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When is it time to go?
Old 11-30-2007, 06:56 AM
 
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I hope somebody out there will share some advice. I know that no one can make this decision for me, but maybe others have felt this way. I've been teaching for twenty years. I have four children of my own ranging in ages from 13 to 5. I have grown to really dislike my job. Right now, at this moment, I don't have the resentment and anger I usually feel because the day before yesterday I told my husband it's time for me to quit. Maybe I've found some peace in that and that's why I'm not all tied up in knots right now. I'll miss my daughter's holiday concert at school this year because contractually I'm obligated to be at my own school that night for parent-teacher conferences. I spend all my time at home doing stuff for school. At our staff meetings (our principal schedules every staff meeting the contract allows her to...3 per month) all we do is analyze MCAS questions (I teach in Massachusetts and that's the standardized tests for grades 3,4, 8,10 and I don't even know what other grades). That's all we do...every meeting.....analyze the children's responses...what they did wrong...why they did it....how they can do better next year... We use a math program I hate and have gone to a standards-based report card that involves common assessments for each grade level that are sometimes ridiculous. I don't want to give up two evenings of my life in December and two more in March to talk to parents. I don't want to do all of things our school does as "school traditions" every year (a HUGE Flag Day celebration, an awards ceremony at the end of the year that lasts all morning...etc....). I don't want to do work at home, anymore. I've been trying to find all kinds of professional development this year, and I've been doing lots of reading in the hope that something will spark a new outlook on things, a new approach, something fresh and exciting. I want to be home for my own kids. I want to meet them when they get off the bus, and have fresh cookies baked for them, and stop feeding them out of boxes and bags of take-out or frozen foods. I don't want to deal with parents. In a brighter moment, it all doesn't seem so bad. But I can never volunteer in my own children's schools because I'm always working. My principal is retiring at the end of this year, and that gives me a little spark of hope that maybe the new person won't live and breathe this stupid MCAS, that maybe the new person will be more laid-back and not put so much pressure on us. But that won't be until next year, and June feels like an awfully long way away. One problem is, I have spent so much money on my classroom, that if I leave in the middle of the year (I'm considering by Jan 1), and I take everything that's mine, that room will be stripped. I will miss the children I have come to like so much. Others, I won't miss very much. My principal could hire someone who is really HUNGRY for a classroom of his/her own that would embrace these children and "carry on." It's hard not to worry about what would happen to them if I did leave. On the other hand, I think they'd be just fine. I'd like to think I'm irreplaceable, but -the truth is- I know I'm not and if they really wanted to, they could find somebody really good to take my place. I would want to leave in a professional, above-the-board kind of way, with things in place for the children who need it. I'm so torn. I'm tired of being miserable. I'm tired of putting my home second to my job. But I'm afraid I'll be so sad if I leave. What if the new principal next year really is "better"? My husband has been telling me to just plan to make this year of teaching my last one, but how much more will I miss in my own kids' lives if I stay? And how resentful about my job will I be if I stay? Right now I have to go do report cards that are going to take me hours to do. Sometimes I just think I'm tired of doing it....everybody needs a change and maybe I've reached the time for that. But nobody EVER quits teaching in the middle of the year, unless there's an emergency or a medical reason for doing so. We're not like regular people that can just quit a job any old time we want...our working lives are in time frames that go from September to June. The two months off in summer just aren't enough. I want to be able to Christmas shop during the day. I want to be "free" of the pressure... so much to teach but not enough time to teach it with more always coming but nothing being taken away. There's no time to do the stuff that we used to do when I was a younger teacher...those projects that go in the baby books that students look back on when they're older and smile at the memory of having made...I find myself snapping at the naughty kids, and the ones who don't keep up, and even though I know they don't keep up because that's "where they are" right now, I still get aggravated. I don't want to be burdened with doing more for these kids than I can already do...I have 26 first graders and no aide. Whine...whine...whine... I know a lot of people in this group have teaching situations much more challenging than mine. I just wonder if I need a break. I really need a maternity leave!! Ha! Ha! But that's NOT going to happen! Has anybody else ever felt this way? What did you do?


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Old 11-30-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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I think you know the answer.......you can always return to teaching when you're satisfied with your motherhood responsibilities....family first, you'll be a happier person for eveyone's sake. Good Luck.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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Sounds like it might be time to move on. What really tells me this is that in your post you do not seem overwhelmed or flustered, but very calm. You have thought this through.

Do what makes YOU happy and what is best for your family. If you can afford financially to quit, then do it! Next year may be better, but it may not either. If teaching no longer brings you the joy it once did, then make your family your priority now. You have 4 young kids and a husband. Your kids will be grown before you know it and then you would really regret that you weren't there for them. As I've heard said, no one on their deathbed ever says "I wish I had worked more."

Obviously, this is a very personal decision. But if you needed someone to validate your feelings, here ya go. I think your mind is made up. Good luck and please keep us posted.

BTW, plenty of teachers leave mid-year for all kinds of reasons.
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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I too have been teaching for many years & am looking for alternatives.
If you can afford to leave, I say go. You can never replace the years with your children. Having a parent at home relieves stress on the whole family.
My teaching partner left last year for all of the same reasons you listed & she is so happy. It has really motivated me to do something else. As for a new principal. I've had so many. There is usually a little honeymoon period & then there is the time where they want to change everything. I also feel that we are asked to do so much more now than we did before. Not necessarily classroom items, but paperwork has increased tremendously with no time given to do it. also, we are expected to parent so much more, help them study for tests, help them with homework, the list goes on & on. I miss the days when the parents did those types of things.
My answer is run as fast as you can!
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coming to the same conclusion
Old 11-30-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Thank-you for your message. I have been feeling the same way. I don't have children at home but I am sick and tired of living and breathing my teaching job. This will be my 10th year of teaching and I have to make a major change. I am bored, restless and usually broke. I interviewed last year in a different school district and to be quite honest the though of starting over teaching somewhere else brought me to tears. . . .I saw my life flash before my eyes. ..spend all summer at school gearing up for the next year, spend every week-end going on assessments, curriculums and general procedures. I realized then that going to a new school was not the fresh start that I needed. I too, am trying to hang on this year and will be doing something else in the summer. I don't know if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but I just don't want to be totally focused on my job and spend my week-ends doing it. It just isn't worth it. I am also tired of absentee parents who do nothing of value for their children, but if you make one mistake you are crucified. . ..can you tell that we don't have any leadership at my school? I have felt that leaving teaching means that I can't hack it, but then I say to myself I can take it, but do I want to? THE ANSWER IS NO!


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I could have
Old 11-30-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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written your post. I feel the exact same way, and I have told my husband the exact same thing. You are burned out. I see this in myself and in quite a few of my colleagues who have been teaching longer than 12 years. It was to be expected with the NCLB and the endless pressure to perform better and better. We can only give so much and then we snap. In business it is all about the bottom line. In education it is now all about the AYP scores.
You mentioned maternity leave. In my district we can actually take a leave of absence, and a guarantee of a job when (and if) we return. Might that be an option for you? Take a year off, and see how you like it. I am exploring it right now, as are about 7 others in my district that I know.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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Your kids are only young once! The things you mentioned....baking cookies, etc. are priceless.

One of my fondest memories when my kids were all under the age of 5 is baking cookies one wintry, snowy afternoon, then all 4 of us snuggling on the couch, reading books, eating cookies, and eventually, falling asleep (together, on the couch, legs intertwined). The warmth of that day is still with me in my heart to this day.

The years fly by so darn fast!

Honestly, I don't think you will regret it and I know your kids and family will really benefit from your decision.

Our families need to come first! I think much of what is wrong with society today has to do with people putting themselves and their jobs ahead of their families.

Ok...hopping off soap box now. I don't think you'll have any regrets.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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Your post made me want to cry.

I feel the same way you do - the data anaylsis & assessments - it's too much anymore. I wonder when I will just get to teach

I have tried to figure out how to manage w/out working but I can't. My DH has been trying to work out our finances so I can quit but we can't make our mortgage w/out my check. It is so sad. I do have to admit that I have learned that when I am home, school takes a backseat. I only work when my children are busy doing other activities. (napping, at a friend's house, etc.) If it doesn't get done, it doesn;t get done. I work very hard at school to try not to bring stuff home.

You could try to get a leave of absence like the PP said & then make a permanent decision later.
I wish you all the best!!!! Keep us posted!
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:50 PM
 
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Can you take a personal leave of absence?
Check your contract.
Check with your union.

I hear all of the "things" in your message.
I totally understand the tug between home and school. I will likely need to teach until I am 60 because I took many years of maternity leave and personal leave while my kids were younger. Having said that --- you are exhausted. Have a check up with your doctor to rule out any medical concerns.

Also --- I worked half time for many years (after my many years of leave --- hehehe). It was the best of both worlds --- alternate days. I had a full day at home with / for my kids. Got to do the parent volunteer thing etc. Working half time allowed me to be the kind of parent I wanted top be and still gave me some job security.
Is working part time an option for you?

Good luck
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:13 AM
 
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After reading your post you sound very stressed. A friend who expressed many of the same things that you did took a medical (stress) leave for the remainder of the school year. Things were much better when she came back in the fall.

Jobs in New England can be very hard to find in some areas. Consider taking a leave before you resign. Now you may find that after your leave you still want to resign but at least you will have a choice.

Read your contract, talk to your union rep or human resources, talk to your doctor, understand your options.


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Don't walk...Run
Old 12-01-2007, 06:36 AM
 
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This is a decision you have already made. You just can't give yourself permission. You know where your heart wants to be: with your own children.

You can always go back to teaching, but this opportunity to be part of your children's lives will NEVER come again. And remember, if you have children, you ARE a teacher...everyday!!!

God Bless You!
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update...When is it time to go?
Old 12-01-2007, 06:46 AM
 
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I really want to thank everybody who shared some advice with me and posted a message. It's really nice to know that I'm NOT the only one who feels this way, and that other people HAVE left teaching in the middle of the year and have been happy they've done it. I dreamed about some of the kids in my class last night and I've been thinking a lot about them....how I'll miss them and what will they think when they find out I'm leaving? I really will miss many of them and that part makes me sad. But I have to laugh...what did I go to be reading last night, even as I think about leaving? Literacy Work Stations, by Debbie Diller! I think it's one of those things where you can take the teacher out of teaching, but you can never take the teaching out of the teacher! I've loved your posts about putting family first...I talk the talk but I haven't walked the walk. gr8fan mentioned that I sounded calm... That calm is coming after an evening of tears the night before (and many, many days of tears and frustration before that!!)
n2n2n2n asked about the possiblity of taking a leave of absence...I just looked in my contract and didn't find anything that provides for that other than a medical, maternity, or military leave or a leave to take care of a sick family member. As for going half-time, the funny thing is, I worked half-time for ten years and just went back full-time last year. And the irony is that I had decided two years ago that THAT would be my last year (some of the reasons were the same back then as now, but I shared a classroom with another teacher..we were half-time Kindergarten...and while she is the nicest person in the world, she is very irresponsible in her teaching and during the ten years I shared a classrooom with her we had 6 different classroom aides!! In all fairness, several of them left for personal reasons, but three of them left because she worked them so hard and treated them so badly). After ten years, I had had enough and decided I would leave, too. The very week after I made that decision, a full-time position -with my VERY OWN CLASSROOM- opened up, and I decided to take it (going back to first grade that I had taught for many years before I went half-time to Kindergarten). So, going back to half-time is not an option because I would never want to work with her again. That sounds harsh, I know, but she just doesn't hold up her professional end of things, and she's one of those people that always gets by with what she does....being late for duties, taking days off that none of us would do, not keeping proper records, etc.....
NOW, what I'm worried about is how to take what's mine when I leave and not have it impact the children negatively. Our classrooms aren't carpeted, and when I moved into this one last year the previous teacher left an area rug that looked like it had been peed and barfed on. It was disgusting, so I bought a new one. We have to meet strict fire codes in my district, so it wasn't just a remnant that I bought. Then, I wanted other areas with carpet, so I bought more. I probably spent about $300 on the rugs. They're really nice and still in great shape. Do I take those? That seems mean, and then there would be no carpeted place on the floor for the kids to sit. Plus, all the stuff on the bulletin boards is mine...border, pocket charts, the calendar, and the whole entire word wall I either made or bought. Our PTO gives us reimbursement money every year ($300), so I was thinking about offering to leave my rugs and a couple other things, if I could just have the reimbursement money when I go. Hopefully, the PTO will give the person who takes my place some more money to buy things that she will want in order to make the room her own. Any advice about all of that? What have other people -who have left in the middle of the year-done? If I left at the end of the school year, I would just take everything down and take it with me. It's a little trickier to figure out mid-year. PLUS, I was thinking of offering to stay until mid January. At first, I thought I would just not come back after Christmas, but the way they do things in our district, the position has to be posted for ten business days before they can even interview. THEN, they would interview, and that could take a week or more depending on the number of applicants they get. If I leave in three weeks, they'll end up putting different subs in there everyay until they finally hire someone and that would be terrible for the kids (especially with some of the behaviors in the class). They've done that same stupid thing before...they know people are going out on leave, but they don't have anyone lined up when the person's last day comes. If I stay until Jan 13 or maybe the 21, that would give them 5 or six weeks and that's plenty of time. If they screw around until that time, I think I can still go with a clear conscience. A friend said to me (last January when I was thinking of leaving!) to make sure that I was running TO something and not running AWAY from something...I was home, yesterday, because I had a couple of appointments and it was the nicest day! I had fresh cookies for my kids when they came home! I loved it!!! I don't even think my husband fully realizes how nice it's going to be-and so much easier for him- when I'm home. He really steps up and does a lot for our kids and works from home when I have staff meetings and parent conferences and stuff....he'll really be able to focus on his business in a way he hasn't been able to since I went back full-time. Thanks, everybody, for sharing your thoughts!
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:48 AM
 
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Don't worry about the classroom. You will need to talk to the kids a lot about this. Have them come up with some ways to replace some things you may be taking. Maybe the two days before you leave, let them make things so the classroom is "theirs." Hopefully the new teacher will keep their things up.

Also, I really think you need to take things you spent your own money on!! You never know when you will go to teaching again, or if you will want to sell some of these things! Everyone I know who has left their stuff regretted it later.

Also, once you do quit, be sure the kids know it is NOT them. Come by and visit, and do it when you know the class is doing something special- like a play, or a party. I think you owe it to the class to come by once in awhile during the year. Also, giving them good-bye gifts would be good.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:39 AM
 
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I wouldn't feel obligated to leave the things that you purchased in the room after you go. On the rug issue....I would offer to sell them to the new teacher-give her the option of buying them if he/she wants. Those are a little bit trickier to store at home, anyway, imo.

The rest of the stuff...it is yours. If you really felt guilty, you could leave a few items that you know you could do without or that didn't cost much.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:04 AM
 
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Everything you posted rings so true. I'm forever envious of teachers who go home empty-handed and can enjoy their family time. Somehow I wasn't "wired" with organizational skills to help me manage all teachers are asked to do, all while we stand in front of children all day. Eyerything you've said, I say too. I just looked into retirement benefits because I'm almost at ten years. Unfortunately, the official date requires age 65 and 10 years--that's 15 years from now for me.

You do not seem burdened by the financial consequences of your decision. If you're not, then go for it. If my husband supported me leaving now, no concerns for pensions etc. I'd leave now. This job is so hard, and having witnessed the quality time my 17 year-old has missed, I'd be all for a change of scenery. Good luck and God bless.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:54 AM
 
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Ideally, it would be nice if your replacement teacher could spend a day or two in the classroom with you to help transition the kids. At that time, you could discuss with her/him whether or not they want to purchase some of the items you have in the classroom.
I would take the things that they don't want to purchase or items you really want because you just never know where your future might lead you in regards to teaching or a similar profession. However, I imagine after so many years you have some things you could let go of. Maybe you want to replace your good bulletin board borders with some that you're don't care for as much, etc. Start removing some of the items from your classroom now, so that it doesn't happen all in one big rush.
I think it is admirable that you want to stay until January so that the students don't have to have multiple subs. Knowing that you have a "quit date" will also make it easier for you to go to work. That being said, kids do adjust quickly. I used to think I couldn't even take one day off & then I had to have some emergency surgery & quickly found out how replaceable we really are.
Good luck. I'm sure your family will be happy to have you home.
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Old 12-01-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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If you really feel the way you say you do, then it is time for you to go. You are not doing your kids any favors staying when you feel so awful about being there. Frankly, you should have thought about how much you wanted to stay home with your kids before you started this year. If you quit, you may not be able to return due to breaking your contract. I don't know what your budget is, but you must be able to live off only one income if you are serious about leaving. They may let you take a leave of absence. Some school districts allow up to 7 years that I know of. You seem to have a real negative attitiude towards your job. This is not good for your kids and its not fair to them either. If you'd prefer "baking" cookies over teaching--then do it. You are replaceable. I live in an area of teacher surplus. They would die to have your job. Lots of teachers all over the U.S. who are substituting or working as assistants and/or volunteers would too. You don't even want your job, so anyone would be better. Please leave for your students' sake. They deserve better.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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hg- I don't know how long you've been teaching. However, after you've put in 21 years you may feel the same way. I cannot believe that you are sitting in judgment of someone you don't even know personally! A lot of us put up with crap from parents, kids, administrators, etc. and continue to smile and give our students the very best we can at the expense of our own families. ( And we never let our unhappiness and frustrations show in front of our students.) If my family could get by on my husband's salary you better believe I'd be out of my classroom in a heartbeat. I have a wonderful class this year. What I worry about is by the time I put in 30 years what will my health be like? I've seen several teachers who have retired after 30 years and all of a sudden find themselves facing health crises when they expected to be able to travel and relax.

Yes, this lady can be replaced. Thank God there are young men and women out there right now that are blessed with the talents and patience needed to do this job. I'm sorry that you live in an area that has a surplus of teachers. However, you were out of line coming on here and bashing someone who is wanting to put her husband and own children first. I admire her for it and wish her all the best!
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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hg, I think your post was unnecessary. It is obvious that the original poster cares very much for her students. Her post was written because of her agony about leaving those students. Read bamafan's response to your post and try to have some empathy.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Okay -- now that you have made your decision (and feel 10 years younger ) the next step is your exit plan.
First --- don't worry about your kids. They will be fine. Not meaning to sound as cruel as a previous post, but we are all forgotten as soon as the door closes behind us. There should actually be some comfort in that knowledge. The kids will bond with their new teacher and they will be his/her kids, not yours. And that is okay. I think you need to give them the freedom to become their own community --- I wouldn't visit. Maybe send a post card or two but I have found when people "visit" after they have left the school they are often disappointed or hurt. The fact is they don't belong anymore. They have moved on in their lives and so has the school community. (Really --- that is not meant to be harsh or cruel. Just my experience)

Okay --- now for the "stuff". I have taught for over 30 years and moved rooms and changed jobs many times. I know all about "stuff" --- there is far too much of it.
Take home what is yours --- do it now before the end of your time there. It won't be such a shock -- bare classroom --- and it will give you and the kids time to develop some new routines that may help the incoming teacher but depend only on school owned materials. (Book bins, pocket charts etc)
Edit your stuff before you take it home --- some stuff you will never use again. If you have taught for 20 years you will know exactly what I am talking about --- some band wagons have marched right on by and we still have the "stuff".

Bring your carpets home. You may want them for your playroom, cottage, kids apartment when they go away (you will be surprised how quickly your 13 yr old will be gone )
Don't barter for the $300. Let the new teacher have the classroom money to get the things he/she wants. We are all different.

I have been "blessed" by many teachers who have "graciously" left their stuff behind. Please don't do this --- teachers have enough stuff of their own to go through without sorting through another teacher's career left overs.

Now that your decision is made -- relax and enjoy. But keep reading Debbie Diller and friends. You may find a whole new career in giving workshops.................
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You are compassionate!
Old 12-01-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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Don't let HG's response get to you. I want to know what cushy teaching job he/she has. It is not an easy job, and no matter how much you love teaching family needs to come first. I would quit in a heartbeat if I could afford to. I did quit my job last year after much soul searching and new I could not return to that position. I wasn't even sure that I would teach again when I turned in my resignation. I decided to take a job at a different grade level and am happy with my decision. Am I thrilled and wanting to do this for another 15-20 years? I'm not convinced. I really don't know what I'll do at the end of teh year, but that's a long way off.

Family comes first and do what's right for you and them!!
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Thanks again!
Old 12-01-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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Thanks you, again, everybody, for all of your advice and kind words! I'm not bothered by hg's post...I knew when I posted I was leaving myself wide open for all kinds of responses...Everybody's entitled to their opinion, even if I don't agree. Yes, it would be great to spend some time overlapping with the new teacher, but I can't be sure that's what they'll do. When I took my maternity leaves, they had the person come in for a day. I don't think I would go back and visit. I know how it is when the teacher whose room I took (she retired) comes back to visit...it's weird. This class should "belong" to the new person and they need to build their own community. And I agree, n2n2n2n, about being replaced. My ego would like to think I could never be replaced, but the reality is anybody can be. You're not being harsh. I do need to check, though, about what I've been reeimbursed for in the past that "technically" now belongs to the school. I have to be very professional and up-and-up about this. I can't believe how many people out there feel the way I do! I've had a great career and I have been very fortunate to work where I've worked, with the people I've worked with, and the kids I've taught over the years. I think I knew this change was coming, but actually making the decision and believe that it was the right thing to do -and take steps to really do it- is another thing altogether! Now, I'm playing out in my head the scene where I talk to my principal, and the kids, and all of that.....yikes! I'll probably cry, but I guess that's okay. One of the (many) principals I've had over the years said that with the kids (thinking of a lesson) to always leave them wanting more. I guess it's good that I don't leave all mad and bitter and resentful and angry...And I probably willl talk to our union rep before I put it in writing...I don't want to burn my bridges. Thanks again!
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:45 PM
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:32 PM
 
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God has funny ways of intervening! That accident gave you the time to really see what you wanted to do! I'm sorry your foot was broken--DS broke his ankle last June and it was a long recovery. Take care of you!

Unfortunately, I don't see many of the young teachers putting in the time that the veterans do. That is not to say that I don't see it at all, but it is not the norm. I don't get it because I have 12 years(did other things when kids were little) and I still work my butt off to do more and more. I also don't thing in 36 years there will be very many veterans that put in the years you did. There is way more burnout and young teachers are even more susceptible once they see what they have to do and what friends earn and they don't have any take home work.

Thank you to all those who give their life for the betterment of children!
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Been there too
Old 12-01-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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I think we have all been to the I am going home and never going back point at some point in our careers.

You may want to wait for your current principal to retire. I didnít know how much working for a real A****** could wear you down. I worked for a principal that ended up marrying one of the teachers in our building. I donít think that they should have both been allowed to remain in the same building but they did. This always caused hard feelings amongst the staff.

Eventually I ended up teaching in the same grade level as his wife and then you couldnít even vent at lunch because she would become all defensive and defend him. Augh!!! Working with her was not always easy but you couldnít go to the principal because he was her husband. Also, there were times that I know that she influenced his decisions that affected everyone in the building. He would also pit people against one another, had poor people skills, was a bully and would push certain teachers around that would not stand up for themselves, and wondered why we had such low morale in the building.

I even went as far to go back to school to get a second Masterís degree, but no job opened up before they retired. Now I am $25,000 in debt and still teaching. BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS...

I cannot believe how much better our new principal is than the old one. She is professional and organized and is very supportive. I have a wonderful grade level team to work with and am revived and excited about teaching. I am glad I did not change or quit my profession and vow to never work for such a person as my previous principal again. I will transfer buildings if such a person comes to our building.

If you can hold out for your new principal and you still feel the same way then quit teaching. You are not doing anyone any favors by staying. A negative attitude will affect many people including you. No matter how hard you try for it not to, a poor attitude could also negatively touch your students, coworkers, and your family, and you do not want that to happen.
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really?
Old 12-01-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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I don't see how some of you are defending this teacher's behavior. If she is "snapping" at kids who can't keep up and doesn't "want to be burdened" with doing more for these kids, that's really not fair to them.
When a teacher is that unhappy with her job, then it is time to leave. She says she is miserable and is taking it out on her students. She is responsible for her behavior, not me. I really don't see how anyone can defend this. I certainly wouldn't want my child in her room with all this going on. You won't find another job where you can take off summer to be with your kids. Teachers can also call in sick and have personal days. She says this isn't enough. So I agree with most of you, she should leave. BTW, my "cushy" job for 17 years has been in the inner city working with those "burdensome" kids who have a hard time keeping up in school and I love it.
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hg: just curious...
Old 12-02-2007, 06:18 AM
 
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Do you have children of your own? Just wondering. If you don't, then you have no idea what it is like to balance teaching with the needs of a family. If you do, then you must be truly wonderful at what you do. We all should aspire to be like you.

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Old 12-02-2007, 07:10 AM
 
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hg said
BTW, my "cushy" job for 17 years has been in the inner city working with those "burdensome" kids who have a hard time keeping up in school and I love it.

I am not sure why you felt the need the mention your "cushy" job.

You should be thankful you still love it & not make others who don't feel badly about themselves. I don't know of any teacher (with or without a family) who hasn't at some point questioned what they do. With NCLB, the job has changed. It isn't about teaching anymore - it is about testing. I love teaching, but that is NOT what I do anymore. I question my choices often. I admire OP for the ability to be honest w/herself & make a choice that is best for her. If you read her post, she wants out now. She isn't one who wants to stay on for retirement & will not be effective in the classroom. Her post states that it would be better for the class for them to have someone who is eager to teach. Isn't that doing best for her class?
You mentioned having the summers off - That is a plus but what about the other 10 months? I wasn't able to go to my DS's open house, PT conferences, or in school activities because I had to be there for my class. Yes, you get some personal & sick days. But I missed those things because I had to be at my school. It is a compromise in our job. It sounds like the OP is done with the compromise. She wants to put her kids first. Isn't that one of the biggest complaints we have as teachers? Our parents don't put their children first.

hg - When I read your post, it almost sounded like maybe you are jealous of OP's decision. It sounds like a case of sour grapes. If I am mistaken, then I apologize. Never judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

Sorry everyone, I didn't know I was so bothered by the PP's comments.
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go for it!
Old 12-02-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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I agree with most everything the common sense posters had to say. One thing though, think about when you are 60 years old. Will you have enough money/security with your husband's money? The way we look at teaching or any job sure changes as you near the retirement years. I took off time from teaching during the very early child raising years and have just a twinge of jealousy when I see my younger peers retiring with 30 years in!

I understand fully though if you want to leave and enjoy these years. Teachers sacrifice their own families so much. Just think if there is any another way, like maybe finishing the year and then taking a leave. Look at all the options so that you won't have any regrets. BTW- I think only a very compassionate person like you is honest about her feelings. We really can't adore every student and issues come up in our lives that make us realize we just don't have that desire to teach any more. That doesn't mean that you throw in the towel necessarily, like the other poster suggests. Best wishes to you.
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Gone, Gone, Gone!
Old 12-02-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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I always hoped that when it was time for me to leave teaching that I would be smart enough to recognize it. Two weeks into this year I realized that this was to be my last. Thirty-five years is a long time to do anything, especially teach.

I feel very liberated since making the decision to retire from education. I will miss my teaching partner and our SpEd. Tech. Both are incredibly talented people who do so much to benefit the children in our two classrooms and are wonderful to work with. The low pay, long hours of planning and endless meetings I will not miss in the least.

I met a couple of retired teachers this summer who told me of their apprehension about leaving education. Their advice to me was to realize that there is life beyond teaching. Go out and find it.
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Today!
Old 12-02-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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You asked when it is time to go and now I've answered it! I hate giving up my Sundays to sit here on the computer doing school work! I want to be a fun person all weekend long and not just on Saturdays! I so would quit teaching if I could afford not to work. I don't know that the grass is really greener in corporate America, so I don't know that that is the answer. Finding financial freedom is the answer, and we all know that won't happen as a teacher! Good luck with your decision.
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I left for the same reason
Old 12-03-2007, 10:04 AM
 
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I burned out and left teaching a year ago. My husband took a job out-of-state and my son and I joined him at Christmas. I definitely do not regret the decision. It had reached the point that we were no longer teaching, but doing data, data, data. It wasn't enjoyable anymore and I had just come from a very violent inner-city school the year before. For that year, my fight-or-flight response kicked in all day, every day. THere were cockroaches all over the classroom, which I discovered is really bad for asthma. I was sick almost constantly. That continued into my job last fall bacause I was so run-down and disheartened. THe principals were constantly throwing on more tasks that had to be done immediately. We had all these PR days for the parents that kept us from classroom instruction. We weren't allowed to send a kid to the bathroom alone. If one had to go, we all had to go, which lost more class time.

Now that I'm not teaching, I have not been sick in a year. I sub and volunteer at my son's private school, which is actually enjoyable. I get to attend his events. I was a chaperone on his retreat at the beginning of the year. I can attend his parent conferences. I bake him cookies each week for his lunch and have read an unbelievable number of books. I also completed an ebook for teachers and will be launching my new website and blog next week. There is life after teaching and it is good. That doesn't mean I won't ever teach again, but the most important thing for me right now is to get healthy and enjoy my family. My son is smiling again and my husband loves not being on the bottom of my priority list because I have contractual duties to put before him. Do whatever is right for you. Schools come and go, but your family is forever.
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:18 AM
 
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I haven't read all of the posts but I would like to just say one thing... live so you have no regrets. I'm a first year teacher. But that doesn't mean I'm young or haven't been there. I graduated college, married, had kids, raised them and 24 years later finally started my dream careeer. I love it! What I love more is knowing I took care of my family and I don't regret the decisions made on that front. Sure our family could have had more luxuries if I had been in teh work force but at what expense? I'll take the time with my kids over money and a career anyday. I certainly have no regrets about the decision I made concerning that!

Your students will be fine and they will adjust.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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I was watching Mitch Albom on Opera this afternoon and they were talking about his new book. I think it's called "For One More Day." Anyway, the main character gets the opportunity to spend one more day with his dead mother. They also had the widow of the man who wrote the book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff," who died last year at the age of 45. The discussion centered on how when we're lying on our deathbeds we won't be wishing we had spent more time at our jobs. We'll be thinking about the people in our lives who meant the most to us and wishing we had devoted more time to them. When I have a pile of papers to grade on my coffee table and my baby girl sitting in her bouncer, I always think of that. When I'm an old lady will I regret not having graded my papers quickly or will I wish I had spent more time playing with my little girl and less time worrying about school? I think you're making the right decision. Good luck.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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I did not take LovesLucy's post as being miserable at her job or unfeeling towards her students. Having taught many years, I think you can get weary because you do care so much, so much that it interferes with what should be other priorities (hers being her children). She prefers to be with them. She obviously cares very much about her students. I can relate to her. I love the teaching, but I am so worn out from all the overworking. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I spend a lot of weekends, night hours, and vacations preparing for my classes. I always say to my husband, "I just wish I didn't take the work home every night," but I know of no other way. I am guessing that you are a lucky teacher who has learned to set limits and have balance in your life and don't work an awfully lt more than your 35 hour week. (I'm sure you do work more because you can't get the job done in that). Consider yourself fortunate and try not to be so condescending or judgmental about others. I wonder how you'll be feeling in another 15 years? NCLB has done a number on a lot of us!

Last edited by Trinia2; 12-05-2007 at 07:24 PM.. Reason: Sorry, I wasn't clear. I am addressing this to hg.
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Data Driven Crazy
Old 12-07-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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I retired last year. I made it to 30 but it was a struggle. There have been a lot of changes...not all bad. A little accountability never hurt any profession. However, the students don't seem to matter, just the data. We have gone from "data driven" to "data driven crazy". A,B,C,D are not letters anymore but the choices on the state test. In the "olden days" and I admit, thats where I am coming from..If a student was failing, the team would rally around that student to figure out how help the student succeed. At present, if a student is failing, the administrative team circles the wagons around their collective backsides to figure out what the teacher is doing wrong. That kind of negative pressure takes all the fun out of teaching. Remember the "teachable moment" that special time when out of the blue the class takes off in an unplanned, unknown direction. All the hands are raised, kids are groaning to be called upon and are engaged in the activity at about 200 decibels. It was those moments that I most remember both from my years of teaching and my student days. Those days are gone. Your kids (own) are at ages when they need you very much. No one looks back twenty years down the road and says, "Gee I wish I spend more hours working" If you are unhappy and have the means...then quit. The world will still turn. Your students and friends will miss you but you will keep in touch with the ones that matter. There are many ways to stay involved in teaching and still have a life. Go find one.
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