Sticking out the year until June.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by anewstart, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. anewstart

    anewstart New Member

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    Jan 10, 2011

    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.
     
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  3. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I'm so sorry your year hasn't been rewarding for you, and I haven't walked a mile in your shoes.

    I am playing devil's advocate here because I don't understand why your kids know all about the abuses you've endured from admin? If I'm upset about something at school I leave it in the hall, enter my classroom, and focus on what I'm paid to do.

    I've taught 22 years and they haven't all been wonderful but I'm glad I've hung in here, especially since I'm nearing retirement age. I've never received accolades from admin, and I really never expected them, even though in retrospect I should have earned plenty. Generally my position has been thankless except for the many great parents who have expressed gratitude for teaching their child and all the daily hugs, smiles, and successes.

    I've also steered away from teachers who are negative. Perhaps you'd have different thoughts if you were on another hall?

    I wouldn't leave right now simply because I'd hate to not finish something I'd started and it wouldn't look very good on another job application. After all, I'm assuming you signed a contract. I might also be wrong about administration not caring at all about mistreatment because they have stacks of applications and certified teachers working as aides who'd loved to have a position.

    If I were you, I'd list all the great things there are about your position and then weigh them out against your mistreatments. I do wish you well with your endeavors.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jan 10, 2011

    Hang in there and stick it out til the end of the year, if there is anyway you can do that. Unless you can afford to have no income for a while, to do otherwise could be very hard on you and your family.

    Sometimes it isn't as hard to get through things if you know it is only for a certain amount of time. If you can get through one day at a time, the school year will be over before you know it.

    Good luck.
     
  5. anewstart

    anewstart New Member

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    Jan 10, 2011

    The kids know because the administrators come in and loudly tell us things in front of the class that would be said in private meetings in any other school. A kindergarten teacher found out they were getting a new kindergarten teacher when the administrator came in and told 5 YEAR OLDS to pick up their chairs and bring them down the hall to their new room.

    The kids are observant enough to see/hear what's going on. I do my best to hide my true feelings most of the time, but when an administrator comes into my room and tells me in front of my students something that upsets me, as much as I try to smile, the kids can tell that I'm upset.

    It's not certain teachers that are negative in our school. It's the entire school. Our faculty meetings have become teachers yelling at administrators/administrators yelling back at the teachers. We no longer discuss agenda items that improve the lives of our students.

    My position began 3 years ago as a tough one in an inner-city school where at least everyone tried to work together to a place I dread going to on a daily basis. The faculty has changed very little but the stress coming from the top down has changed drastically. I was probably one of the last teachers to try and keep my chin up and I think that caused me to get dumped on more because they thought I wouldn't complain as much as others. Now I'm just as tired as everyone else, which is why I posted what I did today. Maybe things would be better if I had stood up for myself earlier.

    I created a new account just to vent these feelings. I think people would be surprised based on my prior posts that this is what has happened to my school. I created a new account to ask about this situation because I feel safer being more anonymous and you could narrow down my position and part of my state from my other account.

    Also I realize how melodramatic I probably sound, which is very strange for me because I'm so used to be a very stable, grounded, logical person who is more prone to problem-solving than complaining but I really do feel like I've suddenly hit a wall. I've just spent 30 minutes online searching for therapists in my area because it scares me how my personality has changed so drastically in the last few months.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 10, 2011

    This must've come after a world of soul-searching. You're doing a good thing for yourself by coming to this decision now and a good thing for your students by deciding to stay for the rest of the year. A lot of the pressure will be off you so you'll be able to teach in the moment, which means your students will get your absolute best you can offer them instead of what you have after being emotionally bogged down by worry. Also, you'll have time to research your options and plan ahead.

    On a side note, :welcome::atoz_love:
     
  7. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jan 10, 2011

    Big hugs, and I'm so sorry for your situation. I hope things can improve. Is there any way you could get in touch with your State Dept. anonymously ?
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 10, 2011

    :hugs: You can stick it out til June. One day at a time, look forward to those holidays and days off. That's what I'm doing!
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I'm really sorry to hear of the challenges. I too think waiting it out until the end of the school year is a good decision. As difficult as it may be to deal with administration, just know in your heart that your days dealing with them are numbered, so hopefully that can give you some peace. Good luck!
     
  10. anewstart

    anewstart New Member

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    Jan 10, 2011


    Thanks. I'm planning to write something after I leave, to the Board of Education and also to the local large newspaper. I'm pretty sure I'll be moving to another state, so I'll be safe from too much backlash. Every time something happens, I write it down. I guess if anything it's good that I stay since I'm willing to do this and other teachers have families and mortgages to think of (I'm still pretty young).
     
  11. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jan 10, 2011

    Definitely get yourself in to counseling if you feel like you've hit a wall. There's nothing wrong with having the advice and guidance of someone outside of your circle!
     
  12. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. I don't think it sounds like a good situation at your school, but I think it's almost always best to stay until the end of the year.

    I would highly recommend that you use some of your sick days right away though. It sounds to me as if you are really stressed and upset in a way that is not going to be good for you or the students, so it's not like you are faking being sick. You aren't really in a condition to teach, are you, if even the kids are seeing how stressed you are? Take a couple of days to sleep and take care of yourself and maybe call about getting someone to talk to about it--and then decide how you are going to deal with things.

    Best of luck.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 10, 2011

    Hey, we all do what's best for us. You won't hear any convincing from me to stay even if you're so close to tenure. You know what you can handle and not handle.

    Good luck in your future endeavors!
     
  14. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I'm so sorry to hear of this and I think I can relate a bit. I trust that you are truly at your wit's end and you have reached your breaking point. As a fellow teacher, I support whatever YOU need to do to keep yourself sane. Your students sound like a great bunch of kids and I'm sure they would miss you if you left mid year. What I might do is take those sick days/personal days and use them as 'mental health' days on those occasions where you just need a break from the b.s. at the school.

    Sad to hear the union isn't doing anything especially with you being forced to work during your lunch. Have you ever said "no" that you wouldn't cover a class during lunch? I mean what are they going to do if you do say no? Especially since you are joined to a union....
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I can't even begin to imagine working in an environment like this. :hugs:
     
  16. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I am sorry you are going through this. I am in a very similar situation. I really can't stand going to my job everyday and I also feel that this has affected my personality as well. My job is so overwhelming and they keep piling on the stuff. My options were to try to teach "right," knowing that there just weren't enough hours in a day, or compromise my educational integrity in order to make the job at least manageable. I hate it and if there was some way I could do it, I would leave today. It has totally sucked the life out of me. I visited my old department from my old school over break and the one teacher (the wise one who always gives advice) just hugged me and said "Are you going to be ok?" I guess the stress and disenchantment were visible on my face and that made me want to cry. I also started to cry last Monday when I had to go back after break, in the car on the way to work.

    This weekend I was pushing my BF that we should get married this spring or summer so I can quit and still have bennies. That's just sad because that shouldn't be why I want to get married. But the thought of going back there next year is just not one I am willing to entertain.

    It is sad that some of these school environments have become so toxic. I know that in my school there are 6 English teachers. Two of us are actively looking for a new job. A third would, but our school requires you to pay back anything they reimbursed you in credits if you leave within 2 years, and she can't afford it. Another is fed up but will be retiring soon, and the fifth is waiting for her son to graduate and has plans to leave, as well. That's 5 out of 6 teachers they will lose in the next 4 years. But they don't think teacher morale is important.

    I am going to stick it out this year, but I will work in a fast food or grocery store before I go back there next year. If you need a "stick it out" buddy, let me know. You can PM me.
     
  17. anewstart

    anewstart New Member

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    Jan 11, 2011

    Thanks everyone for the support - it's nice to know I can find it somewhere! I took another day off to calm down and wrap my head around the reality that this is my final year at my school and that I need to start seriously getting things in order for my future. 2 nights of 10 hours of sleep and I feel much more positive.

    My brother is currently helping me prep my application for a business license to teach my subject like a tutor. The pay for private lessons in the large city I'll be working in is almost as high as my hourly rate at my job. I certainly won't be guaranteed as many hours as I teach now, but at least I'd get to be my own boss for a little while.

    I think focusing on the future will help keep me from dwelling. I think I'm at least feeling good that I won't look back and regret staying for more years - it's very, very clear to me that this is the right point to leave. In fact, if things get worse it will only serve to strengthen my conviction that it's time to go.

    I'm leaving my students at a good point, many of them have older brothers and sisters who can pass down some of what I've taught them if they want to learn what they might have if I'd stayed (I've had so many kids come into my class already knowing how to do something that I taught an older sibling. Turns out some of my lessons are popular ways to keep younger siblings entertained during baby-sitting sessions!) Kids with older siblings teach other kids in their class - they enjoy the lessons and they do themselves a great service by preteaching them to each other!

    I've stuck through and have had the joy of watching a group of off-the-wall 6th graders grow from being the classes I dreaded to the classes I look forward to as they've become young ladies and gentleman and leaders in their school. These strong-willed and outspoken kids probably helped me the most by not standing for sitting through a single lesson that bored them - and as a result, I have a teacher's portfolio of incredibly interesting and engaging lessons that should help teach any student in 6-8 grade.

    I'm letting go of the guilt and the fear and I actually feel good. At the very least, that's how I feel today.
     
  18. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Jan 12, 2011

    I think that your decision to stick it out is a brave, professional one. You have to do what is right for you, take as many of your sick/personal days that you need to. You earned them.
    Your students will benefit from your teaching for 6 more months. A sub/new teacher might not be able to effectively step into your shoes when the students are so loyal and empathetic with your situation.
    Don't give your notice yet, but do start saying no to the demands of the administration. No, you cannot skip your lunch to work with the 5th graders, sorry. Don't do anything malicious, but do stand your ground. Perhaps it will be the wake up call that the admin needs.
     

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