Please Tell Me Something Good!!

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by TheConspiracy, May 18, 2006.

  1. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 18, 2006

    I was just on another teacher's forum tonight looking up some regional info (this board seems to be the spot to go to find really detailed info on my exact situation) ...and all is well and good...until I started browsing posts.

    And now it is 3 am and I am up - tired and not able to stop looking (like a bad train wreck)

    Pretty much everyone on the other board HATES teaching and thinks it will only lead to chronic burnout and dire poverty.

    All the kids are know-nothing, lazy, disrepsectful gangsters. All the parents are know-it-all CPS cases or soccer moms on crack. They hate their schools, they hate their pay and they just - well - HATE.

    And most of all there are quite a few vocal ones who spout on and on about how horrible it is to even THINK about being a teacher without a teaching degree (mine is in English Lit - but oddly enough my university was so impressed with my skills in my few elective teaching courses that I was offered a slot in a PhD seeking program for Soc of Ed - all that for someone who shouldn't even have the cajones to step into a classroom and teach according to some).

    So I come back to the board that has been so kind and supportive thus far and I beg you on hands and knees....

    TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT TEACHING!!!!!

    You all seem much more positive about teaching and as I go to bed tonight thinking something that will roughly go like this....

    "What the heck did I do? I left a 50K a year job to get a degree wile working PT as a bartender for $15K a year just to teach in a profession that will lead to food stamps and a suicide attempt?!? What on earth did I do?"

    ... I await more positive thoughts in the morning.

    ~J
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 18, 2006

    There, there, dear. Have some virtual chocolate or a nice margarita or Mai Tai, whichever works best for you.

    Every profession has its population of complainers. They tend to think of themselves as realists, but it seems to me that reasonable people can disagree as to the aptness of that label; cataloguing all the ills doesn't strike me as a reliable road to enthusiasm, somehow.

    Which illustrates a point that has been made elsewhere on A to Z: that it's important to choose carefully the group with which you'll sit in the teachers' lounge (or, for that matter, to choose whether or not to sit in the teachers' lounge, if the atmosphere is toxic).

    It's certainly true that teaching has its unpleasant aspects. Paperwork, helicopter parents, paperwork, uncaring parents, paperwork, snotty kids, paperwork, obtuse administration, paperwork, high stakes tests, paperwork, kids not accountable, paperwork... and too many people declaring that they know exactly what will fix it all without having bothered to understand that educating children is not like producing interchangeable parts in a factory: one solution does not and cannot work for each and every soul that passes through our hands.

    But there is also magic, the magic of helping a little kid "get" the alphabet, the magic of helping a middle schooler "get" geometry, the magic of helping a high schooler "get" history and therefore the absolute necessity of understanding where we have come from so that we may be cognizant of where we are going... Teaching is, to paraphrase a friend of mine, my drug of choice. Or, if you find that metaphor offensive, teaching is like shoveling manure in a garden: it stinks now, but when the garden's in bloom, it's transcendent.

    As to degrees... it's necessary to know how to teach, but I'm not sure it's possible to be a truly effective teacher on any level without loving at least SOME thing about every subject you teach. If you love the English language and want to share that love with your students, and if you're willing to do the spadework to learn how to teach it as effectively and engagingly as possible, and if you're willing to do the self-maintenance to keep yourself loving your field and your students, you're going to do fine.

    And you may well find a richness of life that owes little to money.

    Many, many hugs to you.
     
  4. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    I could not have said it better than the above poster.

    Teaching is an amazing profession. There are some people who teach and complain about it ~ and their salaries ~ and I truly question why they chose the profession in the first place. It is such a rewarding job.

    However ~ it is NOT for everyone. I know some very intelligent people who couldn't handle the stress of teaching. Maybe the people on that forum are just "burnt out" as it's the end of year ~ or perhaps ~ teaching just is not for them. :)
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I love my job, although I certainly don't love every minute of every day. I love the connections with the kids, feeling (and knowing) that I make a difference! When my students were given the assignment yesterday to write a report about someone they admire, I was asked by 2 students if they could write about me--I think I'm still smiling! Teaching is a very stressful job that can consume you. However, I can't think of anything else that would have the same long-term rewards.
     
  6. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    Teaching is very much an inner calling. A desire to help, guide and direct the lives of children, To make a difference. Not everyone can do that. Teaching is not as simple as walking into a classroom and talking at children. It is talking with them, remembering they are human beings with many different influences pounding on them. To teach is to be a positive influence on the kids-for some, you may be the only positive influence. Now you have to remember that as with all things there are good days and bad days, but the good outweighs the bad. There is joy in teaching. Recognizing that you have the 'calling' to make a difference and following through creates an inner sense of fulfilment.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've been away from teaching for 6 years and I can't wait to get back. There is no other job in the world for me. Between my husband and I, we have 45+ years in front of the classroom. And some days are rough and some are awful, but most are fun and exciting and full of life and laughter.

    But too many people go into it thinking they're going to change the world TODAY and are somehow surprised when they don't. Or they're suddenly surprised to see their college roommates making far more money. (of course, those roommates don't have the luxury of summer, Christmas or spring vacations) Some are surprised to find that teaching, like so many jobs, can be very political, and that jobs in some areas are really hard to find. I think that all of these surprises point to a lack of preparedness on their part-- this is the world of grownups, and those are the realitys.

    So sympathize with those having a bad day, and ignore those having a bad year or a bad profession. Anyone doing a job they hate should find a way to do something else. That's particulaly true in teaching, where a teacher's negativity can have such a huge impact on so many kids.
     
  8. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    May 18, 2006

    I can't imagine any other career being as rewarding as teaching. Tonight, I get to go watch my babies, my very first class graduate. There is something so gratifying about thinking about these kids heading off into the world and knowing you had a small part in preparing them.
    Yes, there are days that I want to bury my head in the sand, but 99.9% of the time that isn't about the kids, it's about the paperwork, new curriculum, etc. This is year 9 for me and I can't imagine doing anything else.
     
  9. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Just like the previous posters have stated, I think teaching is definitley not for the weak. Teachers must have inner strength to help them get through many days. You are not just an educator of academics, you are a role model for your children. I like to think that for about 6 hours a day, I have the opportunity to change a child's mind or help them think differently about something. For those 6 hours I can have a positive influence on someone... I'll leave all the negativity for outside the classroom (God knows there's enough).. I look to my classroom as an extension of my home. I want to make it warm and welcoming.

    I think people have too many misconceptions about teachers. I hear about the great vacations, great salaries, and short days we have to work, but usuallly these are from people who are not actually teaching. If they did, they would know that most days don't just end at 3pm. Teachers take their work home with them, which many other professions don't.

    So, if you like the challenge of children. The good and the bad, and you have a deep desire to learn and grow yourself. I would not listen to the negative press. We need you out there!!
     
  10. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 18, 2006

    ahhhhhh... I am already feeling better.

    I knew you guys would have something good to say!

    You know it is a lot of hoops to hump thru and a lot of sacrifice to get here and I just felt bummed out to hear everyone on thie regional chatboard talking as though I should rush out and find a new calling!

    But I suppose that the internet can sometimes be a breeding ground of negativity because you can always find company for your misery.

    I'm so glad you all took the time to post and lift my spirits.

    ~J
     
  11. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    and I'm so glad you decided not jump ship!:)
     
  12. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    May 18, 2006

    Hi Conspiracy. I vist a board just like that, LOL! It's not that they are just unhappy, some of them attack like a pack of wolves when anyone asks a question. I'm in the same position you are, and it is so disconcerting to read some of the attitudes expressed on that negative board.
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 18, 2006

    We have our bad days too. Everyone does. We all complain. I'm bad about it, but not that bad (I hope). I just hate all the paperwork. Really the people who hate teaching, shouldn't be doing it. It's a disservice to the kids.

    It's all worth it though. When you make a difference in a child's life, it's worth it. When a child can't read when they come to your class, and it finally clicks for them... it's worth it.
    When parents are crying in parent/teacher conferences because their son has a report card with A's and B's for the first time (before it has been D's and F's)....it's worth it.

    Trust me...It's all worth it. Your experience will not be like anyone else's in the world. We'll have similarities, but it's your life and your decision. You just have to make the right one for you.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have never had so much fun at work as I do teaching.
     
  15. linderdm

    linderdm Rookie

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    May 18, 2006

    Very supportive contributors!

    This board definitely has the most helpful members of any I visit online.
    :thanks: Dawn
     
  16. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Please remember, too, that a teacher's forum is a place for us to vent, because sometimes only another teacher could possibly understand why we are often so upset. A teacher's forum IS like the teacher's lounge; there are people in it that we wouldn't choose to sit with, and others we would gravitate to.

    It's also a good thing to at least listen to the rantings of other teachers, because there are lessons to be learned in everybody's experiences, and just because someone doesn't agree with somebody else's opinion doesn't make either of them wrong. Take a little advice from here, from there, from that other place, from people you like, and from people you don't like, put it all together, and create your own opinions.

    And remember too, that people who never change their opinions are never going to change the world.

    Let's all lighten up, loosen up, listen up, and learn from each other.

    Yes, there are horrors in the world of teaching, things beyond our control. But inside our classrooms, we have the power to create a place where nobody will be harmed or hurt or teased, IF we take control. Inside our own classrooms we can create a world of boundaries and certainties, as well as freedom to enter realms of wonder and fantasy. It's all up to us as teachers to help our students leave our classrooms knowing something new every day, and being able to apply the new to the old to create yet another something new.

    Bad things? Sure. But true teachers do it anyway, because the end result is worth it. Don't let a bunch of negatives ruin all the positives for you.

    And bear in mind that many of those negatives are probably just venting out of frustration, on a board where they know people will understand.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    well said Jane:)
     
  18. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    As always.
     
  19. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    I worked in an office for a total of two days after I graduated high school...I knew to much, so the boss asked my mother (who was about to be promoted to manager!) to ask me to leave. I went right back to working with kids, and I love every minute of it. You don't get nearly as much satisfaction from any other job. I mean, noone comes home their job as an accountant saying "You'll never believe what that column of numbers that was being impossible said to me today! She said 'I love you! I don't want to go to someone elses office when you're done with me!' Can you imagine! And I thought she hated me! I'm so glad I kept working at making it add up!"
    I love teaching!! (OK, so some kids are impossible brats. But what's one in 20?!)
     
  20. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    If you had asked me this morning I could name 3 that were complete brats out of 20, then one had to tell me good-bye today because he isn't coming back this year and I cried. :)
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I got paid today for putting a bandade on a paper cut, making watermelon art with the kids, looking at a little girl wearing pink rain boots and a shirt that was too short so her big belly stuck out...and she felt like a movie star, I sang How Much is that Doggie In the WIndow with 12 5 year olds and listened to them say their prayer of Peace. I got paid to listen to 3 little girls giggle and 2 little boys laughing hysterically at wild animal picture(racoons digging in the garbage was more than they could fathom,) and I got paid to listen to them call my name and give me pictures of hearts that they drew for me. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it! Yes, I love my job.
     
  22. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    Grammy, that's beautiful!
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You hit it right on the nose, Grammy. And beautifully.
     
  24. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    This is such an inspiring thread... thanks, all. There's nothing left for me to say!
     
  25. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I have been teaching for 5 years and can't imagine doing anything different. The most rewarding this year happened this week:

    A little boy in my class really struggles with his numbers and letters. For an assessment in kindergarten they have to write the alphabet and numbers from 1-20 without help. He has been struggling w/ this task but we have been working on it. He finally did it this week all by himself and did so well.

    Another great story. I have a student who came in September knowing no English. She speaks Russian at home. Well by March she still wasn't speaking. I was concerned and so was the ESL teacher but 2 weeks ago she started talking and talking and I can't make her stop!

    These are reasons why I love teaching
     
  26. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    awww... you guys are great! My spirits have really rallied!!!

    ~J
     
  27. MissV

    MissV Companion

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    I just started teaching full time this year and I'm so happy all of the time. :) I love making little centers that the kids will have fun in. I love helping the kids play jumprope on the playground. I love it when the kids secretly whisper "There's missv!!! There's missv!! when I pass their line.

    A lot of people will tell you that you're crazy and you should find a different job that pays more. I get paid more than enough money to do something I would want to do anyway if I had all the money in the world or got no money at all:) And I get a 2 month vacation, AAANNDD I get to start with a brand new set of fresh faces *every* *single* *year*:)

    Besides, it's nice to have an excuse for buying Legos:)
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I get to read aloud every day. Mmmm. And hear the girls, who don't care that I'm fat, say, "I love your gaucho pants .... No, I love the shirt better .... No, the gauchos are nicer..." Listen to 10 and 11 year olds apologize to each other for saying something mean about a friend, for reacting in anger, for rolling their eyes at me.
     
  29. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Kids just brighten your days... not every day,,, but most:) Childhood is a wonderful time. I wouldn't want to spend my days in a 9-5 job in corporate America that's for sure.
     
  30. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Upsadaisy, where'd you get 10-11y/o's like that? Thanks for the encouragement- I thought that behavior was just a passing phase in first grade... :(

    Oh Miss V! you're so lucky...I love legos! I might just have to wait until I have kids of my own before I get to buy toys. Oh well, at least I get to play with my nieces' dollhouse sometimes :D
     
  31. srh

    srh Devotee

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    I'm finishing up my first year as a teacher--in Kindergarten (I left my federal career a little over a year ago). I am fond of saying that this is the only job for which I would ever have gone $30K in debt to earn $20K less, to work 20+ more hours a week. And LOVE it!

    My feelings are so mixed as I prepare for the last three weeks of school. These are MY kids...and I love their parents just as much (well, most of them anyway!). I cannot wait to watch them "grow" through first grade, then second.... And hey! I'll get a new family of kids in August! With teaching, every day is a clean slate if you let it be, and I choose to stay in this "dreamland" state until I retire. You can do it too!
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    That is so nice, srh!

    Well, Bored, I work in a small private school so I start off with an easier batch of kids than most do. Then, we have had a peace club this year due to typical squabbles, etc. The kids have learned to love that strong connection they make with each other when they are honest and heartfelt. They just want to clear the air now as soon as they realize that they've been unkind.
     
  33. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    It's true... I really do think kids are essentially good, but they can be sooooo difficult!
     
  34. sojourn

    sojourn New Member

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    Cautionary Tale

    Teaching is a great career. I have loved it for years. BUT please do not think burnout is something only negative people who do not like teaching experience. I am a good teacher. I love teaching. I ended up with a SERIOUS case of burnout--hospitalized. Two years off of work and a gentle re-entry, I am still trying to figure out how to do the job, get my work done and maintain priorities. The kids are great, that is why we stay in the field. Some people burnout because they are in the wrong profession. But people who belong in the profession also burn out. Loving the profession is not the antidote. Take care of yourselves.
     
  35. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    I agree with those who say you have to love the job in order to hold it together day in and day out.

    To me, no one says it any better than Janet Gorrell Meyer in "Catholic Quote:"

    Where else would a handsome and very young man put his arms around me and ask, "Do you know that I love you?"

    Where else could I wear the same dress day after day and be told each time that it is pretty?

    Where else could I walk up and down aisles and have warm hands touch me?

    Where else could I eat a soiled peice of candy from a grimy little hand and not get ill?

    Where else would the future look bright as it does amid an energetic group to whom nothing is impossible?

    Where else could I guide the first letter formations of a chubby little hand that may someday write a book or an important document?

    Where else would my mind have to stay so young as with a group whose attention span is so short that I must always keep a "bag of tricks up my sleeve?"

    There is more to the article, but you get the idea. In no other job that I can think of, can you get the same gratification, have warm relationships with so many people (students, parents and colleagues), and receive heartfelt thanks year after year just for doing your job.

    These perks far outweigh any of the negative aspects of teaching and are the ones I know will stay with me forever.
     
  36. bettyb

    bettyb Companion

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    Teaching is like everything else. There are good and bad times. Take a deep breath and relax. A professor used to say the best thing he could teach us was to learn to ignore. Pick and choose your battles. And, above all, don't let them see you sweat. Never get mad in front of the kids. Teaching can be very rewarding. If you are in a bad situation, look for a better one or make it work for you. Always have a sense of humor and laugh a lot. Having said that, I'll tell you something good. My grandson is in kindergarten and always comes to the car with a smile on his face. This is a public school. He loves it and is learning a lot. Thank goodness he has a teacher who seems to love being there. She is really making a difference in his life. Does that help?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  37. grade1teacher

    grade1teacher Companion

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    The best compliment in the world is when a student calls me "Mommy" or leaves a love note on my desk, or asks if they can come home with me for vacation.... I save all of those notes. I dont get a chance to read them often but just knowing that they are there pulls me through the days that are exhausting....
    and there are days that are exhausting. And nights that are exhausting. For example, I'm dreading returning a parent's call as we speak because I have no idea where it will lead. I think that these are the hardest parts that teachers vent about. For some its the paperwork, for others its bringing work home with you, or talking to parents, but I guess we dont get those love notes for nothing, huh?
     
  38. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    I LOVE teaching!!!
    Where else can you go and know that you have left a lifelong impact on someone else?!?!?!
    Where else can you go and see the look of "I Got It" after seeing the look of "I'm Lost and Frustrated" and know that you made that new look come forward?!?!?!
    Teaching rocks!!! Maybe not everyday, but it is awesome in general!!
    I don't want/couldn't do anything else!!!
     
  39. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Jan 13, 2007

    My 5th graders were just like that last year.

    My entire life, I have hated the way I looked, but I feel like the most beautiful person in the World when I am with my kiddos!!
     
  40. teachkids

    teachkids Rookie

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    Teaching was the last thing on my mind when I first started college, but after raising 4 kids, volunteering and getting enough courage to back to school...I'm now in my own classroom and I love it!
     
  41. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    The youngest of my 4 kids is in first grade, so now I'm seriously thinking about getting my teaching credentials. I've been subbing for a while, and always knew I wanted to be involved in education somehow. The above sentiments inspires and encourages me. Thanks!!
     

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