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I Think I Should Quit Teaching

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posted on May, 16 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by gconran
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I notice that green is the highest color, meaning you don't really have a category for 'excel'. This is basically socialism. The metality of "Bringing everyone to the same level" ignores the fact that some people cannot achieve, and it penalizes high achievers with the same status/rewards as everyone else.

Such a system is deeply flawed. It's just not going to work. Life is not like that. I agree, get out of the system, and apply your talents where they will be rewarded, not just recognized as a cog in some great machine that can only produce similarly sized widgets. There are plenty of industry jobs that can utilize teaching talents without being constrained by such a system. If we had this educational system in place at our countrys founding, we would likely no longer be a country.

This is why we send our kid to private school, and do whatever we can to afford it. It's not the best solution, but it's better that the public educational system by such a far margin that there is no comparison. There are still those in each 'system' that won't achieve, and some that are so far above others in natural and learned talents that they stand out - that's called true diversity.


There is an excel category, it's blue. I didn't mention it because none of my students were on blue.


You are right, we end up neglecting the bright and gifted children in order to focus on students who are struggling. It's like we've chained everyone together, and we either sink or swim based on the lowest common denominator.




posted on May, 16 2013 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Maybe try teaching at private schools? You'll see better wages, better funding, and more caring parents, overall, most likely.


A great idea, but the only private school in my area is religious and I can't in good conscience do that.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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Several options

1. Switch to a private school
2. Claim disability and collect 60%, not pay for a babysitter, spend more time at home with your son. We need good teachers but your son needs you more.
3. Be a tutor for very rich parents.

Its hard to teach kids if they come from a family where no respect or integrity was taught.


Consider that what kids are exposed to in a public school is much worse that what you think happens in a private school. 99.99 percent of people going to a catholic school had no problem with any sexual harassment. It makes good headlines and makes the whole church look bad.

Dont look at religion as evil
edit on 16-5-2013 by LastStarfighter because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
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


I quit my teaching degree when I was in college for the very same reason. I'm a bit younger than you, but my mom is a career teacher of 30+ years. The public school system has failed millions of kids in recent years and will continue to fail. While morons in the PTA continue to force new regulations into school districts, other countries continue to surpass us in every right. It's sad, but our country isn't going to get better...as time ticks on only more and more ignorant people will grow to the age of power. It's a bad cycle we've gotten ourselves into.

If you're planning on quitting, TEACH until they really get mad, then quit and get the press involved. Make a REAL difference!!! Best of luck!



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


You need a holiday - some time away.
You sound like a great teacher



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:15 PM
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I have four kids in school and this year has been non stop hell with three of them. I can only think of one teacher who shouldn't be teaching anymore, the rest are awesome people who are interested in the kids learning! However the problem I see is that the administration is so concerned with funding, assessments, where they line up in comparison to everyone else, ect.. that they are missing the whole point.

I am far more likely to support a teacher than I am to jump in and think my kid does no wrong. But at the same time as a parent I get so tired of hours upon hours of homework every night, it seems ridiculous to me and it isn't helping their actual learning. My 6th grader will come home and do homework from 4pm-9pm with a short break for supper, now tell me that isn't absurd! All the boys care about is getting the stupid paper done so they can turn it in and get a decent grade. I see a huge focus on grades, homework, tests, assessments and the like and I very rarely even hear the words 'learning' coming from teachers these days. My 15 year old intentionally blew off a mandatory state test, he was there and took the test, but he just randomly circled answers and filled in dots without even looking at the questions. When we questioned him about this he told us that it didn't matter, it had nothing to do with his grade nor would it change any of the work he did in class. So much time is wasted with assessments and state testing, it's unbelievable.

I'm so sick and tired of the way admins run things and that is from just a parent who volunteers at the schools and sees it from an outsiders perspective. I can't imagine how much harder it is for the teachers. We need more teachers who are interested in kids learning, not just hung up on 'education', grades, tests, assessments, funding, and their admin bosses who get in the way of real work. Unfortunately around here we have a lot of old school teachers in administration who seems to think that the old way is best and nothing need ever change.


Sorry, didn't mean to hijack your rant.. I was just ranting about our local schools and the educrats that run it all earlier today. LOL



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


It is a choice only you can make but you really care about these kid's so the question to ask yourself is would you really trust there care to someone whom may not care as much as you.
It sound's as if you really like teaching but are being buried in red tape, there are many other profession's for skilled tutor's but what ever you decide think will you be happy doing anything else.
Whatever your choice good luck lass.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by Gazrok
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Maybe try teaching at private schools? You'll see better wages, better funding, and more caring parents, overall, most likely.


A great idea, but the only private school in my area is religious and I can't in good conscience do that.


see every alternative has its quirks



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Is there really only ONE in your area? Is a little bit of a commute out of the question? (I have to drive an hour for work, but audio books help, a lot).



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Is there really only ONE in your area? Is a little bit of a commute out of the question? (I have to drive an hour for work, but audio books help, a lot).


I live in a very small town. The nearest private school that isn't religious is 90 minutes away. That's more than I'm willing to drive.

I've got more upcoming interviews with other schools, maybe just getting away from my current school will help.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Can't hurt...



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 05:38 PM
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Testing the low readers every two weeks? Seems pretty excessive to me. How much can a child change in two weeks?

Our school tests once per quarter. Every student no matter their age or reading level is tested once per quarter and I feel like it works out fine. We're starting the same for math next year and I'm really glad for that. They are tested at the beginning of the year to determine which reading class they will be placed in. They are retested at the beginning of 2nd quarter in October to determine who needs a reading plan and extra tutoring after school. Then twice more to basically monitor progress and show the growth of the year. Works great.

I should add that we also test every student every two weeks for a specific skill in reading/math for intervention time. This is just a 5-10 question worksheet, though. Takes about 5 minutes.

What I am getting at is that not all schools are as crazy as this one. I think you should continue to interview elsewhere and ask about their reading programs. Don't quit teaching. Find a school that suits you! I've read your posts in the past regarding teaching, and spoken to you a couple of times about teaching. You're a great teacher! It would be a shame if you left the field.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Look into Waldorf education. You won't get rich but your life will be rich. It will take some more schooling, but Waldorf teachers are sought after throughout the world.

Just an idea. One of the big books in Waldorf circles is "Teaching as a Lively Art". If that sounds right to you, look into it.



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

SMYLEEGRL: Wait a second, whoa, and hold on ma'am. Im reading between the lines of your OP. As a young music instructor, I once wanted to give up teaching guitar and voice (it was 65 weekly students...a full schedule). My reasoning was much like yours is.

For a variety of reasons, I felt its was pointless as new music students were just buying tab and sheet music and tapes to teach themselves. I was wrong, and Im glad I stayed at it. And later on, those same students thanked me for keeping them on the path of playing...and learning why they play and want to play the things they did. So for you as well...you know this...that you are never too old to learn...especially as a teacher, for teachers as well...are students themselves.

You should be proud of the work you do... Heck. Im proud FOR you! We need teachers, and it takes a special person to persevere against seemingly insurmountable odds to help children (and adults) to learn. You may need a change, a different focus...or even to go and take some lessons on something youve wanted to do.

Not everyone can be a teacher. You on the other hand...apparently can. So, thank you very much on behalf of all the students youve had. Please, dont stop. You have a calling. Please keep answering it. The students need people like you that care enough...

It is a blessing, dont forget that. And all those youve been there for in their studies....no matter how insignificant it may seem to you now....will always remember the one who cared enough to show them "how"...and why it should matter....in the 1st place.

Thank you for that. And good luck to you! MS



posted on May, 16 2013 @ 10:22 PM
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Smylee, keep on trucking. Kids need people like you.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 08:58 AM
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It's sad, but most of my favorite teachers are either retired or can't wait to retire/quit out of frustration with the education system. They were the ones who encouraged me to break the mold instead of punishing me for doing so. It is my understanding that our current educational system was highly influenced by John D. Rockefeller, who wanted "a nation of workers, not thinkers." Seems like you're one of the thinkers, and I thank you for it. Keep up the good work. You are the resistance.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl
Greetings, ATS!


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


You are saying it yourself regarding dumbing the children down. You went against the "system" and the red students improved and you caught hell for it. What did the other teachers do that month you were a renegade? They continued on and the kids remained stagnant.

I will give you an idea you might not like or you might. I was lucky enough to go to an elite boarding school. My family was not filthy rich, but since I lived in Saudi Arabia, I had to go there after 9th grade. My teachers made learning fun. Can you imagine your class being so engaged in a discussion that when the bell rings they are all sitting on the edge of their seat still in debate and the other students are waiting to come into the class dumb founded at why we are not bothering to get up!

That was not a one of experience for me. That teacher might not have made a ton of money, but he seemed happy. He did live on campus, had his meals paid for, and basically was a surrogate parent on occasion.

I think the public school system is designed to train us to be lil workers, and not to question, think, or create. I hope you leave that place because quite frankly, they don't deserve you and you are being wasted. I bet you are an amazing teacher and I would have loved to be in one of your classes. I wish you well.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by UnifiedSerenity
I think the public school system is designed to train us to be lil workers, and not to question, think, or create. I hope you leave that place because quite frankly, they don't deserve you and you are being wasted. I bet you are an amazing teacher and I would have loved to be in one of your classes. I wish you well.


SO, SO, SO MUCH THIS.




posted on May, 17 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by Gazrok
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Is there really only ONE in your area? Is a little bit of a commute out of the question? (I have to drive an hour for work, but audio books help, a lot).


I live in a very small town. The nearest private school that isn't religious is 90 minutes away. That's more than I'm willing to drive.

I've got more upcoming interviews with other schools, maybe just getting away from my current school will help.



If you are unwilling to move then you are allowing yourself to be stuck. I am not saying it's an easy thing to do, but there are options available for good teachers IF they are willing to relocate. Imagine a student saying, "I am unwilling to budge on this....." and they are failing. You have admitted that your not happy and apparently unwilling to budge. So, you have very few choices and the worst one imho is a life you look back upon and are disappointed and always say, "What if...".

Please reconsider moving. Get the hell out of that small town. There are GREAT options available for gifted teachers. I truly do wish you well.



posted on May, 17 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 



I respect your ability to think on your own - to see the flaws in the system. I know many teachers who tend to ignore the obvious flaws, trying to rationalise and justify all the orders from the above.

Any country needs a teacher like you - a teacher who does the work for the kids and wants to actually give something, teach something - that is admirable quality, when one has higher purpose than just getting the monthly paycheck.

I do not suggest you to quit. That would a bad mistake. Same would probably apply to other schools. Every school have somewhat similar workers, similar requirements.

Have you ever thought about entrepreneurship? As you know a lot about teaching and what is good for the kids, then maybe the solution would be making some kind of app or creating a website. Of course it requires extra skills in IT, although it is learnable, especially for a smart person like you. There are probably innumerous different resources, yet the quality and price of many seem to be not worthy. + there is always room for new innovative solutions.

It would take time to learn the necessary skills, to create something, although all of that can be done besides other work. Slowly and steadily working on it on your free time could lead to really creating a change and showing what is the best for the kids


You are smart, you have the knowledge of how to teach, you have the experience on what works - what does not, you have the credentials. If the system does not let you give your best, create another learning system that would benefit the kids more


Just something to think about

edit on 17-5-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)



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