My sad and crazy story.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by guerrer3, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. guerrer3

    guerrer3 Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2011

    I am a first year teacher and I have already resigned from my school district. I knew that at the end of student teaching, I didn't want teaching to be my career. I had this thought bottled up in the back of my mind, but I never reacted on it because I was so close to completing my degree.

    Here is my background..I was an engineering major, but decided to switch out of it in my first year. I found something closely related to that area, which was Technology Education..the new name for industrial arts. When I think about it now, I liked learning the content, but I didn't really enjoy the teaching parts. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy teaching somewhat, especially the moments when a student completes a project or the light bulb comes on in their heads. But all in all, I figured out that I don't like the art of teaching groups of students in a classroom setting. Maybe it's just my personality, but I'm not at all thrilled at teaching students who don't want to be taught, and I can't deal with students who are defiant or misbehaving. I realized this at the end of student teaching, and I realize now that I only tolerated my experiences in the classroom because I knew that I would never see those kids after XX amount of days.

    The summer after I graduated, I tried to find a teaching job in Korea order to delay going out into the field of teaching here in the US. I pretty much told everybody that I wanted to do this in order to see that world, but I know now that this wasn't really the case. I was scared and anxious when I didn't get the position, and I took the first job that was offered to me. Now..a couple of weeks into the school year, I DEFINITELY realized that teaching is not for me. It's not in my personality. I thought I could stand being in front of a classroom all day, but in the end, I just couldn't see myself doing it as a career. And I hate myself for going through 4 years of school, and figuring out that I hated it at the end of student teaching. I was getting anxiety attacks every day and I finally broke down yesterday morning after talking to my family and close friends all weekend about "I just need to get through this year". I couldn't and I was at the point where I was about to become clinically depressed.

    So here I am now..luckily they have already interviewed for a replacement and have a couple of more on the line (fast eh?). Everyone at school is supportive of my decision, and I'm thankful that all the close people in my life also agree with me. My last day is hopefully the end of September and I feel a huge weight off my chest, I feel somewhat happier, but sad/scared at the same time.

    What will I do? I know that I am young (22 yrs old), but I feel that I failed myself. I just need a place to vent this all out with other teachers, and I hope that I can find words of encouragement or inspiration. I know I want to go back to school and find something that I truly enjoy, but I am afraid of what lies ahead.
     
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  3. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 13, 2011

    I think it's preposterous that we expect people to know what they want to do with their entire lives at the age of 20 or 22. I mean, if you wanted to get married that young, how many people would try to talk you out of it and tell you to wait a few years because you'll change so much in your twenties.

    As college goes, I don't know the percentages, but there are a huge amount of people who end up in careers other than the one they thought they'd be in when they picked their college major.

    So you took of in a wrong direction. Big deal. I stayed in a field for 12 years that I hated before finally realizing that I needed to work with children (instead of adults who act like children). I changed careers at 36. Some people do it even later.

    My point is, you haven't failed anything. You tried something. You didn't like it. Try something else.

    Life is long. You'll have the opportunity to explore many things. And you've already had a head start and finished school and knocked at least one career possibility off your list.

    Good luck!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2011

    You need to take care of yourself. Please get yourself some therapy to feel better about yourself. It's a good thing that your school was so supportive, but they probably realized that you were doing the kids a disservice in your current state. I'm kind of surprised that you took a job teaching when you clearly knew ahead of time this field wasn't a fit for you, but at this point all you can do is re-examine what your goals are in life. I wish you well.I wish your students success with their new teacher. They deserve a good experience with a teacher who is passionate about this profession.
     
  5. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Sep 13, 2011

    I think that was a major and scary step that you had to take. But you took it, know that everything happens for a reason and don't beat yourself up to much about it. Learn from it, grow... take a little time to see what you are passionate about, perhaps go back to school. Like a previous poster said, no one knows what they want to do with there life at 22.
     
  6. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2011

    As a fellow young teacher (23) I can sympathize with the feeling of failure. I love teaching, but I still go home every night wondering if I'm doing the right thing or if I'm failing miserably.

    Anyways, I agree with the people above. You tried something, it didn't work, so what? Don't beat yourself up over it. I changed majors 3 times before my Sophomore year! Just... get yourself in order and then you can go back and figure out what you want to do with your life that is something you know you will enjoy for sure.
     
  7. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Sep 13, 2011

    I didn't know I wanted to be a teacher until I was 28. All that time before then it didn't even consider it. When I was 20 I wanted to be a marine biologist and I also wanted to go into computer science. I later discovered that I wasn't made for either one of these.

    I think it's perfectly normal to feel this way at your age. At least you are honest with yourself.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2011

    Sometimes the choices we make don't turn out like we would hope. We move on. That's what you need to do. Stop beating yourself up, find something else to do, and do it. If it works, great. If it doesn't, try something else.

    Good luck to you.
     
  9. PB&J

    PB&J Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2011

    So you like the learning aspect, but not the teaching. Talk to people. See what else you could do with that degree. I think we get pigeon-holed into thinking there are only certain careers available. Nobody tells you about all the non-traditional things you can do! What are some other interests you have? Perhaps you can combine things. What are you good at? Can you somehow take your skills and open your own business?

    It's scary, I know, but you are young and you should take this opportunity to really explore and challenge yourself!
     
  10. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Sep 14, 2011

    My best friend interned with me in PE. He was a perfectionist and expected things to be normal. He found out that teaching did not really allow that. He never taught a day in his life after that internship but now has a great job helping run a pool supply company in south fla. You can either sit around and feel sorry for yourself or get moving and find out what you really like to do. YOu have a college degree and that puts you out in front of MANY folks in my mind.
     
  11. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2011

    I thought I hated teaching too, but upon reflection it was large groups that bothered me, not the actual instruction and preparation. Now I teach small groups of 2-3 at a time and it's much more rewarding. I am also branching out into counseling, where again I would be dealing with students individually or small groups. It's all about finding your comfort zone.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2011

    So you like technology and you like education.

    Perhaps learn about assistive technolgy, get a degree in that, and make/join an AT consulting firm?
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Perhaps it is your audience that bothers you. What about being an instructor in a community college? You would need more education, but most cc have programs that are heavily geared toward industrial technology students. And they want to be there, otherwise they wouldn't have paid their tuition.
     
  14. guerrer3

    guerrer3 Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. It's been 3 days and I've been talking with a lot of my co-workers from school...from fellow teachers all the way up to the superintendent who happened to be in the building that day.

    I guess the most comforting part about all of it is that almost everyone I've talked to has had this happen to them at some point in their lives, which is making me feel a lot better. One of my VPs even mentioned that he got his undergrad in Biology, went up to the 3rd year in pharmacy school, and then walked out in the middle of the year. So it's good to know that I'm not totally alone in making big decisions like this.

    Shame though that it had to happen this way, I really wish I could have stuck it out, but I know that I couldn't force myself to come in every day and do this.

    As far as what's going to happen now...I'm probably going to try to find something meaningful with my bachelor's..find some type of job to hold me over..and eventually go back to school for something I can truly enjoy doing.
     
  15. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    Sep 14, 2011

    I, personally, think this is exciting for you. :) So you found something that doesn't quite fit. WELL, now you can figure out what you love to do! Plus, you are opening up a life-changing experience for the teacher who takes your place and who probably thought that (s)he couldn't find anything because it is already mid-September. Awesome! Enjoy figuring out what it is that you will love to do with your life! Best of luck.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 14, 2011

    So why are you considering crossing a picket line to teach classes of students? Seems like that would be very stressful and outside of your 'comfort zone'.
     
  17. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Best of luck! I love teaching, but I've often fantasized about other possibilities...not sure if I'd have the courage to go for it. I don't think you can regret following your heart, though. :)
     
  18. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Sep 14, 2011

    First of all, I applaud you for following through with such a tough decision! Of course you feel like you failed- you stopped something at a bad time for everyone involved! BUT you did what was BEST for everyone involved in the long run. I know some teachers who need to make this same decision and KNOW they need to, but for whatever reason, lack the courage to do so. I think it's terrific that you took such a risk for the good of your students (and your own sanity!)

    Second, it is NOT too late for you and this experience will lead you to another career choice. Failure only happens when we fall and don't get back up and try again. It sounds like you are more than ready to try again! I always knew I wanted to be a teacher but dropped out of college to get married and didn't go back for 15 years! I finally graduated when I was 39 and got my first teaching job when I was 40!! I know other people who changed careers- not only once, but twice or more in their lifetimes. One was a teacher for 12 years and then became a nurse. Don't give up. Why shouldn't we try different things until we find what we love??

    Best of luck to you!! :hugs:
     
  19. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Sep 14, 2011

    It's pretty common nowadays to switch careers. With so many children's futures in your hands, if teaching wasn't your cup of tea, it's good that you were brave enough to admit it now. Too many people stay in the classroom who don't have the desire to be there and all they do is make everyone's lives miserable. (We all know at least one teacher like that!)
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 14, 2011

    It is unfortunate for everyone involved that your realization came when it did, but the important is that it did in fact come. And you accepted it. Too many deny their true feelings and desires and that's heartbreaking to me. Best wishes.
     
  21. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Um, I don't want to get too comfortable. ;)
     
  22. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Hey, it's okay! I know it seems like the end of the world, but you are so young! Take a deep breath. This is your life. You are the only one who is going to make yourself happy. Take the steps now to make yourself happy. It's okay...you will find your niche :) You seem super smart (engineering major!)...do what you love, become what you think will make you happy.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Are you uncomfortable in your current position? Do you think your reputation from your former teaching position will follow you? You've already made some mistakes in public Ed...do you really want to compound that by crossing a picket line?
     
  24. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    How did crossing a picket line come into this thread? And why would doing that be making a mistake? Sure, it may not win someone friends among striking staff, but staff doesn't make hiring decisons. Principals do. Districts do. I would think it would look pretty good to those decision makers if an applicant has been willing to cross a picket line in the name of attempting to give students some type of consistency.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Sorry...cross referenced the other poster on comments from other threads...feel free to weigh in on the picket crossing thread. Sorry for the confusion.:dizzy:
     
  26. miss tree

    miss tree Rookie

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    Seriously if you can't make a mistake a 22, when can you make a mistake? I was in a similar position to you with a new teaching job which I walked out on after a month. It wasn't because I didn't like teaching but because I was just burnt out....Now over a year later I know I made the right decision.

    It's a hard way to find out that teaching isn't right for you, but don't look on any of it as wasted time. You have learnt some amazing skills and had some valuable experiences which will stand you in good stead in the future, whatever you decide to do. Who knows, after a few years you might even decide to give teaching another go. It takes courage to walk away from a career and disappoint a lot of people, but you have to do what is right for you. I wish you the best of luck.
     
  27. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 15, 2011

    well; here's what I think...you're still young! And if you want to go back to school, do it. I just read your first post, so I don't know if you are in the position to go back full-time or not, but...it's ok. You're gonna make it. I think it's awesome that you're wanting to go back. Good for you! :love:
     
  28. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    when I take my 30 minute drive to work, I think about how glad I am to have the job that I have because I enjoy it so much. So, if you're not happy where you're at...I'm all for changing your career, atmosphere, etc...Have a good and prosperous life, Guerrer. And welcome to this site! :love:
     
  29. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 16, 2011

    I didn't read all the responses, but I wanted to share my story.

    At 18, I went into paralegal studies. I loved the content. The last semester I took the legal research class. I couldn't see myself reading the dry texts all day. I don't know what I was thinking. I did apply to a few jobs when I got out but I was secretly glad I didn't get them. Then I went on and worked in doctor offices for a while. I had two children and stayed home. Somewhere down the line I had some encouragement to go back to school and decided to become a deaf educator. Ironically I'm just finishing up my Master's degree and I'm in another country and my career thus far was short lived and I'm back to being a stay at home mom. I still teach, just not in the classroom and not for money. It's ironic how often it comes up. You know what I've decided through the whole thing? Everything I've learned, even the paralegal studies, has directly affected my life. I learned so much from it. I use it all the time. I may not use it professionally, but I use it. I've also had a good life. I don't worry too much about finding a job in a specific field or whether or not I'll go back to teaching. Teaching will always be a part of me just like paralegal studies will always be a part of me (especially through advocacy projects). If I find other jobs, they too will become a part of my life experience. If I find related jobs but don't end up in the classroom again, I can live with that too. If I get a chance and teach again when the time is right and my family is grown, I will jump at the opportunity. I guarantee though at 20, I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with life. I don't regret the education I received though. I could worry about it or I could move on and do whatever it takes to do whatever life leads me to next. It's good to have a plan, but it is okay to let go of a plan if life moves a different direction or your heart takes you somewhere else. Most importantly I've learned that the education I did receive can be applied more broadly than one might expect. I'm often surprised at just how much I've used all of it.
     
  30. guerrer3

    guerrer3 Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2011

    Thanks

    Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and input.

    I come to this site every day in order to get the strength and determination to lead me through til I can finally leave the classroom. It's becoming harder and harder for me to come in every day, but hearing your stories helps me out a great deal.

    I don't know how long until I find a replacement..but please continue sharing your stories of how you got to where you are in life. I know I made the right decision, but I am still very scared of starting fresh again.
     
  31. PB&J

    PB&J Rookie

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    Sep 16, 2011

    For what it's worth, I have many many friends almost 40 who are just now going back to college to find what they REALLY want to do. Coming out of high school, we went to college because it's what was expected of us. And like I said before, nobody tells you all of the options...it's kind of like: Well, you can be a teacher, a doctor, a nurse, go into "business", or just go find a job.

    I went to school for Early Childhood, then Special Ed, then Elem Ed. I love(d) working with kids. Now I own a small business with my husband and besides my own kids and volunteering in schools, I don't use that degree.

    My passion though, that my guidance counselors poo-pooed as not being realistic: sports photography. I often wish I would have pursued it anyway, found a way, etc, but I figured these adults knew more than me. Can I still do it? Sure, but it's much harder to try new things with 3 kids and so many other committments.

    You're young, you're probably not too attached to a specific town, go find your passion!!
     
  32. guerrer3

    guerrer3 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2011

    UPDATE: It's been 2 weeks and I'm feeling much happier about my decision. It looks like I'm getting out at the end of October, but sooner if they find a replacement.
    The job did get a bit easier, but it still made me feel a lot better now that I have an end date.
     
  33. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Sep 26, 2011

    I genuinely wish you the very best. I started my teaching career as a 23-year-old; however, I always knew I'd be a teacher (since I was in 2nd grade, actually). Anyway, as a seventh year teacher, I definitely don't see myself in the classroom in the next 5-6 years (plans to move into an administrative role). You're young and have many more years to decide on what you want to do career-wise. Heck, you many have two or three more careers throughout your lifetime.

    I truly believe you're doing the right thing! Good luck!!!
     
  34. Jane Err

    Jane Err New Member

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    Sep 28, 2011

    Bless you.

    Good for you for realizing this early in your career. I taught for 17 years and hated it from the start as well. It did get progressively more intolerable as time went on but I wanted to quit and do something else from the start. Then there would be a new school or new program to try then I would be slightly enthusiastic for a while but all it did was delay the inevitable. I only ended up quitting because we moved for my husband's job. I got offers in the new town and just felt absolutely wrong about accepting the jobs. Thankfully my husband is supportive.

    All that is just to tell you that I commend you for taking care of yourself by listening to your own heart and brain instead of denying your own feelings. I wish I had done so. You seem way smarter than me.

    You must have been smart to start out as an engineering major; I think the whole world is at your doorsteps here. You're young and smart. Perhaps taking some career aptitude tests or talking to a career counselor would help. Or go with your first love: engineering. I am 40 and it is discouraging to have to start over at this age in a new career. But that said, I don't for a moment regret quitting teaching.

    I am a much happier person and I'm glad you have found peace as well.
     
  35. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sep 29, 2011

    Good luck in whatever you do.
     

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