I have taught for 12 years now. I'm not sure if this is just a problem in my state/district/etc, but I have come across so many MEAN, unhappy teachers. It seems to me that many teachers like to complain. They are not happy unless there is something to gripe about.
I'm not the happiest person in the world (and I certainly have my moody days) but I am tired of teachers being mean to me because I am generally positive and don't get involved in the "drama". Why is it that I feel I have to hate my husband, have problems with my children, or be grossly overweight in order to fit in?
Is there something about the teaching profession that attracts people with negative attitudes, or are our jobs so stressful that it causes many teachers to become spiteful?
Sorry for the rant. I'm just so fed up. I actually had a teacher shove a stack of papers at me during a meeting today because she felt it was unfair that I have a better class than her. I just kept my mouth and shout and refrained from reminding her that I have my Gifted and Talented credential and am currently assigned a GATE class. ARGH!!
My thought is human nature combined with stress. You'll find lots of mean, spiteful people in most professions. And complaining breeds more complaining so if your school is that type of environment, it's hard to get away from it and change the school culture.
Well, the person I am at school is NOT the person I am during breaks and in the summer. I'm not a negative person, but I'm so sick of the crap at work. I wasn't this way until about a year ago. My entire class of twenty-two kinders, with the exception of two, are behavior problems and their parents are less than supportive. It seems like they are always giving us one more pointless thing to do AND we are taking a paycut next year. I met my kids for next year's class and it's not looking any better.
As much as I love aspects of teaching, I'm not sure that it's for me anymore. I HATE the person I am during and right after work. I don't want to be one of those teachers that stay just because that's what I went to college to do. I'm giving it one more year.
I don't want to be one of the sour people that you are referring to, but I can see where they are coming from and I find myself getting sick when I walk into the school building. Not good.
I read your post and took away from it that you find many teachers to be unhappy in other parts of their lives in addition to their professional lives. I say this because of your statement...
Why is it that I feel I have to hate my husband, have problems with my children, or be grossly overweight in order to fit in?
You don't fit in, so feel blessed that you enjoy happiness in your relationship and body size. Nobody has the right to make you feel less important as a human being because you aren't like them.
My advice to you is to avoid the teacher's lounge during lunch if this is where most of the "gripe-talk" exchanges are taking place. I really enjoy working with most of my colleagues, and I will see a few of them socially a few times a year at the movies, dinner, etc. But I avoid the lounge. It is definately a place where many teachers like to vent, which is fine, but it frequently leads to gossip or defamatory remarks about people who aren't present to defend themselves. I don't join in, and I won't sit there and be counted with those who do.
As for having papers shoved at you, that was rude of the other teacher. If it happens again, try sitting with someone else or quietly shake your head at her and hand the papers back if she flings them at you.
we intend to be mean. I do think that all of the little things keep building up and become frustrating and depressing. I have to admit I have my moments. I came home in tears yesterday because one of my colleagues his getting all of little girls that for several years I thought I would be getting (according to their moms). The same teacher, no matter what grade level she moves to, is always the expert. I have been teaching the same number of years and have more years of third grade experience. My test scores speak for themselves... I am the only teacher (we have 7) who has a 100% in reading meeting or exceeding the standard.
Thanks for the vent.
Many teachers are controlling and want perfection from everything. They work in an environment that does not allow such things due to the nature of dealing with people. That is also why you see the same type of complaints in their outside life as the inside life. This is also why many teachers hate to use a program (even if it is quality when implemented as specified for the alotted amount of time). They aren't in control in that case.
Unfortunately, many teachers expect everyone to think just like them. And for those reading this, if you don't feel you fit this category, don't take it personally.
Most men wouldn't put up with most of the crap! How many elementary men teachers do you see??? Not many. I am feeling mean today. I feel like kicking a 5th grader across the room! I won't do it but I sure feel like it. There I feel better already
There are mean-spirited and "pissy" people anywhere you go. Stress makes some people irritable as well. Then you have the people who are frustrated and don't know how to deal with it any other way.
I'm typically positive, but sometimes it's just too much. At a meeting one day I told administration that I was unhappy with myself because I was turning into *insert crabby teacher's name* and I didn't like it one bit.
My excuse is I have to extremely fair, patient, calm, loving, thoughtful, empathetic from 7:45-3:15 everyday. I am not allowed to yell, swear, freak or be impatient for even a couple minutes. What other profession expects us to be saints? At 4:00 I am off the clock and .......every little frustration and sign of stress I felt all day, comes spilling out.
Personally, I think so many teachers are unhappy because anymore, teaching is about everything BUT teaching. Most of us got into this profession because we wanted to have the chance to teach kids to love learning, to inspire them to be better than they are, and to change the world one student at a time. I doubt that anyone wanted to go into this profession to do endless stacks of paperwork, spend 1/4 of your instructional time on testing/assessing, deal with disruptive students that you can't do anything with except just deal with it, squeeze 12 hours worth of curriculum and state standards into 5 hours of instructional time, document everytime a student does anything to CYA in case the school ever gets sued, and battle apathetic and uninvolved parents every day. I don't know about anyone else, but when I grew up thinking, "I want to be a teacher," this is NOT what I had in mind. If I could come to work, spend my day teaching my kids in the way that I know is best for them (not best for test scores or best according to what someone else says or does), use all of my school day for actual instruction (not non-stop documentation and assessment), and be able to enjoy my kids and let them enjoy me, I would be a lot happier! Don't get me wrong...I still get a great deal of enjoyment from TEACHING. I just don't get a lot of joy from being a teacher because teaching is becoming a smaller and smaller part of what we do every day.
You said exactly what I was thinking of writing. Bravo! I couldn't have said it better myself. Teaching is less now about teaching (I've been teaching for 14 years) and more about documentation (RTI) and discipline management. It is very frustrating! Everyone I know is tired, frustrated, and completely overwhelmed.
Thank goodness a summer break is coming up! A lot of us can certainly use it!
My first thought is that you are not really a teacher. Any intelligent person, especially teachers, could list several things that are making teachers high stressed and unhappy right now.
Regardless of whether you actually are a teacher or not, your saying, "I'm just so fed up," shows you have issues of your own. Why are you so fed up with others' issues? If I'm being honest you sound very mean and unsensitive. How sad that you have to reference overweight people, people with marital issues, or people that have been blessed with kids. All kids and marriages come with issues, most overweight people probably desparately wish they weren't, and every feeling teacher is stressed or feeling compassion for those that are.
Maybe you are lucyk to be unmarried, childless and stressfree in your job. ???
I just said to my husband today that my job this year is how teaching was supposed to be. I really do have a "perfect" class--no IEPS, a few PLPs, one student who has some emotional support. It has been an easy year. I have taught for eleven years and this is the first year I felt this way (and the first year I had such a small percentage of learning problems.) Having said that it was still full of challenges--first year in this grade, new curriculum, testing demands. I survived the BIG TEST, and I'm feeling great about the year I just had.
Teaching is soooo stressful, and that often leads to excessive crankiness. I have often said that what we do in a day, a week, a month, a year is miraculous.
I'd like to address your comment. First of all, why on earth would I spend my time writing on a board for teachers if I myself was not a teacher? That makes no sense. Secondly, I am married with children.
My complaint is that on top of all the other work stress I should NOT have to deal with rude co-workers. We are all in the same boat. It isn't that hard to be polite to others. I should not be subjected to others' meanness because they are miserable. I do not take my frustrations out on my co-workers when I am having a bad day (or week). I think everyone would benefit by treating others the way they would like to be treated.
The teaching profession is that of great stress. Unfortunately, the stress seems to be getting worse as each year passes by. We have more responsibilty, budget cuts, less parental support... It is no wonder teachers are irritable and "mean." I agree with others who say their jobs have turned them into people they'd rather not be. Over the years my patience and positive outlook has diminished.
I completely understand where Sick of It is coming from. The people at my school can be downright evil at times. The environment has gotten so vicious, I now eat lunch in my classroom and steer clear from the teacher's lounge. The negativity from some of the teachers only makes the job worse. Being stressed out doesn't give you a pass to take it out on other people.
I love my students and try to keep my focus on them. They are the reason I chose to go into the field, and they are what keep me going each day. Thank goodness a majority of my day is spent with my little ones, and only a fraction of it is spent dealing with the drama and negativity.
Several years ago I gave up going to the teacher lounge. I don't eat in the cafeteria and I stay in my room a lot. I still get stressed but I don't allow others to invade my space. I have about two fellow teacher who I trust and they are the only ones I talk with other than hello, how are you, etc. When I leave at the end of my day-I try to leave the school
behind me except for my class planning ,etc. It does not always work-but I know myself and how other people garbage can have it's drag on you.
I couldn't have said it better! My thoughts exactly! Today I'm feeling especially down because I'm so sick of my principal honoring those "squeaky wheels" who constantly complain about everything! I feel like the teachers who are positive, caring, committed, and genuinely care about educating the whole child end up getting shafted at every corner! I've stopped saying anything in the staff meetings because the "meanies" and the "grumpies" have taken over! Help!!!
I am a fairly new educator (4 years in) and I teach in what is considered one of the most terrible areas in South Florida. Well, I walked in with the attitude that I will teach my butt off and let those kids know that they can be somebody in this world! Routines were established, discipline was in place, and all seemed to be going well. That was until my class became "comfortable." After the Christmas break, my kids were demons! I CAN'T STAND THEM! There are a few that still want to learn, but the rest of them MAKE ME SICK! My body and mind ache at the mere thought of trying to teach them. All they want to do is fight and eat lunch. This experience is quite discouraging for me...dunno what to do. Now I'm questioning if this is the profession for me....
What you said is a great summary of why so many good teachers get out; and I hate to say this, but after 32 years in the classroom it only gets worse each year. I finally retired because I felt complicit in passing on students with limited knowledge and even more limited character due to an administration that just wanted to take the easy way out rather than dealing with irate parents. I shudder at what the future holds as a result of what has been going on. (Now, there are good schools out there, but I am afraid that too many are just overwhelmed by the issues our students bring to the front door and we spend all our time putting out fires.)