Leaving teaching for new job?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by cateachergal, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. cateachergal

    cateachergal Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2008

    I am a first-year middle school teacher in my mid-twenties. I have four different classes to prep for, little support, and am totally overwhelmed. I also commute a total of 100 miles each day. The principal isn't happy with me, and I am 95% sure I will not be asked back next year. I was provided with a plan for growth, but feel like I just can't "get" it. Things are getting progressively worse, as opposed to better.

    I absolutely hated both of my student teaching experiences, and very much considered not looking for a teaching job. But I thought I should give it another chance, and now completely regret it. I know that any job requires a learning curve and stress, but it also requires passion, which I just don't have. I am passionate about my subject matter, and I am passionate about education in theory, but I just don't think teaching is my thing. I have many talents in life, but this isn't one of them. I get physically ill on Sunday nights in anticipation of the upcoming work week. I had to leave early today because I just couldn't take it.

    Anyway, enough complaining! I was informally offered a position at a place where I temped before going back to school for my credential. Nothing's written in stone, but it looks like a potentially great opportunity in a field that I'm interested in pursuing. However, it would require me to leave before the end of the school year. I feel incredibly guilty about the prospect of leaving my students, and am unsure as to what decision I should make. I am worried that if I wait until the end of the year, the position will be swept up and I will be unable to find something suitable, especially with a less than wonderful economy out there.

    Any advice?! My husband thinks I should stick it out for the rest of the year for the sake of my resume, but honestly, I don't know if I can take 3 more months!!:help:
     
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  3. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    Feb 26, 2008

    My advice would be to stick it out, also. I know it's tough, but leaving a contract in that manner will not look so good on your resume (for any job). At least it's almost spring! :) Hang in there!
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2008

    I say leave now. When opportunity knocks you have to go for it.

    If you truly don't want to return to teaching then don't worry about the resume

    Follow your heart.
     
  5. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    Feb 26, 2008

    I am in almost the same boat. If I didn't need the income, I'd absolutely leave now-unfortunately I do need it. I'd jump at the chance to start a new job now as long as I made at least as much as I'm making now. Ahh...*Sigh* it all comes down to $$ for me.
     
  6. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Well, even if you are not going for a teaching job, your resume is still important. It shows that you have follow-through.
     
  7. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Normally, I wouldn't advise anyone to quit - ever, but in this case, you have to ask yourself... if things are getting progressively worse then how is it affecting the students? If you leave, there will be 199 people lined up for your job. If you stay, you risk becoming sick and depressed. I'd say the choice is easy. Kids are resilient. If you can honestly express to a future employer that you were just not suited for the job... I don't think anything is wrong with that.

    Good luck in whatever you choose. Life is too short to be miserable.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 26, 2008

    I say leave now. This is a place that you are familiar with if you've temped there before. I would wait to resign until you know for sure that you have the other job.
     
  9. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Are you sure you really hate teaching and aren't just saying so because of the new job offer? Does the job offer look better because you are unhappy in your teaching situation?Could you possibly get a teaching position closer to your home?Do you really feel one year of teaching is enough to decide on your feelings about teaching? My first year of teaching was a disaster,but I have had many good years since.If you are positive you do not want to go back To teaching I would take the new job,however this would make it difficult if you do decide to return to teaching. Think hard about it. Good Luck!
     
  10. cateachergal

    cateachergal Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2008

    Thanks for all of your responses! I will be meeting with the manager at the other position tomorrow, so hopefully that will give me a better idea of whether or not the new job is ideal. At this point, I am not planning on quitting unless they really offer me something I can't refuse, in terms of finances and job responsibility. Yank7, I am not 100% sure that I hate teaching in every single position possible. However, after two student teaching and one teaching experiences, I've spent the past two years depressed, anxious, and going on very little sleep. I was actually diagnosed with an anxiety disorder last year, which I think has both contributed to/ been affected by my job situation. I just don't think I'm willing to spend another couple of years like this to find out if I could someday be a better teacher. Plus, the lacking of passion for it after only one year definitely doesn't help. I think there are jobs out there that would much better suit my personality/ skills, and I don't know why I didn't realize that before deciding to go back for my credential!
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2008

    You seem to be pretty sure that teaching isn't for you, so I would go with the new job. Your health, mental and physical, are more important. No one deserves to be miserable.
     
  12. cateachergal

    cateachergal Rookie

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    Mar 1, 2008

    Thanks again to everyone for their responses. Just an update...the other job opportunity didn't work out, unfortunately (pay wouldn't allow me to afford my basic expenses). I am trying to stick out the rest of the year for the resume factor and so I'll have a steady paycheck while I consider my options. I think the hardest part is that I know my administrator thinks I'm doing a poor job. I feel like other teachers are ganging up on me as well. Any advice on surviving a job where you're just plain unhappy? I dread going every day, but I realistically can't afford to quit and work fast food.
     
  13. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2008

    You've had a hard time of it, but now it's up to you.

    So, if your decision (even if made for you) is to stay, you have to make the best of it. Make it positive - every day, every lesson if need be, end with a positive. Tell the kids something good about that lesson, tell yourself something good about it. Seek out a colleague and tell them one thing you like about their room/lessons/selves. Ask them for simple advice so they have to interact with you. Smile a lot (it makes people wonder what you've been up to!) If admin have made up their mind, let that go - it's now out of your hands.

    Basically, you have to be the one to make it positive. Go out on a high!
     
  14. cateachergal

    cateachergal Rookie

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    Mrs LC, thank you so much for that advice! I think it's what I needed to hear. I know I've been feeling sorry for myself a little too much. I can either look at this as two wasted years of my life or as a positive learning experience that didn't end up exactly where I had expected. Something someone observing my class said to me a couple of weeks ago was that I'm such an upbeat person outside of school but so negative when I teach. The less ammunition I give my coworkers and principal, the better. It's hard to remain positive when you're consistently unhappy, but I agree that if I'm professional and friendly, at least maybe people will look at me as, "Lovely, hard-working gal...teaching just wasn't for her!", as opposed to, "Gosh, what a disaster...glad she's leaving!" So, that's what I'm going to try to go for.:)
     
  15. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2008

    That's the attitude!:2up:

    All the best for the remainder of your teaching career, however long or short it may be.:hugs:
     
  16. 1angel

    1angel Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2008

    You may just very well be in the wrong school, have the wrong group, etc. I know my first year I had no support and a very tough group. I remember a nasty, nasty fight occurred with a student who had a lot of problems. When I called the principal he said 'Well what do you want me to do about it?'
    It was my second week, I had still not even met my mentor-she didn't care enough to bother.

    Honestly I don't remember much about that year. I went days without talking to another adult--no one ever helped each other, there were several cliques around, but I didn't know anyone and I do not get involved in gossip like they did.

    Now mine was a little different, because administration thought I was the greatest thing ever. But that made it even harder with the other teachers. My mentor had recieved advice to observe me to help her out! Ouch.

    I have no idea now why I went back for a second year at this place. But I did ask to move to a different grade level. This grade doesn't work together as I had hoped, but they are at least nice to each other.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of your stress level comes from your long drive!

    Do you teach out of the text books or create your own lessons?
    I know I tried hard to create everything and I was given advice to forgive myself and teach from the book all but one lesson a week. When I did this I freed up a lot of my time and that helped me a lot. Now this year, now that I have my own routines down I rarely touch the textbook.

    Do you have the students help as much as they can? I have students take a LOT of responsibility. I don't clean anywhere but my desk and my teaching supplies. I have a classroom job for each student that they have to be responsible. Most of the jobs are trivial, but it takes just that much responsibility off of me. I have board writers, choosers, paper passer outers, floor cleaners, desk straighteners... on and one with silly mundane things. Most of the jobs are created as a need comes up and then it remains for the rest of the year.

    As you read above I don't have a supportive administration (how they think I do such a great job I don't know I never see them!) and being a bit of a rebel anyway and knowing noone else was helping me I just started doing my own thing. I stopped caring how our room appeared.

    One rare occassion someone came in we were sitting on the floor eating chips with our math books in our laps. The real reason we were there was because I was tired and hungry, but the kids thought it was great. Actually we ended up doing math for the rest of the year sitting on the floor in a circle. I was just trying to find things to make the day bearable, but found things that I ended up really enjoying.

    Well I hope some of this will help you get through. Just know your mental health is the most important and those kids are learning with or without you--so lay off the guilt trips!
     
  17. blessedhands

    blessedhands Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2008

    One thing I learned over the years is don't put your hat where you can't reach it and don't...absolutely don't throw stones behind you.

    It simply means don't leave bad or take anyone or anything for granted cause you never know when you might return to it.

    Life is funny so you decide.
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 10, 2008

    yes, pm me!

    pray,
    pray,
    pray,
    and if you are not religious
    pray anyway

    immediate steps - sign up for a workshop/seminar at least once a month. sick day, once a month, come in late, leave early...you don't like them, they don't like you...whatever! keep your sanity, but keep your job.

    things happen for a reason. it is hard to believe, there is some good in everything you do. this is a test to help you get to the next level. keep your benefits (see dr, dentist, eye dr, etc.), be positive with your kids, make good references, and save some money.

    start looking again spring break.

    nobody should be miserable just so they can eat.
     
  19. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    whoa! that is better than, don't burn your bridges until you crossed them!

    some bridges I just don't want to even look at any more!

    but you may still have to call them for a reference, just to prove you have x amount of years teaching experience! :crosseyed so make sure you have soft landing..not a hostile exit.
     
  20. 1angel

    1angel Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2008

    [immediate steps - sign up for a workshop/seminar at least once a month. sick day, once a month, come in late, leave early...you don't like them, they don't like you...whatever! keep your sanity, but keep your job.






    That is good advice! Last year I had a great group and only missed one day. A day I really was too sick to be there. This year I have a rotten group and have missed 7 so far. I am signing up for anything I can to get out even just for an hour! I signed up for one all day workshop and honestly didn't even know what I was going to until I got there! Turned out to be excellent, but I really didn't care. I actually played hooky one time and went on a long weekend. I had to I was going crazy! Then the effects last for a while and then I find something else to miss out a day for. It sounds terrible until you stop to think that the kids this way get a much happier me. I know they have met their goals academically and I just don't have to care anymore. If I kept going in all the time I would be a complete grouch.
     
  21. cateachergal

    cateachergal Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2008

    Thanks to all!

    Thanks to everyone for their survival tips! The past couple of weeks have been quite rough with both student behavior and teachers getting pink slipped (surprisingly, I wasn't part of the first round). I like the idea of taking a day off at least once a month. Unfortunately, my principal is not granting anyone any days off until after STAR testing at the end of April. Guess I'll be getting "sick" a couple of times...cough, cough! I'm going to try to cut myself some more breaks without completely burning bridges (teaching from the book more, etc.) I'm planning on hitting up a couple of teachers in leadership positions who know I'm working my butt off (even if I haven't been totally successful) for general references regarding my work ethic, etc. I have a week and a half until spring break, during which I'll have some time to consider my options. Right now, I am not looking for a position as a traditional classroom teacher. I don't feel that I will necessarily never go back to teaching, but after an awful couple of years, I do feel that I need some distance from it. My confidence has been so broken down that I think I just need to convince myself that I'm an intelligent, capable person again. I have my MA degree, which hopefully will give me some options!

    Thanks again for all your help, everyone! :)
     
  22. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2008

    options are out there..

    as soon as I finish my MA degree, I'll teach college!

    btw...I had sub job during testing week! Talk about an unfair testing situation for those poor kids! And do you think that teacher was sick?? :confused:

    You can come this way. Scarlet Fever going around! :eek:

    yes, seriously...

    take care...
     

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