I think I'm done with teaching...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nikkiski21, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    11

    Nov 20, 2015

    Yes, I am a first year teacher. Yes, I know the first year is hard and it's supposed to get better but I am so unhappy. I chose education thinking I would love teaching Language Arts (my favorite subject) and being around kids. I also chose it, though, because I was pushing four years in school without a major and because 'creative writing' wasn't a viable career option.

    I have my long work days, I hate taking loads of work home with me, I hate that I can't just teach! I have to collect data for OTES and TBT and my Growth Plan and all sorts of other acronyms and how do I have time to do all of this?! I'm burnt out! I want to have a life outside of my job....so many teachers at my school consider their career their life and I don't feel that way.

    Is there anything else I can do with my degree? I have a bachelor's in middle childhood education. I thought about maybe looking into becoming a media specialist and working in a library or something. I just can't do this anymore. The stress is killing me.
     
  2.  
  3. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    63

    Nov 20, 2015

    My advice is before you make an concrete decisions about quitting, finish out the year. From Aug-Nov of my first year (last year) I was miserable. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, the paperwork was a nightmare, and I was just so stressed out and unhappy.

    Things shifted and got much better around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now I am much happier in my second year. I still sometimes have doubts about whether I want to teach long term, but for right now I am mostly happy with how things are going. It took a year to figure out most of the paperwork and get comfortable enough that it wasn't a constant source of stress. Now it's annoyance, haha!

    If, at the end of this year you still feel really strongly about it, then by all means look at a media specialist certification. Some people are much happier in non-classroom jobs and that is 100% okay!
     
  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    Nov 20, 2015

    I agree, don't make any decisions now, especially this time of year -- we are all feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted! Once that first winter break hits, you might feel a world of difference.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Nov 20, 2015

    The first year can be hard. Really hard. Being a new teacher is a lot like building an airplane while flying it.

    I think that you would later regret making the decision to quit now.

    If you can get through this first year, I think that you'll be fine. Turn to your colleagues for support. Get support here. Find resources that have already been created so that you're not doing more work than you have to. Your lessons, bulletin boards, decorations, and organization may not be perfect this year. That's okay. Do the best you can and make some notes to yourself as you go, perhaps in a journal, about what you can try differently or how you can improve next year.

    I will add that different schools have different vibes. Being at a "bad" school (by whatever definition you're using) is hard. Sometimes a change in scenery can make all the difference. I switched schools and positions this year, and I honestly couldn't be happier about where I'm at and what I'm doing. I've been burning out for the past few years, so I feel completely re-energized this year, and it feels really good.
     
    yellowdaisies and MissCeliaB like this.
  6. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 23, 2015

    I'll echo what everyone is saying about finishing your first year, and then deciding where to go from there. I've been teaching for several years now, and it really does get better in time. I remember going home and nearly having a break down from being stressed and overwhelmed daily. I couldn't sleep at night and would dread having to get up for work in the morning. Now I absolutely love teaching. I think for me it was a combination of of gaining experience to make planning/prepping easier and finding the right fit for a position (I'm teaching special education and love it). All the best!
     
  7. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    29

    Nov 23, 2015

    I don't disagree with any of the previous posts that suggest waiting until the end of your first year to reflect on what you want to do next, but I've notice a growing trend with school districts; It seems they have been (around here) getting rid of the older teachers while bringing in younger teachers and piling on the work. Unlike the veteran teachers, they don't realize that they're steadily adding duties to the job and placing higher demands on the position. This is resulting in higher turnover and burnout. But school districts don't care about that....higher turnover means they get to hire a new teacher at the bottom of the salary scale again. They're steadily turning it into a factory/fast-food job.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
    BioAngel and otterpop like this.
  8. resourcestress

    resourcestress Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 23, 2015

    I understand, I feel like a glorified babysitter. I teach special ed high school, and my students do not retain anything new. I continue to teach, for no other reason than I need an income. Yes this is sad. I do try and try to create active lessons, & strategies for my students, for the most part we have a good time even tho they have no idea what the concept means. My problem is the parents, there are no consequences. Hang in there.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,875
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Nov 23, 2015

    I agree with this with all of my heart :blueheart:.

    I will echo the "it gets better" sentiment, but also say that it might not get as good as you want it / need it to be. I am a second year full time teacher, and this year has been much easier in many ways - however, the bureaucracy doesn't get any better. You just get better at dealing with it and managing your classroom. You know the system better, but that doesn't mean that it actually is any better. Finish out the year if you can, think about your experience with the education industry, and if it's not for you, try something else. I don't believe in staying in a field that makes you unhappy.

    If you're just considering switching this job that you sort of like for another job that you'll sort of like, think about the other parts of the job that make you happy before you switch. I make around 40k, am under 30, and very few of my friends make what I make (the exception is someone who went into nursing). Plus, I get summers off. It's not too bad of a deal. I think that while a desk job would be easier in a lot of ways, I'd miss the fast pace of teaching.
     
    Bibliophile likes this.
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,894
    Likes Received:
    1,731

    Nov 24, 2015

    Agreed. Everyone in my building, regardless of how long we have been teaching, is overwhelmed and stressed right now. We don't have a break until Christmas and we are all just hanging on, some better than others! Try to finish out the year. Use any and all supports that are available to you. Be sure to take some time every week to take care of yourself--a night out, a glass or two of wine curled up with a good book, a Saturday night movie. You can do this!
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,833
    Likes Received:
    145

    Nov 24, 2015

    My first (& only year teaching), I was an RSP teacher, which is a type of special ed teacher. It went OK & I had just earned my MA in Special Ed, but I'm glad I got out of that quickly to switch gears & pursue Speech-Language Pathology, which meant going back to school. I finally just very recently graduated from that, but there's a bit more to do. My two grad degrees go hand-in-hand, so I'm glad it wasn't a waste getting my first grad degree.

    Not everyone who enters the field is meant to be a teacher. I never wanted to be one. I just stumbled into it somehow.
     
  12. mrbooknampa

    mrbooknampa Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    3

    Nov 30, 2015

    I too felt like that for quite some years. I now can nearly relax through the whole day and instead of taking xanax to calm me down in the past, I take caffeine pills to energize me. It may be brainwashing, but I do enjoy this fantastic career that allows me to work with and inspire youth.
     
  13. Culturanta

    Culturanta Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    4

    Dec 1, 2015


    You and I are the same person teaching in the same school. I feel exactly the same way. I am also a HS special education teacher, all cross-cat. I too feel like my students are learning nothing. I am captive to a curriculum dictated by the district and don't have the freedom to meet my students' needs as specified by their IEPs. I am totally burnt out and ready to leave the classroom, or at least this particular environment.
     
  14. Boba

    Boba Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 1, 2015

    I hear you. This is like my 10th year working with kids and my 5th year as a couns
    I cannot speak for everyone but I feel that's happening with me. Granted I'm a counselor and not a teacher though. I'm at an elementary school and feel like most of my day is spent being a proxy administrator because the administrators are too busy with paper work to deal with behavior problems. At my current school almost every hour is spent babysitting kids getting thrown out of class or running around trying to climb the fence. I'm the RTI coordinator having to send invites to all the meetings to parents, to staff, run the meetings, and do the minutes on the meetings. An admin is at all the meetings but they have never once have led the meetings or ran the meetings. WTF? If I knew being an admin was just about assigning your own work to the person under you, I should have done that! If a parent doesn't show up to the meetings, or if a teacher is late, the admin looks at me and regularly says "did they know?". Again WTF?! Parents were invited weeks ago and teachers were given the schedule well over a month ago. My job isn't to be a counselor/dean/security guard/secretary. To "humor" me, I'm given some time to run groups and do guidance lessons but this is maybe only 4-5 hours a week. Today for instance I started a group.My admin KNEW this was my time to work with kids. They sent 3 boys who hurt each others feelings with me saying that they were to see me and not the admin. Why would you do that when you knew I was running a group?

    I'm new to the district and feel that yeah it is deliberate to give rookies at the school impossible tasks, difficult students, and just passing on duties. I've liked school counseling but I'm not sure if I'm burnt out in general of working at a school or if it's just this school. Assuming it's just the school I really hope I could get a transfer in next year.
     
  15. Historyct

    Historyct Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 2, 2015

    I agree with the member who said that maybe you just need a change in scenery.

    I'm a first year teacher also, and I'm experiencing similar stress. Is the administration supportive? It doesn't sound like it is. Otherwise, they would at least give some instruction or guidance on the data collection. My admin just got around to giving me a mentor that I was supposed to be assigned four months ago to complete the data-based state program needed to advance my cert. Meanwhile, peers of mine in other districts have abundant support from their admin (weekly meetings, handbooks, etc). If this support doesn't exist, it's time to switch schools. You need that support, especially as a first year teacher. I'm powering through, but I actively search for openings every day. Every school is different.
     
  16. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,926
    Likes Received:
    154

    Dec 3, 2015

    This is the worst part of teaching now days.........the collection of data.......which is now the engine that drives the whole train it would seem.
    You have my sympathy. I see long time teachers who can TEACH being brought to their knees with this nonsense.......
     
  17. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    9

    Dec 4, 2015

    I have to agree that it gets better. You as a teacher will adapt and become better at handling things. And a change of scenery doesn't help -- there certainly are good and bad schools, as well as subjects/grade levels we are individually better suited to.

    Then again, stress is not exactly great for you, and if you don't think you can handle the everyday stress of teaching (the veteran teachers I know are still extremely stressed out), that's reason enough to look for another job. We all handle stress differently -- some better than others. Your degree will always be an asset to you, if you decide to change career paths.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. johnsimon,
  3. TeacherNY
Total: 642 (members: 3, guests: 620, robots: 19)
test