The End of A Career

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Voyager, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Voyager

    Voyager New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 14, 2018

    In sixteen years of teaching, this is my first ever post on any teaching forum, despite having read thousands. I just am really seeking some objective advice and encouragement.

    If you are new to teaching please do not read, I don't want to be the toxic veteran people warn you against! We need new, young committed teachers like you in the profession!!

    I started teaching in 2001, and over the last seventeen years I've gone from being that rockstar teacher that ALL students loved and were inspired by, the one who received highly effective ratings year after year, the one who stayed at school every night until 9:00pm (you know the one that the janitor would insist on walking to the car), the one who delightfully graded papers because day to day student work was a measure of student/teacher success and progress . . . TO the one who dreads and experiences anxiety every time the alarm goes off, the one who has piles upon piles of work that needs to be graded (which I have absolutely no desire to grade), the one who now struggles to manage some of her classes. Funny I used to walk past rooms of teachers with poor management and say, "Gosh I'm glad I'm not that teacher or, that could never be me." Now it is me on a daily basis. Finally, I've become that one who now struggles to build relationships with many of her students. The one who has heard students say, "I hate this class."

    I tell my mother all the time, I feel like that athlete who keeps playing beyond their prime, you know the one who should have retired while on top but keeps playing.

    I think this feeling started brewing a few years after my daughter, who is now six, was born. I started feeling this kind of resentment to teaching because I felt like admin expected me to put the needs of someone else's child over my own. Or, instead of taking my child out on weekends and exposing her to all the things we want our students to be exposed to, I have to stay home and plan and grade because I can no longer stay at school late every evening. Not to mention all the new clerical stuff teachers are now required to do. It's almost like you can't be both great parent and a great teacher, in this day and age something suffers, especially if you work in an urban school district. I feel as if some nights I come home and have nothing left to offer my own child because I've just spent the last 8 hours trying to be all things to all students.

    With the unrealistic, ever changing, ever growing amount of demands that are placed on teachers, I literally feel like I'm cracking under the pressure. Teaching is becoming unrecognizable to me, which is a shame because it has been a love and a passion of mine for so many years. I just guess I'm tired of dealing with all these demands, tired of going to work everyday and fighting with children who are growing more disrespectful by the year. Tired of all these new initiatives thought up by people who have either never been in a classroom or have not been in years. Tired of having to suck up disrespect because, "They're only kids, and kids will be kids. Onward and Upward." Tired of these new age parents, I mean when did we become the enemy? Tired of admin coddling the one or two children that mess it up for an entire class. Tired hearing at staff meetings, "You cannot put students out. When we do this they aren't learning." Well what about the fact they are making it impossible for the others in class to learn. Who stands up for those kids? The ones who have their learning impeded upon on a daily basis. Tired of the countless meetings, I've never met so much in life. Sitting in meetings won't make me a better teacher. What will make me a better teacher is if, I could use that same meeting time, making those phone calls, updating my student work board, word wall etc., grading that pile of papers, planning for differentiation, reading every students IEP, experimenting with smart board (when I first starting teaching all I had was an overhead projector) and all the other things they expect us to be able to do in a forty minute planning time (If that is not taken up by a meeting). Yes, I use my lunch period too to accomplish these things, but why should I have to?

    Long story short, I am turning in my resignation March 1st, for the following year. I know I'm not doing any one a service continuing to stay. I am looking in other fields. If I find another job early should I jump ship before the end of the year or should I do the more noble thing and wait it out until June. If I stay until June, how do I get over the burn out and survive until then? I feel like everyday it's just getting worse for me.
     
  2.  
  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,489
    Likes Received:
    675

    Feb 14, 2018

    I don't have too much advice other than to say, I hear you. I have been teaching for ten years, but I have started over so many times that I still feel like a relatively new teacher. I hear the "veterans" reminiscing about the good old days when "we could just teach." I am curious -- in your opinion, was there one moment when things really changed in schools, or has it been gradual? I started teaching right around the advent of Common Core, and then started in public schools right as 1:1 devices were becoming common, so both of those major shifts have been part and parcel of teaching for me since the beginning.

    As far as having kids go, I literally do not know how women do both (parent little kids and teach). I think if you are feeling pulled to spend time with your kids, you should do it, if it's financially possible. Your kids will only be little for so long, and you can always re-enter the workplace later.

    And as for sticking it out until June, it depends on how bad your anxiety is. If you can hang for three more months, I would do it as a service to your class. If you are so bad that you feel you are doing your students a dis-service, and you know you don't want to go back into teaching, you might consider resigning -- you can always cite health reasons as the cause.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,250
    Likes Received:
    1,018

    Feb 14, 2018

    I sympathize with you. I left public school for many of the same reasons. Moving to a private school has made a world of difference in my attitude and work habits. I hear teachers all over our school who left public school and now are delighting in the different atmosphere here, especially when they can enroll their own children.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes Received:
    679

    Feb 14, 2018

    Exactly! I love the private school where I work and have the absolute best colleagues. Every day that I come to work is a new adventure and a total thrill. Plus, the pay is real nice, which certainly helps, lol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  6. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,489
    Likes Received:
    675

    Feb 14, 2018

    I have taught at a private school, a charter school, and two public schools. Each one was totally different. The private school I was at was lovely in a lot of ways, especially staff camaraderie (we only had 9 teachers!). But it was also extremely impoverished (inner-city parochial school). I personally am thriving in a bigger high school that culturally is perhaps more like a junior college in some ways. I agree with trying teaching in another setting if your heart is still in teaching, just not in all the hoops and hurdles of public school teaching.
     
  7. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    90

    Feb 14, 2018


    Hello. I can not say that I feel your pain because I never taught in a public school but I have taught in a state-funded PreK that was in accordance with public school when it came to salary, schedule, meetings, observations, and planning. I felt the same way and I was there for 2 years. They never gave teachers time to do anything. We could not teach the way that would benefit us and the students. Teachers never had any time to teach all the standards that they wanted us to teach in an 8-hour teaching day. I also felt as if I was in Professional development meetings more so than I was in the classroom. Many of the students were on different levels so I would have to spend hours planning for differentiation.
    If you are burnt out I say that it is best for you to leave. Like many others stated, try private or online teaching.
     
  8. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    90

    Feb 14, 2018

    Also, I have colleagues that are public school teachers and they are leaving the first chance that they get.
     
  9. Voyager

    Voyager New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 14, 2018

    I would say I really began noticing the change beginning around 2010. I was teaching in another state then but that's probably around the time common core was introduced. Every year since then it has just seemed like one initiative after the other. In the meantime budget cuts and increasing classroom sizes are counterproductive to everything school boards and central offices say they are trying to solve. Year in year out teachers are just expected to do more and more with less and less.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  10. Voyager

    Voyager New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 14, 2018

    Being paid nicely definitely does help to an extent! I only say that because many would say I am getting paid very nicely! The school I am currently teaching in is supposed to be the best public middle school this district has to offer. It is in the sense I am not breaking up fights in the hallway multiple times a day nor have a been physically assaulted yet this year. However once you get rid of all the major fires, it's still an urban public middle school. So maybe If I ever venture back in, I will seriously look into private schools. To be in a great school and paid well. . . Yes I would agree that's like a unicorn lol.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  11. TeacherCuriousExplore

    TeacherCuriousExplore Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    90

    Feb 14, 2018

    Have you looked into ESL online companies based in china? I do this from home part time and I know others that do it full time. They are retired teachers or people who are still teachers
     
  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    848

    Feb 14, 2018

    Private schools are an option, or just more suburban, affluent public schools. As you said, urban is a whole different beast. Perhaps even trying to move up to high school from middle school could help. I teach the same class 5 times a day in high school, and have 4 periods free per day. It does get a little boring after the 5th time teaching it, but I have a ton of free time in the day and never have to take work home as it is minimal prep work and grading is easy in my subject (math--no papers!). In fact, today I spent my prep reading the paper and posting on here, and my lunch eating and socializing with colleagues as I had nothing else to do with the time.
     
  13. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    128

    Feb 15, 2018

    Plenty of people want a change in their career at our age - if for no other desire than to do something new. It's present in all fields and it's certainly okay.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Missy,
  2. J. A.,
  3. AllisonK
Total: 351 (members: 4, guests: 293, robots: 54)
test