I think I want to quit teaching at the end of the year!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Tornteacher, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Tornteacher

    Tornteacher Rookie

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    Oct 26, 2008

    This is my first time ever posting on one of these websites and I am doing it because I am absolutely desperate for advice. This is my first year teaching and I am at a really good public school in the 1st grade. I came into this job excited but nervous to teach. At this point, I'm ready to quit. If I could leave at Christmas I would be the happiest person on the planet. BUT, I am going to stick it out until June. I don't know if I hate teaching because of the grade level, or if it is truly the profession I can't stand.
    I have so much guilt because I know that I am not doing the best job I should. I'm not trying hard enough and the truth is I'm not trying because I dislike what I am doing. I find myself saying "oh well, I'm not going to do this next year anyway." It's a horrible attitude to have but I really can't imagine what my life would be like if I did this forever. I can't sleep, I don't enjoy my life like I used to. I am sad ALL the time... basically depressed. I'm nervous all day at school and feel out of place despite the nice teachers I work with. I feel extremely stressed and a sense that my life is not my own anymore. I don't know what to do!
    Basically, I need advice. Is this how all first year teachers feel, or is this really not right for me? I think it goes without saying that I will NEVER teach 1st grade again, but should I give up the profession altogether? What about older grades (like middle school). I'm so confused. Any help would be wonderful. I also must say that I get a really excited feeling when I imagine myself doing something totally different next year with my life.... a new career. A part of me is scared of that though because teaching is all I know and I have a degree/masters in elementary education. PLEASE HELP!!
     
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  3. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse Companion

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    Oct 26, 2008

    What exactly is it that you don't like about teaching? Is it classroom management or planning, grading, what is it exactly? If I knew more I could give you better advice.
     
  4. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    Oct 26, 2008

    You asked, "Is this how all first year teachers feel?" and I want you to look at the other posts in this section of AtoZ. Your feelings are very, very common, and even many of us who have been teaching for a long time have admitted to feeling exactly the same way when we first started. Some good advice that has been give before on this same topic is to find a mentor or other teacher on your grade level to support and advise you during this difficult year. You sound like you desperately need a warm, helpful colleague to help you plan, answer questions, and give validation for the things you are doing right.

    You may be right when you say that first grade is not the grade for you. That is a valid point, and before you abandon teaching altogether, you owe it to yourself, and your years of education in this field, to try a different age group before you say "Teaching is not for me."

    My final advice is to approach your principal, vice-principal, curriculum coordinator, department head, or other school leader, and ask for help. Needing help is nothing to be ashamed of, and even years from now when you are a veteran teacher, there will be times when you'll need to ask for help. Best of luck to you, and keep us informed of how you're doing.
     
  5. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Oct 27, 2008

    A lot of new teachers feel that way. Sometimes I feel that way now! But what is it that you don't like about first graders? Maybe you are being too hard on yourself. Remember, every school is different. I have always loved teaching seventh graders. Last year, though, my seventh graders were a huge challenge. If they had been my first group to teach I would have never taught seventh graders again!! Now my group this year is another wonderful, funny, creative, interesting group to teach.
     
  6. Tornteacher

    Tornteacher Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Thank you so much for those of you who already responded! Let me clarify that it is not that I dislike my students, I dislike the job. I hate coming to work feeling unprepared, underplanned and stressed out. I know this is common to basically any job, but at most jobs you don't feel the pressure of educating 18 young lives! i think my kids are great and if I could spend all day playing with them it would be great. Unfortuantely thats not the reality of teaching. I really dislike the amount of personal time you have to give to planning, and preparing for the days. There are times when I wish I could go home at a normal hour and NOT bring work home! Even at the first grade level there are always little tests to grade or rubrics for their writing.
    I also think alot about the "what if's." What if there is another career out there for me that I will love and excel at because I enjoy it. I see the other teachers around me and they seem to love what they do. Instead, I dread coming to work. By the time Sunday hits I already have a nervous stomach thinking about the week ahead. On Mondays I am already praying for Friday to come fast. I don't want to feel this way at work. I want a job that I can enjoy doing while also enjoying living my life! I guess the real problem is that I am just afraid to venture outside of education because this is all I know. Who will want to hire me anyway? All I have is an education degree/maters and no experience in anything else. I guess the thought of another career is exciting as well as terrifying. Any thoughts on what I should do come May?
     
  7. Green_eyed_gal

    Green_eyed_gal Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2008

    I'm a first year teacher and there have been times I felt like you...It's hard your first year. I'm trying to get through it and I'm hoping it will get easier next year.

    Before I went into teaching I had a desk job that I was able to leave everyday and didn't have to worry about bringing work home, but it was boring!! I did the same thing everyday and I didn't like that. With theaching, every day is different and the days go so fast because your always on the move...Your also exhausted!! :lol:

    Do you have a mentor? If not, you need to talk with your Principal and ask for some help. I have a great mentor and team.. Everyone is sooo helpful and that makes a huge difference. They are willing to share things with me to make my load a little lighter.

    Before you give up completely, ask for help!! You need and deserve it as a new teacher.

    Good luck!!
     
  8. petit_ecole

    petit_ecole Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Hi Tornteacher,

    Although I'm not yet a teacher (since I'll only be entering the credential program next summer), I feel your pain. I have helped out at a 2nd grade classroom before, and I saw the many challenges that the teacher had. The teacher had been teaching for many years (at least 30 yrs), but I saw her frustrations at times. I hope not to turn into a crazy teacher who's a screamer since I don't think that strategy works. Now I plan to help out at a 3rd grade classroom, hoping that at least the kids are better listeners. There is something to be said about those Catholic schools. The kids there seem more disciplined and brighter for some reason. Perhaps it's because the parents are involved in the kids' progress and school programs, and they work with the teachers. I don't think I'd like to teach at a public school (even though they need good teachers) since it's harder to get the parents engaged. The teachers end up baby-sitting rather than educating. When parents see the value in education, then it becomes more important for the children, and teachers get better results in the end. The problem is, most parents do not even know how to help their kids with their home works since parents either did not receive ample education or they do not speak the language enough to help their kids. It then becomes the teachers' responsibility, rather than the community as a whole. I know these challenges beforehand, and yet when I see the kids' eagerness to learn, I cannot find it in myself to just give up on them. The principals should really be more supportive too since they know the challenges that teachers face. I'm not saying to go up to the principal and complain, but perhaps you can point out some strategic measures that you can implement in the classroom? It couldn't hurt at this point. Good luck!
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 27, 2008

    I agree with the advice given by previous posters. My first year was in a kinder classroom. I ended up quitting mid year because of 1)personal/medical reasons, and 2)kinder just wasn't for me. The next year I had no trouble getting a job in another school district teaching 2nd grade. I loved it!! And would still be there if not for maternity that ended sadly. After subbing for a couple of years, I now think middle school would be the best place for me! Sometimes its just about finding your niche in the grade that you will feel comfortable in. I think no matter what grade or how long you've been teaching, you will always find yourself bringing work home and that's okay. Just remember to set some time aside for a little you time.
     
  10. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2008

    Green eyed gal makes an interesting point about non-teaching jobs. Before I went back to school for my teaching degree, I was a project analyst at a bank. The minutes CRAWLED by and I hated coming to work on Mondays (and every day.) Teaching is different every day, and there is room for creativity. The day passes so quickly. Yes, I still find coming to work on Mondays hard (who doesn't?), but teaching is a fast-paced, demanding, important job that keeps you on your toes!
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 28, 2008

    As for the feelings, yes I think you're being totally normal for a new teacher. I'm dealing with loneliness, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion--- even though I work at an amazing school, have a great support team, have some friends through the school, most of my students love science and me, and I'm having fun planning lessons.

    I think what's hard is that some people have never dealt with these types of feelings before--- since I have I guess perhaps I'm better suited to taking care of them, while not letting them harm how I'm doing as a teacher.

    Here's what I'm doing for myself:
    1. Planning dinner dates with teachers--- life is SOO much better when you see your co-workers as friends, confidants, and people who are there to push you to do better. Getting a chance to be together away from the kids and the job really makes me feel alot better.

    After report cards are done, my closest buddy at school and I are going out for drinks--- it's been set up and we still have another week to go :)

    2. I take care of myself--- that means exercising (even just for 5 minutes), taking vitamins (you need to take the right kinds to get your spirits up), and resting. I already know that I can not sleep at night when I have school the next day. So I don't force myself to sleep--- I help myself to sleep by taking melatonin (natural sleep aid) and it shuts my brain off from thinking long enough for me to fall asleep.

    Take extra long hot showers, sleep an extra 15 minutes, stop grading papers or lesson planning an hour earlier some nights and just relax.

    3. Find a blessing in each of your students. Start with the easiest, then on the hardest students. When you feel shitty, remember those blessings, these children, and remember an education is bigger than the grade/subject that you'll be teaching them for a year.

    As for giving up on this profession, I would say don't do it--- perhaps there are things you can do to improve and you just have to do them (or have someone show them to you). Perhaps it is just the grade level and you should try kids out in 7th grade or high school. Totally up to you--- but I'm sure there are very valid reasons why you chose education and I don't think you should turn your back on those reasons at this time. Give it time and don't give up. I know its hard--- I'm right in there with you, as we all are who are new teachers. :)
     
  12. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Oct 28, 2008

    Remember, too, that you're gradually building up a file system of worksheets, handouts, quizzes, etc, and each one you make is one less you'll have to make next year. The first few years are hard for all of us, for so many reasons,and most of those reasons are shared reasons. After a while you'll discover that you actually ARE prepared, and you've got resources for when you've got a little time left over. You'll realize that nobody can "do it all" and you'll relax and just do as much as you can.

    Nobody is perfect and nobody is ever able to do any job as thoroughly and creatively and pleasing to EVERYBODY. Once you come to terms with that, you'll go a little easier on yourself.

    Teachers are under a microscope all the time, and none so probing as the one we use on ourselves. Lighten up on yourself. I bet you're doing a much better job than you think right now.

    The very fact that you're worried about this tells me that you're sincere, hardworking, and that you are probably a VERY good teacher.
     
  13. Tornteacher

    Tornteacher Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2008

    Well first I want to thank everyone for all of your thoughts and advice! Its been very helpful. I've decided that I need to get through this year and try to give teaching another chance next year. HOWEVER, I have definitely realized that teaching such young children is probably not right for me if I have been this miserable. I am considering teaching 5th or 6th grade next year. I have another question though... what do you think about private school? I went to private school and a part of me is afraid to teach older grades in public school. So now I am thinking of changing to a private school and changing to a much older grade!Ahhh... who knows what in the world I'm doing with my life. I hope I get this all figured out! Anyway- thank you to all who responded!
     
  14. TFox

    TFox Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2008

    My advice would be to give it more time. I vowed that I would give it 3 years and see how I felt. First year IS hell. Especially for some personalities (like perfectionists, or even just sensitive people who need to feel successful) through no fault of their own really. Some people handle the stress pretty well, but others just can't stand it. In my first year I was a mess, just as you described. I think I did a good job with my classes and I got good reviews from admin, but my life was a disaster.

    I've taught for a few years now and I'm going to try to find another job. It's not for me. I know the hours will get better in 5 to 20 years when I get a sweet job in guidance or co-op, but I'm not willing to wait that long. There are so many other things I don't like about the job. At this point I'd rather have a desk job, even though I would be fairly bored and I would be underachieving, I suppose. But it's all about what makes you happy, and this job will not be making me happy for some years to come.

    Still, I say give it more time before you throw in the towel. It's a big decision and you want to be sure.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 4, 2008


    The choices DON'T have to be hating teaching or doing a desk job you'll be bored in. Even if you decide that teaching isn't for you, there's a whole world out there!

    No one should settle, particularly early in their careers, for a job they're bored in. We spend too much of our lives in work; there's no excuse to settle for feeling trapped.

    Take some adult ed courses in whatever sounds interesting and let them point you in a different direction.

    But don't settle.
     
  16. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2008

    I like BioAngel's advice and everyone has a good point about trying another grade or area. Another point is the average person changes their career or field five times in a life time. I became a teacher after 20 years in retail and owning my own business (that went under). I too am having different opinions about staying in teaching but I'm gonna stay til May then we'll see. Hang in there come May you might have a door open and then you might decide this room is okay.
     
  17. TFox

    TFox Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2008

    Good call Aliceacc. If I decide to move on, I'll definitely try to do something I like. It's so hard to get any job where I live, so I might have to settle, but I will keep my eye open for something good!
     
  18. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Nov 4, 2008

    I feel like quitting too... This is my second year teaching, and I thought it would be easier, but it's not. There are more demands -both from administration and parents, there is even more stuff to do. I do have a mentor and there is an autism specialist that comes over and helps me out, but at this point I feel like everybody is just giving me more and more advice and ideas, so the ideas just keep piling up, so there is even more stuff to do, and I physically just can't do it all. I have one assistant in my classroom and she leaves right after school, so I'm pretty much left there on my own. I wish somebody would actually come to my room and help me out DO stuff (instead of giving advice on how and what to do). I'm already sick of advice! I need help!!!
    I've been so stressed out and frustrated this year, I feel anxiety every day, I feel so underprepared...
    I feel like there is so much stuff to do that I don't even know where to start, so I start procrastinating.
    I can't even physically clean up my classroom anymore, I have so much junk that I need to go through and organize (or throw away), but I can't do it, I can't even start. I feel sick even thinking about it.
    Anybody feel the same way?
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 4, 2008

    Like everyone said, the first year is TOUGH!!!!! My first year was challanging, but I loved those kids and they are still my most treasured class. My second year was way more difficult. I moved to a new school, went from half day kinder to full day kinder, and was teaching all new curriculum that I wasn't very familiar with. I cried the first few months, stressed out to the max, etc. BUT, it's gotten better. THis year, I don't bring any work home. My file cabinet is full of work, I have sponge activities in my mind, and I know what works and doesn't. This is my fourth year teaching and it just takes time to feel comfortable teaching. Even this year I am trying out new things and ideas and scrapping things that I used to do. A new grade might just be the answer for you. I taught fifth and LOVED that grade. Maybe you are more of an upper grade person.
     
  20. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Nov 4, 2008

    It is much too early in your teaching career to give up!The first year of teaching is difficult for almost everyone. I went home crying almost every day and I am a man.However,I do have a few suggestions for you.Find someone on your grade that you can go to for advice,maybe share lesson plans with and can help you with problems that might arise.I would speak to a teacher you can trust rather than an administrator.Try to come to school fully prepared for the week.Try to overplan so you know you will keep the children learning and occupied throughout the day.Don't think you are going to save each child and they will all become brilliant and well-behaved just because they are your students. Enjoy the ones who are doing well and try to do your best with those who aren't. Try to do things you enjoy on weekends and holidays.Don't spend your free time feeling miserable about the upcoming school week.
    In your post you state that you are trained to be a teacher and not skilled in other professions.It is a very poor job market today,what will you do if you leave teaching?
    Try a higher grade next year. The children will be more independent and might not need as much attention every minute of the day.Use the people on the website to help you any way they can.They are magnificent.
    Good Luck and try your best.DON'T GIVE UP!!!
     
  21. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Nov 4, 2008

    Tornteacher- How much experience did you have in a classroom before this year? What grade level was your student teaching at and how did you feel then? The first year teaching is ALWAYS very stressful- like everyone else has said, it will get easier. If your budget can handle it, you might want to spend a year subbing- you can try out different grades and possibly even private schools and see if you like the setting better. Of course subbing isn't the same as having your own class, but it will give you the chance to try out different things. In any case, good luck! Keep us posted on how you are doing!
     
  22. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Nov 6, 2008

    This is my 2nd year teaching 1st grade. Last year, I often felt like you. :(

    But I promise, it DOES get easier!!! I'm not nearly as stressed out this year! The 1st year is rough... especially in 1st grade, which is very difficult to teach (despite what others may think). However, a lot of growth occurs in 1st grade-- when the kids come back in January after winter break they will seem like different kids! They'll be able to do more independent work, and won't be nearly as needy. Also, you'll be more used to the work load, and will have worked out a routine that will keep you on top of things. Please don't mentally give up yet!!!
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 7, 2008

    The 1st yr of any career is the roughest. I think you owe it to yourself to give it a full chance, meaning to not only finish up this 1st yr, but try a 2nd yr. 4th or 5th gr may be much more enjoyable for you.

    I completely understand your feelings. I was a resourse specialist for a yr. Not only was that my 1st yr teaching, but brand new to teaching speical ed, so I was the only type of teacher on my campus, which is how it usually is when you're a special ed teacher.

    I'm curious about something. At my school, new teachers were evaluated (by the principal) 2x's during that yr. Has your principal evaluated you yet & if so, what were his/her comments? Does the principal feel that you have great potential & doing well for your 1st yr or does the principal feel that you're really struggling or need a lot of improvement?

    For me personally, I know that teaching is not my passion. I've always wanted a career working w/ kids, just not a teacher. I know I'd be an excellent teacher after I get the hang of it, meaning teaching for at least 3 yrs or so, but a person has to ENJOY what they do too. I decided to rtn back to school to get into speech pathology. I can still work w/ kids & in the school setting, but I think I'll enjoy it more.

    In the meantime, just make the best of it. Teaching is a job that can easily take over your home life, wknd life, free time, etc. if you let it, so when you walk off that campus, clear your mind of work stuff & think about other things. Listen to relaxing music & enjoy your drives home. Take a diff route so you have a change of pace. Tk home as little work as possible on the wknds. Try to do fun things! No one's ever too old to go to an amusement park, so grab your BF, spouse, or best gal pal & have fun screaming on those roller coasters & let out that stress & frustration! You'll be surprised what that can do! :D If you don't work out at a gym, do yoga, or some other kind of fitness routine, you should get into that.

    Just because you go to school & put in the work & effort to become a teacher, that definitely doesn't mean you have to stay a teacher for the rest of your life. If you're really not happy after giving it a full chance, switch careers because life is way too short not to enjoy what you do for a living!

    Good luck! :)
     
  24. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Nov 8, 2008

    Hey Peachyness, I went from half day Kinder last year (my first year as an intern) to full day Kinder this year as well. Actually I got moved to another school three weeks ago. It IS a lot more work for me and I have been feeling very overwhelmed and exhausted lately, doubting my choice of profession sometimes like other posters. Thankfully the kids are so sweet (I have 30 with only help for one hour in the afternoon) so that's what gets me through. The advice from so many people plus the constant observations, suggestions, without any positive reinforcement (and sometimes threats that I can be fired if the P doesn't like me) can sometimes get me down. Reading everyone else's troubles makes me feel that I'm not alone at least! I'm going to stick it out because I love working with children. Thanks for sharing everyone.
     
  25. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Nov 8, 2008

    Great advice Ms. I! :)
     
  26. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 9, 2008

    Thanks! :)
     
  27. magistra_k

    magistra_k New Member

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    Nov 9, 2008

    WOW, I joined this forum because I feel exactly like the original poster. I can't decide if this profession is really for me. Going to read through the responses now... just wanted the original poster to know he or she isn't alone in his or her feelings AT ALL. If I could quit at Christmas, I'd be happy too.
     
  28. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2008

    I understand how you feel and if heaven forbid you decide to leave teaching you will be able to get a job after all you have GREAT communication skills, you taught! but for now take some time don't think about school and pamper yourself!
     
  29. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Nov 9, 2008

    This has been a really facinating thread ...

    I've taught a number of different areas over the past 20-something years: Speech pathology, Deaf Ed, Dyslexia, Resource, General Ed, Pre-K, and ED students. Each time I began a new area, I felt a certain amount of anxiety and insecurity. I needed help, mentors, and reassurances. But I always knew that teaching was what I wanted to do, what I was meant to do, where my calling was.

    My husband, on the other hand, taught for 4 years before coming to the conclusion that he was in the wrong field. He went back to school and retrained in another field, and found a different career.

    My point, I suppose, is this: I am very happy with teaching, and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would. But I also know that teaching is not for everyone. Like my husband, some may find that they need to pursue different options. (However, he did give it some time before changing.)

    My suggestion is this: take a careful look at what you like and don't like about teaching. If you really enjoy working with the students, but are dissatisfied by other issues, such as a heavy workload, feelings of inadequacy, or classroom management problems, then you might do well to continue on for at least another year. If you enjoy the act of teaching, all of the other issues can be addressed and eventually overcome. From someone who has spent a lifetime doing it, teaching is, even with all of it's shortcomings, a fantastically rewarding experience. I go home knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of children.

    However, if it is the act of teaching, of delivering instruction, that you truly do not like, then maybe you really are in the wrong field. Teaching is not for everyone. If you truly think that, even if you become comfortable with the curriculum, students, and organization, that you just do not like teaching, then maybe you are in the wrong profession. It's not something to feel badly about; just as not everyone is meant to be a pilot or doctor or computer programmer, some people are just not meant to be teachers.

    Just my :2cents:
     
  30. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 10, 2008

    I don't know...I really don't think what you're feeling is typical. It is normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, etc. It's my first year, too, and I feel stressed and unprepared every day. So do my closest friends, who are also in their first year of teaching. However, as we had happy hour together last week, sharing crazy stories about our students, we all agreed: teaching is absolutely crazy, but there is nothing in the world that we would rather be doing.

    If you're actually feeling depressed, and you didn't experience these feelings before becoming a full-time teacher, then that isn't ok. To feel physically ill on Sundays in anticipation of Monday is not ok. You need to take care of yourself. I'm sure it does get easier, but it really sounds like you might need to try a new career path. Maybe you do just need to try another grade level, like many others recommended. Is it possible for you to observe in other classrooms, perhaps a middle school room?

    I just can't imagine, if you really hate it this much, to go through another entire year to find out you hate teaching as a career, versus just hating your grade level. It's ok to switch careers-tons of teachers leave the field for the very same reasons you have listed. I'm not trying to encourage you to do so; I'm just surprised that everyone so far has told you to stick with it. It really just might not be for you.
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 11, 2008

    teacherstudent1, since you say that in the past 20-something years, you've taught Speech pathology, Deaf Ed, Dyslexia, Resource, General Ed, Pre-K, and ED students, do you have at least 2 Masters degrees? :) I'm just curious because I have an MA in Special Ed & 2 teaching credentials (mild/mod disabilities AND multiple subjects) & I was a resource specialist for a yr. Now, I want to switch gears to be a speech-language pathologist in which you need a Masters, so I'm working towards getting an MS in Comm Disorders & Sciences w/ focus in Speech-Lang Pathology. I should have my 2nd Masters degree in 2013.

    Between resource & speech pathology, what have been your greatest challenges? Which of those two do you like better & why?

    (I PM'd you too in case you don't see this post.)
     
  32. ecteacher

    ecteacher Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2008

    If it makes anyone feel better, I am probably putting my two weeks in at the end of the year.
    I'm a burned-out first year teacher and I've basically had it.

    I have NO idea what I'm gonna do, I am currently looking for new jobs. My main beef is having no support from administrators when students decide to get violent and make threats. There is no reason/excuse for this. I do not deserve this and in a school environment like that I do not feel as if I am able to teach.
     
  33. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Nov 13, 2008

    I like this thread. I like hearing that I'm not alone. I was just talking to my husband tonight about how, at this point, I don't know if I want to keep teaching after this year.

    I like the actual teaching part. I don't mind spending time grading and planning. I like having lots going on and having to keep organized. I am NOT liking this classroom management thing. I don't have the patience for it. It's not that I get mad or lose my temper, it's that I think it is ridiculous the way these teens behave and I don't want to waste my emotions or anger on them.

    I believe that people should be responsible for themselves and have expressed this to my students. They are only wasting their time. I wish I could kick them out of class when they start cutting up; they clearly don't want to be there anyways and are only disrupting others. This may be bad, but I secretly hope that some of my students would ditch each day. They are not interested in participating on days they attend, so why should they make it hard for everyone else to learn?

    Just like the OP, I too spend most of my days with that constant nervous feeling. I am just surviving each day waiting for the weekend, but I really only have Fri. night to relax, as by Sat., I'm already nervous again for the things I need to accomplish by Monday. And Mon. morning is the worst. I NEVER feel prepared. Not having a classroom only contributes to this feeling. I hate it.

    And if this is how I'm going to feel everyday, I don't think I want to teach after this year either. :(
     
  34. smilingteacher

    smilingteacher Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2008

    I know the feeling. This first year is rough! I really feel overwhelmed with the paper load. The parents. ect. I like my job and what I do. But, sometimes I just cant get them to be quiet. I tried many things. I finally had the talkers to stay during their recess. I stayed with them, and they finally got quiet. I think its very important to try many diffrent things and find what works. I try to deal with the problems myself and ask someones if am unsure or just dont know what to do.

    Teaching is a sheer joy, but the discipline sucks.
     
  35. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Nov 14, 2008

    Raneydae, like the advice that has been given to others, you might want to try another grade level before giving up on teaching all together. Planning and grading is 1/2 the battle, so if you don't mind that and you can get your classroom under control, it sounds like things would be great!! Middle school is classically difficult kids. I don't know if you would like high school more because the kids are more responsible, or if you would enjoy elementary school more because the kids are more eager to learn and are generally have less "attitude". Maybe you could even observe teachers with different grades...or just differnt classroom managment techniques. Good luck!!
     
  36. TFox

    TFox Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2008

    Raneyday, I appreciate what you had to say about wasting emotions and anger on students who need discipline. My classroom management is good, but I hate doing it. With my own one or two kids I can imagine that it's not such a big deal, but keeping a class of 25 students constantly in line and on task is emotionally draining. This is one of my biggest problems with teaching. I don't enjoy the role of the police officer. I see teachers with classes that are more difficult than mine dealing with it in different ways. Some take quick strolls through the staff office, others just look bagged at the end of the day and vent with other staff members.
     
  37. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Nov 26, 2008

    I replied to Ms.I privately so as not to hijack this thread.

    I agree that you need more than endless advice. One of the best programs I participated in allowed us to observe other classes once a month as a part of improving certain aspects of our teaching. Every two months we focused on three different teacher behaviors, so it wasn't overwhelming.

    Maybe you could approach your supervisor and ask for the opportunity to observe other master teachers' classes a few times, as well as participate in several conferences with them. The program I participated in probably no longer exists, (it was called TESA), but any kind of regular collaboration and support would help.

    I also get together with certain teachers once in a while for dinner and/or drinks. It's good to get away from the building and share in a more relaxing setting some of the frustrations and sometimes ridiculous things that happen.

    And yes, the longer you teach, the more resources you have, both materially and mentally. What you once struggled with becomes second nature; you find you can make changes as needed "on the fly;" you stress less over the stuff you can't control, and learn what absolutely must be done and what is secondary. And you find your own comfort zone and teaching style.

    But it does take time. You might find that this is not for you; but then again, given the chance, you may find this is the most rewarding thing you can do with your life.

    Good luck to all of you!
     
  38. 1st Grade

    1st Grade New Member

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    Sep 12, 2009

    I feel your pain!

    TornTeacher,

    I feel the same as you! First year, first grade. Nice team to work with/ok kids, few behaviors. I feel it is too much responsibility and overwhelmed and not capable of what I am supposed to do:(. I can't decide on curriculum ideas, my brain is shot at the end of the day, and I cry alot! Not happy like I used to be. I feel this isn't where I am supposed to be, and I am very sad. I do like teaching but the classroom aspect I don't think is for me. Not sure what to do...it has only been 3 weeks and I am thinking of quitting, that's horrible. I can definitely relate...just praying for a miracle and for guidance as to what to do next.

    First Grade
     
  39. petit_ecole

    petit_ecole Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2009

    I'm not sure if any of you have read 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12? It's a good book, and there are different series, even for parents :) I'm not currently a teacher, but plan to go into teaching soon. I was a recruiter once, and I realized then that so many adults have grown up not having a lot of real guidance or focus. This is why I'm going into teaching....to make right of some of the things that had gone wrong in the educational system. It's sad to hear that many of us find teaching already daunting, and perhaps I'm out of line by saying this since I'm not in the same position; but if we give up on these children now when it's such a crucial time for them to learn and find their way, then we're giving up on society.
     
  40. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Sep 12, 2009

    The first year of teaching is very difficult for everyone. There is so much you are never taught about handling discipline,parents,paperwork. administrators and so on.You cannot make a decision to leave teaching in three weeks.
    Find someone on your grade to work with and go to them for advice.Try to observe what they do and have them critique what you are doing.
    You will not perform miracles for the children,but can only give them the best you can. Don't let the job overwhelm you.you also need to set aside time for activities with your family and friends. Good Luck.
     
  41. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

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    Sep 12, 2009

    The following is paraphrased advice from my administrator:

    You need to determine whether or not you want to teach. If you are struggling but really want to teach, then you should stick around and see how the year goes. The first year is the hardest year for ALL teachers. Many first year teachers cry at the end of each day, have doubts about their ability to cope as an educator and think about quitting. These feelings are common for nearly all new teachers, and you shouldn't feel that you're alone in having these feelings of inadequacy.

    If you really don't want to teach at all and know within your heart that this profession isn't for you, then there really is no reason to stay in the field because the job is tough enough for even the committed. There is no good reason to remain a teacher and be unhappy. Being unhappy will only make your days really unbearable and will eventually begin to negatively impact your instruction. Life is short, and there is no reason to torture yourself and do something that doesn't capture your passions.

     

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