quitting mid year

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by kris007, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. kris007

    kris007 Rookie

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    Dec 10, 2006

    Hi. I am a first year 9th grade English teacher. I have had a really tough time adapting to all the responsibilities of a teacher. In the beginning, I was so excited and motivated, but now most of that has disappeared. It's a number of things that make me feel this way, and it's been very hard to put my finger on exactly what is making me unhappy. I've tried writing everything down, but nothing is helping. It has some to do with the students who are hard to discipline. Some of them are just SO disrespectful. I am 25, and sometimes I think they try to push me a bit farther than other teachers because of my age.

    Overall, my classes have been going really well. A lot of the students are precious in my eyes, and a lot of them tell me I'm their favorite teacher, and my lesson plans are always really creative and they seem to really enjoy class most of the time. I've had all three observations made by my principal, and they went great. My principal was very impressed. So, I really don't know what the problem is, but I dread Sundays for the dread of Mondays. I haven't been myself for about three months now. I don't like the up and down days, like having a good day today, and an awful day the next day. I like for everything to be consistent, and that's hard to expect when working with teenagers. I'm just so unhappy. I have my masters degree in teaching, and I have always felt that I was called to be a teacher. So, I don't understand why God would lay this on my heart, and why I would be so miserable doing it. It doesn't make any sense to me. I leave so many days just feeling so defeated, so I come home and cry or pass out from exhaustion.

    I understand that the second year will get better, and by the fourth year I will be smooth sailing, but I don't think the things that will get better, like not as much time spent planning and learning a discipline system that works, will really make me happier. Yes, it would make things easier, but not exactly better. I try to ask myself that if I had my best class all day long, would it make a difference, and I just don't think it really would. I plan so hard and so much, and sometimes I feel like college students would appreciate it more.

    It's so scary to think about doing something else with my life, because I've always thought that this is what I would be doing. I have no idea what I would do as my career if I'm not teaching. I've looked into possible positions at an area college, and I think that I would really enjoy working at the college, not exactly as a professor, but as an advisor or something similar. I had a dear friend mention to me that, while I may be called to be a teacher, it doesn't HAVE to be in the high school setting. She said you can teach a number of ways through a number of jobs, such as writing, being a mother, a sunday school teacher, etc. That gave me some hope.

    I actually talked with my principal last week and let her know that I was thinking about possibly turning in my letter of resignation. She was shocked. She told me that she thought I had a real gift in teaching, and that she envisioned me as being one of the strongest teachers in the school some day. This is a huge compliment, but I don't know if I have this type of motivation in me any more. I keep thinking these days will end, and I will not do this forever. I didn't even really enjoy student teaching that much, until it was almost over, and I did a great job student teaching. I don't get it! My principal told me to take my time with the decision, that she would take problem kids out of my room, that I could come back after the Christmas break and even decide in January if I want to stay or not.

    I never thought I would be ready to quit by Christmas break. This has been the hardest decision I've ever had to make, and I don't know what to do. I feel like a failure and a quitter. I know that no one can really tell me what to do, but any words of wisdom that can be offered would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to write so much, but I needed to get this off my chest among fellow teachers.
    Thanks so much for listening!
     
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  3. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    Dec 10, 2006

    I know the first year is a real struggle and teaching is a lot of work. Work that college does not prepare you for in anyway. You will be half way done in just a few weeks. Take your holiday break and relax. You could always finish the year and decide over the summer if you want to return. Let the principal take the problem kids (unfortunately we all have them) it will make a difference in you day. Even if it is for a short period of time let her have them.. If you finish the year then it will be easier for you if you want to take time off and then try to return to the profession. But only you know if you will be able to make it through the next few months. Just remember we all come home exhausted and warn out from the daily 'battles' in the classroom. Maybe you are teaching the wrong grade. Was there a grade you were hoping to teach?
     
  4. hipteachergirl

    hipteachergirl Companion

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    Dec 10, 2006

    I agree. You obviosuly have invested some time in this, since you have your Master's. Look at teaching another grade. I would NOT quit mid school year for several reasons. Say that you want to return to teaching later (you just never know). That will be on your record forever and I think it will greatly lessen the chance of you getting hired. Also, think about those good kids who do like you and are learning alot. If you leave, they will be stuck with a long-term sub (most likely) and will be deprived of a wonderful teacher and engaging lessons. Do you really want to do this? I'm sorry that this is such a burden for you. I think you should definately consider teaching another grade level. Perhaps this is not the right age for you.
     
  5. Abbyteacher

    Abbyteacher New Member

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    Dec 10, 2006

    Don't quit yet

    Hi Kris007,

    When I read your message, I thought it could have been me typing it, and this is my 9th year of teaching! I totally feel your pain. I'm in an inner city school with so many special needs I can't keep them all straight, and half of my whiteboard is just student pull-out schedules!

    I wish I could say that it gets easier the longer you teach (it doesn't, at least not all the time), but your coping skills do increase over time with your knowledge of what works and doesn't work for your specific students and teaching situation. The important thing to remember is to take care of yourself. If you need a sick day to recuperate, take one! If you need to go out for coffee with a colleague and vent, do it! If you take solace in other things, do what makes you happy. Try to leave what happened at school, at school. I know this can be impossible to do sometimes, but try your best. Count down to the holidays with your students (they probably can't wait either), and find ways to have fun and laugh together. Also remember that what we do is a very hard, very extremely undervalued job, and stress is a reality for us. Take your principal's advice not to make any decisions until after the holidays (very, very wise), and re-evaluate after you're rested and relaxed! Praying always helps, too!

    Take care!
    Abbyteacher
     
  6. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Dec 10, 2006

    Kris007. I think that there is so much work and energy that goes INTO just becoming a teacher that sometimes when we finally get there it's a letdown. Meaning, we see how much time and energy it takes just to be a good teacher! A lot of the things you are describing are textbook feelings of a new teacher in terms of fatigue and frustration. I agree with what the others have said: teach another grade maybe? Oh, and whatever you do....don't quit mid-school year. You are very young and you truly don't know how things may change. You very well may want to teach high school English again. Also, it sounds like you are a really great teacher with the backing and support of your principal! I wouldn't leave just for that reason alone. Tough it out and if you still feel the way you do now in June, at least you will have the feeling of accomplishment in knowing you got through the year....with all it's ups and downs. You can also then request a letter of recommendation for your professional files. Never burn your bridges. Try and relax during your Christmas break and hopefully that will be enough time for you to re-charge and re-think some things. Best of luck to you...and hang in there.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 11, 2006

    At a workshop I attended a few weeks ago we were told that this time of year (late November through until Christmas) is the "rock-bottom" time of the year for teachers. The "glow" of the beginning of the year is over; first term report cards and parent interviews have been struggled through; many of us are leaving for work and arriving home in the dark; we are worried about falling behind in the curriculum; and we stress that we aren't ready for the holidays. You aren't alone in how you are feeling--most of the staff at your school probably feel the same way that you do right now. Don't make any hasty decisions (it sounds as though you are having a successful first year); take the time over the holidays to rest and take care of yourself. You may see things differently in the New Year.
     
  8. grade1teacher

    grade1teacher Companion

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    I cant tell you how much strength you gave me just through this post! This is exactly what I feel like. (especially that its dark when we come home. Yuck!) I feel like I have put in so much energy just until this point - from huge "beginning of the year expectations", parebt teachers conferences, report cards.... I'm losing my excitement and enthusiasm for what I hoped to do this year. Its a horrible feeling. but helps so much to know that this isa reality and that peole can still enjoy teaching. I guess I just didnt see it coming! Maybe thats why people say that subsequwnt years are easier -- because at least you know when the slumps come and you can plow through them more easily.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 11, 2006

    Glad to have helped!
    Just think, if this is "rock bottom", things can only get better from here on in. It really helped me, too, knowing that this is typical.
     
  10. kris007

    kris007 Rookie

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    Dec 11, 2006

    Thank you!

    I knew I could count on other teachers for great advice. Thank you all for writing. Yes, I think it would be a great feeling of accomplishment if I finished out the year. And maybe the holidays, like many of you said, will bring refreshment and a new perspective on things. I thought about "burning my bridges" and I definitely don't want to do that! It's hard because at this point in time, I don't really think that I will ever want to teach again. It's also hard to hear veteran teachers talk about how they still feel exhausted and overwhelmed-maybe I'm taking the easy way out, but I don't want to feel like this throughout my career. I want consistency in my job and I want less stress. Today has been a good day, but then again Mondays usually are. I'm so up and down and back and forth about my feelings. Well, I sincerely appreciate the words of wisdom! It's good to know that it's "that time of year" for most teachers.
     
  11. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Dec 11, 2006

    my suggestion, for whatever it is worth, if you think you need to quit, finish the year. The children can drain you, but all you need is one to refill you for a lifetime :) Try to stick it out the rest of the year. Then put in your letter. A classroom is never and will never be consistent, children are far too spontaneous, but it is a shame to lose a good teacher because of this. Hopefully, your heart will feel why we teach before you leave.
     
  12. biiiidy

    biiiidy Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2006

    Kris, I understand what you mean about the "ups and downs." I too, am a first year teacher. Some days I feel like I'm treading water, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I got an excellent evaluation, but I still get incredibly anxious and worry that I'm not as effective as I could/should be.

    I guess it's a good thing that we're experiencing these feelings... it means we're normal!!! :D




     
  13. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Dec 13, 2006

    Kris007, I could have written your post! I am first year and teach 7th gr. It is very demanding and exhausting and I think about quitting too. I'm not sure why either because my year is going very well except for a few discipline problems. I really think it's too early for us to decide to quit. It's like a new pair of shoes. Right now wear just breaking them in and there are some sore spots, but they could become our favorite pair soon. Let's wait and see.
     
  14. knbaker03

    knbaker03 Rookie

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    Hola first year teachers

    I am so glad that there are others who feel the same way about teaching. I also am feeling very drained from this first year of teaching and have also thought about quiting. My biggest problems with quiting is that I have no clue what I will do if I am not a teacher. If anyone has any ideas I am open to suggestions and if I come up with anything I will pass it on. For now I am going to do my best to make it through the year and see how things turn out :rolleyes: Good luck to you all
     
  15. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Dec 13, 2006

    I have actually thought about doing something with computers. Sometimes anything sounds better than being in a classroom with 25 students!
     
  16. knbaker03

    knbaker03 Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2006

    I hear that
     
  17. mslee

    mslee New Member

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    reading your message brought me back to my first year of teaching in 1988. I was doing a great job and the kids seemed to really like me, but I had discipline problems and I would go home crying every night. I hated Sundays because of the dread I had for the coming week. I could hardly sleep on Sunday night. I was depressed and miserable. I even tried to talk my husband into changing jobs so we could move so I could quit my job. I stuck it out the entire year and then left. I am so glad I completed my obligation because I would have felt like a complete failure had I quit. I do now, almost 20 years later, regret not going back for the second year. I have always wondered if I would have had more control and had an easier time the second year. I hope this helps you. I would recomend staying for the rest of the year. It may not get better, but I think you would feel better in the end if you don't quit. My heart goes out to you and I wish you luck. I truly know how you feel because I went through it too.
     
  18. 1st year SPED

    1st year SPED New Member

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    Dec 13, 2006

    you are not alone

    wow, does your posting sound familiar. I wish I was having as good a year as you are! I am also a first year teacher, I teach 6th 7th and 8th grade SPED/emotional/behaviorally disabled kids. I love my kids, even though they still haven't decided if they like me or hate me. The worst part is that I started out my year with i week of new teacher training followed by emergency surgery, 3 weeks of sick leave, 1 week of teaching and a second emergency surgery with another 3 weeks of recovery. I came back the first week of October to start my year. On top of all that, the principal thinks I am the worst teacher she ever hired! I have had 3 observations, 2 of which were disasters and she didn't like the other one much either, even though it wasn't a disaster. My kids are a tough group, but the worst part was I just had no behavior management skills for this setting. I am starting to catch on, but I actually thought I was going to be fired before Christmas.

    All I can tell you is according to the NEA stuff I have seen, November is the bottom point for all first year teachers, and it slowly gets better, boy do I hope so! Don't assume the behavior management stuff is based on your age, I am a career changing teacher, working on my Masters in SPed and first time certification all at the same time, needless to say I lost my University classes this term too. Hang in there, it probably will get better, and at least your principal respects you! Let us know how it goes for you.
    Good luck and God Bless.
     
  19. knbaker03

    knbaker03 Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2006

    So what did you do for a career change?
     
  20. mslee

    mslee New Member

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    Dec 14, 2006

    If you were directing that question to me, I worked for a short while as a veterinary assistant and then had my first child and have been a stay at home mom for 15 years. I have just recently gotten a job as a preschool teacher. I am very content now, but I do regret not going back my second year. At the time though, I was really used up. It was such a difficult year.
     
  21. 1st year SPED

    1st year SPED New Member

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    Dec 14, 2006

    career change

    My career change was from 15 years as a counselor and social worker, followed by 10 years as a stay at home mom and 3 years of disability. So as I meant to say, age has nothing to do with classroom management, I am 50.:)

    I am in a program designed for career changing adults, but I think you miss a lot without traditional certification classes. We will see, I should be taking the PRAXIS soon.

    Hope your days are getting better, at least we should all be getting a break soon for a week or two.:D

    Take care.
     

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