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mrteacherguy mrteacherguy is offline
 
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Should I stay with teaching?
Old 08-18-2019, 04:06 PM
 
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My first six years as a teacher, I was in a Title 1 school with a very high transient population. This year, I started in a district much closer to home, and while the school I am at is still Title 1, it is a lot less transient and a step or so above the old one in terms of socio-economic status.


My last two years, I had a really difficult group of kids (I followed them up from 6th to 7th in order to switch content areas). One of my administrators described the group, privately, as soul-sucking; trying to manage the classes was a constant case of babysitting and dealing with a combination of apathy, defiance, and lots of laziness.


One of the hopes with coming over to my new school was that with it supposedly being better in terms of student population, is that it would be a fresh start and not as stressful. However, even though we're only two weeks into the school year, I'm already feeling stressed. And while there are definitely some good kids mixed in, as a whole this group of 8th graders is worse in terms of blatant defiance and attitude than the other group was.


I don't necessarily want to leave teaching, as I there have been a couple years when I've actually enjoyed coming to work each day and had fun working with my students. But right now, it feels like after the last two or so years, my enjoyment and patience have been drained.


Is it worth trying to get support from my admin/academic coach, or should I look at calling it quits and just hope I can teach community college (I've always wanted to teach Intro to Ed type classes) down the road?


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Sticking with teaching?
Old 08-19-2019, 12:56 PM
 
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It was about 5 or 6 years in when I decided that I was done with teaching and wanted something different. I ended up being a school psych, but I'd love to leave education at some point. One thing I did do to take care of my mental health was to take a year off. It was unpaid, but it allowed me to try other jobs. Perhaps you could do that and teach elsewhere or try something different.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
My last two years, I had a really difficult group of kids (I followed them up from 6th to 7th in order to switch content areas). One of my administrators described the group, privately, as soul-sucking...And while there are definitely some good kids mixed in, as a whole this group of 8th graders is worse in terms of blatant defiance and attitude than the other group was.
The problem might be that it's really the same group. - You went from 6th to 7th to 8th - so you've stayed with the same graduating class the whole way through, and most teachers will agree that some years are just "more" - more challenging/needy/difficult/etc.

My pet theory is that it's groups who were born during particularly stressful times, but I don't have anything to back that up.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:30 PM
 
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The 8th grade group that I have now is a different one from the one I had in 6th and 7th the last two years; I'm in a different school/district now.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:48 PM
 
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The 8th grade group that I have now is a different one from the one I had in 6th and 7th the last two years; I'm in a different school/district now.
Oh, I get that it's different individual kids! But they're the same age as your other group. - They were all born around the same time, just in different towns.

My experience is that if, say, the 1st grade teachers in one of my districts are tearing their hair out this year, it's also the 1st grade teachers in my other district.

But like I said, it's a very unscientific observation, and could be just a coincidence. And if you'd rather be teaching college, it's no reason not to go for it!


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You might get a sample
Old 08-27-2019, 01:29 PM
 
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of teaching community college by seeking to teach an evening class. That way you still have your regular income and a chance to try out something new. You might also want to check out how many full time instructors are hired into the ed department at your local college. The vast majority of especially community college teachers are part time. Many teach part time at different colleges trying to assemble a living wage.

I taught community college classes years ago. The students ranged from 8th grade graduates to master's degrees in my evening classes (Child Growth and Development). The college offered English classes that began with a semester of writing a sentence, leading to writing a paragraph, then to writing an essay. Some of my students were highly literate, others not so much.

I wrote study guides for each textbook chapter, gave lectures on how to find the important points in a text, how to take notes during a lecture, and so on. Even the M.A. people found some study information they didn't know in what I presented in parts of our first few meetings.

My point is that some of your college students may well be at the level of skill and motivation of your current students. Others will be much more skilled. Teaching adults is an adjustment, but rewarding. It just may not provide a livable salary, although some instructors do find full time positions.
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