After a lot of soul searching and a lot of hard thinking, I've decided to leave my job of 2 and a half years even though I would be receiving tenure next year. My situation has reached a boiling point and aside from my current situation, I've also learned that I will have 35-40 students per class next year (my room is tight with 20) and that we won't be getting raises. If it's this bad now, it's just going to get worse. I'm already putting the pieces together for me to either go back to school, find another teaching job, or start my own business. All of these options have inspired an excitement that I haven't felt in more than a year at my current job. It is embarassing to me how badly my position has been treated in the past year. I'm not going to go into too many details but how I've been treated has apalled most of the teachers at my school, especially since I'm seen as being a good, capable teacher of my subject and I've earned respect from my students, the kind of students who don't listen to any adults and are more likely to swear at their teachers than pay attention to them. Sadly, the union is too overwhelmed by all the other issues our district that my problems have fallen to the bottom of the pile. But my situation is still bad enough that my students have started to become angry about it. When your administrator comes into your room to make an announcement that your position will be made even more difficult than it already is, for seemingly no good reason and your 7th grade students see the look on your face, complain about how unfair your administrator is treating you, and tell you that you can go in the back room for a little bit if you need to, it's mortifying (and I am FAR from being the type of person who cries in front of anyone, ever). When my administrator demands for the 10th time that I illegally spend my lunch period covering a 5th grade class that I'm not even scheduled to have that day and the 5th graders become angry on my behalf that I have to do that, it is clear that my situation has become ridiculous. Seriously, "Ms. X don't worry about us, we'll work on our social study packets, please just eat your lunch". When I started at this school 3 years ago, myself and my colleagues were treated with respect. I don't know why this has changed, but I need to get out before it gets even worse. I'd rather not teach at all than be treated this way and it's upsetting that in this current economy that's more likely to be what ends up happening. How do you make a decision like this, to leave your job and a tight-knit school community and stick it through until mid-June? I almost wish I made this decision later in the year because I can already feel the guilt when students ask me if I'll be here next year (I teach a subject that students have every year). I just can't stay for them, no matter how wonderful and sympathetic most of have them have been this past year. I feel like it's going to be very, very hard for me to not just use all my sick days and my personal days the rest of the year. Especially because I know that I've trained my students to work independently when I'm absent and the subs know my routine well enough that it won't hurt them. If you've left your position, how did you get through the rest of the months? How do I have a conversation with my principal and keep my temper (he doesn't write recommendations anyway, so what does it matter)? I've never fought back before because I was still untenured and people who argued traditionally got fired, but now I'm at the end of my rope. In fact, I didn't go to school today because I woke up and just couldn't face trying to teach today. I've experessed my frustration before but now I'm feeling like I'm beyond just basic frustration. Should I just leave now? Sometimes I wonder if that would send a better message to my students that self-respect is important and that people shouldn't be treated the way I've been treated. I also wonder if it would force the admistration to realize that good teachers (as I've been told I am) won't stand for being treated this way.