ALL THE TIME because it NEEDS to be done all the time. I don't see my friends, family or even my husband very much. I'm always working. I'm disillusioned, disenchanted, and I just want a life again.

Sorry for the rant -_- I know I'm not alone in this feeling. I just don't know if quitting is right. I really just want to be an aide.


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Aide pay vs. Daycare costs
Old 01-23-2016, 11:53 AM
 
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With the price of daycare, it could be a wash. Are there any part time positions in your district? Aides don't make nearly what they are worth, and it's a lot less than teachers. First year is always so challenging. Ok, it's hell. But it gets better. You need to decide if you can handle the workload and the baby. Congratulations on your upcoming addition! What an exciting time! On,y you can decide what will work best for you and yours. But if you need the income, make sure what you do covers both daycare and helps with other expenses. Keep us posted!
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it's hard at first....
Old 01-24-2016, 04:27 PM
 
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You said you started mid year, so I'm guessing you don't have an Induction coach? You should be discussing your needs with the principal or AP, or team member in your department. It sucks when they do this to new teachers. Thing is you are overwhelmed and understandably so. Ask for help, your district should have a TOSA, or someone at the district level that can help you, but start with your Principal. It won't always be this way. The timing is tough but congrats on your baby news!

You may be able to tweak your credential and do a slightly different job, junior high might be better for you. Can't escape the politics but becoming a teacher isn't particularly easy and it is time consuming, are you sure with all of your education that you want to be an aide? The pay difference is huge.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:59 AM
 
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I have a different take on this. Definitely check on the pay differential, but being an aide for a few years doesn't mean a life sentence of low pay. If you have teacher credentials, you can always move back into teaching when you are ready to do so.

It's really about your home budget right now. A few questions to consider:

-Could you get by on your husband's income for awhile? Does he have health insurance benefits?

-Are you willing to leave a young baby in day care? If so, can you afford to do that on an aide's pay?

I say that working as an aide, if you can afford to do so, would be lots less stress! You can return to the classroom when you are ready, maybe after your children are in school. However, you may need to make some choices in order to manage the lower pay.

My dh stayed home with our kids while I worked as a teacher. We had a very limited budget, but we have not had a moment's regret about doing that! Accepting a lower income in order to have a less stressed mommy is a reasonable choice.

Some other options that might work temporarily for you: tutoring (might allow you to work fewer hours for pretty good pay, if you can get enough clients), substitute teaching (very low pay, but you can choose your work), and "other" teaching type jobs, like working at a museum or as a children's librarian.

You are in a situation right now that sounds untenable even for an experienced teacher, so it might be that if you can land a teaching job at a different school, you would be happier.

When is the baby due? That may factor into your decision as well.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:18 AM
 
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I can't say one way or the other what you should do about quitting, but I do suggest looking up what standards you absolutely must meet this semester and then going on TPT or browsing the local teacher storeand buying a few ready made units or workbooks. Even if it's a couple hundred dollars worth to get some good ones, it's worth it to save your sanity this year. Give yourself some breathing room. Don't feel like you have to do everything perfectly right now. Just do your "best right now." Not your best ever, your best for now.


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