I apologize in advance...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by DobbyChatt, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    Jan 7, 2017

    All,

    I just began my 4th semester (2nd year) as a HS teacher. I'll apologize for this post in advance, but I am desperate.

    I owe another few years to a program that helped me get into education. I'm also severely put-out, burned out, irritated, p*ssed, and looking for answers.

    What keeps teachers long term? I'm at a tougher urban school...generally low performing students...but my principal has labeled my abilities as "phenomenal". She is supportive. However, my current quality of life is awful. I complain, whine, and gripe constantly. I catch myself waking up at 4 a.m. to have fictitious mental arguments with disrespectful students. I dread approaching each coming day as a teacher, knowing it takes everything I have to try and motivate 85 teenagers.

    What's next? Do I try a higher performing school before I look for other jobs? Am I clearly not mentally cut out for teaching even though I apparently do a good job? I can't keep sacrificing my own sanity. I feel like a wimp and an emotional baby. All this from a middle-aged man.

    Any comments or advice are much appreciated!!!
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jan 7, 2017

    Are you required to stay at this school, or is transferring to another school an option?
     
  4. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    Jan 7, 2017

    Transferring is an option that I am planning take advantage of this year, God willing.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    What is your current classroom management system? Is it working? Why or why not? or what parts are working and what parts do not? Which ones are out of your control, and which aspect could you control better?

    I feel that classroom management issues can really weigh on a teacher and make them lose the love of their job. You wake up and already dread going to work, already imagining the issues that will come up. I think a large part of burning out comes from there.
     
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  6. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    I agree, and I feel that my management system works. The AP recently commented that he rarely receives referrals from me. However, the "small fights" about apathy, motivation, etc., seem to take their toll. Overall I feel that my management system is very good. It just takes a daily willingness to face the small fights. This is why I wonder if I simply don't have a 'teacher personality' that can work long term. One act of disrespect can send me reeling mentally for quite some time. I'm naturally an introverted person. My wife also teaches which is a big motivator for me to make this work. She, however, tends to deal with such issues in a much lighter manner.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Well, if your classroom management system works, then it's not all lost :)
    Apathy and lack of motivation: I also teach high school, and the way I look at it is that I can only motivate students so much. The rest is on them. They're most common comment: "it's boring" I've learned that they use it for anything, it's too hard, too easy, they don't want to do it, they have other issues they have to deal with, they're hungry, they're sleepy, etc. But it's easier to put it on me and blame my lesson. So I told them they're not allowed to use the word "boring", they have to correctly identify their feelings. I'd rather hear a "it's too hard" or "I don't know how to do it" because I can work with that. I can even work with "I don't want to do it"
    My other usual comment (and overall attitude) is "I showed up to teach, and you show up to learn". Meaning I do my part, but you have to do your part.

    As long as my lessons are engaging to the majority, and accessible to everyone (meaning it's differentiated enough that it's not too hard for anyone who tries), and I offer enough assistance with making up work, making up retaking tests and even give extra credit throughout the semester, a failing grade is not my failure. So while I do care about my students' success, I don't take credit for their failure if they haven't even tried. Actually, not one student in 5 years failed who actually tried to pass the class.

    As far as disrespect: I always handle it accordingly, and usually there is less and less of it, but there will always be kids who will just say outright disrespectful things for seemingly no reason, or act that way, and it's a total surprise. I have a kid who has many many issues (and he's still young, sophomore, but the one year maturity since freshman year really shows) he occasionally, once every 3-4 weeks blurts out some extremely disrespectful and inappropriate things. I don't take it personally, although it would be easy to, because of the nature of the things he says. I sometimes ignore it if it's not that loud (I still hear it though) and not that many students heard it), but I do look at him so he knows. I choose this approach because after that I don't hear anything from him for another month. His reason for saying these things? He probably thinks it's funny. If I take I t personally, it would ruin most of my day, but 2 minutes later he already forgot about it. So I'm not giving him that much power over my mental state.

    Try not to take things personally, handle it with a consequence, if it warrants it, but try to separate yourself. Things will be much easier.
     
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  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Maybe something to think about, but over the years my attitude has changed with regards to motivation and inspiration. I have moved from trying to get kids to "feel" like doing something, to helping them understand that successful people has self-discipline. They do things regardless of whether they feel like it or not. I have transferred the responsibility to the students.
     
  9. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    Feb 8, 2017

    The reality of teaching is it is a hard job. It is a demanding job. It will take its toll on you. People who are not in this field have no idea of the effort it takes, and those who become "Administrators" usually quickly forget. Each year brings new challenges, each group of students (even in a single day) can be so different. It is a thing that brings many of us back to school each day, and the same thing that so many run away from. That said, I have worked in 3 school districts and six different HSs, I have subbed at many different elementary, middle, and high schools (after I retired 6 years ago). They are pretty much the same, with the same successes and problems. If you have a problem at one school, you will likely have a different set at a different school. Administrators on your side is a rare thing, if you have that you are blessed. If you are successful on top of that then you are very truly blessed. Enjoy it while you can.
     
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  10. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I very much agree with other posters here! I also think it's getting at the time of the year. It's a little month past the Holiday break. Spring Break is next month and things are kind of tough right now. I've never either cared for February or October for some reason because kids seem to act up. And yes, teaching is hard. A good management system always helps like you have, even though with the best teachers and even the best management systems, we can still have periods were we dread going to work because of certain issues with the kids. I'm kind of going with what you are right now.
     

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