Really hating my current job

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by seabee wife, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. seabee wife

    seabee wife New Member

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    Oct 25, 2009

    I had to relocate due to a military transfer. I really don't like my new job. Every day for the first month I came home crying. I emailed a principal I interviewed with last spring and asked her what would be the best thing for me to do...."stick it out" or break my contract. She suggested I stick it out. I just don't think I can physically or mentally make it until May. My stomach is constantly in knots, I have to take sleep aides to fall asleep at night, my husband thinks I'm cheating on him because I spend so much time at school, I have little patience with my daughter, and I am loosing my confidence that I am a good teacher.

    I am at a loss. Has anyone else ever felt this way? How did you deal with it?
     
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  3. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Can you pinpoint what exactly it is that you don't like?
     
  4. seabee wife

    seabee wife New Member

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Alot!
    * The 7th and eight grade is departmentalized. That means no teams.

    * The administration backs out on what they say. For example, when I held my first detention the child's parent wasn't there to pick them up. I asked the principal if I had to stay with him. He told me no. Last week we are told we have to stay with them until their ride shows up.

    * The job is consuming my life! I attempted over 160 parent contacts the first nine weeks of school!

    * The children are poorly behaved. The "higher ups" site Ruby Payne and blame all their poor behavior, lack of respect, and poor grades on their poverty. I worked the last three years in a school with exact demographics and didn't have these problems. I had gang members and drug dealers/users in my class. But they were respectful, did their work to the best of their ability, and behaved.

    * The students steal from me....the number of calculators is less each week. They stole snacks when I was on a field trip and the same week stole a pack of gum from my desk.

    * The majority of my students are failing. (over 120)

    ....the list can go on!
     
  5. peachacid

    peachacid Companion

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    Oct 25, 2009

    Okay. I always think it's best to stick it out (though I often look for other jobs...!!). Have you tried talking to the other teachers? Maybe they have strategies for dealing with student behavior.

    As for students stealing, create contracts they and their parents have to sign. Assign them each a calculator. If it goes missing, it's their responsibility. I guess that only works if you have calculators for each student, though.

    Do you teach math? Why are the students failing? Have you tried different methods of teaching? Is there another math teacher you could talk to?

    Admin is admin. Sorry 'bout that.

    As for the job consuming your life, maybe you need to focus on doing what you need to do and getting it done, and then also focus on your life. Make your lesson plans, grade your papers, and only contact parents when it's ABSOLUTELY necessary.

    Student behavior is the one I have trouble with. Maybe grouping them, holding them accountable for roles in those groups...? Upping the consequences for poor behavior? Good luck!
     
  6. NaiCH

    NaiCH Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2009

    It seems I'm not alone in the things I'm dealing with. I joined the forum today and I see its not just me nor is it me/us that causes the issues in my/our class. Its not poor planning when you cant get to the lesson because of the discipline problems.
    I work on a team and it seems there may be a snake on the team that's buddy buddy with administration for whatever reason. Not that she cant be friends with them but it seems she may take things to admin before her team mates.
    I would also tell you to stick it out just because you don't want them to win.
    (I posted a thread earlier on the middle/junior high forum about my dilemma.) I will not be defeated so I'm doing what I have to in order to be successful.
    But there are also other school districts if you wanna test the waters somewhere else. But remember the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
    Keep me posted on your outcomes/success.
     
  7. NaiCH

    NaiCH Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Correction: My post is on Secondary Education 7-12
     
  8. outsidethelines

    outsidethelines Companion

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    Nov 27, 2009

    I could have written your post last school year. I was absolutely miserable with my job, and I didn't know what to do about it. I decided to stick it out, and I eventually got to an almost nervous-breakdown point due to the stress. I missed a few weeks of school due to this, and it was not a fun time.

    On the bright side, my breaking point forced me to finally verbalize my issues with my administration instead of covering it up any more. Thankfully, I had a very understanding principal who worked out a solution for me: I stayed at the school until the end of the school year and worked as an aide (but received my regular pay), and someone else took over my classroom. We both agreed the school was just not a good fit for me, even though I have talents as an educator.

    Obviously, I was not re-hired at the end of the year, but I am thankful I didn't quit. My advice is to find someone at your school, preferably a principal or assistant principal, you can talk to about the problems you are having. Help is often there if you just ask for it. Please don't let your stress get out of hand like I did. If opening up and asking for guidance doesn't work, consider resigning. Your health and well-being is more important than your job.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Nov 28, 2009

    No good advice for you but just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. I've only worked 1 month. Still haven't looked forward to work -except for the first day when I was eager to start.. I hope you figure it out.
    I've decided I wont quit. I'm determined to figure out how to teach these kids something (who really I'm just babysitting so the teachers can teach the other students in the class, the ones who actually want to learn something)
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 28, 2009

    seabee-I'm married to a retired military member. The frequent moves can wreak havoc on your career. Will you be in your current duty station for long? Could you consider subbing instead of teaching full time? I'm not really sure what to advise you other than it is a tough job market in any field...teaching jobs are hard to come by. A resume with a new job every 18 months or so is going to make you less competitive for future jobs. That said, if this job is causing chaos in your home life and stressing you out, maybe you should give notice. The military lifestyle can be stressful enough without this added difficulty in your professional life.
     
  11. NaiCH

    NaiCH Rookie

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    Dec 6, 2009

    OUTSIDETHELINES: I've shared my frustration with the administration team and they seem to think its my classroom management skills. I disagree! The students do not respect me and they do not listen: I cant control that! I've also tried doing the discipline plan theyve implemented at the school which is a 4.5 Step process and the students knows the process better than me. The discipline process doesnot remove them from the class its just a papertrail which means they are constantly disruptive everyday. I either keep teaching to those who want to get it and not follow the process or stop teaching and write up the paperwork on the students.
    I don't know what I want to do. Everytime I get fed up I say I wanna quit but once I calm down I'm back in teacher mode preparing for the next school day.
    I think I can do it but I'm not sure if its the school that I can't function in. I'm an interim teacher so I don't have a job after May 31. The question is do I want it next year?
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 6, 2009

    You said: I emailed a principal I interviewed with last spring and asked her what would be the best thing for me to do...."stick it out" or break my contract.
    Contracts typically run July-June...unless you are on a year round calendar? If you were so frustrated and miserable last spring, I can understand the recommendation to stick it out for a few months to finish out the school year (08-09), but why would you sign on for another year this year (09-10)?
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 6, 2009

    Yes, but that sentence is a bit confusing, in that it could mean either she did the emailing last spring, OR that she did the interviewing last spring.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 6, 2009

    Oh, those darn modifiers!! :blush:
     
  15. shikshak

    shikshak Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2009

    Stick it out is my first advice. See if you can find another job. If you do then go to your Human Resource and very respectfully request that they release you from the contract. 99% of the time they do release. You must commit to give them a few weeks notice. Many people have done this. Or else, go to your admin, in Jan or Feb. and tell them that you are not returning next year and give them your resignation letter. You still complete the contract. You and admin come to an understanding that you will continue fulfilling your obligations professionally. This way your stress will be reduced.
    Hope this helps.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Dec 16, 2009

    You could try looking at this as a positive instead of a negative. During my student teaching, I and my CT had a couple of rules in our room that the other middle school teachers did not enforce in their rooms. The kids, naturally, used the rules of the other teachers as an excuse to disobey the rules in our room. I finally told the kids I did not care what the other teachers allowed, in MY room, they would follow THESE rules or accept the consequences. There were a couple of other rules I would have liked to implement, but didn't because I did not feel there would be any support from the other teachers. But if your school is departmentalized, then it doesn't matter what happens in other rooms. All you care about is what happens in your room.

    Is detention done in your room? If so, I can see why you would be required to stay until their ride shows up. If it's done in another room with someone else supervising them, though, it seems like that person is the one who should stay. As far as admin backing off what they say, that is just an unfortunate part of many jobs. Not all admins are like that, but many are. In the end, you can usually count on the admins to do CYA for themselves first and staff second.

    I agree with the earlier advice. It sounds like you are trying to establish good communication, but it obviously isn't working. So just focus on making parent contact only when it is absolutely essential.

    What did you do to gain the respect and discipline from your previous students? Sounds like you've worked with some of the toughest kids with success. The exact same techniques might not work on this group, but if you could handle gang members, it seems you've got the skills needed to handle any class. It's just a matter of figuring out what will motivate and/or intimidate these kids. Frankly, it sounds like they are a bunch of petted brats that have never been made to accept responsibility for their actions, giving them a strong feeling of entitlement.

    Try locking the calculators up (if possible) and making the students do their work without calculators. I personally feel middle school kids have grown far too dependent on calculators myself. I had some kids that couldn't even simplify fractions without a calculator.
    Since they stole snacks on the field trip, tell them there will be no more field trips this year. Field trips are a privilege, not a right.

    Maybe you should just go "old skool" on them. Give them worksheets and lots of repetitions to do every day, without a calculator, and make them turn their work in at the end of class. I know it's not the best approach, but extreme situations call for extreme measures. Maybe a little taste of what school USED to be like will give them a better appreciation for what school CAN be now, IF they are willing to straighten up their act. :cool:
     

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