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unhappy teaching- what should I do?
Old 10-14-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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I am a second year teacher, and I am very unhappy with my job. I teach second grade, and I do not enjoy it anymore. I am young, and I know that I need to change my career. So my question is- can I leave in the middle of the year (after winter break) or do I need to wait until the school year is over? Every day is so hard for me to get through, I am miserable teaching, and I don't want to waste the rest of the year when I could be getting job experience doing something else. On the other hand, I do not want to anger my principal or the parents. I also feel bad abandoning the students, but I am truly miserable. My heart just isn't in it. I'm also sad because I worked so hard to become a teacher, I thought I would love it, and I hate it for so many reasons! Any opinions as to when it will be appropriate for me to leave would be appreciated. Thank you.


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Old 10-14-2005, 07:03 PM
 
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If you really aren't being an affective teacher, leave the position. You will be doing everyone, including yourself, a favor. Be sure you will not be teaching again and will not need your pricipal's reference, because you probably won't get a very good one.
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I think I would
Old 10-14-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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give them notice and if possible, agree to stay until they can fill the position with a good candidate. At the very least, I would give them 30 days notice. No point in burning any bridges - not that you would get a teaching job again, but you'll need some kind of job and may need a recommendation or may have to serve some of your co workers in your next career. You wouldn't want to feel ashamed and embarrassed anytime you run in to any of them after the fact.
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slow down
Old 10-14-2005, 08:09 PM
 
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Whoa! Slow down here. Take a deep breath. These are life altering decisons you are making so really consider all your options before you make a decision.
Your unhappiness is very real and quitting may indeed be the best choice for you but.....
Have you talked to anyone? Your steward? Your mentor? Your teaching partner? Your principal? Your friend? Your family?
Are there avenues besides resignation? Can you take a leave of absence? Do you have a mentor that you have clicked with? What resources does your school board offer beginning teachers? Does this year seem harder than last year? I was a mentor for a 1st year teacher last year and although the formal programme was only for 1st year teachers our relationship has continued (now her second year teaching) and evolved but I think she has more need of opportunities to talk about concerns this year than last year.
Would a teaching assignement change make a difference? Would a school change make a diference? Can you team teach or plan with someone? Are you spending too much of your time on school and not enough time on yourself?
Have you called your federation / union? They are there to help you.
As for the "how-to's" of resigning, have you checked your collective agreement? Resignations dates and procedures will be very clearly spelled out. For example, my CA has two dates by which resignations must be submitted November 30 or April 30.
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Before you decide
Old 10-15-2005, 05:14 AM
 
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I think before you make a decision you need to ask yourself some questions. First, is it the grade? I would be miserable if I had to teach kindergarten or eighth grade - that is just my personality. Is it that you haven't "clicked" with your class? Some years are like that. Is it the profession of teaching that you dislike or the teaching situation you are in - are the parents nuts, is the administration unsupportive? Try to separate out what you don't like and what is making you unhappy and see if there is some area of teaching you like. If you decide that teaching is not for you then don't worry about the parents or the principal. Give your notice and go with a clear conscience. If you are trying to decide what you would like to do with your life ask yourself what you would do if money was no object. Good luck. Rose


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Give it time
Old 10-15-2005, 07:16 AM
 
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I don't think you have been in teaching long enough to decide if it's not for you. I takes a few years to get become an effective teacher and not feel as if you are drowning. I am wondering why you are so unhappy. Are you in the wrong grade level, as Rose suggests? Would you enjoy guidance counseling or being a media specialist instead? Perhaps your strength is art and you'd like to continue to work with children, but as an art teacher. If you are young, consider you have many years ahead of you to get into a new career. I'd give teaching a try for awhile, but consider other options in education, such as I mentioned above.
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You know your heart
Old 10-15-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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I hate to say this, because several of the other posters are more positive...but, you know your heart. If it isn't in teaching in your second year, it probably won't ever be. If you have searched your heart and soul, and KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that you don't want to be doing what you are doing, then you are doing everyone a favor by calling it quits.
Your district personnel office would be able to advise you on how and when you could leave. They may have someone chomping at the bit to get hired, and would be willing to let you go sooner than later. It doesn't hurt to ask.

I wish you the very best. I know it is a very hard decision. I'm there too, but I have been doing this for eight years. You know when you need to move on!
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time to move on
Old 10-16-2005, 04:33 AM
 
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Hi,

While I am saddened that you spent so much time preparing to be a teacher, I think it is wise that you recognize it is not for you. I wish that someone would have helped you with this in college, but you will not have wasted this life experience.

If you are sure that you don't want to return to teaching, talk to your principal and ask if you can resign ASAP. There are thousands of young teachers who would be thrilled with your job and your students deserve a teacher who loves to teach. Thank you for recognizing that teaching is a mistake for you. That is very mature of you. Many people are not meant to be teachers but are caught in the machine that they can't get out of for various reasons.
Connie
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Take a hard look
Old 10-16-2005, 09:09 AM
 
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I am reaching through and giving you a hug - I felt the same way you did and I have been teaching for over 12 years. I kind of starting questioning the profession about 3 years ago but decided that maybe I was just in a bad situation with a group of negative team mates and I switched schools - I moved into a new position with AWESOME team mates and loved them to death but the feelings about the profession stayed. Finally this year, about 5 weeks into the school year, I just couldn't take the stress anymore from bad-mouthed kindergartners and their rude parents and I put in for a personal leave. In my county in Florida, you can put in for as much as 2 years for personal leave and you do NOT have to give any reason to anyone - it is your own business. This way, I have 2 years to take a break, gain some prospective but I don't lose my "tenure" or pay level. At the end of 2 years, I can decide to come back (not neces. my original school) or I can decide to leave the profession...but this bought me some time to think.
It is about 3 weeks into me not working and I know that it was the BEST decision I could have ever made...do I miss coming up with awesome, fun K plans/activities? - yes, ...do I miss the children that I had that were sweet and excited about learning?....yes....but I do NOT miss the super mis-behaving students who didn't think twice about talking back or hitting/biting me or the parents who always think their children are angels at home and they only "act" like that at school....I had about 75% of parents over the past 2-3 years come up with a slew of excuses as to why their child behaved/acted a certain way and VERY rarely did I have a parent that actually apologized and stated that they would make this a top priority and work on it home because it is unacceptable behavior. (prior to 2-3 year ago, this WAS the GOOD way that parent used to deal with unacceptable behavior...but that seems to have gone to the birds now) I don't miss the stress of never ending paperwork. I wake up happy and charged for the day...I stay on the board to just keep in touch with the teaching community and help me keep some perspective and who knows I may find some hope that in the next two years, that the word "developmental" will become acceptable again in the state of Florida and that a 5 year old can be a 5 year old and that maybe the whole "parenting" atmosphere will change where the parents will stop trying to be their child's "friend" and always giving into them just so that they don't make their child "upset" and finally be a parent and teach their children the word respect and how to look out for their friends and family.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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I know how you are feeling. I was a career changer and switched to a teaching job after being in an office for 12 years. I was 37 yrs old when I did this and I was completely miserable. I knew in my heart I had made a mistake, thought I had the job I always wanted. I tried my best to make it thru the year but I ended up having severe anxiety over it. I was only sleeping about 3 hours a night, because I just could not stop thinking about it. I was a specials teacher so I saw every child in the whole school, and I was just overwhelmed, and felt very isolated. Was never observed except for one time in December. Never received feedback on that. I did my best to do a good job, and I think the kids did enjoy my classes, but I was so miserable I ended up giving my notice after Christmas break was over and left at the end of January. I thought I may have trouble getting another job in something else, when people found out I had left teaching in the middle of the year, but once I explained why I left most people were understanding, and even said they would probably not last one day as a teacher. I still beat myself up over it and feel like I failed, but I can say I am much happier and healthier now than I was at this point last year. Please do what is best for you and life is to short to be unhappy. Good luck to you!
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Don't like it either
Old 10-25-2005, 06:44 AM
 
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I am in the same position you are.
I have been teaching 5 years and every year, I dislike it more and more. I have tried everything--changing schools/districts, trying different teaching methods.
I know I have to get out before it really starts to negatively affect the kids (I make it a point NOT to let it#interfere with the actual job I do--and my kids are always successful).
I, too, spend a lot of time working on my education degree. I also thought I'd love it! I was even "student teacher of the year" at my school where I student taught. trust me, I know the feeling you have after spending all that time working on something--just to end up hating it.
I started a small business a year back, and that was my "way out". I have been building the business ever since, and this is my last year teaching.
I think the only fair thing to do is finish out your contract and stay til the end of the year. When you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I think things get easier. If you think about it, it's only about about 120 days in all.
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wanting to leave the profession too
Old 10-27-2005, 05:38 PM
 
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I am in my 7th year of teaching and you would think that things would get a little bit easier, but they don't. I completely empathize with you. I am working 10+ hours a day and making $30,000 a year. Somedays I don't think that you could pay me enough to do this job. I try to make lessons better each year and add new books to the reading program and it is just exhausting-- along with the meetings, committee work, paper correcting and parent conferencing. All of the new guidelines coming down from the Federal government make my stomach turn and make me want to run away from this profession. It is one of the few professions where you are constantly "on all day long." I am also tired of working with administrators who don't enforce any policies/rules. I wish I had better things to say to you, but I completely understand. I am going to have to move to get another job because I live in a rural area where there are few opportunities for professional jobs. IF you can do it I would try to stick the job out until the end of the year. I think this would make things much easier for you in the long run and you would feel like you had finished out the year as best as you could. Take the summer off with pay to figure out what you want to do and to have a break. Switching from one career to the next could be very difficult and emotional draining. Thanks for letting ME Vent.
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I feel your pain
Old 10-29-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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I too am a second year teacher. As I mentioned in another post, I have a business degree and worked in contact admin. until my position downsized. I was unemployed for 10 1/2 months. During that time, I looked for another job in my profession, but for the last 2-3 years the eonomcy has been poor and it truly is an employer's market right now (think about that before you jump ship; know EXACTLY what you want to do and where you are going) .

Because I was unemployed, I had to live off of credit cards. Before finding a temp assignment, I lived off of unemployment. Because my temp gigs didn't pay enough, I had to apply for food stamps. I cannot tell you how degrading that was; to have these social workers who made far less than I did on my job as a contract administrator get into my business and question me as to why a degreed professional could not get a job. I can't tell you how many times I was threatened with an eviction notice because I was behind on rent and utilities.

I was employed in 2004 and completed a 15-month alternative certification program. While completing the program, which included college hours in education, training sessions on evenings and weekends, studying for state exams, I had the FULL RESPONSIBILITY of a first-year teacher. I had a mentor-teacher, but she was limited in what she could do because it was her first year teaching and ESL classroom; she did provide emotional support and proved to be an ally. I had NO support frm my grade-level. In fact, there were many times when I was set up for failure; these teachers would purposefully withold information, paperwork and supplies from me until the last minute. I was constantly criticized and ridiculed by them; while other teachers sympathized, there was nothing they could really do. With all these federal mandates, standardized tests and paperwork, EVERYONE is out for self. It's eye-for-an-eye; you either sink or swim. Of course, we know that teacher's don't get paid enough. Because I had so much debt, I had to work a 20-hr/wk p.t. job to supplement my income, because teachers in my district only get paid ONCE A MONTH!

Once the 04-05 school year was over, I was sure that over the summer, I would get some much-needed R&R. But that was not to happen; on Memorial Day weekend, I lost my father in a horrible accident.

This is my second year as a teacher. Unlike last year, these students have MAJOR behavior problems. I have about 5 students in my classroom who exhibit all the symptoms of ADHD; but the parents are in denial and won't have them see their pediatrician or a psychologist. For some reason, administration seems to have a hands-off approach when it comes to behavior issues; they want us to "follow our classroom mgt. plan". Last year I received glowing remarks from my administrators; this year, they are nit-picking everything from wearing capris, to leaving early on Fridays. I'm not a Spanish-speaker; however, I was told this week to make sure that all correspondence I send home is in English AND Spanish. This year teachers have more responsibilities than ever before; moral is low, and I don't know how much more I can take. I was observed last week;I haven't got the results yet, but based on how this year is going, I don't expect it to be a good one.

So on top of my personal and financial problems, I now have problems with my job. I am taking a hard look at myself and what it is I want out of life, and there are times when I'm not so sure if teaching is right for me either. All I do is give, and give more; I'm never edified. I am drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. I could take a leave of absence, but I would not be paid. I am exploring all my options. By the end of the school year, I will be closer to making a decision.
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Unhappy too
Old 09-06-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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I want to leave teaching also. After a year and a half on temporary contracts, I've had enough. Additionally, I took over two classrooms where the teachers ruined the classes. Children kicked desks, talked back to me, and were generally disrespectful. It was like that in the whole school. I cried almost every night. The class that I started with at the beginning of the year I really enjoyed. They were successful also. However, I am feeling lost because I don't know what other profession I can go into and sad because I spent so much time, energy and money into a profession that has disappointed me time after time. It is comforting to know that I am not the only person who has experienced the same things.
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