Discussion in 'High School' started by tnglenn, Aug 19, 2009.
Aug 19, 2009
We have had kids for 6 days... not feeling it any more...
Fake it 'til you make it!
Every year I meet my new students and wonder how I will ever come to love them, but sooner or later I do. At least most of them!
If this is truly how you feel, come up with a PLAN B. But I'd re-evaluate after a month or two just to make sure switching careers is really what you want to do.
How long have you been teaching? Is it the beginning of your career or towards the end?
Beginning - Give it the year, it may seem overwhelming at first but you may come to see it's not that bad. It is also respectful to the other teachers not to leave in the middle of the year because they would have to pick up the pieces until a new teacher is hired.
End - Maybe it's time to consider putting in for retirement at the end of the year. If you know you've served your time and are finally burned out you could be doing the students a disservice by faking it year after year from now on.
3rd year... I moved from industry to education. So while I am new to teaching I'm not to the world of work. I was a tv news reporter for over a decade, and now teach media. I have a good relationship with many of the kids and there are many of them that I truly like, but... I wake up dreading going to work.
Have you thought of teaching at the college level? It could just be that you aren't teaching at the level that fits you best. With so much experience in tv you would be a great asset to a school with a film and television department.
I guess my question is, what do you dread? Teaching the same thing again? Dealing with building politics or a particular colleague or the admins? Is there a classroom management thing going on? Knowing what it is exactly will help you figure out what to do about it.
If it's just boredom with the subject, well, that's what we're all here for! Ask us for new ways to teach topics, different topics to cover, ways to really get the kids involved. I'm always changing something - keeps it interesting for me and for the kids. You may even want to look into getting a cert in a different area, so you can teach a different subject next year.
If it's politics or colleagues, but the teaching part is OK, maybe it's time to find a new building or a new district. No need to stay hanging around in a poisonous environment, though as others have said I think you should wait until the end of the year unless you are having real health issues from the stress.
If it's a management thing, again, we all can help. There's every level of experience here - somebody has been through what you're dealing with.
So, what do you think?
You have worked in both the business world and the educational world. Which one do you like best?
both areas have their ups and downs... I got tired of knocking on doors asking the mother of a dead 4 year old "how she felt", as well as changes in the industry that have turned my passion into bottom line and not caring about the story any more (I no longer ever watch the news local or national.)
part of what drives me crazy is the lack of motivation the students have. In TV news if your story is 5 seconds late, you might as well not even have done it. this morning during the taping of our tv show (announcements) one of my anchors introduced a foam head as a new anchor... and then wanted to argue when I told him, to re-record the segment... then the other anchordecided he was going to laugh through a segment... I pulled him off the set and put another kid in his place. I try to run a tight ship and do thing professionaly ('cause that's what I'm supposed to be teaching them) they want to play with the equiptment and goof off... TV is a difficult field to get into and I didn't make it to major market TV by goofing off. I take what I do seriously...
Aug 20, 2009
OK, so I'd say two things. One, I assume you have a syllabus/course outline with all of your expectations in it. Go back to that with them if you have to. Reemphasize it and keep doing so until they get it. Create norms with them for appropriate behavior, and have them brainstorm consequences. Let them know that even if they didn't pick this class, they are still being graded on it and need the credit. (This is the speech I give my drama class every year. Usually only a quarter to a half of them chose it, the rest are just stuck there because they need the elective credit.)
Two, can there be time for them to goof around sometimes? Maybe if they know that every Friday is Silly Hat Day or something it will be easier for them to be serious the rest of the week.
Aug 22, 2009
Boy can I ever relate. I really have no advice for you other than the things I tell myself: my other options are limited and I am a well-educated, organized person who is a competent teacher.
I hear you saying that you feel like discipline overshadows classroom instruction. If you're really passionate and knowledgeable about your topic, that can be especially aggravating. Also if, like me, your experience has thus far been teaching adults (I TA'd and co-taught at the undergrad level - college juniors and seniors), when the issue of "discipline" is introduced, frankly it can feel alien and exhausting. Of course, teaching college is really NOT an option for many...even at a community college, it really requires a Ph.D. despite most popular conceptions about MA's being adequate. My husband is a college Professor. It was my original goal to teach college as well. At that level, you are almost exclusively dealing with the material you set about to teach. Classroom management is a minimal consideration.
But economic changes, as well as changes in the Humanities in Higher Education, have brought me to the pragmatic decision to teach high school. I interned at public school last year and hated it, absolutely hated it, and woke up feeling sort of cheated. The kids were apathetic and unmotivated and, in my opinion, the school system was overly tolerant about a lack of excellence: there was little rigor. The campus climate itself was Foucauldian and depressing. But after eight months looking at every single available alternative, other jobs seemed even further afield from my passion. I thought harder.
So, I am going to try to teach at private school, preferably a college preparatory type private school or even a Catholic school, where disciplinary problems DO seem to take a backseat to the material itself and where students seem decidedly more motivated. So I'm getting an MA, because that's what the faculty at the best local schools here have. And in the meanwhile, I shall rough it substituting at public school, and if I have to be tough, fine. I'm tough by nature. I'm not "warm and fuzzy." I'm strict and fairly old-fashioned about education and think that's fine at the high school level (granted, I'm also the mother of an elementary aged child and am a much softer mother).
Sorry to be long, but I wanted to empathize, to remind you to keep perspective about the job market, and also to suggest that you might be cut out for a different type of school: perhaps adult learners, a charter school, or a private school of some sort. Don't give up the ghost yet. You might actually be depriving someone of one of the best teachers they could ever have: one who really cares about academic excellence and the material.
Best of luck to you!
Sep 3, 2009
I also teach theatre, and I hate to say it, but if they're acting like this, they don't respect you. Or, they think that your consequences are not real. My theatre kids can cut up with the best of them, as can I, but they know that once rehearsal starts, or a performance, they better not mess around. Maybe if you try to have a little fun with them off-camera, it may work better. Kids thrive around those that expect a lot of them. If they know you don't expect much, you won't get much.
Separate names with a comma.