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I Think I Should Quit Teaching

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posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:17 PM
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Greetings, ATS!

I do my best thinking by writing things down...so I thought I'd take advantage of the rant forum to try and clarify my thoughts on my future in education.

I've taught for over ten years now, and it's been a wonderful career until the last two years. I still love my students, but I'm so sick and tired of the public education red tape that keeps me from actually doing my job.

One example. We have a reading assessment program called MClass that we use. This assesses the child on phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and writing. It's a really accurate assessment and a great tool for lesson planning.

The problem with this program is the amount of time I spend assessing. If a student is reading below level, he's identified as a "red" student. Near level is "yellow" and on level is "green." To track the students progress, we have to test every red student every other week. Yellow students are tested every four weeks, while green students are tested every six weeks.

Big deal...except it can take twenty minutes per child to do one assessment. Which boils down to.....I spend all my time assessing students when what I should be doing is TEACHING,

I actually quit assessing my red students, because I wanted to teach them. So I skipped the assessment for a month and just taught. Got in a lot of trouble, but lo and behold....those red students had grown more in that month than they had all year. Just imagine what We could accomplish if we weren't testing the hell out of these kids!

Then there's the administration, who's a nice guy and wants to do what's best, but he's clueless. He taught middle school and doesn't seem to understand the developmental differences in six year olds and eighth graders.

Apathetic parents, who complain when their child gets a failing grade but think homework isn't important. Parents who come to school and yell at each other in front of their children. Parents who threaten to "teach me a lesson" because I mentioned (politely) that its not normal for a seven year old to crap himself everyday and that maybe she should take him to a doctor.

Paperwork is increasing, I feel buried in paper and red tape. Spend so much time documenting everything that there's little time left.

Then I get to read and hear about how public schools are indoctrination camps that are dumbing down the population, and I'm part of the problem. I read something like this every damn day. I'm either not educated enough (masters + isn't enough I guess) or don't care or am intentionally zombifying the children of America to fulfill some elitist agenda.

ATS, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of trying so hard, caring so much, and getting kicked in the face over and over. I'm going numb, emotionally, physically, spiritually. And that's a bad thing to be...numb.

But how will my family make ends meet if I quit? My salary isn't great, but it's better than working retail or other unskilled jobs. Plus I want a job that makes a difference, I want to help people. Directing folks to aisle seven isn't quite what I had in mind.

I've looked into going into psychology and becoming a therapist,, but would have to earn a masters in psychology and then the doctorate. That's a lot of years and $$$. Plus could I even counsel someone when I still struggle with PTSD, anxiety, ad depression every day?

I interviewed at a new school today, it went very well. Maybe getting into a new situation and away from the turmoil at my current school will help. I don't know.

Well, that didn't really clear up my thinking that much, but it feels nice to get it off my chest. Thanks ATS.

/self indulgent, melodramatic rant




posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:22 PM
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All I can say is thank you for all you do for our children. I know it isn't easy for you,but I hope you stay. We need to keep the ones like you that actually care.

So from the mother of two children in elementary school, keep up the good work.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:25 PM
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Nothing worth gaining comes without a price.

Stick with it. Education NEEDS people like you. Moreover, in my experience most situations play best when you take the long view.

Cherish the daily wins and disregard the rest. That will help you a whole lot, imo.

Good luck!



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Teachers are in the crossfire about just as much as politicians! Think of "No Child Left Behind".......I was against it then and I hate it now! Teachers spend more time teaching kids how to pass these stupid ass tests than actually "teaching" our children!

Then we get into the "Union" aspect of teachers and how the union protects the teachers whom are incompetent at their jobs, where a teacher with less time gets let go over a teacher whom the children hate and learn nothing from are kept because of their time in "office"!

I feel you pain! It is a thankless job, and you not only have the government against you, but irresponsible parents bitching about how you can't make their children smart!

No Child Left Behind needs to go! Unions need to go! How is it that Bushes no child left behind has made our youth more dumber than the rest of the world???

Think about it America!



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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The greatest gift society can give a child is a good teacher.

I say stick it out and try to have your voice heard on how to change things for the better if results are positive.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Love,

Do you feel like the children are benefiting from you being in that classroom everyday?

Would another teacher be as dedicated and overall good as you would be?

Mind you it's important that you feel happy and fulfilled within your role and perhaps just a change of scenery is required?

Although career changes are common and usually beneficial if done with the proper state of mind and intentions.

Thanks for sharing and whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be the right thing for you.

~Tenth



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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I don't know how you do it.
Is this job the reason you have anxiety and depression maybe?

Reading many of your posts I can tell you are strong, intelligent, and a teacher I wish I had when I was younger.

If you think it's time to move on then maybe it is. If I've realized one thing on this planet it's that you can't save them all. As sad as that is.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:36 PM
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What of private school or becoming a professional tutor?

Just to keep you in education?

Or hell move up the food chain, run for office, board of education or higher, where you may be able to help kids more effectively.
edit on 15-5-2013 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:40 PM
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You're not alone. I know a few teachers that are sick of the new system that they have stuck them with, a system plagued with problems. I think they need to fire the people at the top who are designating the textbooks and tests. I don't understand what kind of drugs they are on. No child left behind, they are all suffering now along with the teachers.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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I dont know where you teach young lady but I will tell you this.... I remember almost every teacher I had growing up.

I had teachers that influenced my life and some that didnt but I still remember them.

I'm not going to give you the " if you touch on childs heart its worth it speech"...

I dont know what kind of money you make but you have to have a career you enjoy doing. odds are you're going to do it for awhile.

money wise, sometimes you can put up with crap for good money, I'm guessing its not a get rich quick scheme lol.

You have to do what makes you happy

by the way was a big fan of reading to my girls growing up.... Good dog Carl... Carls day in the park,... Carls Christmas....ever read them?



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 
I've kept up with your teaching saga for a good while now smylee. I know it's becoming increasingly harder and harder, but you knew that going into this it wasn't going to be easy. Those children need you, and whether you realize it or not you need them- teaching is a big part of who you are, caring for these children is an even bigger part of you. I am glad at least that you have applied at another school rather than just walking away from teaching altogether- children desperately need people like you who really care about them and their education rather than just being a glorified babysitter who is only in it for a paycheck. Maybe you just need a break from your particular school for a while, but I hope that one day you will return to your current school where it is obvious that the kids really need you. Maybe if and when you return it will be as someone in a position to instigate the changes that are so desperately needed. I wish you well in whatever path you decide on!



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Dear smyleegrl,

And that is why we have a "Rant" section. Sorry you are feeling frustrated with your job. I am getting ready to retire from my career and am considering teaching; but, I wouldn't teach anything less than at a Community college because of all the non-sense they make teachers do in public schools today. Having raised three adult children, I had the displeasure of seeing how the schools have changed over the last 20 years and I feel sorry for the teachers and the children. Best wishes and glad to know you are trying.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Thanks, for being a teacher that is really an important job; reading is especially important because if someone can read, they can learn just about anything. Just find the book!

When my children were young, they asked the parents to read stories to them to get them interested in reading books for themselves. I read to them their favorite stories but I additionally brought the reading experiences into their time outs. When they misbehaved, I would read my Science magazine stories to The kids. Then I found out my youngest one had an IQ of a genius, and a photographic memory, he not only was listening to what I was reading, he was actually retaining it at the age of 6.

Gee, I'm not sure if I was helping him, or hurting him.

Hang in there, our kids need good teachers, hopefully the system will realize before it's too late what jerks they are being.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 06:58 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


My Dear Smyleegrl,

Please don't quit your day job.

Teachers are what make us who we are. Teachers ALWAYS have to go the XTRA mile with little or No recognition. I know you have put allot of time and effort to get where you are because Every teacher has to go through the same process to get their teaching certificate. They just don't hand those things out.

There is allot to be said about teachers. Not just anybody can be one. It takes a certain MindSet and Will to accomplish what you have. Moreover, EVERY job has it pros and cons and I should think that teaching has more pros.

Did you have a teacher when you were young that left a Lasting Impression? I am sure you do as everyone has one.

If there is a chance that you could change someone for the better you will find that it is the Best Reward of all for your hard effort. Sometimes it may seem overwhelming but that is when you have to chomp down on the bit and push yourself harder.

Regardless of what you decide, you should take some time and make the best decision for yourself.

Remember that you should do what you Love to do and if it ever comes to the point where you don't love it anymore then you should put your motivation in check and consider re-evaluating yourself.

I can see you have quite a bit of support and words of encouragement coming from everywhere but in the end it is you that will have to decide.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


You know that test. Since its so frequent and sounds like it gets in the way of your teaching...
Has the education board or whoever in charge of that not thought about putting this test on the computer and having the computer grade? Seems like doing that would save time and allow you to work with your students more.

Just a thought.
And no, don't quit teaching.
edit on 15-5-2013 by Nephalim because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


One should never quit teaching in much the same way that one should never stop learning. The education system ('system' - what a terrible phrase) will do what the digestive system does; chew you up and spit you out.

Quit the system.

Keep teaching.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


doh! your 'i'm havin' so much trouble as a teacher' posts make me laugh so much. i caused so much trouble as a kid in school, not gonna list any examples. there were several of my teachers that had the old nervous breakdowns which, by the way, do make the kids really sad, they do really care.
but luckily i switched schools often. after i left, i'm sure many teacher said, 'it was that kid causin' all that trouble??!!
i was pretty sneaky!
i would like to add that in senior year i was an aide in a couple of shop classes, and, wow!, that is a lot of resposibility to make sure the younger kids are not choppin' their fingers off, or the girls gettin' their hair stuck in a machine.

so anyway, finding a different school to work at may be a good decision for you, and i wish you the best!




posted on May, 15 2013 @ 07:36 PM
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That's why the federal government and state government should get their noses out of education. It should only be controlled at the local level where officials have a better gauge on the performance of local area schools.

Government does nothing but burden teachers with piles of paper work. Paper work that takes hours to complete and than filed away somewhere and never looked at again. Government just loves paper work. It makes them look like they're doing their job, unfortunately it's just the opposite. In short, they're keeping teachers from teaching.

Government looks at education like its a manufacturing facility. Kids are not products, and they can't all achieve at a proficient or advanced level. Our brains are not wired the same like the wiring in a car on an assembly line. Teachers know their students, they know their strengths and their weaknesses. Good teachers adjust the way they teach to reach and accommodate those students who learn differently.

School boards should also be made up of people who have experience teaching and understand what goes on in a classroom. I couldn't make decisions on investment if I didn't have any background or qualifications in finance. We have people on our school board who have no understanding of education whatsoever. Yet, their decisions are affecting school programs that really benefited students. In our district, they eliminated art, music, home economics, industrial arts classes like carpentry, electricity, drafting, just so teachers can spend more time teaching students to pass state tests.

Board members also need to set aside time to walk the school hallways and observe classrooms. They can't make competent decisions if they don't know what is going on inside our schools.

I would agree about the unions protecting bad teachers. It also happens in private industry. It's one issue that gives unions a bad name. Protecting poor performing teachers doesn't improve education and certainly doesn't benefit the children.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 08:31 PM
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Ahhh Smylee,

I think you're the kind of teacher the kids need today and more than anything. It's the fact you've been doing this for a decade and can still care enough to stop and ask yourself all that you are, that makes you special to be in a classroom and important to the kids you can reach.

I think we all have just a few teachers that we'll always remember for the good and whatever each one did to make a change of thought or direction or outcome that may have changed a lot in the long run. At least I hope the majority have at least a few over all the years of school.

Add to that, what a crucial period of life the kids you deal with are going through for age. All the more reason that a person who truly cares and not just marking weeks and years toward retirement is so needed.

The more the system grows cold and inflexible though, the more warm and flexible people are going to be valuable going forward too... You're both by all I've read and the kids at that age probably need to see that to know it exists with all the ugliness....even kids at that age see and deal with now.

* Oh and Parents? Do what I do when I have to deal with the worse ones in public or even at school functions. These were the kids we were in school with ... literally, by age, many times. Figure the brats and nuisances in our ('our', as in generation) classes just never changed much, did they? Not their kids fault....I really gotta remind myself that sometimes too.(multiple times...at times.. lol) Some parents, even at that distance, are almost too much. I can't imagine dealing with the problem "children" of the parental age, on a regular basis. lol....



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 09:58 PM
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Thanks for writing it down, Smylee. Occasionally a bubble bath is a good thing.

You remind me of the teachers I had that made all the positive impact on
my personal learning curve: however measured. And believe it or not, the
kids are just as influenced by your work ethic... I was.

My cousin on Mom's side did 25+ years, and she started a little late: it
is possible you can work too hard and care too much. But the other end
of the equation was your seeing the positive results from spending the time
with your charge instead of the paperwork. The frustration aged her a little
quicker, but when she retired I knew she was satisfied to have done the
hardest white collar job in the world better than most, and with a clear
conscience.

It's likely a function of everything the government's doing to over-regulate
what used to go quite nicely without them around. I noticed the same
morass of pulp from doctors I had to work with during my personal trials.
Got the scoop from one fellow, "Look at this [paperwork] ! I spend almost
a third of my time filling out forms and can't even do my job anymore!"

It's unfortunate that beaurocrats require us to be their secretaries more
all the time than perform our actual functions. But hey, p-work is all they
know. And in between gage audits and capability studies, the boss wants
those process evaluations completed and the reports printed in trip by Friday AM.
GOTTA GO just kidding I wanted to be an engineer: when I grew down some.

Bless you again for properly getting the young ones ready--
if only the whole faculty could be like you.
edit on 15-5-2013 by derfreebie because: "..[that] ..evaluations" are a plural FAIL. Good job Nimrod.





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