Do you regret your decision to become a teacher?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by philosophical, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. philosophical

    philosophical Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the boards. I am a 27 yo with two young kids, a hubby, and a BS in Psychology. However, I am interested in teaching either Preschool or Elementary School. I've been reading some of the messages on here, and it sounds completely overwhelming to be a teacher! Do you all really work from 7am-10pm every night? Are you always stressed out? Is teaching what you thought it would be? Do you feel more like a babysitter at times? Please be honest with me. I want to know the positives as well as the negatives, please! :2up:

    Thanks!

    Rhonda
     
  2.  
  3. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    Yes you do feel like a babysitter at times. But that can be due to the school/area. Many teachers do work a ton of hours in the beginning but it does get better the longer you teach. I never thought I could teach and have kids at the same time. Even if you can leave by 3:30, you still have planning and prepwork to do. Plus there seems to always be some kind of after school meeting or training to go to! Especially as a new teacher. In my state you have to be in a mentoring program for 3 years- which means tons of meetings and extra paperwork. Also, you have to do all these trainings to get trained in the curriculum and that equals a few after school meetings a month. It is just too much and I give any mom who teachers major props!
     
  4. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    12

    Nov 7, 2007

    Of course you are going to put in more hours in the beginning, but as you become more familiar with your curriculum and school, it gets easier. Your hours depend on how you prioritize and manage your time. Being organized, working and planning during preps, and making good use of your time will help. And FYI- even my first year I NEVER worked from 7am-10pm. There are alot of meetings, though.
     
  5. BurnedOut

    BurnedOut Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    I have a friend who teaches pre-school (montessori), and she loves it.

    I'm in my second full year of teaching high school, and I honestly do regret becoming a teacher. I'm probably not going to make it another year. Although I wouldn't have known what it would be like if I hadn't tried.

    Good luck with what you decide to do.
     
  6. sadundercover

    sadundercover Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    Absolutely. But ONLY because I had no idea that my lack of political connections is what is keeping me from teaching (the job market is flooded here). It is disgusting how political the process is here. I would never have imagined. Here, if you have no connections and are certified in areas like Elementary, English, and Social Studies you HAVE to know someone or you better have exceptionally good luck. You can't even get interviews. People may find it hard to understand, but trust me, it is that bad. The competition can get nasty, too. It is very unfortunate and impossible to change. So, here I am, this was supposed to be my second career and I have to find something else.

    Oh, and yes, it is NOT a 9-3 job!!!! Many people think you have early nights and summers off, so it must be wonderful. They have no idea! You have plans, prep, paperwork, meetings, etc. You have to find your balance. My friend taught for years and she said it took her 3 before she found that balance.
     
  7. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    Teaching is hard work.It is not 8-4 or always great. However there are days when I wouldn't trade it for anything else. To know you have helped a student to learn,to feel good about themselves or have a student or parent tell how much they appreciate you is priceless
    Yes, there are days when the paper work is ridiculous,the administration demands are overwhelming and I feel like strangling a student who is being completely disruptive.
    Teaching is not for everyone, but if you are interested give it a try. Only when you try it for yourself will you really know how you will feel about it.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Nov 7, 2007

    There are moments when I wish I was doing anything other than what I am, but they are far between and they pass quickly. (And usually, at those moments I am frustrated by the people I am working with, not with the job itself).

    I am one of those people who decided when I was a very little girl that I wanted to be a teacher, and I never wanted to do anything else. I've taken a bit of a circuitous route, which included 10 years at home with my kids, and the job is vastly different from anything I imagined, but I can't see myself doing anything else. The demands are great, but it's never boring, and every day is different.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    I am a sub and also work part time for a non profit agency in an "office job".

    I can tell you that they are worlds apart. While my heart is hoping for a teaching career, I have to admit working in my other field has it's perks. No job is ever without paperwork of some sort..... I have a ton of it. The difference is that there is a lot more job flexibility and independence in my office job. I like that.

    I don't think I would regret being a teacher, but I would miss the job flexibility... especially now that I want to start a family soon.
     
  10. JoshCHT

    JoshCHT Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    Even if you teach high school you will feel like a babysitter at times.

    With teaching, some days everything will go great and you will love it and sometimes things will go very wrong and you will feel differently.

    It all depends on how the students behave really.
     
  11. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    I love teaching. I would be very happy if I couldn't teach.

    That said it is a process. It has taken me many years to get where I want to be and teaching what and how I want to-although I still have seventh graders :haha:

    I do love to teach.
     
  12. Burned Out One

    Burned Out One Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    The longer I teach, the more I regret becoming a teacher. I am another person who always wanted to be a teacher, but the longer I am in "the system," the more I just want to run far, far away.

    I don't know if it's my school system, my job description, or my grade level that is causing me to burn out. But I no longer see myself staying in this profession for years. At this point, I feel like it will be a struggle just to make it to Thanksgiving.

    That said, there are also a lot of happy teachers out there. :)
     
  13. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    4,896
    Likes Received:
    5

    Nov 7, 2007

    When I couldn't find a job I regretted it, but now that I am teaching, I regret accepting the position that I presently have:(.
     
  14. AZSpedtchr

    AZSpedtchr Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2007

    I agree with some of the posters; there are days when I am tired and beat-down and wish I was in another career.
    But............most days I love the kids and can't imagine doing anything else!
    People who truly love to teach should do so....but once you are burned out or taking out your frustrations on the kids, you should get out of the classroom.
     
  15. philosophical

    philosophical Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2007

    Thanks for the responses everyone! Keep them coming! :2up:
     
  16. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,881
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2007

    There are a few times (very short lived) that I think "What have I gotten myself into?" Everybody has bad days, no matter what profession they are in. I actually had my worst student day in my career two days ago. Then there is all the paperwork. I may grumble about getting it done, but most of it I understand why we need to complete it. Some teachers spend time at home preparing, grading, studying, etc... Some stay late and do everything. Some of us do both. But...

    I love my job. Plain and simple. I love my kids, my coworkers, and my administration. I may not always agree with them, but I am in the right place. The first year always seems overwhelming (for everyone I've spoken to), but eventually it does get easier. There are teachers that will put more into it than others. Every teacher is different. You will find what works for you, your family, and your students.
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Nov 8, 2007

    Proud, I think that if those "aides" (and I'm using that term loosely) weren't involved, then you would have a MUCH better year!

    Maybe it's because I'm not in the classroom, but I just can't WAIT to start teaching again. I'm subbing right now to hopefully get a foot in the door, and every day I'm called in, I look forward to interacting with the students. I understand that some people get burned out in this profession just like any profession as their burn outs. If you truly know in your heart that teaching isn't for you anymore, than no one would fault you for wanting out. You need to focus on what's going to make you the happiest.
     
  18. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2007

    I think teaching has to be yer passion. It is hard work. Dont let anyone tell you it's not. BUT you have to sit down and think and answer the question"why are you teaching?" And most of us will say it's because we want to make a difference. Yes all the paperwork and the planning takes up a lot of time and sometimes we feel as if we are chasing our tails, but when you know you have made a difference and have taught a child something, you know why yer in the profession. You just have to learn a management system that works best for you so you dont get burnt out. Make sure you make time for yerself. It is hard, but you can do it.
     
  19. philosophical

    philosophical Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2007

    What grade do you teach?
     
  20. teacheratheart

    teacheratheart Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2007

    I love education and I love teaching. But everything else makes the job almost impossible. I worked at my university while I went to school there and most days, I wish I would have stayed at that job when they tried to get me to stay after graduation. The pay was better and I got treated as a professional. After this school year, I will probably try to get a job at the local university. The free tuition for my master's alone makes it worth it.

    My biggest regret is that I had to put myself through college and put myself in debt only to realize that teaching is a blue collar job and you get treated and paid as such.
     
  21. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    7

    Nov 9, 2007

    Absolutely not. There are times when the kids can really get on your nerves, but I wholeheartedly believe my decision to become a teacher was a correct one. Not only am I having a blast with the kids, I'm also learning quite a bit myself.

    I teach in a very small school district, and the amount of opportunities that have come up so far this year have been awesome. Even though I sometimes wonder at the end of the day what happened to my time, it has been quite the ride so far.
     
  22. sasafras1000

    sasafras1000 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2007

    This is my first year, and like all first year teachers I am feeling the stress, but honestly it's as stressful as you make it. I knew going into this it wouldn't be easy - I was warned. My boyfriend always jokes about how teachers have it so easy and my parents always wondered why teachers complained so much about pay when, "they don't have to work nights, weekends or holidays and they have summers off." Now I think they are beginning to understand the work we truly do. I work every weekend to plan, I grade papers every night, plus I have a staff meeting every week and tons of new teacher training that keeps me late at times, and this summer I will be doing more training.

    Anyway, I stay for about an hour after school, but I need to. I have to get my things organized and ready to go for the next day. Then I get to school about 40 minutes early for more preparation. I have not once this year had a chance to grade papers at school so those all come home. I sometimes am able to plan a little at school, but for the most part I drag everything home on the weekend and plan. It really doesn't take too long to plan because I try very hard not reinvent the wheel and utilize other people's ideas for now. Grading sucks, but I am establishing a routine with that so it doesn't consume my life. I also realize I don't need to grade every little thing. I have 50 minutes of planning time which is used to meet with my grade level team and do any last minute things that need done such as check my mailbox.

    I also have a challenging class (even the assistant principal and all other teachers admit that), I really do enjoy what I do. Everyday is new and exciting. I have had bad days where I cried the whole way home, and had to walk out of my room or I would start screaming at the kids. Some days I want to slap my students and my blood pressure rises because of the misbehavior and lack of effort. Overall it's not bad. I have been told it gets easier and I know it will. By next year I won't be so clueless and I am am learning everyday from the mistakes I made. So yes, teaching is hard, but you can find a balance and love it. I want to make this my career.
     
  23. GrandHighWitch

    GrandHighWitch Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 9, 2007

    I'm a first year teacher too, and I love it! It can be stressful, and of course there are times when I'm ready to pull my hair out by the end of the day; I can't wait to send the last kid out the door! But I'm always ready for a new day the next morning. I'm really enjoying it overall; I've wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, and now I know for sure this is the career for me.

    As far as the workload goes, I get to school about half an hour before I'm required to be there to make sure everything's ready for the day. I always stay at least an hour after the kids leave to prepare for the next day, grade papers, etc. Sometimes I'm there much later; it just depends. I started out the school year doing a lot of planning at home and on the weekends, but now I've gotten into a routine where I get most of my planning done at school and don't have to take stuff home every night.

    As sasafras said, the key is not to reinvent the wheel. Your first year, you're not expected to pull out all the bells and whistles. You can't be Super-teacher from the get-go; it takes time. I know I don't want to get burnt out and stop enjoying it, so I try to balance my time so that I get to come home and relax at night and on the weekends too. So far I'm not overly stressed. It's a good kind of stress.
     
  24. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    5

    Nov 10, 2007

    I think the key is to find the right grade level and school for you. I taught at two schools last year - high school and junior high.

    I LOVED the high school I worked at. The kids were great. They were willing to learn and respectful and we were able to have a lot of fun together. I got along really well with the administration and my colleagues and I really fit in there.

    The junior high was a struggle for me. The kids were out of control and I felt hung out to dry by the administration. They, as well as my colleagues, knew I was struggling yet they offered very little help, even when I asked for it. I got little parental support and was seen as a villain by both the students and their parents. By the end of my contract with that school, I was seriously considering whether to continue in the profession or not.

    This year I've been subbing and I recently got hired for a LTS assignment and I can't wait. I realize now the importance of a good fit between teacher and school. It can make all the difference in the world.

    I've never worked 7am-10pm on a regular basis. Yes, there were some days when I was busier and had a lot of work to do. There were also some days where I was all caught up, could leave school at a decent time and bring very little home with me. I was told when I was getting my degree that your first year teaching is always your busiest and that it gets less and less every year, especially if you teach the same subjects/grades every year.
     
  25. juc162

    juc162 Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2007

    It is my first year. I get to school at 7 and stay till 7 at night. It's a lot of work. I think the organization of my school is lacking a little bit so I think I will try to find another job next year. I think that's what's making the workload even more than it needs to be. For me, it's not the amount of work that gets to me, but really the fact that you aren't ever fully away from your job. It is constantly on my mind! I just want to get away for a little while!
     
  26. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,881
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2007

    You know, we're all wired for different things. Some of us that do great in lower elementary wouldn't in middle school. Some that do great in high school wouldn't in elementary. Sometimes you have to search for that school and grade level that fits you.
     
  27. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,469
    Likes Received:
    12

    Nov 11, 2007

    Why would you be happy if you couldn't teach when you say you love teaching?
    I'm confused!
     
  28. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2007

    Perhaps a typo?
     
  29. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,469
    Likes Received:
    12

    Nov 12, 2007

    Makes sense! Thanks!
     
  30. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 12, 2007

    Sometimes I do get that feeling when I am overwhelmed by the techincal matters of the job--not the actual teaching or when I have to deal with incompetent teachers who do not want to change.
     
  31. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 12, 2007

    In a nutshell... yes.

    I'm very very sorry to be a classroom teacher this year. I hadn't planned on being in the classroom for at least another 2 years (extenuating circumstances), so perhaps the best thing for me would be to quit and try again when I'm more mentally prepared.

    I don't feel supported, prepared, or effective. I don't think I'm reaching or helping a majority of my students. I, myself, am going crazy under the paperwork load, and am disheartened by the lack of interest/respect from my students.

    And yes, I see where some of this could be first-year woes, but I'm also very very ANGRY that first-years are hung out to dry... if we all know it's such a problem, why hasn't it been fixed??

    I'd quit tomorrow if I could afford it.

    What to do to pay the bills in the meantime? Ah...there's the rub....
     
  32. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 12, 2007

    Justine your right. The job of a teacher can seem overwhelming. My first year I had a class of 25 boys and 3 girls. All the boys seemed to be auditioning for jail and the best student was at least two years below grade level. A went home in tears every night and wanted to quit by Thanksgiving. Somehow I stuck it out and learned to do the best job I could and to feel good about the many children I have helped to become a better person. It would be nice if we got the respect and praise we deserved or some help with the children who don't want to learn,but we can only do our best. Don't give up so soon. Give it a little more time and reflect on the positive things that have happened this year.
     
  33. Olivesmom

    Olivesmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    After this first few months I definately regret becoming a teacher and trying to work in the inner city. I am not cut out for it, it is horrible and I honestly feel like I am wasting my degree and don't want to do it anymore.
     
  34. Olivesmom

    Olivesmom Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    I also agree with the person that posted about the political connections. The reason I have to work in a inner city voucher school with horrible pay is because there is little to no chance of me getting a job in a public school. I am new to the area I live in and I know no one. So I am stuck either working where I work or getting out of the profession until I move somewhere else or can afford to go back to subbing. It sucks, and inarticulate and juvenile as that sounds.
     
  35. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    I felt exactly the same way. Now, as a sub I can tell you that I have much better days, but still feel as if I'm "wasting my degree". This will be my last year subbing.... I am going to get my early intervention lic. and move foward. If that doesn't work out, I may go into another field .... I've considered taking the civil service exam- anything because I just can't sub forever.
     
  36. philosophical

    philosophical Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    How do you go about getting an early intervention license? I have thought about doing this...
     
  37. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    You have to contact the Board of Health for an application
     
  38. Burned Out One

    Burned Out One Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 13, 2007

    I am such an ingrate. I have a job that anybody would be lucky to have, but I hate it. The only thing that keeps me from quitting is the benefits. Oh, and the sucky economy. I would be willing to work anywhere else for half of what I'm making now. (That's how I know I'm burned out).
     
  39. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 14, 2007

    It is sad to read how many of our fellow teachers are so unhappy with their job.I think we all started out with good intentions,great ideas and a strong desire to help the younger generation.It is a shame to encounter so many belligerent children and clueless parents.:help:I try hard to concentrate on the hard working and polite children who :2up:make me feel good about my job.Most of our administrators are looking for some ways they can catch the teacher doing something wrong.The same people receive praise and the rest are overlooked. I try hard to ignore their ridiculous statements that they make. Many times I find it a good laugh.Teaching is not easy and very exhausting.I only hope people think hard about their decision before leaving a profession they spent many years and a great deal of hard work to achieve.
     
  40. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Nov 14, 2007

    I don't regret my decision, just wish I could prove my worth as a teacher given my own classroom. It saddens me that so many are wanting to quit when there are so many more out there that would give anything to be given the opportunity to teach...
    That being said, I'm not judging. I know that there are circumstances that I know nothing about in daily lives.
     
  41. Madrone

    Madrone Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 17, 2007

    4 out of 5 days

    You bet I regret it. It's sad, and I really wanted to love it, still want to love it. But I don't. I think I need too much external vaildation or something. But no matter what I do, I continually feel like a failure and I'm not used to that.

    If I could find another job, I'd be glad to give this one to someone who feels the passion to teach.

    I don't have it anymore. If i ever did. It's kind of like being in love - the reality of it and the idea of it are very different. You have to decide what you can be happy with.

    Maybe I'm ungrateful.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 138 (members: 3, guests: 117, robots: 18)
test