Is teaching really for me?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by rtphillips, May 5, 2009.

  1. rtphillips

    rtphillips Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    I went into elementary education pumped to work with kids. I love kids, they make me laugh and have always made me feel carefree. That is, until I actually started teaching them. Not meaning to be boastful, but I have a lot of good character traits about me- I'm smart, energetic, fun, can make kids laugh, I'm a huge lover (of kids that is), athletic, musical, spontaneous, etc. But even with all the good things about me, I just don't think I'm cut out for this profession.

    I'm in my first year as a third grade teacher and I seriously don't think I want to keep going after my 2 year contract is up. I've been looking at other things that I can use my degree for, but haven't found anything I think would be enjoyable yet. I'm miserable at my job because I have to take my work home with me every stinking day. There's way too much behind the scenes crap to do, and I am not a paperwork type of person. I don't have the organizational skills to do this job, and I am not disciplined enough to keep a well managed classroom. Oh I know all the theories behind it all, but it's just not me. I am a pretty smooth operator in stressful times, but I have been driven to the brink of anxiety attacks when I have to finally plan my next week's lessons. Yeah, all the older teachers say it will get better because it did for them- but they've all got the necessary traits to be a good teacher- organization, consistency, etc. I just don't have it, and I'm looking for a job that isn't the same every day. Not to mention that the pay stinks.

    What else can I do besides working for a text book company? I just don't enjoy education. I have no passion for it anymore.
     
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  3. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2009

    Sorry to read this about what you are going through right now. How about teaching adults at community colleges?
    I hope things will get better for you.
    Sending prayers your way,
    Rebel1
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 6, 2009

    It's unfortunate that your teacher education program didn't let you know about how much paperwork there is, how much time you'd likely spend doing stuff at home during your first year, and how important classroom management is. It's been my experience that teacher education programs often fail to address those issues, even though they're HUGE issues for teachers.

    If teaching at your current level isn't your thing, you have a few other options. First, you might be able to teach at a community college or in an adult education program. If you don't have enough credits to do that, you might be closer than you think. Teaching adult learners is different from teaching kids, and you might not have to deal with the same sorts of problems.

    If your district is large enough, you could consider a move to the central office. Working in curriculum development or implementation might be fulfilling without the struggles of having to maintain your own classroom.

    Beyond that, you might have to move beyond the field of education.
     
  5. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    May 7, 2009

    Maybe consider a switch from classroom teaching to one-on-one or small group situations? Resource room, interventions, tutoring? Pay can be similar and I have found that it works much better for me.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 8, 2009

    Sorry to read about your situation, but teaching's not for everyone even once they get into it. It's honestly not my passion either, yet I got a Master's degree in Special Ed. (That's probably why I'm back in school to get a 2nd Masters to get into speech pathology which I think I'll like much better). I've been a sub for quite a while, but I don't want to do that forever either & I need something more stable & permanent.

    I love kids too, when they're respectful, well behaved, & want to learn, otherwise, forget them!

    This might make you feel a little better. Yrs ago, I read somewhere that the average person has 7 careers in their lifetime. It's probably a lot more than that these days.

    Unfortunately, you can't do too much else w/ a teaching degree other than teach. No one's ever too old to return to school, so if that's what it will take to have a happier & more fulfilling career life, then do it!

    Good luck!
     
  7. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    May 8, 2009

    That's a hard one. You want to be able to get up in the morning and say, I'm going to school, not, I have to go to work". My best advice is keep what you have if it won't commit you for longer than you want to be. I mean, a job is a job these days! In the meantime, look at places like Rebel1 said--a community college, another grade level, etc. Good luck.
     
  8. ANoelle

    ANoelle New Member

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    May 8, 2009

    RtPhillips -

    Unfortunately teaching isn't for everyone, and I agree with an earlier poster that it's unfortunate that your teacher preparation program didn't make you well aware of the extra paperwork that goes along with the profession. Many of my professors stressed to us that this is not an 8-4 job - it involves nights and weekends as well. The good news is that if you teach in third grade again next year, your planning time will be significantly reduced. You'll already have many lessons and ideas ready to go. Everyone I've talked to says that each year gets easier and easier. Mayber it wouldn't be a bad idea to stick it out until the end of your contract to see if you like it after the first year.

    Whatever you decide, make sure it's what you really want to do.
    ANoelle
     
  9. DaMaddHatter

    DaMaddHatter Rookie

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    May 8, 2009

    I love kids too, when they're respectful, well behaved, & want to learn, otherwise, forget them!

    HaHaHa--Good One! That's rich!


    So many folks get into teaching because they "love kids" only to find out that such a trait is a minor piece of the puzzle--if it has any bearing on the career at all.

    As for teacher education programs, I think many do a terrible job of preparing teacher. They seem more of a place where former teachers who were too liberal to work in the public school can spout their ideology unchallenged. Then, the new teacher has to get over the dissallusionment awating them in the real world. I always advice young people to seek the path that requires them to spend the least amount of time in college classes--then, they will have less to "unlearn" when they get a job.

    Okay, look: the pay is not that bad, and the benefits are great. The work IS hard, but it's not exactly shoveling coal, either. I'm just saying, in this day and age, we should be thankful to have what we do.

    Don't get me wrong; you definitely should NOT stay in education if you are not passionate. This happens to many teachers, and you can always tell the ones punching the clock. But you should also consider that at this time of year, you are fried. My suspicion is that somewhere in July, when you roll out of bed around noon-ish to find that a full paycheck has once again been deposited into your account, you might feel differently. Give it some time and see what happens.
     
  10. 123456now

    123456now Rookie

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    May 8, 2009


    I just had to respond to this -- when I was still teaching, I used to hope that some miracle would occur and someone would let me dig ditches to fulfill the rest of my contract. In case that didn't happen, I prayed on the way to school for a wreck that wouldn't kill me, just hurt me bad enough to leave me in the hospital until the end of May.

    Luckily, I found out that I do love teaching and kids. I just hate spending my day with smart-mouthed, lazy, uncaring kids. I'll take the ones that are respectful and actually care about learning any day. How did I achieve that? I had my own! :D
     
  11. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    May 8, 2009

    I HATED MY FIRST TWO YEARS OF TEACHING! The principal was on my back.the students didn't care to learn.their behavior was awful,I went home ready to quit everyday.
    Somehow,I stuck it out and found i really liked the job.found many great kids to work with,found some very friendly and cute teachers to work with,one of whom I married and won a number of awards for teaching.I am not saying teaching is for everyone.but I don't think one year is enough time to really make a life changing decision.
     
  12. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    May 8, 2009

    OK since we're on the topic of awful thoughts...I've been secretly wishing for my school to close for swine flu! Some local schools have and I was soooo hoping...:eek:

    I'm at the end of my second year and have days where I think, man, I STINK at this! But then there are the moments (rarely whole days) where it is such a fun and cool job...when does it get easier?!
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 8, 2009

    My SO has been teaching for 25 years and STILL counts off the days till the end of the term...and actually does a little jig in his office when he's done inputting grades.

    It does get easier. When every day isn't new, when every class is something you've done before, when you've taught the same lesson enough times to know what works and what doesn't and you know how to switch gears mid-stream if you have to. I'm pretty much on auto-pilot for some of my classes, but others still have me tied up in knots. The difference is the number of times I've taught a particular prep.
     

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