should I just quit?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Kenz501, Dec 2, 2017.

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  1. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I'm not working at the youth center anymore. I've got a better teaching job, and I should be doing okay, but, in some ways, the same thing is happening. I now have a whole class of middle school students to look after, and I'm not doing as well as my coworkers at all. I feel like I have no idea how to do this job, and I think I'm bringing almost nothing to the table. I have an idea of what I want to be, and I'm embarrassed, upset, and frustrated that I can't turn my classroom into Ron Clark Academy. I feel like I've lost any rapport I've had with my students by making and breaking promises, being too disorganized to function properly, assigning work that they haven't been trained to do, and allowing the kids who want a little extra attention rule the classroom.

    I'm failing as an educator, even though I've asked for help. I can't keep up with the suggestions other people have given me, and it probably looks like I don't even care. I do care, though, but I'm so upset that I don't know what I'm doing, and I don't think I'm helping the kids at all. Why is it like this? Why didn't teacher education prepare me for the job I wanted? Why can't I do this job effectively? It's almost Christmas, and I still feel lost and confused. I still feel like my students would rather be anywhere but in my classroom, while laughter and fun fill the halls next to me. I know my students expect more. I think they're disappointed in me, and if I can't get them on my side, what can I do?

    I think the most frustrating part is I don't have a friend in my department who will share her lesson plans with me. I also don't really have anyone in education to go to when I don't understand something, and it seems like I'm still making the same dumb mistakes.

    I'm no longer struggling as a teacher against impossible odds at an inner-city school; I'm just a new educator failing at a relatively good school where my coworkers send their own children. This is humiliating at least. Why am I doing such a terrible job? I'm to blame this time, no one but me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  3. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Have you sought out counseling yet? I really think that’s the next step. Stop worrying so much about school and worry about you.
     
  4. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    What good will counseling do? The counselor doesn't know what goes on at my job.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    A counselor could help you process your feelings and help with coping skills.
     
  6. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Coping skills for what? Being incompetent? I don't want coping strategies; I want a cure.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    The coping strategy may be the cure. Or at least part of the cure. If you can deal with the small issues, then you are more able to deal with the bigger issues.

    And if you are looking for a quick fix, you aren't going to find it.
     
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  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Fixating on failings probably leads to more failing.
     
  9. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I'm sorry; I'm just frustrated. Why am I failing at a job that I would absolutely love if I knew how to do it? Why can't I figure out how to properly handle discipline, grading papers, connecting with kids, and coming up with engaging activities? Why is it almost Christmas, and I'm still probably performing like someone in her first couple of weeks of teaching?
     
  10. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    So teaching is not for everyone. A teaching program builds on the skills you have acquired to that point in life. I don't think it is a matter of being in your first few weeks vs first few years. Some people a lot of this does come naturally to and others have to build the skills. Teaching is a job that requires a lot of emotional intelligence and a lot of skills in everything from organization to critical thinking. It is a multi-faceted job and one that requires you to be able to think on your feet and adjust to an onslaught of change. Only you can answer if teaching is for you but if you want to give it a go, know that many individuals with many different skills and needs are successful teachers. If you want to give it a go, I would make a list of what is problematic for you, prioritize those things and pick the most important ones to focus on. If you can make progress on those few things, it will make a difference. I would also encourage you to look up Michelle Garcia Winner. She is a specialist in social communication and some of her stuff might help you work on those things you are finding difficult (like feeling comfortable circulating in your classroom).
     
  11. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Sorry, I'm just so frustrated that I feel like crying. I went to school, got a master's degree, and went in to debt to learn this profession, and I feel like I know nothing. I also feel like no one will teach it to me, because I either "should have learned it during student teaching..." or "will learn it once out in the field..." No one treats painting or carpentry work like this. No one just expects you to know everything when you first begin the job, but here you have to put in so much work and still come out looking like you don't know what you are doing.

    It doesn't help that the others can make it look really easy.
     
  12. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I also sometimes feel like I have very few marketable skills in general...I have ASD, most likely, so I'm not good with people. I can get really lonely, but no one cares. I just have to deal with it. I'm so disorganized that it doesn't make sense, and I sometimes can't find things when they are properly organized, for some reason. I sometimes forget to comb my hair, or I feel like it's too much work...
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Please don’t take this as an insult. I’m genuinely worried about you. Are you looking for someone to tell you it’s ok to quit? If it’s not making you happy, that’s what you should do. You have a right to be happy.
     
  14. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    How am I going to be happy with no job and a mound of student loan debt? I don't know how things are where you live, but supply teaching does not pay well, and long-term positions are difficult to find anyway. I'm just upset because it seems like I missed a step or two, and no one is willing to fill in those gaps for me. I get that I'm on my own now, but that's just not the way things work. You find jobs where you can, and you work to make money and survive, even though sometimes your personality doesn't fit with your position.
     
  15. Kenz501

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    Plus, I'm not doing THAT bad. I'm just so frustrated that I could do better if I could get A, B, or C right. I don't understand why I can't get someone to help. Our school doesn't have an instructional coach but maybe a more experienced teacher could chip in? The more experienced teacher would probably do it for someone else, but she's probably getting tired of me...
     
  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    We are all too overworked to look over another teachers shoulder to fill in gaps. It’s an unreasonable expectation. Even an instructional coach isn’t designed to hold your hand and predict your shortcomings. They model practices for you. You then must apply. You spend a lot of time posting here. You could be watching examples on teahing channel that you could attempt to replicate. https://www.teachingchannel.org/

    You could do many other jobs besides teaching. I’m not suggesting you try living on the street like a homeless person.
     
  17. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    What other jobs could I do? I've trained to be a teacher for seven years, and I'm still failing.

    Thanks. There's a way out of this; I'm just really frustrated right now, because I can't do the job, even though I've done the things a person does when he or she wants to learn how to do something. I'm sorry, but that's just very frustrating and unfair. I get that "life isn't fair," but it's hard to see people getting opportunities every day that I never had as a child and not being able to be a part of that in some way. I just don't matter. No one cares that I even exist, and I'm not contributing anything of value.
     
  18. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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  19. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Nope. I've interviewed for that, too. I can't multitask well, remember?

    Thanks for the link, though. I guess I just need to study, keep failing, and keep trying to pull my own weight. If I ever do learn enough to keep a teaching job, I guess I'll pay it forward by giving my student teacher all of the help and support he or she could imagine.
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Kenz501--I'm really worried about you right now. If you were one of my students, or one of my friends, I would be calling a crisis hotline with/for you. Right now, you need to work on you; when you are this anxious and stressed you can't possibly work on the teaching skills you want to develop.

    It sounds as though you have a vision in your mind of what a "perfect" teacher looks like and you are frustrated because you can't see how you can possibly get there. You won't get there all at once. It's a process. Many of the things you are struggling with should have been addressed through your teaching training program and student teaching. If they weren't, that's unfortunate, but that can't be changed. What is the number one thing you need to change in your classroom, starting on Monday, to make things run more smoothly?
     
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  21. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I have two or three precious little darlings that are sometimes total imps. Yesterday, I was giving the students a practice exam, and one of my classes just erupted. I didn't get a chance to see what happened, but it was pretty distracting. There was loud talking and a lot of things that were really irritating me. You know. It's a testing situation; the kids are supposed to be quiet enough to hear a pen drop, but one student kept accusing the students outside of talking and distracting her; I think she was doing it on purpose to distract the other students, and I thought about writing her up for it, but the other students joined in and told me they were making noise outside. I checked outside, and I didn't see anything but a group of students quietly taking tests. That was extremely irritating. It's irritating when they won't do what I tell them to and I have to constantly remind them.

    I also feel like I've somehow gotten to a point where the office doesn't really do anything when I send a kid out. I've gotten at least one or two of my troublemakers returned to me with no notice of disciplinary action being taken.
     
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