Have you ever thought about quitting teaching for another job?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by amarie, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2008

    Sometimes I feel I would be better suited for a career in higher education administration. However, I stay because there are a great deal of things I like about education. I like having most of my students happy to see me and to learn something. I enjoy the hours and I even actually like my salary. The main reasons I think about quitting have to do with student attitudes, the shirking of responsibility, NCLB and issues with student laziness.

    In your own case, have you ever thought about leaving teaching for another career? If so, what are your reasons for wanting to stay and possibly wanting to leave?
     
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  3. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I am a first year teacher. I teach 5th grade in a rural(ish) community. I grew up in an urban(ish) community. I do not enjoy my job. In fact, I do not like my job. I have thought about quitting several times. The thing is, I have a morgage, and that requires a job. Luckily, there are enough good days, that I stick with it. I'm just worried that when I have my first baby, I will not go back. My students are ridiculously lazy and so are their parents. How do you teach children that don't want to learn? How do you teach children with parents that think of school as a baby-sitter? It's not what I signed up for. (FYI: It's been a rough few weeks. I'm biassed.)
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I did stay home with my kids for 6 years, and loved it.

    But, other than that, teaching is the job for me.
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Amarie,

    The grass really isn't any greener....

    I've been an administrator. I've been an office worker. I've been a supervisor. And I've been a teacher.

    If you become an administrator such as a principal or assistant principal, you will still have to deal with all of the things mentioned above, plus incompetent or lazy teachers (they are out there, and it will be your job to deal with them), severe discipline problems, and angry, irate or irrational parents.

    If you are talking about working in the administrative offices on something like curriculum design (where you have extremely limited contact with students) instead of lazy students, shirking of responsibility by students, NCLB, etc, you will have to deal with fellow employee laziness, fellow employee shirking of responsibilities, NCLB (because it is a part of all education jobs now) in addition to having an irate, irrational or unrealistic supervisor, fellow employees who don't pull their weight, and clerical staff that don't want to do the work they are supposed to do, which will keep you from doing your work.

    These problems exist in ALL jobs, not just teaching. In my experience, teaching has fewer problems. For all of our complaining about parents and administrators, teaching, unlike many other jobs, allows you to close your door and "do your thing." Very few jobs do that. Many, many, many jobs have supervisors who treat you as if you are incompentant, and who try to micromanage you.

    All I am saying is the grass is not always greener on another hill.
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I like the act of teaching. I like my coworkers. I could do without the politics, and sometimes outrageous unrealistic expectations placed upon teachers.

    You may think I'm crazy................... but I have always wanted to teach in a private setting. Yes, I'd make next to nothing, but I think I would have greater satisfaction.

    As another poster said, the grass isn't always greener. That's the truth. I can say that where I am now- as opposed to where I have taught is a much more supportive environment and I am grateful.
     
  7. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    I will be quitting teaching to become a SAHM. It's not that I hate teaching, but several factors play into this. I teach at a private school where pay is extremely low (around Ohio min. wage of $7/hr) and I drive 30 miles to work one way. I also just want to be around to spend as much time with my children while they are young. I may get back into teaching at some point, but right now, I cannot determine when or if I will go back.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 13, 2008

    You're going to LOVE being home with your kids!!! They were years I'll always treasure!!
     
  9. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    Thank you, I appreciate your advice. I know sometimes it takes having another job to appreciate a teaching job,as I have seen a few people leave and then come back to our district. However, what I am more interested in is working at the university level, possibly as a director of student affairs or something similar. I am hoping that in a university setting the laziness on the part of other staff members will not be as tolerated because they are adults and not children. I also like the idea of working around adults, as I rarely get to see my other coworkers besides at meetings and lunchtime.

    One major thing I think is influencing my decision would be the area in which I work. I have at least 80 percent of my kids living at the poverty line and their parents do not seem to care, or have a very high opinion of their kids, think they can do no wrong, and do not think their children should have consequences for negative actions. Fifty percent of students at my school drop out, so I have kids that come to class and will literally do NOTHING. I'm expected to have 100 percent learner engagement, but when I send a child down for consequences to administration it appears as if I can't manage my class and they don't appreciate it. I wonder if changing schools would make me happier with my job. Also, I can say if I could teach ninth grade only I would probably love it. This year I have some sophomores, and the attitudes and laziness are absolutely out of control.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Good luck with that. I've worked at a university. It has some positive things about it -- great intellectual conversations with colleagues and great fellowship opportunities. However, the same problems exist there as in other places -- some tenured professors are very hard to deal with, and just like any job, office wokers and politics are hard to deal with. The students themselves can be as challenging as high school students.

    To be a Director of Student Affairs generally requires a minimum of a Master's degree. Most universities prefer Ph.D.s for those positions, so they can teach a portion of the time as well. Also, they are very competative positions. Most won't consider you for the director position until you have actually worked on a college or university campus at a professional level in the field of student services for at least 3-5 years. (They won't count off-campus employment, such as high school teaching, towards that.) Usually for positions like that, they receive hundreds of qualified applications for each open position.


    I loved working at a university. It was great in many ways. There were also many negatives. For one, the department chairs change every few years, as do the Vice Presidents. Politics often cause re-shuffling of staff. You can start in one department, and be shuffled to another department that you have no interest in simply because a new Vice President wants a former colleague to have your postion. Also, directors are not tenured positions, so you have very little help there.

    Just realize the hurdles you will be facing, so you can go into it with your eyes wide open. I'm sure you've already considered most of this.
     
  11. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    Thanks for the advice. I have been trying to read a few books and research this aspect of college administration. I am a bit worried about the issues with tenure, but I do think I would really enjoy working in student affairs. The director jobs for those positions are less competitive than those in the academic arena. As for moving up in the workforce, I might just like to start as a director. Eventually, depending on how the wind blows, I might like to take a higher level job I have a masters degree currently and will be teaching some classes at the university level next year. In about two years I will be moving so I would like to start my Ed. D degree. That should help quite a bit with the acquisition of jobs. Overall, I just liked being in the university environment much more than the secondary ed environment. Giving it a try wouldn't be too detrimental, and I suppose if I wasn't into the job I could always just go back to high school. Perhaps I would come back with an even stronger appreciation for the job.

    I am just curious, what position did you have when you worked at the university level and are you currently teaching now? If so, why did you leave?
     
  12. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Jan 13, 2008

    Have you tried asking your BTSA for support in engagement and classroom management strategies? There is so much for you to be proud of at that school; especially because of the students' accomplishments who have overcome the challenges of low SES and learning English as a second language. The band is top notch and has won national honors, the AVID program has won national accolades, their AP scores are as high or higher than the wealthier schools, they have super GREAT teachers, and GREAT students (along with those who are not-so-great, just like at any school). Maybe you could be the one to make a difference in the lives of the students who want to drop out. It's worth trying, after all, they are still children.
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    you know what's funny?

    when I became an aide, my first job in education...that's when I got to spend more time with my kid!

    Married and single, I was so busy rushing in the morning, riding the bus/train/driving the car, working all day, and then rushing to pick her up from daycare, and rushing home..starting all over...the weekends were just a blur!

    it wasn't until I worked in her school was I truly able to see, appreciate and enjoy the time I could spend with her! I saw things many parents would never see, making sure she ate her lunch, and had money when she lost her lunch card, catching her before she got in trouble...watching her get in trouble, and seeing how she would lie to get out of it :rolleyes:, finally getting those parent notes that she never brought home, hearing and seeing what teachers and daycare staff didn't do :unsure:..and more importantly..spending time with her at girl scouts, PTA and all those assemblies I could never attend when I worked full time!

    I missed her first steps, because she was with the babysitter. I have been a working mom all my life. I would have loved to be a SAHM for awhile. but I had a chance to see her in a view that I truly cherished! And I found a great career at the same time! :) :partyhat:
     
  14. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    One of my first jobs out of college was at a university. I worked as a department budget officer. It was long hours and low pay. No respect from the tenured professors or the department head. It was awful.

    Later, I transfered to a wonderful department. I worked as an office manager. It was a clerical job. It was strictly 9-5. They paid me to get my master's degree. Because my job was 9-5 (no take home work of any kind) I was able to get my master's degree in 2 years while working full-time. I loved it there. The only position above mine was the director position, and it required a Ph.D as a minimum (plus the current director was there til retirement.)

    After I got my master's degree, I worked as the director of disabled recreation and physical education. Great title -- very low pay. Masters required. I also had to teach classes. Very fufulling work. It was only a 10 month contract. I chose not to renew and went on for my PhD. I applied for a fellowship (pays all tuiton and a stipend to live on.)

    I got a Ph.D. fellowship, and attended postgraduate classes for 1 year. I was the Assistant to the Vice President for Student Services. Great work. Great stipend. It wasn't the least bit stressful, though I worked a lot of odd hours including nights and weekends. But I decided to get a "real world" job and some real experience outside of the field of higher education before completing my PhD.

    I went into municipal government, where I eventually worked my way up to the position of superintendent. As such, I was on-call 24/7. I routinely worked 80 hour work weeks, and in 10 years never had a real vacation -- I was always taking phone calls and working, even when I went to visit family. It was incredibly stressful, but I loved it. I kept that position until I took disability retirement due to a long standing degenerative bone disorder. I was hospitalized for over 2 years dealing with that and having reconstructive surgery and rehab.

    I could have stayed on disability for the rest of my life, but I couldnt' stand "not doing anything." The rehab took quite a while, but eventually I did return to work -- first as a volunteer, and then as teacher. (Different city than where I was a superintendent.)

    Classroom teaching is my "third-career" job. I love it. It isn't nearly as stressful as being in management or administration. I get to work with kids everyday. I love what I do. People may complain about the hours a teacher works, but it is nothing compared to when I was a city superintendent.

    Eventually, some day, I may go back to "academia." I don't know. I'm having too much fun teaching right now.
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I thought about teaching college as well. Since I started my cohort program, I like the fact that we are off campus, and it's just 5 or 6 classes of adults meeting in a high school. Since we are all grad students and off campus, I don't have to deal with some of the things I have struggled with as an adult attending class in the evening. I noticed many undergrad/grad classes had very young and immature students, and the teachers catered to them. Some part time, adjunct professors were very unprofessional, and seemed to enjoy picking on grad students! Also, there were a lot of rules and regulations that made no sense to working adults, (paying for parking that you can never find, coming in to have a TB test or pick up grades by 4pm). As much as I would like to teach others, I think I may have second thoughts. It seems like many colleges are just a step up from high school, and many of the campuses I observed where just that! This is what scares so many adults from returning to school. It is not just the work! It is dealing with an environment that is not necessarily friendly to adults over 30.:2cents:
     
  16. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    I was offered a management position with Bath & Body Works, and while the pay would have been the same, she tried to sell me on the fact that I wouldn't be spending my salary on the children. (I enjoy having the summer off and all of the other breaks teachers get and that made me not take the job.)
     
  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I think overall, as much as NCLB has entered into the real of education, many of the things you so desparately want to avoid, you will find in any career. That being competition, politics, salary cuts, and job reorganization.

    But, I have to say, teaching has changed my life. It has been said, "To teach is to touch a life forever". I truly believe that.

    My focus in on preschool because I think that's where it starts. I enjoy working with younger children, but I know at some point, I will slow my steps, and have trouble sitting on the floor. However, I always want to stay in this field, because corporate America can't keep me in a cubicle!

    No other career that I know of will give you a work schedule of 6 1/2 hours a day, 180 days a year, and benefits.

    I have never seen a public school teacher (present company included) terminated in less than 30 days notice. It is just too diffificult to do. (child care is a little easier to ditch people :unsure:)

    This is a profession that carries a great deal of admiration and respect. I can't express the pride I feel when I am in the store on the weekends, and somebody notices my school shirt. When they say, "Hey, are you a teacher?" That just makes my day.

    I dont' even remember the rest of the conversation. I just know how good I feel.

    And...I will stay in this profession, Lord willing, as long as I have that feeling!
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    One of my new year's resolutions was NOT to spend $50 a month on my class. I will need some help with that! Can we start a support group or something?! I have been in Head Start, and we never had to buy stuff, unless we wanted to, and were always reimbursed. I have yet to see that magical $100 expense check that was supposedly given to all teachers. I don't think it exists. You know that BBW manager was hoping you would take the job so you could spend all your money on her store, with your employee discount! (that would make her bottom line look good!) :crosseyed
     
  19. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    I completely understand where you are coming from on most of these things. To be totally honest, 90 percent of my job I really like. I have very well behaved classes, happy students and good district test scores. I like the feeling of coming home after a long day and realizing I was paid to help kids learn about something that I love.

    When I worked for corporate America, I knew I wanted to leave my job for teaching. Like you, I reminded myself that being in a cubicle was not "where it was at." When I first started teaching I liked it so much that I couldn't believe I was paid to do it. However, it is that one out of ten bad days I have with the same three students that make me so unhappy at times. I guess it is how life goes, but some of the stuff that my kids do really gets to me on a personal level. I'm still not comfortable with the blame game, nor do I like when they argue with me about silly stuff like having a cell phone out in class. I know kids are kids, and most are great, but days like that make me want to pull my hair out!
     
  20. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    I have certainly had some successes that have made my life worthwhile. I've had kids thank me for helping them pass, and also thank me for not passing them because they didn't deserve it (can you believe it?). I also believe that I have very good classroom management skills and most of the time pretty good learner engagement. There are some things, like grammar, that are really hard to get kids into. Overall, I do like my school, and my kids, it is just a miniscule part of the population that bothers me. I have talked to other teachers about the issues and they have been supportive. I just wish I had parents who had the time to hold their children accountable, so I'm not always the bad guy when they do something wrong and have consequences. I really don't think they understand why they get negative consequences sometimes, and I wish they came preprogrammed so that my stress wouldn't escalate. How wonderful would teaching be then?
     
  21. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    Thanks for everything, Rainstorm. It has been very valuable to hear your take on the higher ed/secondary ed experience.
     
  22. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I understand how you feel, believe me I have those moments, too. I too dislike being blamed for things over which I have no control--like attendance issues, etc. Then after I get mad, I start going around asking for ideas from everyone from other teachers, administrators, school counselor, resource teachers, my BTSA, and so on, which makes me feel better and their advise actually works in a lot of cases. That's why I suggested it to you. It seems like things are constantly in flux in the classroom, I'm learning that the more flexible I am the less stressed I am. In fact I am remembering what someone very wise and compassionate said to me about being like an ocean and just embracing the waves . . . and realizing that I'm learning to be like that a little. Cool. :)
     
  23. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    I like the ocean analogy. I find the more calm I am, usually the better the kids react to me. I'll keep that in mind.
     
  24. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Thanks, it was Tigers who said it to me. :)
     
  25. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I'm gonna type it up, print it out, and stick on my file cabinet at work!
     
  26. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    amarie, check this out--the "Help with 8th grade" thread in the General Education forum. There are some really good techniques talked about there. :)
     
  27. amarie

    amarie Rookie

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    Thanks!
     
  28. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    I had reconnected with an old friend that told me he was looking into law school... and I felt jealous. I actually think I would be a pretty good lawyer, and it's something I've always fantasized about, but never looked into since teaching was something I've wanted my whole life.

    At this point, I'm not ruling out law completely. At the same time, I don't plan to leave teaching any time soon. Who knows what the future holds... maybe I'll go back to school for law later in life. Stranger things have happened.
     
  29. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I have thought about not wanting to teach "forever". I would love a career that when I leave at the end of the day, my work day is done.
     
  30. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Law has always attracted me. I've thought about educational law in the future.
     
  31. Boston1234

    Boston1234 Rookie

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    I always felt like I was well suited for the biotech business. I used to work as a lab tech and then went into high school science teaching, but I sometimes crave the high powered (and high salaried...) business aspect of biotech. I've thought about getting an MBA, but that is really only on the bad days. It's the good days that keep me in education.
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The only time I thought about not teaching was a couple of years ago right after grad school. My university wasn't releasing my transcript or teaching license to me because they thought I hadn't completed the program. In fact, I had completed the program, it was just in two separate parts (my MAT was sort of half Latin degree, half education degree) and the two different departments couldn't communicate with each other to let the other one know that I had completed their half. It was a nightmare and took nearly a year and a half to resolve.

    During that time, I contemplated returning to school for nursing. I would have enjoyed working as a nurse educator/trainer, I think.

    Other than that, I am a Teacher and it's what I plan to do. :)
     
  33. SarahJ

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    Cassie753 - that is similar to my problem! The University departments don't speak to eachother and now I wait and wait for them to issue me my degree! In my case it is the finance dept, the exam dept and the edu dept - they all need to contribute and they don't!

    So, I cannot teach in a school this year. However, I have a wonderful position homeschooling a little girl and a school in my ares sympathetic to my situation has me involved in their after school activities :)
     
  34. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    If I could teach and counsel I'd do it in a hearbeat! I really always have wanted to work with children, and being in the classroom really opens up your eyes. You get to see all the emotional baggage that kids carry around with them. I truly beleive we need to reach them and dig through all that stuff to be good teachers. In a classroom, we are all pressured and probably don't have enough time to do that. So, if I could only find a way to do both... I'd have found my dream job.:)
     
  35. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    My favorite job outside of teaching was a customer service rep. in a 24 hour call center.

    where else can you get paid to sit on your butt and talk?! :lol:

    I like the freedom of staring out the window, pretending to listen to complaints, and feel good when I can actually offer advice and make a sale for something that a customer really needs.

    I don't like the competition, strange hours, and ridculous technology that tracks us every time we get up to use the bathroom! :crosseyed Or, the fact that every day, sometimes within the same day, policies and procedures and products change..and they flash some announcement over your screen while you are making a sale!

    the only real low point is getting cussed out. but you know they can't really come up there and do nothing. and if they ask for your supervisor, at least you know they always back you up, because hey..they don't want to work or take calls!

    It is a lot to remember (codes, passwords, computer programs, etc), and many young people in the field, big turnover, little more than minimum wage, but good benefits and incentive pay for bonus sales. If you can get around AtoZ, you can do customer service jobs!

    I noticed us 40+ crowd hung out at night shift, and the day shift was mainly younger folks. These places are usually out in the boonies, where no bus, train or cab will even go! so you must have reliable transportation.

    nights are good, less traffic, slower call volume...the graveyard shift is just a party! we eat and make jokes, watching the phones waiting for calls.

    I only left because they had me working weekends back to back, and mandatory overtime for holidays. I had a morning job! didn't want to work every hour in the day!

    it would be a good part time job, if they didn't pressure you to do more hours.

    I tell ya, if push came to shove, that would be the field I would go right back to...

    but I would try to tutor or be a counselor on the side..
     
  36. Enigma_X

    Enigma_X Rookie

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    I firmly believe that I will eventually quit teaching at the level that I am now (high school) for tertiary education. My goal since I was 16 years old has been to be a college professor. I still have a ways to go- I don't even take my GRE until this summer, but I can hardly wait.
     
  37. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    There's been so many references to college jobs, I don't even want to try to quote them, but I would like to put in my own thoughts. To rehash my history, I taught at a community college for 5 years, then took a job teaching middle school. I stayed on at the CC in academic support/student services part time (basically, what I do is coordinate between several departments for the use of a particular math/science support center.) Anyway, I have to second everything rainstorm said about the grass not always beeing greener. I am MUCH happier teaching middle schoolers than I ever was teaching adults, and student services can be a royal pain in the you know what. Not that I didn't like it there, I did, but don't kid yourself if you think that there are no issues. Just wait till you get some helicopter parent of a 30 year old freshman demanding to know why "you" failed her precious baby, when said baby couldn't be bothered to show up for class all term.
     
  38. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2008

    good one mmswm..

    helicopter parent...

    :)
     
  39. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jan 23, 2008

    I taught for two years, got FED UP with ridiculous parents insisting that I change grades or accept late work, got tired of my boss basically forcing me to do whatever the rich parents wanted, tired of lazy kids who expect everything to be given to them. Switched school districts. Got 170 kids from the islands, gangs galore, guns, knives, and crack in class, and parents and administrators still insisting I give students an opportunity to do work 8 weeks after it was due. Tired of spending my entire life grading, explaining, planning, spending, talking, emailing, confiscating, and raising other people's kids, while my husband sits at home, trying to catch an hour with me before I'm back grading essays.

    I quit, took this year off, planned to write. Got bored. I miss those little snots :) So I'm going back next year. But I'm hoping to find some decent administrative support. And parents who don't start off saying "I appreciate everything you do, BUT..."
     
  40. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 23, 2008

    I'm currently a loan officer with a funding company here in my town. It's something I can do while I wait for a teaching job next year. Plus the company is laid back so I can continue to work during school.
     
  41. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 24, 2008

    well, I have spared you all, but I am seriously considering going back to non-profit.

    made more money
    never had to spend money
    they don't change the rules every day
    they don't usually take parents' side
    they may work you to death, but you get paid for it!
     

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