I mean, my kids for the past 2 days have been really chatty and it is getting on my nerves. I had to leave early today for an appointment and I couldn't get out of there faster,lol. This teaching thing isn't for me and my patience is wearing thin. I don't know what it is but when there are 22 kids all talking or doing something that has them talking, even in low voice, it can get annoying because they eventually get higher and then I have to yell at them with threats,lol. This isn't for me,yet I keep doing it...why? Because of the vacation time and I've gotten used to this schedule for 9 years so its like to do something else would be hard. I dunno, do you guys feel this way? I feel like this is the longest year of my life and it never seems to end,lol. I keep wanting the year to just dissapear into June 17 (last day of school) but nothing doing,lol. Oh I have 1st grade by the way and I just had to vent before going to bed. I cannot wait till Friday, 3 pm,lol.
I had a day like you describe, yesterday. I tried to take a step back and realise my students are just as tired and cranky as I am. I relaxed last night and tried not to dwell on the lousy day I had.
Today I started the day with reinforcement of the classroom rules and our social stories. I took deep breaths through the day and kept the class very busy. Today was a much better day.
I know I've had days like that too, especially this time of year. I do agree that first grade can be extremely difficult. Do you think you might enjoy an older group of students? I do appreciate the fact that my third graders can be silent for a while if it is needed.
It may just be the time of year. You are tired and your students are just as tired as you are. This is my first year and I have had an AWESOME class, but the past two weeks have been a bit stressful to say the least. When I actually sit back and reflect, my students are doing what they have been doing all year. I believe it's just me needing a break and the heat. It has been nearly 90 degrees these past 2 weeks. Whoever came up with the school calendar knew exactly where to place the vacations..... Hopefully, you will make it through to the end of the year. Good Luck.
I really appreciate the support people give to teachers in the Vent section when they've had a hard day, but I really appreciate it when people call others out on poor or inexcusable behavior.
MsCanary, it's not about YOU. It's about the kids. So glad you've found a job that allows you 3 months of rest, interupted by 9 months of, "22 kids all talking or doing something that has them talking," annoying.
I am so sorry to hear that. I am a sub fyi, but I am a mom too. I wouldn't want my child's teacher to be feeling that way, but as a sub I do understand it.
I am sure the other posters will give you some wonderful ideas to rejunvenate yourself. I also urge you to look at transferring into another job w/in your district. I know the teachers and admin's in my dist are all playing musical chairs this year! Many are leave their reg. classrooms to take jobs such as environmental specialist - that one oversees the money and energy saving efforst w/in the district, writes for grants, etc. Another one is moving from teaching to vp, some are going ot work in the alternative school, and some are going to do jobs that are like title 1 reading more on a smaller level more like a tutor.
I know how you feel! I have been there. I think you felt you could say what you felt without being criticized-this is a vent people! The money and schedule do count and the summers off especially. I have days when I feel I can't stand kids anymore. Even the teacher's kids that a real brats because they always say 'my moms a teacher--blah, blah, blah! Who cares about your mom-little tattle tale! I keep my job because of the pay and time off along with I like what I teach and I enjoy working with children who are taught to respect others including the teachers. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would quit and tell my school principal to go--you know! So some of you get off your high horse ans give the lady some empathy for crying our loud.OLO
I've had days where I've felt the same way. And, no, it doesn't make you a bad person. In fact, I had a day just like yours yesterday. So, before you all flame me... Yes, I love my job and I care deeply for my students. However, I find it hard to believe that there are any teachers out there who can work for 180 days and say they have never, ever felt the way the OP has been feeling. I'm sorry, but I don't believe it's possible.
I think we can all agree we have had days like that, where the kids just never stop talking and all you want to do is scream. There have been many days I left school thinking "I hate my job" but then the next day I am quickly reminded again why I love it. If you want my honest opinion, if you are really just in it for the vacation then you need to get out. It isn't doing you or the students any favors. Who wants to have a teacher who hates teaching?!?
Even with the best of circumstances, teaching is very hard work- no question about it. Yes, there are times every teacher has a lousy day. There are times we get angry or cry about the day we've had.
If the OP is being serious, I read it as more than just venting after a tough day. You sound unhappy and overwhelmed. If deep down you know that you hate it and this isn't for you, then a change is needed. It's needed for you and for the children.
Your kids sound like mine - but mine are bigger! Yes, some days I wonder why I decided to go into teaching. My daughter also told me earlier this year that she was going to quit her teaching job. Like most of us, she too decided she really does love teaching, but had a tough class and a few bad days. The end of the school year is so filled with extra work, we're overloaded, and the kids often behave worse because they're ready for break too! I'm sorry others blasted you for your vent. I'm sure that's all it was - a vent of frustration after a hard time! Every day is new
Your students are in 1st Grade. You are the beginning of their educational career, and how they perceive school by the end of your year can many times be how they end up viewing it permanently. You remind me very much of a teacher I work with, and she does her students no favors. Six year olds talk. They are babies. If you can't deal with it, you need to move on to a different grade or leave teaching. This teaching thing isnt for you? You've been doing it for 9 years.
If you just had a bad day, well.. everyone's been there. But if you are honestly in teaching solely for the vacations, well... you're part of the reason we have a bad name.
I took today off for a funeral and felt like a million bucks at 4:00, the typical end of my school day. How I feel after a day without 22 kids is noticeably different than a day with 22 kids.
I wonder where all of you teach where the chatter and behaviors don't affect your psyche. Ms.Canary, I sypathize. I find teaching extraordinarily challenging. I am more surprized that you are being attacked for having a "bad day" by so many other teachers. I'd love to hear what the magic formula is. I feel like I'm a wonderful teacher, but bad behaviors by students do impede teaching/learning in my classroom. I would love for all of these people who have attacked you to reflect on what makes teaching so easy for them in their classrooms.
Is this just weariness at the end of the year or is this the way you feel most of the time? I think we ALL have days when we're exhausted and the honest teachers will admit there are moments we ALL wonder if we're in the right profession.
For me, though, teaching is my passion!!! I really can't imagine doing anything else because I love it so much. I try to accept a bad day for what it is, a bad day and not make career decisions on it. And I think it is perfectly normal to feel a bit weary as the year draws to a close.
If you truly feel this way more than just every now and then, looking for another job is probably the best option for you and your students. It's especially important that first graders have a teacher who is excited about teaching them!!!
If this is just weariness at the end of the year, I suggest making sure you get enough rest, exercise, and set limits on how much time you spend after school. It's days I'm working late into the evening without eating supper when I'm ready to walk away from it all!
(For the record, if you think first graders are chatty--try fifth graders!!!)
I too teach first graders and they are very chatty. Some days they drive me crazy, but I have to always remind myself they are little and are only doing what children do best. Instead of getting in the chair the way I would, many have to climb over it and explore the chair. Or they walk over something on the floor because they are in a hurry to be the first in line. I think having to follow all the grown-up rules is what makes me crazy. I want them to love learning and be able to talk, yet I have to follow all these rules that were not made with children in mind, such as no talking in the hallway. Now I understand why we need to be quiet, but have you noticed that when two teachers are walking in the hallway they aren't walking silently, but are talking.
Some of what MsCanary is feeling, in my opinion, is normal due to the time of the year. My class has been chatty all year, with a number of behavior problems, but I am still seeing academic growth in them. I have my moments where they make me nuts, but I never for a moment doubt why I became a teacher. I guess I am lucky in this since I keep reading about so many of those on PT that are questioning their profession.
I know on days I haven't gotten enough sleep or I'm feeling sick are usually the days my patience is not as long as it should be. I am learning to read my signs and then try and adjust what I can adjust.
We have to remember that teaching is our career and not our life, even though we spend far too much time in our classrooms. We all know that teaching is far more difficult that people think it is. I always tell people to think about their job when they can get up and go get a cup of coffee if they wish, and I can't leave the room to use the bathroom. I ask them how they would feel having 25 little ones all wanting your attention at the same time for the entire time you are in school.
I didn't go into teaching for the vacation, but I am not knocking the time off. I need it to regroup and plan for the next year where I jump in and keep jumping until the last day of school. In my area I only have the months of July and August off. Well, most of August because the last week or last two weeks I'm at workshops and setting up my room for the new year. We also don't get out of school until the last week of June, and I mean the very last week.
Question: What does it mean to be a troll? I'm not being funny. When I first read that word I thought it mean the dictionary meaning of troll, but a little bit down I see it again, so now I am not sure what it means.
I may have bad days where my little ones were driving me crazy, but I never hate being a teacher or teaching. I am sorry that others feel this way. There are things about teaching that I dislike, but not the actual profession. I am working in a profession that has always been my passion. I consider myself very lucky.
I find it all too sad that we have people who want to vent on a public board about how miserable they are in their career. For 9 years children have been subjected to a role-model who does not care about herself, much less them. It is way past time to find a new career. Life is too precious, and our children even more precious, for people to spend that much time in something that makes them that miserable. I have 22 years experience and except for the year I was pregnant with twins (25 years ago) I can say with certainty I am where I am supposed to be. It is very normal for patience to begin wearing thin at the end of a year, but that is when we draw on our passion for what we do to find new and EXCITING things to draw the kids' attention. PLEASE for the sake of all those lives you are affecting, and your own happiness, look into new career options. Those who love you most will probably notice a huge difference should you change directions.
If you are writing this because you are exhausted and it's the end of the school year, that's one thing. But if you feel this way most of the time you might want to re-examine why you stay in teaching. Not only is it bad for the kids if you truly hate it, but it can't be all that great for you either. Is 2 months of vacation time really worth 10 months of doing something you hate?
Sometimes I feel burned out and/or frustrated, but I truly love what I do and can't think of anything that would be more rewarding. It's that feeling that keeps me going during the stressful times.
Everyone has been there. Teaching, like life, is a roller coaster ride. Teaching is rewarding, but it's a daily quest to find sanity.
The educators who told you to get out of the profession are on the wrong message board. They should be on the "I love my job, my kids love me, their parents love me, the principal loves me, I am wonderful" thread. Pollyannaish views are not beneficial to teachers who feel the need to vent. I'm glad they didn't get into counseling, they'd tell clients who are having trouble with life to commit suicide. THIS is a VENT board. Get it? People complain. Teachers are justified in complaining - it's a damn hard job. Maybe MsCanary is a great teacher and can hide her feelings to the class. I know I've had some terrible years and the students learned a lot. We're all actors when we walk into the classroom.
My comment for mscanary: You're not alone. Most teachers I know are not happy campers with teaching. The paperwork is unbelievable. Many kids, and it only takes a few, can make teaching hell. We now have an educational system that MUST teach ALL students, even those who are determined not to learn. America's educational system has been so watered down, it's not surprising that concerned parents sacrifice financially to send their children to private schools. The solution is to expand trade schools and alternative schools. Everyone would be happier and have a better future.
Good luck. I wouldn't trade my life as a teacher for any other profession. My students have always loved my classes and worked hard in them. But, I do complain because it's not a perfect world and there are unique teacher problems and issues that will always exist. Complaining isn't a character flaw, it's a coping method to get us out of bed the next day. : )
This is a vent board, but that doesn't preclude good judgement. People who post on this board know that they are going to get different takes on the subject they are commenting on. Some people also need to remember to do so constructively, and others just need to keep their thoughts to themselves. Teachers who believe we should be professionals are not Pollyannas, they are just trying to understand how a fellow teacher can stress, laughing out loud, that the best part of teaching is the time off and that something else would be hard to do. If you don't agree, well, enjoy people who have the nerve to say that's all we do and that's why we teach because we are unable to do anything else competently. I have had parents and other people say that to me to my face. You know why? Because of posts like this. So I will exercise my right to vent by standing by my post. This teacher needs to do better, or get out. Enough people will be waiting for her position who actually want a job.
...leave. That's the only advice I can give you. Either that or take a break for a year and do something different - even if it's just packing shelves, cleaning or being a check-out operator. I did that and knew I didn't want to return - but i did - and decided it wasn't for me. I'm glad I'm subbing now, so much better. (I suppliment my income with two other part time jobs - I'm busier than I've ever been but so much happier).
BTW don't listen to the sanctimonious "PollyAnnas". It's your life, The Vent is here to vent on - so do it. I'm just disgusted that they could be so judgemental as to flame you the way they did. Maybe you're hating teaching now but I'm sure you didn't once - that's what you need to sort out once and for all. If you hate it so much, leave. Everyone - you and the kids will be better for it.
I've been wanting to choke a kid all week for talking and actting like they have lost their minds. Does that make me bad? Should I quit teaching? Hell to the NO!!! I love it. Being annoyed is human nature. Get over it. Teachers are humans and humans 6 years old to 60 years old get on our nerves sometimes.
ana-key writes: "I've been wanting to choke a kid all week for talking and actting like they have lost their minds. Does that make me bad? Should I quit teaching? Hell to the NO!!! I love it. Being annoyed is human nature. Get over it. Teachers are humans and humans 6 years old to 60 years old get on our nerves sometimes."
Wow! Did anyone say it wasn't ok to vent or feel overwhelmed every once in a while? No. I didn't read that. I mean, it might be a good idea to read the posts before replying to them--just a suggestion. And, by the way, nice way to make a point. Lack perspective? Throw in a curse word! I know we all appreciate that, and have now totally changed our minds...
To those teachers who know what I was feeling that day and can recogonize it, I appreciate your thoughts. I came back tonight on here to see what responses were given on how others deal or if others just vented and to my surprise, folks had their own vent on my vent,lol. Oh well, it is just a message board but since it's a vent one, I figured I'd do just that. So I can't be too surprised with those others and their comments that don't agree. I know I have a right to voice my opinion as the next teacher on this board and no matter how many times I do it, I have that right because it's a what? Vent Board. Otherwise, thanks for sharing.
This is my 17th year of teaching. It is not the kids that make me want to quit. It is the administrators, county office, and parents. I'm sick and tired of having to explain myself and document EVERYTHING. Why can't they just take my word for it when a child just needs extra time to learn. I cannot magically open their little heads and make them straight A students; nor can I lie about how they are actually doing. I willingly took a group of 9 first graders who had been referred for a transition class before first grade. The principal asked someone to volunteer to teach these poor little children who have not been read to, don't know their last names, and can't sound out the word "cat." She said she understood that they might not pass, but if they were exposed to two really strong first grade teachers, their chances of catching up were greater. I was more than willing to take them, and their parents came and met with the principal. She told them if they did not work with their children, they would probably not pass. Okay, that sounds very supportive, only now she has suddenly been asking why students are failing and if I have "made accommodations" for them. Now this group of children, by far, have one commonality. That is that they do not come from very good backgrounds. They either have parents who spend no time working with them because they don't know how, were not treated that way by their own parents, or just plain don't care. The rest of the parents have money, good jobs, and they live in nice homes. They just simply don't want to take the time to even check their child's folder for notes. I"m supposed to call them every time they need to know something. One of them actually wrote me a note that said, "I don't have time to read with....... I am way to busy for that. It is your job to read with him." Well, I cannot read with 22 students more than once a week if that. We do shared reading, guided reading, standing on your head reading, and some of them still stare out into space and just guess or lipsink the words. They refuse to even look at the words. I pull them in small groups and DRILL DRILL DRILL, but it does not do much good, because they were already a year behind when they came. I feel cheated and betrayed by this administrator who is now telling me that I have to "accommodate" for ALL 9 of these children (plus the two that requested to be in my class). 11 students are not where they should be, and I'm supposed to call all of them to my desk to take tests, etc.... You've got to be kidding. AND to be told that I need to make sure that a little girl knows the skills even if she cannot write them. To individually give tests to 11 students, it would take over 3 hours. I have no respect for this administrator left. That is what is so bad about teaching to me. Kids are just kids.
22 kids! Are you serious! I could teach 22 with my eyes shut. Try 34. It should be illegal. And I mean that in all seriousness.
I hate teaching because if I decide to go home at the end of the day and spend my time with my family I am unprepared and the next day goes horribly. My priorities are to be with my family. I am gone enough. I refuse to go home and work for another 4-6 hours.
I hate teaching because of coworkers who won't allow me to contribute to our team.
After 5 years, I hate it. I'm not a career teacher.
I understand where you're coming from. I teach 7th grade (which are just big 1st graders). Every now and then, I have to ask myself "Is this the right job for me?" The school year is almost over and we're all just tired. I'm tired, the kids are tired, and testing is coming up, so the pressure is on. I can't say I hate teaching, because I really like it, but there are days where I just want to walk out. Not because of the kids because I have pretty darn good kids, but because I just feel like I'm not doing a good enough job. In addition to sort of getting burned out, we switched administration 3 months into the school year and the school has totally changed. The district made a bad move by getting rid of our principal. She did so much for our school that we just sort of took for granted, and it has all gone away. I like the laid back atmosphere now, but it is WAY too laid back. The thing I love most about teaching is that you get to start over every year with a fresh slate, and you get the summer to recuperate, reinvent yourself, and reflect so that you are better than you were the year before. Hang in there! It's almost over!
I am in my fourth year of teaching. All I can say to the teachers that are complaining is this: why? I mean it's fun telling kids, especially seniors who have been in a school system at least 12 years, to come in, sit down and get to work EVERYDAY! It's great raising other people's kids, right? Because everytime something goes wrong IT'S THE TEACHER'S fault. Oh, yeah, and the demands on your time. Hey, it's okay for a kid to turn in an assignment four weeks late, but if your grades aren't posted within 30 minutes, the parent wants to know why their child's progress is not being monitored. Ohh, and let's not forget, we have to manage 30-plus students and we only have 20 textbooks!
Don't complain, fellow teachers. Rejoice. Rejoice in the fact that you are doing one of the most thankless and important jobs on the planet. Think about it, during the school year, teachers spend more time with a kid than their parents do.
This year I have 189 students lunch duty every day and an administrator that comes to school 4 out of 5 days a week! The janitor brought me the 3 new desks that I need for my 3 new students only there is no where to put them so he stacked them in the back of the room! I had a three hole punch thrown at me today. The student went to the office with the safety officer only to return to my class before the end of the 45 min period, I am done! WHERE CAN I TRANSFER MY SKILL TO IN THE REAL WORLD!
I can relate. I've been teaching 11 years. Lately, because of budget cuts, I've been tossed around from school to school and grade to grade like a ragdoll. I've been told I should be grateful to have a job. But this year, I was dealt a class that is really tough. Out of 18 children, 13 of them have behavior problems. I have a lot of training in behavior management but nothing seems to work when you have that many issues. The kids are physically aggressive with each other, they constantly bring toys to school. One child brought in a pocket knife a couple months ago! I did everything I am supposed to do. I trained them from the first day of school.
After seven months, they still refuse to stay quiet during instruction and walk correctly in the hallway. To top it off, because it is a grade-level I have not previously taught, I'm being treated like a brand new teacher. Half-way through the year, I found out that the person I had been confiding in has been reporting back to the principal! The principal actually had the nerve to call me into his office and suggest classroom management training. I told him I could teach a class on classroom management. When I told him I was working hard to communicate behavior problems and possible solutions to the parents, he told me that the parents didn't want to hear it!
Our assistant administrator is no help either. He and the principal were walking through and observing the teachers pretty much every day. Some times they both came in during the course of the day. It made me so nervous, I could not teach! I should mention, I have been nominated for teacher of the year twice so I'm a good teacher. I no longer ask administration for any kind of support because I have found that when the kids act out, I get blamed. Veteran teachers will understand this.
When it comes to the schedule, there is no room for human error--especially during stadardized testing. God forbid the kids aren't quiet enough in the hallway. Once again--the teacher's fault. And now there's a bill out there that wants to change our pay schedule by only giving merit raises. That means, we would no longer receive a step raise but our raises would be based on our students' acheivment! The very students who refuse to behave and whose parents "don't want to hear it."
I'm a smart person with a high IQ and a masters degree and I can't seem to figure it out. It's all so out of control. We really deserve more respect. I'm in therapy to learn how to cope.
First off, it seems like you're treaching little kids. I have never taught little kids, but my wife and mother-in-law have and both of them have related the same stories as you. In fact, my mother-in-law has TWO MA's and is a National Board Certified teacher--smart, just like you. The problem is uninvolved parents--not you. Teachers and administrators keep trying to solve a problem that has nothing really to do with training or skill. I look at it this way: yes, these kids deserve a good education and they come to us as is so we have to deal with some their issues. BUT, this education is also an opportunity that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot make a person take. If there are "jobs" in teaching then it is the school's job to provide and opportunity and it is the students' and the parents' responsibility/job to sit down, be quiet, and take advantage of this opportunity. You're not crazy, it's the thought process and educational culture that is out of whack.
Finally, look at it this way: you have a university education, therefore, you know how to go to school. In other words, you know what you are doing so keep trying to teach these kids how to learn.
This job is plain awful...the kids are low skilled, rude, and come from broken homes. The parents are rude and ignorant! The administrators don't know how to lead a school and the teachers are tired. I can't wait for summer...If you're a teacher in a low performing school you might understand where I'm coming from, if you have resources and educated parents involved in their child's education then don't respond!
i know...i am counting down these last 8 weeks of school. this my first year of teaching, and i have never been treated so poorly at any job, ever. the students are fine, but their parents are incredibly demanding and the administration does not support me at all. they expect me to be a perfect teacher my first year and that is simply unreasonable. i am so tired of it, this profession is definitely not for me. i am happy that i figured this out now so i can go do something else (:
Here's one you can all appreciate. Today my class somehow got on the subject of why students fail classes. This particular class is what we would call in the teaching profession "challenging." Anyway, the class was certain that kids failed class because of their teacher and not because they are never there, always late, don't pay attention, miss assignments, etc. So, I explained to my students that we have highly qualified teachers who make sure that they have things planned and ready each day for their students. And, we have highly skilled and trained administrators who work hard to make sure all the newest teaching tools and technology are provided for them. Then I asked, "so how is it the teacher's fault students aren't passing class?" Oh, and I also mentioned that they have plenty of chances and oppportunities to make up missed work. In fact, teachers keep track of all this stuff for them. But, all this reasoning was to little avail. Why? You guessed it--it's the teacher's fault. Did I mention this is a group of seniors that is graduating in 29 days? All I can say is GOOD LUCK!
I teach high school and have wanted to poke their little eyes out this entire year.... but it is not because of them, so their sight is safe for now. It is because of parent emails, administration not backing me (and I rarely go to them for anything because it always ends up with me doing more work) and the two teachers next to my room who stand in the hall and complain to me about petty s(*&^ before I even get in my room in the morning. Then when my students act like high school students, I start sharpening pencils. So, yes, I understand.
Teaching a hard and often thankless job...toss in your own family and it seems overwhleming at times. This is my 9th year and it's truly a job I love and hate. I'm torn myself right now. Teachers often have the personality type that we take on everything..all our kids problems..and all the other mountian of things we are responsible for. Kid's are kids and they'll act out from time to time....that goes with the job. I agree that if you are just there for the summer breaks...you can get another job and there is no shame in that. I don't see the job getting any easier in the future...so just like you..I vent sometimes and that's ok..and healthy....but I'm having to ask myself if it's time for a change. I have my own 3 little kids to raise and make sure they are cared for first...and when I begin to feel like I can't do both (like right now) I know it's time for something to change.
I've taught for over 20 years. I certainly would not choose this career if I were a young person today. It is the only job in the world where you are expected to carry out behavior reinforcement plans and have the privilege of spending your own money to buy prizes and rewards. Whatever happened to children who wanted to learn something without being bribed? I buy printer ink, printer paper, pencils, kleenex, hand sanitizer, books for my class library, party treats, etc., etc. (well over $2000 this year), and spend 10-14 hours a day working in addition to weekend time. In addition to that I am expected to attend after school functions and PTA meetings. Teachers are pushed and molded into teaching scripted curriculum where we all talk like robots and are given time limits to teach lessons. How ridiculous this is. No wonder children are bored out of their minds. Good readers know blah, blah, blah, does not compete with video games and TV. Many parents are great, but I don't think most know how to parent. Children are running the households and then they come to school and try to do the same. When I call parents to discuss the child's behavior, the parents say, "Yeah, he/she does the same thing at home." Most of the children have a sense of entitlement that the world owes them everything and think that working to learn something is asking too much. I feel sorry for the few children who are there to learn and have to put up with the selfish, rude behavior of the majority. I will be happy to retire.
I agree. Young people, please choose a different career. I have also been teaching a long time. I'm very burned out this year from all the stress at school. There is no support from administration. They basically tell us that if we have behavior problems, then we are not managing the class well. So we keep it to ourselves. Most of us could teach a class on classroom management. Furthermore, I would love to see one of them try to teach my class for one day. If a principal doesn't like you at my school, you get all the problem students.
My class is heck on wheels. I often wonder how I'm surviving at all. They are the neediest bunch of kids I've ever seen. They do not work independently. They can't walk down the hall or go to PE without hurting each other. I can't get them to shut up. Teaching is impossible. They will not listen. Hold your advice everyone. I've tried it all. The system is dysfunctional but we are forced to continue trying things that we know do not work. We are a generation of the functionally insane...doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The recent poverty needs to be addressed but it is a black hole of human need. One person cannot do it all.
My advice is to stop spending so much of your own money. No one is asking you to so let go of all the fancy lessons and parties. Only $250 is tax deductible. I have cut corners big time. I would also suggest you leave at the end of your duty day and do not take any work home with you. I toss out much of the kids work. Sorry to those who think this is terrible but who can physically correct all those papers? I take one grade per week per subject...sometimes. Right now I have a stack of papers on my desk that measures two feet high! I just keep walking past it. Parents are asking about getting papers back but I really have no time. I will most likely toss out most of it. I have been doing this for many years and was never once marked down on my evaluation. Half the time, I have no lesson plans and I just make it up as I go along. The kids amazingly always end up doing just fine and they show good learning gains. I actually know what I'm doing.
I'm seeing a therapist who agrees that this job is impossible. I'm just hanging in there secretly hoping to win the lotto. It's truly crazy. My favorite part of the day is driving away from that school. The interesting thing is that I feel this way secretly. I would never admit these things to my coworkers but I know many of them feel the same way.
So for all you perfect teachers...be honest...you've had thoughts like this at some point in your career...you know you have:-) Here's to "hanging in there." Raise your enormous wine glass and drink to that.
Anybody back yet? We are and this week we had a faculty meeting on Monday that lasted until 5:15 and an open house last night that went from 5-7--I am exhausted! We also found out this year that each class has been extended by 10 minutes. What does that mean? Instead of 90 minutes with each class, we now have 100. I feel sorry for teachers with packed classes.
It's nice to see others venting about this job. I simply typed in "I hate teaching" in desperation on my web browser, because I feel so horribly alone most of the time. I teach low functioning special needs students.
I want to say up front that I love kids. It's really the only reason I went into teaching in the first place. But really, people, this job is impossible! Every year that I have been a teacher (oh...around 15 years or so), the education system has become a little more fragmented, damaged and ridiculous. ]
The paperwork in the special education arena has quintupled in the time I've been around. I spend 10 to 12 hour days trying to plan, get caught up on documentation, not to mention all the mandated forms I am tasked with filling out on an almost daily basis. No one really cares about my students, as they are the lowest functioning students in the district. So I get no support whatsoever from anyone...ever.
Being a moderate to intensive disabilities teacher means that not only does the administration not care about me, but usually I am a '2nd class citizen' in my school building as well. Throughout my career I have had other teachers be openly hostile towards me simply because of what I teach without having ever met me! It's completely ludicrous! I understand that regular education teachers have been placed in a tough spot. They are given students with mild to moderate disabilities in their classrooms and told to teach everyone from the highest achieving to the lowest in one class without aide or support. Unfortunately, instead of focusing their frustration where they should focus it, they often turn on me and my fellow special ed. teachers. I imagine that most of the teachers in my building hardly even recognize me as a peer and many don't consider me to be a 'real teacher.'
I have violent students who must be physically restrained on a regular basis. I've been told that I need to magically create a team of people to help when these situations arise, but no one else has training to help, nor are they willing to get said training, and even if they had it, they would not be able to leave their classrooms at the drop of a hat to help.
I have no curriculum, no help in planning and am largely left on my own to do whatever I want with my students. This may seem like a dream to some, but the reality is, it is very stressful. I have become an expert on dealing with severe behavioral issues as well as sensory issues, but the job is extremely taxing. Not to mention that I'm not getting any younger, and the physical damage being done to me along with the extreme stress of the job are likely going to put me in an early grave. I have already suffered from a host of stress related issues. My doctor has pointed out the gravity of the situation. I guess I should beg for an anti-depressant.
Many of the parents of my students believe that I should be able to overcome any child's disability and at some point be able to 'catch them up' to grade level. Unfortunately, when a child has an incredibly low educational IQ score, this is simply not possible. These are the same parents who fill in their child's homework for them and send it in, telling me that they child completed it independently, when it is clearly written by an adult. Or, after demanding that their child have homework, never send it in throughout an entire school year. Or, who send their children into school incredibly sick and try to persuade me that their child is suffering from 'allergies' or it's just a 'cold' or 'we took him/her to the doctor and the doc said he/she was fine.' And when you ask the child if they have been to see a doctor (if they can speak) they answer in the negative. Priceless....
I have considered leaving teaching many times. Recently, it has been on an almost daily basis. Unfortunately, I owe a lot of money for the education I purchased and I really don't see how I can change jobs and stay financially solvent. Again, I love working with kids, but to do so without support, in the worst possible situations and with no guidance can be daunting.
On top of this, many of my students have been abused, neglected and misued. One of the (many) most difficult things about this job is watching my students come into school wearing ill-fitting clothes, caked in filth, covered with sores, bug bites, lice, bed bugs, flea bites and a host of other unpleasantness on a daily basis. Then there are the students who have been abused more seriously. Report them, you say? Of course. I've reported these types of things on numerous occasions. Very little is ever accomplished. Usually what happens is that eventually the parents/guardians find out that I have reported them and become very ugly with me. And then I get to have a conversation with the adminstration about 'serving the families in our communities better.' It is a fiasco.
I, too, spend all kinds of personal money on my students. I purchase food, supplies, clothes, toys and all kinds of other things for my kids. I wouldn't take any of this back. As bitter as it makes me sometimes to give some of my (ungrateful) parents anything, I know that I do it for the kids. Most of the time, the parents of the students I help out the most never offer a word of thanks to me. I didn't get into the job for thanks, I really didn't, but it can absolutely affect your outlook on things when you are constantly taken for granted when you feel like you are doing all you can.
Finally, I feel beaten down, trapped, hopeless and worthless lately. We vote a democrat into office thinking education will be saved and what do we get? Merit pay. Race to the top. Every time I think it can't get any worse and it does. I've started looking at other things I can do, but I can't afford to go back to college right now. I, like many others on this message board, simply hope to win the lottery.
The only solace I find in my job is that I know that my classroom is the most stable, caring and structured environment that many of my students will ever see in their lives. It's not much, but it's all that I have.
For those of you complaining about the venting going on here, all I can say is that I'm happy for you that you have the type of personality that can sift through all the unpleasant factors involved in this profession and take joy in the good things. Some of us just don't have that ability. It doesn't make us bad teachers. It doesn't mean we don't care. Maybe it means we care too much. I don't know. I find this website both comforting and depressing.
I have probably typed enough now. (Too much?) Good luck everyone. I hope we all find the peace of mind we are looking for in our jobs, in our lives and in ourselves.
It sounds like people such as KCJ and Cleopatra have never taught before. I hate when people with no teaching experience try to act like experts when they don't have a clue. It is annoying and thank God there are still people out there willing to teach and put up with all of the crap, especially in public schools which are getting worse and worse thanks to bad students, bad parents, and non-supportive principals.
Oh, I guess KCJ does have experience; I stand corrected. She just speaks like someone who has never taught in a public school. All I can say is send your children to private schools; public schools are like riot zones. The only learning that takes place is in the honors classrooms. In private schools, students in honors and standard classes are able to learn because discipline is actually enforced! Yes, you still have some parents and students who are snobs that you'd just like to slap, but most of them are good people. You don't have teenage brats threatening to get you fired and idiot principals who go along with it to protect their jobs at any cost. The principals don't care about the kids; they just want to keep enrollment up so they can get those government checks. Last year, I had idiots in my classrooms with ankle bracelets for robbery. Several of them were already drug dealers in 9th grade! Why aren't these students in alternative schools? Money is the answer!
Fork, God bless you for what you do! I feel like I care too much as well. If I didn't care, I wouldn't go home feeling this way. I would think, "Well, who cares if they don't learn or dislike me; I am getting a paycheck. The fact is, I wish that they would get excited about learning and I jump through hoops to accomplish that. Unfortunately, I am finding that it isn't the nature of teenagers to be into academics. I even find that some of the smart students who actually care a little can be especially cruel. It's like they work so hard to find some mistake that I've made or try to make me look stupid. I always find that the day after I do something nice for them, I am treated like crap. For example, I had candy as rewards and let them play "Parts of Speech Bingo." The next day, they behaved like idiots! I don't get it. Everyone keeps telling me "No good deed goes unpunished" but they're often bad if I am strict with them too. I jump through so many hoops, but I always have at least one class that is terrible and it ruins my whole day. I guess I should focus more on the good classes, but it really bothers me.
Arwen27 try not to take what some of the twerpy kids do too personally. What I suggest is don't give them any rewards. When they ask why, tell them that based on what happened the last time, you have decided to revoke that treat. Remember, you are in control and by having a consequence for bad behavior, you are letting them know who's in charge. You don't deserve to be treated badly. Hang in there!
your job that much, do yourself and your students a favor and QUIT!!! I'm sure your feelings can be sensed and are making even more problems. Teaching because of the time off is SO NOT the reason to stick with it. Find something you love to do and do it.
I know this probably sounds very opinionated but you leave me no choice than to tell you to get out. I would hate to have one of my own kids in your negative classroom environment!
Wow, there sure are some high and mighties sitting in judgement out there! It makes me wonder, what are YOU doing on this site? Do you get your kicks out of rubbing other teacher's noses in their pain? It certainly seems that way to me. I have kids in the system and would far rather have them in a class with a real human being who admits their flaws than someone who seeks weakness to humiliate and destroy.
Some of you seriously need to create your own I'M A SUPER HERO TEACHER website. You can blab on and on about how perfect you are to eachother and the rest of us won't bother to read it. If you can't admit that you have ever been discouraged with teaching you are a liar and a very dangerous person to have in the classroom.
I am in my 24th year of teaching and I have struggles. I really enjoy the students and I have always been well liked by the students. I am not writing, to brag about my PASSION, however - its kind of a creepy word really if you think about it. I think my highschool students would be wary of me if I went around talking about how PASSIONATE I was about my job....I digress.
After 24 years of blood, sweat and tears I am seriously exploring other options. This seems foolish because I will be throwing my pension away and I really can't afford to. The stress of what I call drive-through education is getting to be too much for me. Not only do I have 34 students in my class, crazy discipline problems, inadequate support from admin or parents and completely different courses to prep every semester; I have to deliver my program the way in which students and/or parents want. Gone are the days of students being required to go to class to learn. I teach in a public school and every lesson, activity, hand-out, note and grade has to be posted on the school website. Not only that, I'm supposed to have chatrooms for my courses online. We have special email accounts so the students can access me for help at any time. One family is taking their kid out for a month long cruise in the south Pacific and I'm to provide the lessons so the student can take the course on her Blackberry as she sunbathes! The hairstyling teacher is perplexed about this, how do you teach someone how to cut hair via Blackberry?
I have been in counselling and on ant-anxiety meds for years due to my job. I have an extremely satisfying family life, but this job sucks the life out of me. I'm working on my exit plan and look forward to the day when I can say, "I used to be a teacher, but I'm not anymore." I am passionate about my life and my family and I know when to call it quits.
MsCanary - You yell at them with threats? . No wonder you hate teaching. Shouting doesn't do a thing, except make the kids noisier. I teach grade 2/3 and have taught Grade 1 before. To keep a class quiet make a game of it. My class loves the silent game. Tell them that they need to be quiet for five minutes. Everyone who talks during that period misses out on the reward(candy or stickers) at the end.
Write the name of someone who has been quiet on the board. Tell them that this person will be getting a prize at the end of the session for quiet working. Then watch the rest of the class be quiet in order to get a reward. If they are noisy again rub their name off but tell them they have a chance to get it up there again.
I have a sticker chart for each student. Put a sticker on the chart and tell the class that that person has been working very quietly. Again, watch the rest of the class be quiet in order to get a sticker on their chart.
Talk really quietly so that kids have to stop and listen to what you are saying. Gets their attention much better than yelling does.
There are lots of ways to get the class quiet but yelling isn't one of them. Think positively not negatively. I know it's not always easy. There are times in my class when the noise annoys me but I have positive ways of getting them to be quiet. And remember at that age you should be expecting them talk. They are learning to be social beings. Do you want them to grow up to be shy introverts who can't hold a conversation?
You are so right. I'm getting ready to retire and I can't get out of here soon enough!
Parents these days have no idea what they are doing. They send kids to school so unprepared that they are set up for failure. When we have parenting classes, no one shows up. It's not the kids' fault, it's the parents. Not everyone should have children, but our society expects it and these people turn out kids before they even think. Quit asking people when they are going to have children, maybe they shouldn't!!!
I always think of this when I have a particulary bad day of kids and parents. I may have them for 180 days, but you have their failures for the rest of your life!! And I have taught long enough to see it become true!!
One thing I cannot stomach is holier-than-thou teachers (I'm looking at you KCJ and Cleopatra) who tell other teachers having a tough time to get out of the profession. I don't know where you teach, but where I teach the profession is becoming intolerable. Our own state government is trying to take most of our benefits away, expectations are impossible, our administrators are becoming the enemy, and the students' behavior, moitivation, work ethic, and preparedness gets worse every year. Simply loving teaching kids is just not enough to make this profession positive anymore.
Would I like to get out? Sure. But with a family and bills there's not exactly an overnight solution. Plus, finding the money and time to go back to school is tricky. So stop it with your patronizing comments to those teachers struggling. We're all sorry we can't be super teachers and have the motivation to do our lesson plans on Saturday nights because we have no lives like you.
I don't necessarily think those of you who "hate teaching" need to get out, but you do need to rethink what you're doing. It's obviously not working. I'm a 2nd year teacher, and of course, I go home some days thinking, wow, I can't wait until summer.
Kids are different today than they used to be... they are constantly being stimulated by their PSP, computer, tv, everything has to be 3D now because their brain needs something new to actually be stimulated and remain interested.
Since kids are changing, guess what? You need to change too! If it's THAT bad, then try to transition to a different position like others have said. Be a literacy coach... go to the central office. But it's not necessary if you just change with the kids. Do you think engineers are doing their job the same way they did 20 years ago? Absolutely not! Why is teaching any different?
Just so I'm not leaving without giving advice to the OP, I'll tell you what I tell my students, "Use your brain, you're not dumb, so don't act like it!"
With all due respect, try teaching 5 years or more then see if all the b.s. that goes along with teaching these days doesn't eat away at you. Teaching a year-and-a-half isn't long enough to come to the conclusions above. I've been teaching for 10 years and things have gone way downhill; and it's not just adjusting to the kids. There are teachers in my building who have been teaching for over 20 years and are going to retire early because of the things I mentioned in my above post. They say that it's unbearable because of all the unrealistic expectations and that teching just isn't fun anymore.
I don't think the OP was referring to the stuff that goes along with teaching, she was referring to the kids.
when there are 22 kids all talking or doing something that has them talking, even in low voice, it can get annoying because they eventually get higher and then I have to yell at them with threats
That's what my post was related to. In reference to what you are saying, I'm already sick of the dumb stuff that goes along with teaching and I find it especially rediculous what a brand new teacher is expected to do on top of being a brand new teacher. But as I said, I was talking about the student aspect of being a teacher.
Look, I just have to say to anyone reading--do not become a teacher. It produces the exact opposite effect on one's self than you hope to achieve--it is not fulfilling, rewarding, enriching--it is soul degrading. Sounds extreme, but it is true. The basic problem is that American culture just generally doesn't value learning--teachers are teachers because they like learning--typical students don't.
You may not read this as I found it more than a year after the posts, but here goes....
Im on my lunch break reading posts after I googled "I hate teaching"....sad.
I love my kids, but I have too many problems to even point out. I don't EVER get a planning period, next year they are extending the school day and i will have kids from 730-4 and still no break, and our county took away our very small step increases years ago so I am still on a second year teacher's salary after 5 years. Some of the parents are fantastic while others are HORRIBLE! At least my administration is nice to me.
I am worn out. So much so that I have been in therapy too!
I feel disrespected, disenfranchised, disillusioned, and just overall disgusted.
I work my A** off for my kids and go WAY over and above for them, and my effort is completely ignored, or I am criticized by the parents for the stupidest bulls&*# that's out of my control anyway.
Without getting into too many details, mine is a special program for young children and I do twice as much work as I did as an upper grades teacher, but I am looked down on by colleagues and others as simply a babysitter. Its infuriating that I am disregarded at every turn.
The light for me is the kids, when I am left alone by everyone else, and I am just with my kids, I can make magic happen for them. If I am LEFT ALONE!
The best advice I can give to those who are burned out like me is to TAKE UP RUNNING. It helps!
First, I have to say it's perfectly normal to appreciate your 3 months vacation and steady paycheck and other benefits. If you were working in ANY OTHER field, people would never bash you for loving the perks of the job. I would say only a very financially desperate person would work any job that did not offer at least some definable benefits, and I wouldn't wish that level of desperation on anyone.
My advice is to ignore the poster that mentioned you should be ashamed of feeling the way you do. I hope he/she does not use that same tactic to inspire her students to keep moving forward when the going gets tough. That method is most ineffective.
As for your feelings regarding the kids, those stem from the REALITY of the job. Every job/career has the highs and the lows. May I usher you to notice that the vacation and steady pay are not the only highs, my friend. As teachers, we also get the benefit of being the leader/boss of our classrooms. In what other field, may I ask, can an entry level position offer you a boss's role??? You are immediately given a significant level of power to use for positive purposes or negative ones. The choice is yours. Also, I imagine you have some creative license in regards to the methods of teaching you use in your classroom. That said, you're almost like a CEO. So smile...
Disciplining students is an art that requires a little bit of intuition as well as some management ability and constant fine-tuning. First off, know this: YOU are in charge! If the kids aren't listening, it's because you need to adjust your management techniques. The students are actually a great source of information about how to manage them, but you need time to observe them under a controlled environment. I like to offer a 3-week grace period at the beginning of the year during which I apply the toughest discipline. Very few infractions, if any, go unnoticed. I use the school's disciplinary procedures to the letter in order to take control of the classroom. Also, I do not smile the first few weeks. It may be difficult to do this, but remember, you have to show them who is in charge and that you mean business. Over those first weeks, I get a clear idea of who is the "class clown," "the chatty group," "the bully," "the timid ones," etc. Then, on Monday of week three, I announce my seating chart. Everyone get's moved, and I don't take NO for an answer. Then, I proceed to get the "bully" on MY SIDE. You do this by giving them jobs to do that require lots of positive energy, and you simply refuse to accept anything even remotely negative from them. Basically, you are re-molding this one student for the sake of the entire class. Obviously, you must keep a strict eye on them all while allowing them the freedom to perform positively for you so that they feel accepted without the need to bully anyone. If they get out of hand, nip it in the bud. Detention, disciplinarian's office, guidance, etc. Sometimes, believe it or not, these are the kids that will break down crying if you simply tell them, "I'm utterly disappointed in you. You have the ability to be so much better than what you're showing me. Don't let me down again! Understood?!" Harsh yes, but very effective. At this point, you should have total control of the class since you've shown everyone else that you are in control of even the most difficult of them.
As for the end of the year...I don't expect any more from them than what I am willing to give. Thus, we spend the last week of school reviewing for the exam. We do drills and games, folder organization, etc... If they are VERY WELL BEHAVED during the reviews, we watch a novel-based movie on the last days. If they are disruptive, oh well--no movie. No hard feelings. They are always in charge of their fates, and I let them know this right off. Never deviate. The worst thing a teacher can do is be inconsistent. Students need structure.
All this said, teaching is both a very noble career to devote your life to as well as a privilege. You will work harder than you would in most other professions though it does get easier over time, and your excellent time-management skills should eventually put you in the lovely position of taking very little work home with you. I've been teaching for 10 years and rarely take work home. You have the power to shape lives, and believe it or not, every single moment those kids spend with you, they are learning how to be and what to be. If they succeed in your class, never forget to congratulate them, but know that YOU are partly to credit for their success. Both of you deserve to be rewarded for doing such a great job! If they fail, help them get back up and try again, for you have failed with them. If they are disrespectful, let them know in cold terms right off, you WILL NOT tolerate that poor behavior as you would never treat them that way. But if you give up on the teaching, you can't expect that they won't give up as well. Remember, you are the boss--the CEO. It's okay to get tired and you will, but notice they will follow your lead. So in those moments, have compassion across the board. You determine the tone of every second.
Last edited by HS Teaching E; 05-25-2011 at 12:20 PM..
Reason: Had to add a note
or just a big soap box. I stand by every word. If you don't like to teach, get out. Teachers like this give us all a bad name, and I have plenty of reasons to complain, but I have no use for haters. There are people out there who are really working their hearts out, thousands of posts and real heart. Enough. And yes, I am a cat lady--a lady, who doesn't attend every argument she is invited to. But if you are going to speak for teachers, you'd better tell the truth. THAT is what they'll remember. And I still would not want my first grader in this teacher's class. Ever.
The teaching profession has changed alot over the last 20 years. When i started students and parents had some respect for teachers. Whilst some still show wonderful support I find most dont. The game has changed. When the ferals get on top teach the ones who are willing to learn. If this isnt for you try to get out. You certainly wouldnt do this for the vacations. Dont expect future students to find a new lease of respect either. I found that when the students and parents are nice it's the best job in the world, when not, ridiculous.
I too have often questioned why I got into teaching. Most days I enjoy the kids but there are days when I wish they had all overslept and didn't show up for school. I have taught 1st grade for 5 of my 10 years and I have to say I love the little buggers. They really are a chatty bunch but that is what they do at that age. What I would really like to share with you is that the days when they got on my nerves the most were the days when I was under-prepared. All the behaviors are magnified at those times. It was often due to some personal issues going on, or just plain ol' tired. Don't beat yourself up. You are perfectly imperfect. The summers are an awesome reason to stay in teaching!!
I start a middle school teaching job tomorrow and I am losing my mind. I am so nervous and stressed out about it I have been crying for like the past four hours. My fiance is sick of by B.S. because I am constantly saying that I can't teach and don't want to and I only just graduated recently. I don't know what has gotten into me but the very thought of teaching tomorrow is going to make me have a mental breakdown. I can't handle it. The thought of going in tomorrow is making me want to run run run. I guess I need to calm down . . .
I totally agree. kids are terrible nowadays because there's no discipline even in the schools.principals don't want to do anything about it. i am a very overworked underpaid stressed teacher due to kids, parents, and administration. and we don't even get 3 months of vacation anymore. so sad that teachers aren't given the respect or pay they so badly deserve. kids are terrible in class no matter what age
I have taught 1st grade, 3rd, grade, and now 7th and 8th and it doesn't get any better. All these people are on here ridiculing you for venting about your job like they are perfect and don't have bad days. Obviously we love children and know thats why we are here or we would have never gone into teaching! However, these days we don't have support from parents. Which is exactly who is probably writing the rude posts! They expect us to be super heros. They want us to baby sit, do all the discipline and TEACH!!!! If parents would teach their children to respect adults, especially teachers, then we could be the smily, happy go lucky teachers we always imagined ourselves being. We don't want to be mad and frustrated. We want to have fun and see the light in the children's eyes. People who have never been in a classroom of 20 + students have no idea how challenging it is. I go home everyday completely mentally exhausted.