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SadDramaTeach SadDramaTeach is offline
 
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SadDramaTeach
 
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First Year Teacher Quitting 2 weeks in
Old 08-13-2018, 09:05 PM
 
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I just got hired on as a drama teacher for grades 5-12 at a local charter school. I have had lots of classroom experience before and instructional roles, plus teaching college, but it's my first year in a formal teaching role. I was very excited because the students at my school are supposed to be advanced and I believe I was hired on because I have a Masters from an elite institution.

But two weeks in I have already decided to quit. I thought I was signing on for a high school teaching job with a few middle school classes thrown in, but I have 264 (yes, TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR) students spread across 9 classes, about 25 of which are actually high school students. 180 of them are 5th grade (which no one told me I'd have that many). The kids are driving me nuts, my classroom management is total garbage, and I've had no time to prepared and keep coming to class totally floundering, and just getting walked all over.

The money is good, and I actually have a supportive administration, but all everyone says is "it will get better," "I see a lot of promise in you" etc. but no one is really addressing the fact that I have twice as many students as anyone else in the school, and worse, because I teach drama, it's clear to me that everyone just views my class as a place to goof off.


At the end of the day, I just completely HATE it. But I still can't help feel like I'm failing myself and everyone around me. I haven't had enough time to really get attached to any of the kids, but I feel like I'm letting them down, too. I was just underprepared, and ill-suited to this age group I think. But I feel so stupid quitting two weeks in, but I've worked so many jobs that I could tell were going to be awful for me but felt like I had to keep my head down and 'stick it out' only to become increasingly depressed. In my 20s, I'd have stuck it out, but in my 30s, I'm just not into wasting time anymore...

Anyone else have a similar experience? I'm feeling very alone and judged as a total failure right now.


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Old 08-14-2018, 12:51 PM
 
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I don't think your a failure. I think you are someone who was told one thing and given a different set up. I would tell you to stick it out until at least Winter break, but I understand not wanting to waste your time.

I think I would talk with admin and see if there is any supports that can be put into place to help you.

Good luck no matter what you decide.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:21 PM
 
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Roles and grade levels will always change in schools.
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TAOEP TAOEP is offline
 
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Bait and Switch
Old 08-14-2018, 03:39 PM
 
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It almost sounds as if they presented the position in such a way that you would take the job--and then switched to what they planned in the first place. Do think about the fact many, many of us struggled with classroom management as new teachers. That can and should get better. One advantage you have is that the majority of the students like drama. As you get to know them and vice versa, life will improve.

And---it's a charter. I know there are some wonderful charter schools, but many of them seem to be taking advantage of their staff with long hours, very high expectations, no tenure, usually no union, etc.

Without knowing how many of your classes meet daily, it's hard to know whether you are way overloaded. In many elementary and middle schools, teachers of "electives" like art and music may see every child in the school weekly or perhaps a couple times a week. It's challenging to manage the classes at the beginning, especially before learning the names.

Does your school have any sort of mentoring program for new teachers? If so, use it (if you decide to stay).

Are you still interested in being a drama teacher, if you were able to find a more suitable position? If so, think very carefully about resigning because it could affect your ability to find another teaching position. If not, go ahead and resign.
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