Disappointed . . .

Discussion in 'General Education' started by deeceekids, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    It has been so long since my last post. This school year has been a long, exhausting, disappointing, learning experience, and I do regret not having the time to post more often. This past summer, after many months of job searching in a new state, I accepted a position teaching a new grade level in a subject area I was not accustomed to teaching, in a school district more than an hour's drive away from my house. On top of it (not sure if it was planned or not, though colleagues tell me it probably was), I was given the worst behaved students in my grade level. When I went to the p for assistance with a couple of students, she did a brief 10 minute walk through my classroom and blamed my teaching methods as the cause of the students' behaviors even though other teachers (e.g. art teacher, p.e. teacher) had difficulties with my class. As a teacher with 10 years of experience in two other school districts and not one negative evaluation prior to this p's comments, I was so upset that I called a former principal and asked why she would have given me so many glowing evaluations if I was that horrible of a teacher. I never went to the P again for help no matter the situation, and she seemed to leave me alone, especially after my test scores turned out good. However, morale in the school (and district) is extremely low. Every teacher is in it for him/herself as he/she does not want to be the one on the P's (or other administrator's) bad side, so good teachers prefer not to share with lesser inexperienced teachers. There is inadequate teaching materials, and I have found myself making almost everything that I teach or having to spend countless hours looking up materials for lesson plans off the internet. I was cautioned by others on my team not to share with everyone and have been told that since I spend all that time making up materials, it would be unfair to share with others who have not put in the extra time (for whatever reason) to make the materials. The whole atmosphere is extremely negative, and teachers know how horrible it is. Everyone is afraid to voice their opinions, as they are all afraid of what the P will do. :(

    To make a long story short, I am so very burnt out from this school year. This is the first time that I have ever hated teaching. I will be looking for a new job once the school year is up. One thing I wished I would have done was join a teacher's union even before accepting a job offer. I would have then learned that I do have 45 days before the start of the school year to resign, even after I have signed a new teacher contract. I would advise anyone going into the teaching field to join a state teacher's union so that you know what the laws are.

    What I am worried about is that there won't be many jobs available with the budget cuts this year, and as much as I love teaching, I am even thinking about looking outside of k-12 education as I am so tired of all the politics that have somehow weaved their way into the k-12 teaching field. I just don't know what I could do outside of elementary education since everything I have done up until this point has been elementary education-related.

    Sorry this is such a long post, I wanted everyone to understand the situation I was in and hopefully give some insight if you have any. Thanks.
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 27, 2011

    I am so sorry that your school and admin are not supportive. You say you are thinking about leaving teaching altogether. Is this solely because of this experience (which I recognize much be very taxing emotionally, and perhaps otherwise)? How did you feel before at other schools/districts? Is trying another school completely out of the question (I know jobs are slim)?
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 27, 2011

    The most important thing to keep in mind, is that the kids will change and you have all the materials created!

    If you stay at the same school in the same job, next year will be easier because you have already done all the planning. Just tweaking needed. Plus, you will get a whole new group of kids.
     
  5. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Thanks for your response TamiJ. I have never felt this way in other school districts. After the end of a school year, I was exhausted and ready for the summer, but always left the school year thinking about what I can do to make the next school year better. I have never left thinking about how much I hated the school because the climate/culture was never this negative. I don't know if it is any different in other schools in my state as this state is very competitive with standardized testing. Other states that I have taught in have not weighed everything heavily on a single test, so there has never been this type of competition among teachers in a building to the point where professionalism and camaraderie is sacrificed to ensure that one's test scores are the highest. Granted, I don't know if this is the case only for the school that I am in this year or if it is the same in schools all over my state; however, I also don't know if I want to go through another year like this one to find out. At the same time, with all the added budget cuts and political tension around education this year, I am afraid of what it all means for k-12 education. I also keep thinking that I may find a school district somewhere that might be wonderful, but with budget cuts, I don't want to be the one left without a job the following year and have to start over again.
     
  6. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    mopar~
    I have thought about that, but I don't think I can deal with a principal who is unwilling to support staff members and deal with problems within the school, and I don't think I can deal with the negative attitudes from the staff members for another year. I don't want to end up feeling and acting the way they do.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 27, 2011

    I hear you! It's hard when you are in a school with little support. However, is little support better than unemployed? You can try to find another job, and I hope you can. But don't cut your ties until you are certain.
     
  8. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Feb 27, 2011

    That sounds like an awful experience. Very toxic environment. I think we are going to have jobs in Utah. I don't know if you want to relocate but Utah schools are pretty supportive. I agree with mopar don't cut your ties until you are certain.
     
  9. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Thanks Donziejo & Mopar. Donziejo, I do thank you for the support and heads up on teaching positions in Utah, but I don't think I am ready for another move financially after just having moved here a year and a half ago. I have not made my administrators or others aware of my intentions at this point; however, my husband and I are also making plans on what to do if I don't get a job right away. Something that I did not mention is that because of the distance and demands of this job, I am gone by 6:15 am and am not home until 8 pm sometimes 9 pm, so I don't see my own kids until weekends on most weeks. This has affected my kids both emotionally and academically. I don't think I want to risk the welfare of my kids any longer for an unsupportive administrator who can use me as a scapegoat if she so chooses (thus putting all the most misbehaved kids in my classroom and eventually blaming the "new teacher" if things don't go well) or getting rid of me in the blink of an eye if she does not like me for any reason (which has happened to wonderful teachers who have been in the district for years). I would much rather get out and sub in a nearby school district if I have to, or get a head start on progressing in a different career if I have to.
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Well, subbing is a great way to make some money. It won't be the same as a full-time job, but it is something.

    You could look into tutoring...do you have a Hunginton's or Sylvan or other tutoring service? It's not a lot of money, but it is something. Or you could tutor on the side on your own.

    Do you like to write? You could try freelance writing jobs or look for education lesson plan writing.

    Before/After school programs or park district programs are out there as well.
     
  11. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Mopar~
    Yes, there is a Sylvan learning in my city, and I have thought of tutoring as a side job. I have also thought about babysitting to start and eventually opening a daycare. I like your suggestions on freelance writing and lesson plan writing too. I enjoy writing, but did not look at those as options. I will look into it some more. Thanks again for all your help :)
     
  12. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Have you considered non-classroom positions such as Intervention or Homebound/Hospital teaching. I wish there were more teaching opportunities out there that didn't require raking up more college expenses, but there's not much in K-12.

    I am (at this moment in my life) staying away from regular classroom teaching for the reason you named, plus a thousand more. I have to put my child first (2nd and 3rd) and can't have her suffering in anyway if I get stuck under a bad admin., district, get sick again etc

    The other suggestions here are good. I would have to second Mopar about the instability of subbing. Try for a full time job at all costs first. Subbing brings a new batch of headaches (depending on your financial situation).

    If you have a Master's...consider Community College or even some Universities here allow you to instruct entry level classes. (But if you prefer the young ones like I do, that could be a hard transition)

    Good luck and you are not alone in your disappointment.
     
  13. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Feb 27, 2011

    Thanks for sympathizing with me, WebMistress. I have also thought about teaching at a community college, and do have my Masters. However, not sure what I can teach with my Masters degree as it is in Educational Administration. Most community colleges around here want someone with at least 18 masters credits in a subject area. I guess I will just have to call around and see. Thanks for your help, and it is nice to know that there are others out there who are in the same boat or think the same way.
     

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