Did You Really Think Teaching Would be Easy?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Soccer Dad, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Soccer Dad

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    Today, we had our end-of-the-year department brunch. At the brunch, all I kept hearing from the same two teachers was how sick they were of students and their inability to focus--and that they're just watching movies instead of reviewing because they can't get them to pay attention. I'm sorry, but teaching is hard. No one said it was going to be easy. In a class of 30 kids, you're going to have unmotivated, rude students--it's a fact.

    Just because a class is hard doesn't mean you shouldn't try as hard. I really don't know what it is, but it seems like a lot of people have forgotten that teaching is like most other careers--you need to work at it and give it your best every day. The students, to me, are the clients and you must do your best for your clients (afterall, you wouldn't have a job without them).

    I know there are days when I'm tired, cranky and impatient. But never have I ever opted out of teaching something because my students were too much to handle in this "heat." (Yeah, the heat wave that hit Long Island ended the week before last buddy boy!)

    As many of you already know, I'm not a big fan of some of the new teachers in my department and today just reconfirmed my disgust. :mad:

    (I only hope that NY will follow Colorado's lead and reform tenure policies.)
     
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  3. FarFromHome

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    I never thought it would be easy either. That's one of the things I love about teaching-it's a challenge every day.
     
  4. TiffanyL

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    Wow! Very well said! I admire you. :)
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

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    I totally hear where you are coming from Soccer Dad! I have 2 first year teachers who refuse to take any work home -- their day ends at 3:15 pm. If it doesn't get done, then it doesn't get done. They also have about 1 hour of free play every day...their students are in grades 3/4 and 5/6...:whistle: This is their planning time

    One of these teacher's has some of my students for guided reading and I absolutely hate sending them to her. She spent 2 weeks having them color planets and was quite proud at the fact that one student took 2 hours to color one planet.:eek:hmy: I wanted to cancel guided reading one day because my students were working on a big project and due to my meeting schedule, we were running out of time to meet the deadline. She wouldn't cancel it because she was planning on making kites with her guided reading group:mad:. She is also upset because we ended guided reading 2 weeks before the end of the school year because now she will have to plan during that time:dizzy:
     
  6. TeacherShelly

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    While we're venting... my daughter's teacher showed THREE movies the last week of school: Totoro; Air Bud; Snoopy's Reunion. Me: What was your teacher doing during the movies? Daughter: Putting things away and doing paperwork at her desk.
     
  7. Reality Check

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    I knew it would be hard. I just thought there would be more things like staff unity and collaboration, school pride, and job satisfaction.
     
  8. Cerek

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    Sometimes, you have to be the one to bring those things to the job. I find satisfaction in almost any job I do, whether it is teaching kids or working as a hotel desk clerk on the weekends.

    I take a lot of pride in my school and my students. During my ST, I went to several ball games to watch my students play. I was often their loudest cheerleader as well. That created a great bond with the kids. I also take pride in my school, even if some others don't.

    Staff unity and collaboration; Sometimes, you might be the only worker that is actually trying to be a team player. It can be very discouraging when your efforts are continually rejected or ignored. But somebody still has to take the first step. I spent a couple of years working as a dishwasher in a restaurant. I was working with a new guy one night and we had a short period where we were caught up. Instead of just standing around, I told him to grab the pans for the salad bar and go put them up in the salad prep room. He said "That's THEIR job. They are the ones that are supposed to do that." "Yes, they are," I said, "but since we're caught up we can help them out and do it for them." "Why should we do that? They NEVER help US out." "Well, you know, somebody has to take the first step. Even if the ones working tonight don't help us out, others will. When you go out of your way to help others with their job, eventually they will return the favor. Even if they don't, you can still take satisfaction from the fact that you've done everything you can to work together." *brief pause* "Besides, it will take 30 seconds and we'll still be caught up. So get those pans and come with me." :p
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I feel for you Soccer Dad!

    I think too many people enter teaching because "they like kids." Yay! They figure they'll do all sorts of fun projects, have a pretty room, and get lots of hugs. Their mentors will show them everything that has to be done, their "team" will figure out how to do it, the textbook will supply all the material, there are always lots of movies to show of they don't feel like working that day (or if there's some texting they need to catch up on ).

    They'll have a job for life (after those first 3 years of working) and they'll live happily ever after.

    And in far, far too many cases, that's exactly how it plays out.

    Of course, the kids don't get much of an education, but that's OK. The teachers get their "dream job" in their "dream district" (let me tell you again how much I HATE both of those phrases!!!!) and that's what matters, right???
     
  10. MrsC

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    I've always wanted to be a teacher; playing school was fun when I was a child. I'm not a child anymore, now school is work. I can't imagine another job that I could do where I would work harder than I do right I now. Looking back, I probably didn't realize how challenging it would be, and continues to be. I don't want to be one of "those" teachers who gets talked about in the halls, the staff room, and by parents over coffee. My students deserve the very best I have to give every single minute of every single day that I am with them.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I read two different posts yesterday from teachers planning to show movies. Not a particular movie that related to the syllabus, but movies as a way of passing time instead of teaching.

    Nope, no bad teachers in this country.
     
  12. mrsf70

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    Very well said. In my building, many teachers don't want to do anything outside of their duties and can get very cranky about it. I am fortunate that of the 5 middle school teachers in my unit, three of us work hard as a team. The other two kind of do their own thing, which is tough sometimes, but I just try to "let it go". It makes life go much more smoothly.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

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    I completely agree with you SoccerDad! When I went back to get certified everyone warned us it would be hard. That you're working the equivalent of a year in those 9 months you have to come to work. I really don't know why people expect it to be easy.

    The grade level I am joining next year retained 15 kids last year (had to add another class to compensate) and plan to retain 11 this year. We had a planning meeting toward the end of school and I was saying how we have to have goals for that not to happen next year (I'm the grade chair for next year). They were full of excuses-the kids don't want to learn, the parents aren't involved, the grade before didn't teach them anything. I told them flat out-we can't change any of those things-what you can change is how you teach and you can't tell me you are doing everything you can for these kids when you take recess for 1 hour every day (so you can sit and gossip with other teachers). Do no tutorials-even on our early release days when it's required. They just, as you said, pretty much gave up on those kids because teaching them was too "hard".

    fyi-I don't think I've shown a movie in at least 3 years and even then it was a movie that we had read the book to, and saw the play of on a field trip so they could compare.
     
  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My grade 7/8 English class will see a total of 2 movies this year, "The Outsiders" and "Stormbreaker"--both books we read in class--and they will be completing a compare/contrast activity for each.
     
  15. Mrs. R.

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    I'll admit - I showed a movie on my last full day with my students. My grades had to be in that morning (not my choice), and my kids worked incredibly hard that year. We watched Spellbound, the documentary about the National Spelling Bee and then afterward talked about the hard work it takes to achieve a goal.

    Now, I don't think that makes me a lazy teacher. I watched the movie with the students, so we were all engaged, and we all participated in the discussion.

    I do agree with you, SoccerDad, about teachers who complain about how hard our job is. Teaching is the hardest thing I've ever done besides parent, and I love (almost) every minute of it.
     
  16. Mrs. K.

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    I confess. I showed my seniors American Graffiti on the last couple of days. I had used an example from the film in a discussion of the short story "The Destructors," only to discover that none of them had seen it--plus, it's about the night before the Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard characters are supposed to leave for college. They had already done their final essay (seniors are done a week before everyone else) and the schedule the last few days is screwy.

    During the course of the year I also show a version of Nicholas Nickleby that's 200 minutes long, so I show it in short chunks over a few months. Can you imagine students begging for a Charles Dickens story? They really get hooked on it! It kills me that we don't read any of his works, so this is my way of making up for it.
     
  17. Teaching Grace

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    I'll also confess, I showed movies at the end of the year. But they were ways of previewing material for 4th grade and we discussed them afterward. We also watched Wizard of Oz and did a character project on it. So I made sure that each one had curriculum purposes tied to it. I do have to say though that in the beginning of my career it wasn't the teaching the hard but the politics of the job that I found difficult. Now that I have all of it sorted out, I feel a lot better about how I'm doing at my school. We have 2 teachers on our grade level that are.. well, useless. 1 teacher (whom I had to report on earlier this year for yelling at a student that he was useless) just does her own thing and doesn't contribute. The other teacher comes to planning sessions but only takes and never gives. Our principal just moved a 3rd teacher off the grade level that was the same way. She would offer to give... and then provide worksheets that didn't match our curriculum standards.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    What? Teaching is hard? College didn't prepare me for this! I thought I was going to have a scripted curriculum, that all the students would behave because of my cute room and my rules posted, and that we could do cute projects. No one told me that I would have to manage behavior, plan engaging lessons, fill out paperwork, etc.

    I didn't sign up for this. :dizzy:

    *just kidding! Of course teaching is hard....it's a JOB!! But I love it!
     
  19. jday129

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    I showed a movie the last day of school- one we made together of students presenting their autobiographies. The kids loved it and I was happy to invite my principal in to see it with us.

    Yes teaching is hard. Very hard. as I read in another post- build a bridge and get over it
     
  20. dogs&teaching

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    That's a little much. I remember one of my last days in my junior year, all but one class (I had 6 classes) showed a movie. I thought I should have just stayed home if I wanted to watch TV.
     
  21. TeacherShelly

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    Right? I could have brought my daughter to my room for our Paper Airplane Company Project and she could have had fun while learning something. Ugh.
     
  22. dogs&teaching

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    I hate all of those phrases, but my favorite would have to be, "I want to teach because I'll get summers off."

    That one just makes my blood boil.
     
  23. Tasha

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    I know what you mean, I know a lot of people in my teacher prep program would say, "I want to teach kindergarten because they are so cute and you get to do all the coloring projects". I wish! They are not that cute when they are hysterical the first week of school and they have accidents because no one thought to show them how to unbutton jeans! Oh, and you have to be the first one to tell parents that no, in fact, it is not normal for your 5 year old to not talk, at all.
     
  24. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    So true! Our 8th grade math teacher is very good at his job but he admits he would run screaming from the building if he had to teach K. :lol:
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've shared before that I was on the interview team and when we asked an applicant "Why teach?", the teacher responded, "Summers off!" We thought this teacher was just being funny because "it" did then elaborate...the teacher did have a great personality and we are pretty casual ourselves, so we didn't think anything of it. We hired the person. Because the teacher seemed incredible. And I'm a good judge of character...

    Horrible. Worst. Ever. But the best actor all of time. The teacher will not be us next year! :p
     
  26. Ima Teacher

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    One of our teachers asked me what day we started showing movies. Seriously?

    Then she said that she knew that I'd been showing movies. Ummm . . . yeah. I showed The Outsiders after we read the novel. I never show non-instructional movies. I don't have that kind of time, and if kids are expected to behave, they need to be busy.
     
  27. ebrillblaiddes

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    This is something I figured out in the course of getting the shiny knocked off after too many years of Refining My Philosophy Of Education classes...I wouldn't be there at all if I didn't care, and most days I'd do it for free if I didn't have bills, but no one feels like it every day.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Let expand a little.

    I have no objection to a class that's studying Shakespeare seeing MacBeth.

    But to read 2 posts in June about teachers showing, or planning to show, movies as a way of passing time-- not a particular movie or a particular type of movie-- but just movie in leiu of teaching.... well, let's just say it doesn't make me want to move my children into those classes.
     
  29. MATgrad

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    Teaching easy? :lol: I kept my schedule EXACTLY the same up until the last day of school. My special ed munchkins would eat me alive if I changed anything.

    We've got quite a few teachers at my school whose favorite line is "my contract time is over," "I don't get paid to attend after school functions," etc. No one is saying to do everything we all have families but occasionally it would be nice. Those teachers all got cut this year. :whistle:
     
  30. Unbeknownst

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    *Late Thread Joiner*

    Personally, I'm looking forward to all the opportunities to interact with my peers and students outside of school hours.

    I work in a corporate environment right now, and hanging out outside of work means moaning and complaining about work. What!?!?

    I for one enjoy life, and complaining all day is not my idea of a self-fulfilling life.
     
  31. cmw

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    Movies are shown often at my school. :( This was the first year I actually showed a movie. The students knew it was a treat b-c I never show them. We watched different scenes from Cirque de Soleil's "Alegria". (They had actually come into Cleveland recently which helped when explaining that they were real people. :lol:)
     
  32. Soccer Dad

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    What bothers me the most is when teachers lower their standards (which aren't high to begin with in NY). For instance, a teacher didn't feel like her students would "get" the industrial revolution (because it's just soooo hard!?!?) so all she taught them was that it started in Britain and spread to America and other parts of Europe. This is usually the only question about the industrial revolution on the Regents exam, but what about the impact on society? economics? um, Marx? the basis for communism? what about its effects on child labor, women and the family?

    So a topic I spend two weeks on was covered in a single (1 40 minute period) in that teacher's class. hmmm.....
     
  33. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Soccer Dad- I cant wait to teach US history next year!! Im surprised she cut that so short.


    I am a new teacher and I feel like I worked by butt off this year! It was a wonderful year full of laughter, tears and a few sighs of frustration. I never went into teaching thinking it would be easy, I knew full well that it is a constant cycle of preperation, reflection and effort. I think you have to go a little easy on the naive first year teachers ...Im sure many of you started the same way :) and if not understand that some teachers need time and mentors like the wonderful people on this bored to grow into their own. It takes time to get a handle on all the aspects of this wonderful profession! If they really have a passion for this profession all the parts will come together and they will be wonderful teachers!
     
  34. Soccer Dad

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    deedee, I understand that the first few years of teaching are hard. I went through that difficult period of "Oh, they didn't tell me that in college..." but I do try to help the new teachers. I share my worksheets, lesson plans and exams. I ask how everything's going and offer advice. But when a teacher has been teaching for 5 years and has tenure AND has reduced an important World History topic down to 1 period?? that's when I start to judge.
     
  35. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    oh I understand thats a horse of a different color! I cant imagine being so unmotivated with my teaching that I do that! We do not have tenure and I am happy about that! I might have lost my job simply because I was one of that last hired while others who had been at the school longer but are in my eyes ineffective kept their positions.
     
  36. JackTrader

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    As a sub, I actually grew to dislike having to show movies as part of the lesson because the kids would take it as a license to goof off and I would actually spend as much or more time having to monitor them.
     
  37. ms.

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    I worked one summer with a substitute teacher (she had an elem. ed license) who told me "I wanted to become a teacher because I thought it would be easier than being a cashier. I cashiered for three years, but you don't get many breaks. But, teachers get lots of breaks: recess, music, art, field-trips."

    I have never had to try so hard not to laugh!

    She was my younger sister's student teacher for a few months; I could tell you some crazy stories. She mixed up the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. She taught a whole week long on the two wars but mixed up. I know this because I saw the study sheet she gave the students. :eek: She was passed (it was her third try at student teaching.) However, I have been told by various teachers that she will not be hired in the district.
     
  38. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    ms.~that's CRAZY!! Why would anyone pass a student teacher who didn't know the difference between the Rev. and Civil War?!?!
     

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