I'm thinking about quitting

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Scientifical_3, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Scientifical_3

    Scientifical_3 Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Ok so I have been teaching for going on 3 weeks now and this is my first year. I have never been this stressed in all my life and everytime I turn around there is another job that needs to be done. Maybe I just am not cut out to be a teacher. I kind of got that feeling at the end of the first week, that I was in the wrong profession. So I recommitted the start of the second week, telling myself this what you want to do ya big dummy. That lasted all of half a day and I was miserable again. Now I have missed 2 days because I got sick for the first time in about 10 years. I dread going in day after day. The last day I was at school one of my students came up and asked Mr. ? why do you always look so sad? I didnt know what to say. If the students can tell I am miserable everyone else can too. I think it is time for me to move on. Maybe its just the school I am at or maybe its teaching in general. I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice?
     
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  3. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I just finished up my first year of teaching so I feel what you're going through! I wouldn't give up so easily! Until you develop a rhythm and system to handle to overhwleming amount of paperwork, stuff/organization etc etc. I guess what you need to ask yourself, is it the teaching itself and the kids that is getting you down, or is it the paperwork/stuff that needs done?

    If it's a paperwork thing get some students to help you! They are in middleschool and can handle that, especially if they have studyhalls. I know I always hated being in studyhall, the few times I did end up having it b/c I was always up on my homework and stuff so I would be a teacher's aide. He'd have us grade papers/tests etc.

    You're like me being in denial about being sick! I always thought I had an awesome immune system, rairly would I get sick except for seasonal allergies. Kids, no matter what age are just germ carriers! lol Since I'm an art teacher I luckily am always washing my hands.

    I know there are some great books that I've seen online about surviving the first year, maybe get one of those for yourself.
    They always teach you how to teach etc but they never teach you how to do everything else that comes along with it!

    Stick it out! I had a really bad first year with behavior probs, a non supportive principal, shady evals. I was at my union more than once. You'll feel better once you've got a year under your belt and you'll be going back for me..only more prepared as to what the hell you've gotten yourself in to! :D
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I'm sorry that you are going through this. The first year is hard on every new teacher just because your getting your feet wet with the student behaviors, curriculum, duties, paperwork, and anything else that happens to come up during the course of the day, week, month, year.
    Samothracegave some great advice on getting the students to help you with grading, filing, errands, anything else that they can do for you.

    My first year was in kinder, and it was horrible!! I hated going in every day. It got the point where I was getting sick because I didn't want to go. That could be one of the reasons why you are getting sick as well. If you haven't been around kids much before this, then your immune system will need some time to develop immunity against their germs.

    I would say that 3 weeks isn't enough to make a decision that you aren't cut out for teaching. I would see how you feel at the end of the year before making a decision.
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Aug 28, 2008

    If you do not have a mentor, please see your principal immediately and get recommendations for someone to advise you. See an experienced teacher and have some important talks. Or bounce ideas off another new teacher. Nobody understands the struggles of a new teacher like another new teacher! It's important to get colleague support. If you have specific issues due to organization, grading, etc. post here and I'm sure you'll get lots of answers. Hang in there.
     
  6. msmath

    msmath Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2008

    What specifically do you not like? Are the kids out of control? Administration wearing you down? What exactly is the problem? If we know that , maybe we can give suggestions. The thing is, I don't think it's fair to the kids to walk out on them. They might not get a perm. teacher for a long time. they will lose out on a lot of time where they should be learning.

    Teaching is extremely hard, especially the first year. It does get easier. I promise. I wanted to quit many times my first year, but in the back of my head I knew I wouldn't do that to the kids. If it's really horrible and stressing you out, you have to do what is best for you, but I strongly suggest trying to stick it out for the year. Say ok I'll give myself until Election Day..CHristmas, Winter break..March..etc. Try to figure out what you don't like and try to find a solution to it. Ask here or other teachers. Find a mentor and a support system. Give yourself time outside of school for yourself. You need to ake sure you take care of yourself! Good luck.

    Again, really try to think about what you don't like. What can you fix? What can you do to maker the situation better for you and your class?
     
  7. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I'm a newbie too, so I really can't advise you (I don't start until next week), but I can tell you to INVEST in Airborne (the multi-vitamin..it's almost like a flavored alka-seltzer). It saved me in student teaching. I was sick within two weeks of starting, got over that and then started to get sick again... one of the teachers recommended it, and I was less sick the rest of the time than I normally am. And it helps you to be more alert, too.

    Good luck, and hang in there! Maybe this weekend you should sit down and do a pros/cons list. Then take your cons and think of a way to turn them around. If you can't, then post them here... I know the people on this board will help you!
     
  8. crayoncaper

    crayoncaper Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2008

    I am in my first year and I feel the exact same way. My kids are running over me more than they should. I keep reminding myself that this is my first year, and to just go day to day. I ask people for help when I need it, and make sure to ask questions. I am sure the admin is fed up, haha. I have made a few mistakes with paperwork already. Just remember, you can do this. Be consistent and be aware. Keep them busy. Do something you love when you get home. Do not take anything personal. Just take it as a way to improve. I have days where I think I am made for this, and days where I want to just dissapear. I cried today. And last week.
    It will be alright.
     
  9. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Definitely dont give up yet. Last year was my 1st year and yes it is hard. You learn something new everyday, and every year for that matter. Things will change from year to year, you just have to expect it. It is a lot of work and frustration, but you obviously became a teacher for a reason. So stick it out, and like other people have said, figure out what it is that is getting to you and try to think of ways to fix those problems.
     
  10. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse Companion

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Don't give up yet. Last year was also my first year and I was ready to quit the profession for the first four weeks or so. In fact, I was searching the internet to try to find jobs that I could do with my degree other than teaching. I was so overwhelmed that I even cried in front of the principal the third week of school. (Yeah, I am sure she was confident in her hiring choice at that point....:eek: )

    I agree with the idea that you need to find someone at the school to talk to, even if it is not a mentor. I never got a mentor last year, but I found other teachers who I could commiserate with and bounce ideas off of. I would never have made it through the year without the help and support of my fellow teachers.

    I feel you pain but I think you will be much happier if you stick it out, because as I learned... if you can make it through this year you can do anything!:love:
     
  11. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Aug 29, 2008

    Last year was also my first year and I cannot tell you how many times I (and a fellow newbie @ my school) wanted to quit. There were times I literally drove home crying because I didn't know if I could handle it all. I lost tons of weight, got sick, and was miserable. I stayed and I'm happy I did.

    Today was the 1st day of my 2nd year. I found it was for me. But be true to yourself. Only you know what's best for you.
     
  12. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Aug 29, 2008

    I know exactly how you feel. My first year was horrible - the kids walked all over me, my administration and fellow teachers gave me absolutely no help and I couldn't keep up with the paperwork, let alone do it properly. By the end of the year, I seriously doubted whether teaching was the career for me. I even looked for jobs outside the field.

    Luckily, I didn't find one and took a job teaching at a different school the following year and ended up LOVING it. It was such a different experience than what I was used to. I became friends with another new teacher and we ended up bouncing ideas off of each other, planning together and making sure we were both caught up on paperwork.

    I'm now entering my third year at yet a different school (I'm an employee of the district, not a specific school). And I can honestly say I love what I do.

    I would give it a little more time. Talk honestly with your administration...I'm not sure how it works where you are, but here they are all former classroom teachers and for the most part, they remember what it's like. Or, seek out a senior teacher in your department or at your grade level. I've found that, as teachers, we are almost programmed to help others :)
     
  13. Scientifical_3

    Scientifical_3 Rookie

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    Thanks for the replies and the support.

    I do have a mentor teacher, but she is so busy we rarely get a chance to talk. My grade level partner is the same way. She is the chair of the Science committee at school, along with sitting on 3 or 4 other committees. Her life is the school.

    I had a heart to heart with the principal Monday of this week. Let her know where things were standing at the moment. She understood and was glad I talked to her. I could tell she was let down. I told her right now I just don't have the "fire or gut ache" to be a teacher. She told me if I didn't feel it by December maybe I should look at changing careers.

    I have already been looking around for other jobs. And I thought long and hard about teaching all this week. The more I have thought about it, the more I think maybe it's just this school I am not fitting into. Everyone will answer questions when I ask them and I get along with most the faculty. The administration is a bit of a different story.

    I was told in my interview they did walk thru's and checked on the teachers. I never knew it was at the level it is though. This week alone, I had the principal (2x's), an assistant principal (3x's), a lady from the district (2x's), the curriculum guy from the district (2x's) and the superintendent in my classroom. They do more than walk thru. They usually stay for 15-25 minutes of a 55 minute class. It has been this was every week since I have been there so far. Is this a regular practice?

    Also the classroom management strategies I used and learned during my student teaching can't be used here because they adopted a ridiculous school wide plan about 3 days before school started.

    Have any of you known teachers who quit early during the year?
     
  14. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2008

    Unfortunately, you may get a lot more walk thrus since you told the principal that you think teaching may not be for you. I would think they would like to make sure that you are still "teaching" their students.

    I cried for the first half of the school year whenever someone asked me how things were going the first time I had a self-contained class (how embarrassing). Three years later....I love it. Maybe the school isn't the right fit for you, but I would suggest giving it more time, unless you feel like you will never go back to teaching.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    The number of walk-throughs could be because you are a new teacher. I know that the principal of the school I taught at a few years ago always came in the rooms of all the new teachers, even if you had taught elsewhere. Teachers quit early in the year, mid-year, and before school is over. Only you know what you are capable of handling.
     
  16. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    I wish I had had principals like that my first year last year! I was never observed by the one, but she felt confident enough in what she thought she knew about me to tell my other principal who was doing my evaluation. The only times he came in were the required minimum for my review, and I REALLY needed their support last year. I'm hoping this year, things will be different though.
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The new teacher I work with is a 2nd year teacher but new to our campus (works at our other campus) and has gotten quite a few walk thru this week. She was disappointed in one of them because they critiqued the fact that she didn't have a word wall and it is on my (aide) to do list. Since the person didn't actually talk to this teacher, she didn't have a chance to say that.
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 30, 2008

    This might be an over-generalization, but I think that the happiest teachers are those who feel prepared and in control. Both of those things take a lot of practice to achieve. Some people feel challenged and enervated by the challenge. Some might feel defeated.

    That said, being in a school where the fit seems right for you may be the most important factor of all in teacher satisfaction. There is a huge difference in the level of stress one teacher might feel in various environments.

    Therefore, I would say that you shouldn't consider giving up until you feel in control and in the right environment. If that means that you must quit to find the right environment, then that might be best for you. I, personally, wouldn't stay in a position if I felt that it was detrimental to my mental health.
     
  19. sophie1

    sophie1 Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2008

    They say you need to teach three years before making the decision whether or not to give up the teaching field. Often, the first few years are very difficult. It's normal for most everyone.

    We are asked to do a very tough job that many people do not understand. I promise that you are not alone, hang in there. It DOES get easier!!! *Be sure to seek help from teachers who have made it and love the profession. I'm rooting for you!! :angel:
     
  20. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    As a new teacher, I can so relate to your concerns. I find myself overwhelmed with all the extra secreterial stuff I have to do. My first week has consisted of 14 hr days. I am having to spend so much time in just doing paperwork & dealing with little details that you find out as situations come up. Currently my main concern is organization & staying on top of things like exceptions to my schedule i.e. library time, lab, classroom guests, GT pull outs, etc. UPSADAISY hit the nail on the head --- it's extremely important for me to be prepare & stay organize so that I have a sense of being able to focus on teaching & not worrying about all the other nuisance. One thing that has been sort of an advantage for a lack of better word is that we have alot of new teachers, new principal & new systems to input information such as grade & attendance so that everyone is having to learn & make adjustments accordingly. I also have a team who have shown much support in helping me.

    In reference to using the students, mine have helped me tremendously this week. Here are some examples, finding the rooms for specials, where they are suppose to sit in the lunchroom, how they are suppose to line up & follow, setting up procedures for borrowing class library, coming up with a list of classroom helpers, etc. This has been a great advantage for teaching 4th grade. :). My kids so far have been more than awesome!! :2up:

    Also speaking of walk throughs, our principal does walk throughs twice (2x) a week in every single classroom. As an ACP, this is on top of all the other personnel who will be coming by to observe me. No pressure, right? :lol:

    Any away, I would like to start a thread about organization tips that seasoned teachers can offer new teachers like us.
     
  21. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Teachling has described how my first week went very well. 13-hour days (at school - plus another hour or 2 at home), endless paperwork, crazy demands, and ever-changing schedules, assemblies, and permission slips for everything from picture-taking to sanitizer usage. It's insane.

    But my kids are good ;)
     
  22. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm in a private school and, really, I don't have much in the way of paperwork. Admin doesn't really require anything beyond accident reports. Since it is so small, we do have lots of parent conferences about individual kids, depending on their needs. Again, the setting makes a big difference.
     

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