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Be brutally honest, would you leave teaching if you could?
Old 07-24-2019, 06:15 AM
 
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I definitely would leave education altogether if I could. For me it is a question of money. More education/training costs an arm and a leg and I have already spent enough; I want my money for other things. And, it is very hard to get into other fields unless someone starts out entry level. Even then many companies prefer to hire new(er) graduates than career changers with years of work experience.

I tell people who are thinking about teaching to not do it. If they really want to try it, I tell them that if they are still unhappy or ambivalent after 3-4 years, to go ahead and get out to maximize their opportunities to do something different.

Maybe it is because I have become more introverted as time has gone on. Or maybe I am just over it. Seriously, I would love to just have a job where I basically do my work and minimal contact or meeting with other people.


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Old 07-24-2019, 06:20 AM
 
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I just realized I have 20 more years until I can retire and I honestly donít think I can do it. Too many bad administrators and Iíve been screwed by my district(s) too many times.

Iím tired and beaten down. And, I agree, Iíve become even more introverted (I didnít think that was possible.

Yes, I would leave teaching tomorrow if I could.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:23 AM
 
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I'd leave now if I could. I love teaching, but it feels that admin just wants robots, not teachers.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:52 AM
 
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I started out as a classroom teacher, moved on to corporate training and went back to subbing when my children were young because I needed flexibility. From what lve seen and experienced the last 12 years there is no way I’d encourage my children to go into education.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:04 AM
 
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If I knew what else I would want to do (and that brought a living wage) and had the ability to change then yes I probably would leave teaching.


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Old 07-24-2019, 07:20 AM
 
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I absolutely loved teaching when I started. It was my second career, so I started late. 13 years later, I was worn out and retired early despite originally planning to teach for 4 more years. I just couldn't do it. I'm lucky I was financially able to retire early. I honestly don't think I would recommend anyone go into teaching these days. And that makes me sad.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:25 AM
 
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Yes, absolutely, I would leave this very second if I didnít need the money and benefits. Sadly, I have been thinking this for a few years. I feel more introverted, too.

I wish I had a crystal ball when I graduated high school.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:30 AM
 
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I have an interview next week for a corporate training position. Not sure how I feel about the the "up to 50% travel" though. It's been years since I was at the airport other than to pick someone up.
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Leaving the Profession
Old 07-24-2019, 07:50 AM
 
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I retired four years earlier than originally anticipated and took a small penalty in my pension amount. It was the best decision I ever made.

I loved teaching for many years, but the past 5 or 6 years were not fun. The endless testing pressure, data gathering, useless professional development, and new curriculum every few years made it very stressful as a career.

Last edited by travelingfar; 07-24-2019 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:59 AM
 
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One thing that's holding me back from leaving teaching is my summers. I don't know of other jobs where you have the summers "off". Now, I know teachers don't totally have the summers off, as we do PD, get things ready for the next year, and do a lot of work in the school year, but overall, we don't have a set work schedule every day of the summer. It's so nice not to have that schedule. I don't want to give that up!


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Old 07-24-2019, 08:08 AM
 
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I echo everything said 100%... I also tell people to not go into teaching. I would leave teaching in a heartbeat without a question if I had an option to make more money.

I'm at the point that I would honestly do anything else if it made me more money.

And TeacherBee- do you think you'd need all that summer downtime if you weren't teaching? I think because the school year is so draining we feel like we need it. I look at my roommates (a Marine and FBI)- and they work far less than me. One works longer days so that he can take Fridays off, the Marine is home at like 1pm most days. They both have so much leave and flexibility of when they can take it. I would actually prefer working in the summer and be able to travel during off times to save on trip costs.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:32 AM
 
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While I'm teaching, I can't imagine leaving.

At the end of most days, I'm exhausted and wondering if it's worth it.

Each summer, I've done less and less on my own time and dime.

I find myself calculating how soon I can retire.

I don't think I could tell somebody that the rewards of teaching outweigh the money concerns anymore.

But... I still wake up in the middle of the night worrying and praying about certain students, or with some new idea for the classroom.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:39 AM
 
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Yes, I definitely would. I love my summers, but all the pain to get to summer each year is working havoc on me. I am in an area that does not have many job prospects, which makes it even more difficult to find another job that would match my salary (which is sad).
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:54 AM
 
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I started teaching in 2001 and by 2008 I was contemplating ways that I could injure myself just enough to justify getting a day off (never actually hurt myself). I didn’t leave teaching until 2010 and it was the best thing I have ever done. I went back to grad school and I am an MSW and LSW working as a therapist now. I set my own hours and can adjust them as needed so I can be with my kids. I honestly don’t think I’d still be alive if I had continued teaching. The stress would have killed me.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:02 AM
 
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I just thank my lucky stars I had an entirely separate career in another field for seven years. My pension contributions counted for the state system, so I only taught for 25 years. I enjoyed both careers but I would not have made it another seven teaching.
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Possibly...
Old 07-24-2019, 09:06 AM
 
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Quote:
And TeacherBee- do you think you'd need all that summer downtime if you weren't teaching? I think because the school year is so draining we feel like we need it. I look at my roommates (a Marine and FBI)- and they work far less than me. One works longer days so that he can take Fridays off, the Marine is home at like 1pm most days. They both have so much leave and flexibility of when they can take it. I would actually prefer working in the summer and be able to travel during off times to save on trip costs.
Possibly, I guess I wouldn't know until I try it...but to be off almost all day every day for 2.5 months or so when the weather is so gorgeous seems like quite a treat to me that even with those other jobs, I couldn't have all those days in a row off. Even as a student I looked forward to my summers because I could have those days of freedom!
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:15 AM
 
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How I feel varies from month to month.
Sept. love my job
Oct. Love my job
Nov. like my job
Dec. like my job--end of december, love my job!
Jan. like it
Feb like it
March meh
April meh
May meh
June: love my job
July LOVE LOVE MY JOB
August: LOVE LOVE MY JOB
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:27 AM
 
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I would not. I still love my job. Maybe it is because I work in a private school setting without the pressures that come with high stakes testing, etc., but I enjoy what I do.
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I guess I'm weird.
Old 07-24-2019, 09:33 AM
 
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I can't imagine not teaching. I'm 64 years old, and I plan to teach 2 more years. I've taught for 28 years. I'm bored in the summer. I took a second job in a bank for a while and absolutely hated it. It made me appreciate teaching even more. I like being in charge of what I'm doing. I like feeling secure in knowing that I'm doing it right. I enjoy being able to leave at 3:30 if I need to instead of working until 5 or later every day. I usually do work that late anyway, but I like knowing I can leave. I love the kids. I teach first grade, and I love seeing progress every day.
I know I will have to retire in a couple of years, but I don't think I will like it.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:38 AM
 
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If there were some magic other career that I could slide into without going back to school, sure. It would also need to pay at least 20% more to compensate for working the full year. At this point, 10 years in, it makes no financial sense to get into massive student loan debt and then start at an entry level salary.

For me, it's not so much that I dislike the job (although there are parts I do dislike), it's that I honestly am not sure that teaching is going to continue to be a viable lifetime career in the future. We get closer and closer to privatization and I 100% see us getting to the point where teaching is no longer a "career," and is only reserved for TFA-like programs. They will get new grads to work 24/7 and do whatever insane mandates they want, because they'll be leaving after a couple of years anyway to go on to their "real career" with their resume boosted. I do absolutely tell people not to get into teaching.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:41 AM
 
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If I could quit to retire, yes! I'd leave teaching.

But to move into something else, no.

I've been very fortunate during my 16 years of teaching to be at a wonderful school, with a wonderful P (he came the same year I started), wonderful families, wonderful students, wonderful coworkers. No test prep pressure/pressure about scores.

I'm sure my feelings would be different if my situation were different.

I feel very fortunate!
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
How I feel varies from month to month.
Sept. love my job
Oct. Love my job
Nov. like my job
Dec. like my job--end of december, love my job!
Jan. like it
Feb like it
March meh
April meh
May meh
June: love my job
July LOVE LOVE MY JOB
August: LOVE LOVE MY JOB
Haha! I love this! Here's mine!

The winter months are a killer for me! I can do December because with Christmas break and all of the holiday/busy things going on in the month, I don't really have time to think about it!

September: Love my job.
October. Love my job.
November: Like my job
December: Like My job
January: like my job, starts to get meh a little into January
February: meh.
March: Meh
April: Like my job
May Like my Job
June: love my Job
July: Love my job
August: love my job in the beginning, it's meh the day or two before have to go back, and back to loving it once inservice, classroom prep, open houses, etc. get rolling...excitement is in the air!
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Yep.
Old 07-24-2019, 09:44 AM
 
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That's it.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:54 AM
 
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I wouldn't. I legit love my job.
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leaving teaching
Old 07-24-2019, 09:58 AM
 
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I am making my way out of education right now. I taught for about a decade and then became a school psych. I realized that it was the system that bothered me, so I am now working with my husband on his new business. While that is getting going, I'm going to school psych part time and hopefully be able to quit and then just work with my husband full time.


Do I tell people to get into teaching? No, but I give them all of the info for them to make the decision for themselves, but I definitely make sure they know of all of the challenges.


Quote:
I was contemplating ways that I could injure myself just enough to justify getting a day off (never actually hurt myself).
I knew it was time to start looking outside of education once this became a common thought.

Last edited by eeza; 07-24-2019 at 02:15 PM..
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To go or stay
Old 07-24-2019, 10:05 AM
 
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Right now I would stay. I'm fortunate to work in a small district with a supportive principal. I still enjoy my job a lot. I love Summers off and start to get excited when August rolls around and it's time to get set up and start a new year with new kids. So for me I would stay, even after 21 years in the classroom.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:18 AM
 
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I am 55 and going into my 34th year of teaching. I would love to retire in the next five years. If I could afford to do it tomorrow then I probably would :-) I love my Summers. However, I'm not sure what I would do with myself everyday, especially during the winter and cold as I don't like being outside then.

I don't want to do the training to have a different job/career at this point. I also don't encourage people to go into education anymore. I haven't taken a student teacher in a very long time.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:31 AM
 
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A combo perspective here. I love teaching and am not yet ready to retire even though I'm really, really retirement age (older than many PTers who have already retired). I'm entering my 9th year of teaching and am excited for the new year to begin. There's always something to learn, and I always have new ideas to research and try out. I'm also already working on CEUs for my next license renewal, even though I just finished renewing this upcoming cycle. Right now I'm guessing I'll retire in 4-5-6 years, but we'll see how my health holds out. Even after I retire, I'm already thinking of other things to do, and they involve education--maybe teaching at a college, maybe pursuing another master's or a doctorate. I'm about two years from being able to go back to school myself.

Having said that, I have advised my son not to go into education. And it's a shame--he would be an extraordinary primary-grade teacher. I know that he would not make enough $$ to live comfortably, and he would forever be chasing extra jobs for the income. (I can afford it because of having saved so much for retirement before I entered teaching and because my DH and I together do OK on income, not great but OK.) And I don't want DS to be subjected to the continued disrespect that teachers have to endure these days.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:06 AM
 
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JDpreK- itís sad, but I totally feel you. A few years ago I fell down the stairs and remember wishing I had hurt myself more seriously so that I wouldnít have to go to work. Around the same time, my coworker told me that she contemplated driving head on into another car on her way to school so that she wouldnít have to go.
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Leave teaching?
Old 07-24-2019, 11:25 AM
 
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Only if I could find a career that allowed me to do something similar or closely related to the educational field. I'd love to work for one of the publishing companies. But in all honesty, I think I'd feel empty. I love teaching, but like so many have said, I don't like all the politics, gossiping, jumping through hoops, and mean girl environment. Plus, it's a downer that we aren't trusted to be creative and use our talents. Instead they want us to be on the same "page". Like someone else said, to be robots.
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Leave teaching? No...
Old 07-24-2019, 11:45 AM
 
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But if I won the lottery or something, I would start my own school or move into advocacy or something. I don't really ever want to leave the classroom, because when I'm there, I'm really happy. I love the kids and most of my colleagues, it's the other adults I hate working for, like admin and our clueless governing board.
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Well...maybe
Old 07-24-2019, 12:27 PM
 
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I would only leave if I got a library position. But that was always my end goal anyway. Even though there are some very not good things that go along with teaching, it's still the best job I've had.

Oh, and if I won the lottery. Peace out kiddos! lol
(Kidding, kind of)
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I was able to retire two years early...
Old 07-24-2019, 12:36 PM
 
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My answer to your question is yes. When I first started teaching, it was in the 1970's in a small, rural town. I truly loved the kids, the parents, the community, and the administrators came and went because of the low salary, so if one was troublesome, the odds were they would leave within a few years anyway. Some years we were not observed at all, and lesson plans were not collected or required. If we did them, we did them for ourselves. We followed the state guidelines for curriculum. I remember being able to choose a different science text than the grade level below me because it followed the required science units better. That would never happen today.

When I left for a better paying district, initially in the late 80's, we still had a large degree of autonomy, especially in the content areas. My principal was tough, but I still loved the kids and had great parents. Gradually over time though, the district started writing its own curriculum and the order in which you had to do things. Creativity and innovative teaching methods are not encouraged and they expect you to do things similarly to the teacher next door. The atmosphere is competitive and not collegial. Observations are both announced and unannounced, and the amount of work has exponentially increased. Even after 40 years in education, I was spending hours on the weekends to complete the requirements. The kids were not as sweet as I remembered, an parents sided with the students often over the teacher if there was a problem. Many did not want to hear about it. We are also over-coached an have too many administrators milling about the building.

I had originally hoped to leave at age 66, which is my full social security age. After a pension consultation, I left at age 64. I receive a small pension from my previous state, 30 years in my current one, and I qualified for free secondary health benefits to supplement the Medicare plan I am now in. It's a bit tight, and it will be better once I decide to draw on social security, but I have absolutely no regrets. There is a law in my state where most public employees have to pay up to 35% of the healthcare premium over 4 years, and this erases any raise they might get, so people earn less and less each year. Who would willingly sign on for that today?

I would explain all this to people considering the job today. It certainly has changed in so many ways since I started. In retirement, the stress and pressure are totally gone. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I had a choice.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:43 PM
 
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Iíd love to be in a financial situation where I could quit my job - and then promptly volunteer at my former place of employment!

I love my P, and coworkers, and the kids. I donít like paperwork, stress, and red tape!
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Personally...
Old 07-24-2019, 01:52 PM
 
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I'm torn on the subject. Part of me wants to walk away from all the bureaucracy, politics, and overwhelming parts of teaching forever. The other part of me loves the kids and (for the most part) other teachers. This August starts year 9 for me and I feel like as the years go on, the less enthusiastic I am about going back to work. I've thought about a change, I got certified for middle school history in case I wanted to apply for a job in that area. I've also thought about getting my admin license, but I feel that's diving headfirst into the bureaucracy.

I have no idea what I could do if I did quit though. I have to say the work hours and vacations have me spoiled. My family tells me because I love to travel that I need to quit teaching and go do something related to that - which I would do in a heartbeat if I found something that paid well enough and gave me the flexibility to travel wherever.
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Retired this year
Old 07-24-2019, 02:06 PM
 
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I have to admit that I truly loved teaching. It was my dream and came to it after 40. I have only ever worked in compensatory schools, so yes, it does get draining. I loved the kids, the planning and preparing for them. I didn't have very supportive parents, so I just jumped in and did the best I could for them. In my first 15 years, admin was very supportive. However, I began to see a shift. During the last 5 or so years, I have noticed that both parents and students are very rude and demanding. My child swears, tell him/her not to. Umm, where do you think think they heard it first. My child doesn't steal, why are you saying that to me? Because I caught them doing it???????? Why are you making my child write? He/She doesn't like that. On and on. My latest admin was not very strong. So ADHD, could not even finish a sentence and only the young ones were supported. I decided to retire because I could. I did not like all the cutsie things we had to do that took away from instructional time, however, if I took the kids outside to play on a day too hot to be in the classroom and even think, I was reprimanded for taking away instructional time. Jesh. Also did not appreciate that children were allowed to swear at me and be very disrespectful, but got sent home when they tried it on her. New teachers came to me when they found out I was retiring and asked what they could take. Um, nothing. Asked for stuff back that I loaned them out to help with new ESL students, never returned. I am quite disillusioned at this point. Will I miss the kids? Absolutely. The crap of teaching? No way. I have some great friends/colleagues that I will go and help on a volunteer basis in order to fill this void I am feeling.
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Advantages and disadvantages
Old 07-24-2019, 02:15 PM
 
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It is not the same job as it once was. It continues to get tougher and tougher every year. I love the hours. I keep adjusting my expectations to make it doable. I love parts of it.
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I am on my way out as we speak.
Old 07-24-2019, 02:27 PM
 
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I'd quit now if I won the lottery as a PP mentioned. I accepted a way easier job this yr than regular teaching. No1 has a clue that it will be my last yr. I have been saving for it too.
It is not the kids ( even though we get some real doozies nowadays). What has pushed me over the line is the adults who have come up w/ all of these crazy ideas that there should be no consequences for bad behavior.
Example: A kid flips out, throws his desk across the room, cusses like a sailor, kicks, hits, and is entitled to participate in a PBIS party 15 minutes later.
3 other kids who were "on the edge" see the kid get rewarded for not throwing anymore desks that day by the P. Now they are off the edge...
Principal's attitude: What do you think you can do differently to make sure this child doesn't ever do that again? ( The kid has 3 major diagnosis and should never have been placed in a regular class to begin with.) This happens a lot where I am at.
There is a commercial on TV that shows a lady walking in what appears to be a lounge w/ a pink and blue cake. The words, "I QUIT" are on the cake. Every time I see it, it makes me smile.
I'd love to do that, but it'd hurt a couple of people's feelings because I have not told them. I am a really good secret keeper, but when the secret impacts someone else, they are likely to tell someone they are bummed, before you know it, everyone knows.
Plus, my mom used to tell us, " How can you expect someone else to keep your secret if you can't even keep it yourself?" I think the reason I want it unknown is passive aggressive. Mean, I know. I am just through w/ the BS of the office and sped dept rewarding kids for bad behavior.
I'd no longer encourage any1 to go into education around here. My kids have MUCH more money than me, less BS to put up w/, and more freedom. I admit that it has little to do with me. ( I was not much of a career advisor.) They just somehow figured it out.
I was visiting w/ 1 a few weeks ago when finances came up. I had never pried before, but asked how much he had saved and in his retirement fund. His retirement fund is already at 2x what mine is and he has about 70% more money saved too than me. I was shocked because he lives an expensive lifestyle compared to me.
He could quit now if he wanted to and live off what he's saved and invested. I think he plans to retire way early and travel w/his wife. I won't have $$$ to be travelling. I'll probably be housesitting for them (lmao!) for extra money in my old age!
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Not right now
Old 07-24-2019, 04:23 PM
 
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Iím about to start year 15 and canít see myself doing anything else! I love the kids and coworkers and I think I would feel empty if I wasnít teaching. I will say that I have been fortunate enough to work at a wonderful school for the past 12 years. Not everything is perfect and I have definitely had some struggles but Iíve learned to not sweat the small stuff like I used to. Iíve also told myself that when I turn bitter and miserable then I need to get out. The kids deserve better. But Iím not there yet
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Yes
Old 07-24-2019, 04:45 PM
 
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It is an unsafe field, with liability through the roof.

Combine that with "out of sight, out of mind" admin and walking on egg shells, and it's a recipe for severe depression and anxiety.

Only reason I stay is because I love the kids. They make the job rewarding.
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I'm in the "Torn" category
Old 07-24-2019, 05:08 PM
 
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I love my job and cannot imagine doing another job-- BUT, that said, if I could win the lottery or some similar thing, I would HAVE to consider leaving.

I wouldn't even need BIG money... If I had enough that my medical was covered, I'd probably consider it at the least.
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Iíd retire if I could
Old 07-24-2019, 06:46 PM
 
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I have a few more years yet. Iím in a good school and have great colleagues and good kids for the most part. My reasons for looking towards retirement are:

*My personal exhaustion. I come home brain dead. My back is always killing me.

* There is always something new and better that is going to fix everything. We have years of PDs and meetings and are told we have to ďimplement the curriculum with fidelity.Ē Even if itís bad or doesnít work or is inappropriate. Then, in a few short years, we get new people in the district office, and they change it again. Meanwhile, all the money spent on all of this, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, is quietly forgotten in the enthusiasm of the new.

*Lack of student discipline and accountability. I have mostly good students and a supportive parent community. But, every year I have parents who blame me because their student isnít earning an A and expect me to find ways for the student to get an A, no matter how. When students also behave badly, steal, or cheat, or even hurt other students admin doesnít seem willing or able to do much of anything about it.

* Teaching takes up so much of my time and energy and I really hope to do other things: to write, to quilt, see my granddaughter, visit my family, to read more...
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Nope.
Old 07-25-2019, 12:43 AM
 
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This year will be my 19th and I still love it. A few years ago I left a school I'd been at for more than a decade because the principal was a jerk and landed in the best possible situation. I work for a principal who truly understands what education should be and does her best to shield her teachers from ridiculous demands from central office. I work with a team of teachers who, for the most part, are where they want to be and are committed to making sure all of our students achieve to their full potential.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:43 AM
 
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Absolutely. But, I have to stick it out 4 more years for full retirement. Need 80 points. 😢
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:00 AM
 
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I canít even get a teaching job, and subbing has really turned me off to being a teacher, because I feel like Iím burned out already. Iím only still pursuing it because I spent so much on grad school and my other jobs were mainly freelancing and tutoring and I donít want to do that anymore. This was supposed to be my second career though. I do feel like I got lied to by my school and teachers that I talked to before I decided to apply to school. I never thought it would be this hard to find a job. All that said, I do enjoy the days I actually get to teach and like most of the kids I see. As other said, Iíd take it over a corporate job.
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Yes
Old 07-25-2019, 05:11 AM
 
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I have been trying for years to transfer to a better school but nothing has worked out (yet....I hope I can say yet).

I'm enormously frustrated because I wouldn't be trying to leave if administrators held students responsible for serious behavior infractions and held unruly colleagues (yes I said colleagues) accountable too.

So many people act like it's simple. If you're not happy leave. It doesn't always work that way when you're single and can only depend on your income.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:39 AM
 
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I would not. I do like my job, and I like the school I am at. Even when I was working at schools with very different populations, families were great and staff was even better.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:55 AM
 
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Hell. Yes. It's frustrating when people say, "Well, then just find something else." Problem there is - I have to have good insurance, retirement, and make the same amount of money. It's not as easy as it sounds.

Last edited by checkerjane; 07-25-2019 at 10:19 AM..
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nope
Old 07-25-2019, 12:48 PM
 
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While I fantasize about retirement, which will be in the next 5-10 years, and there are days that completely wipe me out, I truly can't imagine doing anything else. I love the students, my team, and the school.
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No.
Old 07-25-2019, 01:09 PM
 
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I love TEACHING. Full disclosure, I don't love a lot of demands placed on me that I feel are out of the scope of my training, so I'm not always in a "love" state with my job. If I worked in a very toxic environment, I'm sure my love for teaching would take a hit. I do not take my supportive colleagues and school community for granted.

If I ever got the point of wanting to sustain a serious injury or illness to avoid going to school, I hope I could get help and get out.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:28 PM
 
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Nope. I love my job. But I am also very very fortunate to teach half time, in my favorite grade level, with a partner that I LOVE, with a team that works well together, at a great school.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:55 PM
 
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well...so far I still love this crazy old job, but having read what other posters say they are going through (and not being so naive as to think it could NEVER happen here) I will be hedging my bets with my choice of masters.

I am still dancing between 2 choices that would give me skills I can use in teacher or skills and a degree to leave education with if I ever really needed to. the 2 masters are:

1. M.S. Ed instructional design and technology-I could move into the district office as a curriculum coordinator or into corporate training, or work for a curriculum company...or teach at the community college level

2. M.S, Behavior Analysis- work as a behavior specialist creating BIP's and FBA's for the district, or do private behavior consulting. Still working for the district but in a very different role outside of the classroom.
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Teaching
Old 07-26-2019, 06:25 AM
 
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I love my job. I wouldnít leave unless

~I won the lottery and could permanently be a beach bum
Or
~Prince charming swoops in and wants me to travel the world with him

Neither seem very likely so
I am stating year 31.
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born to teach
Old 07-26-2019, 07:35 AM
 
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I wouldn't leave teaching even if I could. I love what I do and it is what I wanted to do all along.
I teach 3rd grade which comes with high stakes testing and the possibility of mandatory retention. I'm lucky enough to work in a school that still lets us teach how we think is best. I have worked in schools where this wasn't the case, but I still felt i was making a difference with the kids. I've had some years where the students were a HUGE challenge and I'll admit I looked up what to do with a teaching degree, but then a little cutie would hand me a picture they drew or a note and I would realize, I really love my job.
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Yes,
Old 07-26-2019, 12:08 PM
 
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but I am approaching retirement and I am almost ready to say I'm done.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:33 PM
 
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I'm super close to retirement....two years away. Looking back through my career there were years I loved teaching and then there were other years that were very difficult. Outside factors such as staff issues, classroom personalities or administration were the things that took my joy away at times. Home issues also came into play as I was raising my boys. I'm at a place now where I am enjoying each day for what it is. I am so grateful that I still have the energy and motivation to teach and make a difference. I let the little stressors go (staff drama, school politics, data collection, and administration control) and I look into the faces of the little ones I teach and I teach! It took me a while to get to this place but now that I am here, I'm going to enjoy my last two years to the fullest. If I could talk to my younger self, I would not recommend teaching. I am a very creative soul who loves being with people. I don't feel I was able to use the talent I once had and that makes me sad.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:07 PM
 
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I did leave the classroom... and then returned... and then left again.

If people really want to leave, they should. I get that it's hard- we've gone through our own issues trying to making sure our finances and insurance, etc. were protected when I made career moves. We all have our priorities and make our own choices based on those priorities. Change is rarely easy, regardless of what the change might be. It hasn't been easy for us at all-- in fact, it's been downright scary at times-- but the ending is seeming like it's really worth it.

Quote:
And TeacherBee- do you think you'd need all that summer downtime if you weren't teaching? I think because the school year is so draining we feel like we need it. I look at my roommates (a Marine and FBI)- and they work far less than me. One works longer days so that he can take Fridays off, the Marine is home at like 1pm most days. They both have so much leave and flexibility of when they can take it. I would actually prefer working in the summer and be able to travel during off times to save on trip costs.
It depends on the job. I've been working 12-month jobs now since 2010 (some of that time, I was still working for school districts and in schools). Because the nature of my jobs has always still be working with kids and families (often kids with intense behaviors), planning lessons, dealing with family issues, politics, etc. I could *seriously* use a summer break, but I sure ain't getting one. That's all right, I made this choice. But I'm also changing jobs that will give me some more break time because, believe you, I truly do need it.
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At first,
Old 07-27-2019, 01:44 PM
 
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loved being a teacher and teaching. This was true for most of my teaching career. I taught for 35 years and retired 4 years ago.

However, the last four to five years of my teaching career were not so enjoyable. I felt stressed most of the time with all of the testing, curriculum changes, etc. It got to the point that I was not enjoying my time off during the summers, holidays, etc. It was hard for me to turn off all of the ďschool stuffĒ.

I would not recommend a teaching career to anyone. I would only share that with a person that asked my opinion or advice about becoming a teacher.

All of the above to say that I am thankful that I had a job that I loved for many years. I pray every day for teachers and those that work in the education field. There is nothing easy about the job of teaching.
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:29 PM
 
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Such a weighty topic.

I started teaching late in life due to focusing on the needs of our terminally ill son. Once he passed I finished my undergraduate degree and got my teaching credential.

It was on the cusp of No Child left behind.

Over twenty years I taught in tough low income schools.

And I only had one awesome year. The rest were full of most of the negatives described in earlier posts above.

What I learned overtime is that if you have a strong support network you can make it through the school day and year.

I learned to document the heck behaviors, communication with parents and guardians, with administrators and following the chain of command will cover assists well.

Having a strong union helped me many times over the years. I loved and love teaching.

But I chose to retire five years early due to the physical and mental toll being an educator took.

I regret now that instead of spending thousands of dollars on my classrooms and investing it into aRoth IRA, I would now be more financially secure as an elder.

We are in a no Social Security state which hoses me if my husband were to pass before me.

Thankfully we paid off my school loans earlier in my career, and are debt free and own our home.

Another good strategy was to do the professional development needed to move higher on the pay scale.

Another way I harmed my pension was to have my medical insurance taken out before taxes having more each month, but it reduced my salary enough to cost me hundreds of dollars in the pension calculation.

As I continue to sort and rid my self of teaching files I come across notes and drawing from students and I am making a memory book of some of them.

Looking over the class pictures I can see the physical toll of aging over the years.

I now sub and love being able to turn down requests from former toxic bully former coworkers and am appreciated by the few kind awesome teachers I have worked with.

They trust my skills and yes a few times there were no plans ready, but they knew I could wing it.

Yes teaching is different than when I first became a teacher. And it will continue to change in the coming years. The trends and new latest greatest thing will evolve and pass away.

And pendulum will swing back to center, then past it and you will chuckle as an old timer when the best strategies of your early career becomes fashionable once again.

Love yourself, your family and friends, take good care of yourself. Learn to work smarter and not harder!
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