Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Caesar753, Jan 2, 2014.
Jan 2, 2014
I just noticed that this is an older article. Looks like one or two of our members (or people with identical usernames, anyway) here have posted in the comments on it.
Until the Michelle Rhees, Arne Duncans, Bill Gates, etc., of the world and their teacher-bashing, corporatist buddies are shut down permanently, I definitely would advise people against entering the teaching profession.
BF's sister is in college to become an English teacher. I encouraged her to do it. I had a rough first year, but these last two years have been great. It's possible to find good public schools. I teach in one and I didn't have any connections before I got this job.
I don't feel pressure from admin or testing. My P is super supportive. There's really nothing else I could see myself enjoying more that's an actual paying job.
Let me give my opinion as an 18 yr old future teacher...
First, reading AtoZ really helps. You guys prove that there are places as bad as (or worse than) the article describes, but I also know that many of you love your jobs. In the future when I am teaching, I know that I'll have you guys to turn to for support.
Second, discouragement doesn't help. I know that I'm more informed than most, but we're not oblivious to the changes happening around us. We watch the news, and frankly we've been the guinea pigs for all the ridiculous tests! We know that things in education are tough. Be honest but supportive because sometimes it's hard to get support when becoming a teacher, especially at these times.
Personally, I am slightly eased by the fact that my subject area is unlikely to get tests for the foreseeable future. Elementary teachers have it so much worse. Also, everything right now is in a testing phase. I expect things to get more moderate as the years go by. If not, I love traveling and would gladly offer my teaching skills to another country
But yes, support, please support! One of my favorite teachers strongly discouraged me from becoming a teacher and that was tough to hear. Even though the politics of it are horrible, the passion to teach is still alive and it's difficult to imagine doing anything else.
Don't get me wrong... I love teaching, and I wouldn't want to do anything else. But there's a lot about it right now that really stinks, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. If you're bound and determined to do it, then awesome. The field needs folks like you. Just know what you're getting yourself into.
I disagree with the article.
I recently have had some of my former students ask me about their going into teaching. I don't ever tell them yes or no, as I think they need to make the decision on their own. I do try to be as honest as I can about pay, the demands of the job, and the joys that I personally get out of teaching.
I think one of the greatest decisions I ever made was to become a teacher. The joys of making a difference with children has been a great career to have. Yes, this job has incredible demands, few thank yous, and some administrators that make a difficult job even harder. Nearly all of us have to do something to make a living. Helping educate children is a great way to do it despite all the road blocks that have been thrown in front of us to succeed. I still believe that teaching is a wonderful career.
Since I'm newly licensed, just over a year now--I disagree. I think there are some negatives to teaching, but I love what I do. There are better paying jobs out there that I easily could've done (nursing, becoming a doctor, etc.) that I would've been good at and would've paid me more--and would have it's own rewards. But teaching is what I was made for---so even if they cut my salary, did away with benefits, all while increasing demands on me day in and day out--I wouldn't leave--I might just look for a private school instead
I also would not encourage anyone to teach, at least not in my district. But, to each their own.
Jan 3, 2014
I don't think the article is seriously saying discourage up and coming educators, but that because so many of us love our jobs we are angry about everything that we see as broken.
I do say to all people coming into teaching that if possible, get in a union. We have done so much work to get our jobs, we need protections.
I complain about my job BECAUSE I love it and want to see my students get the best education possible. And right now I see our system isn't functioning where it could be. ...Of course, I don't have solutions, ...well, ok one - I wish we had MUCH smaller class sizes. ...And then think of all the teachers we would need to give jobs to! hee hee!
I have actively gone out of my way to discourage many young people from teaching. I personally think anyone that considers it in my state is a fool. The writing is on the wall and things are only going to get worse before they get better.
As far as it being a calling - well, I think a lot of that is people convincing themselves of things. I have been very fortunate in that I have been happy with most of my jobs in my lifetime. I love the teaching aspect of my job. But that is only a small percentage of what I actually do during the day. Less than half.
I was speaking to one young woman about this not too long ago. She said that she really thought she would enjoy teaching. I told her that I imagined that she would enjoy lots of other careers too and to at least consider those. Then I asked her if she loved her high school boyfriend. She did. I asked why she didn't marry him then. She said she was too young at the time. Plus, he wasn't marriage material. Marriage material? Among other things, she said that he lacked ambition and was content to always work for his uncle, making little more than minimum wage. She said that she wouldn't marry for money but that she needed to know that she wouldn't be on food stamps her whole life. As soon as she said it she realized what point I was making.
Just like we can love more than one person in a lifetime, we can love more than one career. Might as well work towards one that will give you less heartache.
Who is this Randy Turner? I want to meet him. I'd like to talk to him. With so many teachers feeling this way across the nation there has to be a way to stop this madness....
There is not a thing in his article that I haven't witnessed first hand over the last 12 years in Providence, Rhode Island.
I agree with what you Gl....
I think good teachers are born teachers. It's something we have to do. As you say, posts on AtoZ prove that there are still some good schools to teach in here in the U.S. Worst case scenario, you go overseas.
But what happens to the kids? Our children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces......
The time I spent working in other fields (retail, finance, banking) made it clear that I could DO several things, but that I AM a teacher. This is just like one of my friends who can DO a ton of things, but IS one of the most insightful doctors you will ever meet. She was called to medicine and it meshes with every part of her personality. Teaching is a calling. It's a matter of whether that calling inside of you is louder than those telling you otherwise.
I don´t know how I feel about this article. When I was still working on my teaching credentials and was subbing, one of the teachers who I was subbing for advised me against teaching. She was clearly burned out and upset with where teaching has gone, plus she had a class that she claimed was the worst class she had had in 20 years. Her advice didn´t keep me from going into teaching, and I felt a little upset that she was trying to talk me out of it. Is there any career where a person will be 100% satisfied? My sister is an accountant, something she worked hard at to become in college and now works such long hours that she has started to feel a little down. I don´t think any career can provide 100% satisfaction, to be honest. Having said that, I can also understand how many teachers are feeling frustrated in the profession right now. Like I said, I don´t really know how I feel about this article. On one hand I can see her point, but on the other hand I realize that many people feel frustrated in other professions as well, not just teachers.
I would completely agree that anyone who is swayed by outside forces like politics that have little to nothing to do with your day to day interaction with students should in fact not become a teacher.
I wish I taught in an area where politics had little to nothing to do with the interactions with students. That sounds wonderful.
I have encouraged many people over the years to become teachers if that was their interest. Education needs new, excited, people to instigate the changes that are necessary. It has always been my hope that perhaps one of the people I encouraged could be that catalyst.
:thumb::thumb: SO well put!!
Personally, I don't think it's anyone's place to discourage someone from becoming a teacher. Teacher candidates should be informed, yes, but they should be able to make the decision for themselves. Since my mom is a teacher, I went into teaching with both eyes wide open. I knew what I was getting myself into. I have not regretted my decision to teach for even one second. I remember when I was a para, a teacher tried to discourage me from teaching. It left such a bad taste in my mouth. Why would you go out of your way to do that? During that year, I really felt called to teaching more than ever before, and she felt it was her duty to come in and tell me what a huge mistake I was making. It wasn't her place! Another teacher at the same school on the same grade level (with about the same experience, maybe more) told me how GREAT teaching was and how much I would love it. My point? No matter how bad things are, we have a choice not only about how we view the situation but about how we portray it to others.
I honestly think their argument on lack of administrative action is crap. If the only motivation that a student has to behave is for not receiving detentions, suspensions, etc., there isn't much a teacher can do to help improve it anyhow.
From what I have read in books and observed when I was in school, the students in detention, ISP, and getting suspended were the same students on a regular basis. That's a sign that there is a greater problem with behavior issues that punishment doesn't fix. School discipline is really only for the purpose of getting children who have the skills to behave well to have an incentive for doing so. It isn't going to help students with issues of anger and behavior management.
I, too, was "called" to teaching. I began as a guitar teacher at a local music store at 15 (a job I stayed at for 10+ years). When I began looking into college majors most people tried to discourage me from going into teaching (especially my dad) so I began college in Engineering. The pay was there, the jobs were there and, if I could have tolerated the calculus, I would have stayed and landed a job immediately on graduation.
But I hated it. So, instead of continuing on in a field I didn't like, I transferred into English Education.
When I did my student teaching, several teachers asked me what the hell I wanted to enter the teaching field for - two of them were my former teachers. And I really didn't enjoy working with High School kids at the time, but I still didn't give up. It was only after months of trying to find a job that I decided to go into the private sector.
And for over 20 years I continued in working in the private sector - eventually starting my own successful manufacturing/mail-order business.
But when the economy began to fall apart in the early 90's and the Credit Union crisis destroyed Rhode Island, I decided to go back to school for re-certification in Elementary Ed. After a year of course-work and working in a Catholic School for $16,000.00 a year (a $70,000.00/year pay cut) and then a year of subbing in the public schools for $60.00 per day, I landed a job in the public school for $28,000.00/year plus benefits. I was in heaven!
I loved teaching for the first two or three years until things began to fall apart after NCLB began to take root. It was all down-hill from there. So I quit teaching in the public system a year ago.
I didn't quit teaching. I simply quit teaching in the Rhode Island public school system. Now I'm tutoring.....
I'll be a teacher until the day I die, but for now I'm not making a living at it. And I am bitter because I know it can be so much better.
Anyone who is looking into becoming a teacher needs to go into it with their eyes open. Talk to as many teachers as you can, join this forum and take into account everything you learn. And check out how things are in the area you plan to settle in. There are still some good schools to work in. If you've heard all the yay-sayers and the noy-sayers and you still want to give it a go...
Great!! Go for it!! For your sake, I hope the pendulum swings the other way soon.
See, I definitely agree with this. Everyone should be able to make their own decision. What I have a problem with is people trying to convince a high school or college student that teaching is a terrible idea. Let them make their own decision!
I went in with both eyes open. I also don't even know what teaching was like before NCLB. I was still a K-12 student back then. I think that makes my perspective much different than someone who has been teaching for a long time. Maybe that's a bad thing, but it works for me.
I couldn't agree with this article more!
I've been telling people for the last 10 years that they're doing more and more to make this job more and more unattractive.
My best friend's two sons are in college and although I told him to try to steer them in another direction, they both decided to major in education. One is graduating soon.....good luck finding a job in a public school system in Pennsylvania.
I guess I wouldn't go out of my way to discourage someone from being a teacher, but I'd be pretty vocal about it if someone were to ask my opinion. And, I shared this article silently (with no comment) on my facebook page.
I was naive once and thought my passion could get me through the politics, testing, and low pay too (as if those were all the possible hurdles I'd face). I wasn't happy with my first career choice either, but teaching is on another level. I may love it - the act of teaching itself - but the rewards just aren't worth the stress and frustration.
Jan 4, 2014
Guys, I recently graduated from college, and am about to apply for my first teaching license in Rhode Island....and you all are scaring me! LOL
Teacherman, I too am from Rhode Island, I read your post but I can't quite understand what the main reason was that you quit working in RI public schools...I looked up the annual salary for teachers in RI and it was 65 000
That salary listed was probably a while ago. My first year of teaching public school in Texas, my salary was $17,000.
Welcome to the Forum Mrs. Husakovic!
If you're from Little Rhody we probably have some friends/ acquaintances in common. Shoot me off an e-mail and we'll get together for a Dunkin Donuts coffee or Del's Lemonade!
Seriously though, if you're interested in why I left teaching, just GOOGLE "RI Teacher Says "I Quit!" Believe me, it had nothing to do with money....
Don't be scared. Some of us are teaching in great schools with supportive admin and parents. I'm only in my third year, but I teach a grade that is tested. I have NEVER taught to the test. My pay is decent. I love my job.
I agree with what others have said about people needing to make an "informed decision." I don't think we should discourage people from teaching but I do think that we need to help them understand the reality of what teaching is really like now. A lot of people think that they know what it will be like because they spent so much time in the classroom as a student. I think that they need to understand that what you see a teacher doing in front of students isn't even half of the job. I also think that people need to be aware of the job market. I went into college knowing that if I wanted to be a teacher I'd have to leave my home state. In my home city, there are thousands of applicants for one elementary job. Getting hired is practically like winning the lottery. Some people in my college program weren't prepared to move, and as a result ended up having to go back to school for something else after wasting all of that time getting their teaching license. Of the people that found teaching jobs, every single one of us moved to a different state.
We always have to be careful about how we present our "realities". People perceive things differently. A stressful class or requirement for one may not be the same for another.
In addition, different schools and districts do things differently. So, there is no one perception of teaching.
I think the main point of asking for and receiving help from the office is to remove the problem from the classroom so that teaching can continue. The best situation I've ever seen for that was when I was substitute teaching in 1998.
This school had a "behavior management" expert - who was basically a muscular football-player type guy who really took no crap from anyone. If a student acted up in the classroom and, after a warning, continued the negative behavior all a teacher had to do was place a call to the office and within 5 minutes he showed up at the door.
He was trained in restraint and if a student refused to leave the room with him, s/he was physically picked up and removed. The school had a "rubber room" for the especially violent kids to cool off in.
It was absolutely great!!!
I disagree with the article, but I base that decision on my reality. I work in a great district with supportive staff, superb students and the environment is pleasant. I don't feel overworked and stressed out; I feel supported and on top of the world in my career. I am satisfied with my salary and I look forward to advancing. I love teaching... it's who I am.
This is my reality. I know it does not represent the minority.
My husband is a doctor at a large hospital. He is stressed and feels overworked and underpaid... but he makes so much more than I do. His bonus last year rivaled my salary. He thinks the medical field is changing and not for the better.
I have nurse friends, friends who work in tattoo shops or in finance, grocery, dentistry... some are stressed, some are not. Some it depends on their situation and location. No fields are safe from change or stress. It isn't just a teaching or education problem.
I would never discourage anyone from what they wanted to do. You just can never be sure until you've experienced something yourself. Those that want to teach should not be discouraged. However, just like any other career, it's not always perfect.
I googled this, and was impressed with this guy.
Then it hit me,
Is that YOU???????
Came out of the anonymous closet quite a while back...
Must've missed that, or I joined after your disclosure.
Loved your passion for the kids and your courage
Jan 5, 2014
Every job is indeed stressful, especially in this day and age where so many employers expect more from employees and employees are all very easily replaceable now.
The thing that makes teaching different is, other professionals are treated as professionals...competent, trained, educated with some sense of dignity. Therefore, the stress and craziness is more acceptable because you are still treated with some level of respect.
In my teaching experience, you are very much devalued as a teacher in many instances.
My sister is a pharmacist....and boy her workload has increased tremendously within the past few years (giving flu shots, CPR, more patient counseling, more meetings and extra training etc etc) with no increase pay. And her hours are rough and she is tired. However, unlike teachers, she gets to actually use her own judgement, knowledge, resources etc and handle a patient issue to the best of her knowledge in her professional opinion. Her schooling hasnt gone to waste.
When I was teaching, I constantly felt like...."Why did I even go to school?" The principal nor the district, or the state or federal govt for that matter allowed me to make ANY decisions based on my own professional training and knowledge. It was always....do exactly as you are told, every minute of the day, regardless of what evidence you have that proves specific methods are best for your students (research-based) as well.
There are no federal, state and then on top of that district (so that's 3 layers) laws that determine what a doctor, pharmacist or any other professional must do in every aspect of their jobs (ie, it changed the very face of the profession....it changed the very purpose of the profession).
I do agree with wherever I read that insurance companies are really in control of medicine these days. Medicine has definitely changed for the worse. But again, a doctor still has some level of autonomy and their basic purpose and basic job description has not changed.
The very essence and role of a teacher has been destroyed by layers and layers of politics/harmful laws.
:thumb: Well put...
I couldn't have said it better!!
Especially in an urban-area....I tell my friends who "think" about doing it, to seek other professions. Sad, but it really isn't worth it now.