Thinking about quitting

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Art0524, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Art0524

    Art0524 New Member

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    Oct 28, 2010

    This is my second year teaching. I first taught special education (Autism) loved it but silly me thought gen Ed would be even better. Well, I got the opportunity to teach first grade and hate it. I have a lot of behavior issues (some diagnosed). I had a bad walk through with my principal and she is now saying if it doesn't get better she wouldn't even put me back in sped next year. I received all very high marks on my review last year. Gen Ed is just not working for me. There is a sped job in a neighboring district and would love to apply. Being that it is 12 weeks into school, not sure how I could break my contract without repercussions. Any thought on my situation??? Lost !
    And just a not all of my team have said they wouldn't want my class and have been helpful with ideas but my students could careless about consequences or rewards. (the behavior ones)
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 29, 2010

    Sorry to hear about that. I made the switch and love it! If you can get the job and plan to stay, then the repercussions wouldn't really matter. It would only matter if you left and then wanted to find a new job after leaving.

    My suggestion: try to wait it out. Find something that does work-something will. It's just a matter of trying until something does. First graders love contests-maybe something like that would work. Ask the kids to fill out a questionnaire about rewards they would like or brainstorm on the board. My sixth graders love to do this!

    Ask yourself this: would you want to teach special ed in your current district? If so, wait it out. If not, apply for the other position and reap the consequences if you choose to leave that job...
     
  4. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 1, 2010

    I'm sorry to hear you are having a hard year. I admit, I'm surprised that you prefer SPED to Gen Ed, but then we all have different callings in the education field (ie: I hate middle school, but my Aunt LOVES it and is really great with that age group).

    Anyhow, I have been teaching first grade several years now. If you don't mind my asking -- what sorts of behavior problems are you having?

    I may be able to make suggestions to help, because Class Management is something I had to study and practice A LOT to get down because I'm practically an only child and had to get used to managing little kids and dealing with their issues.

    Also, I had several severe behavior challenges in my room last year (ie: One boy used to steal and purposely do things to irritate me because, according to him , he wanted to be suspended so he could be pulled out of regular school and go to the same special school his brother went to; a little girl who used to become destructive whenever she did not get her way [ie: threatening to bite me, kicking hte principal, running around my classroom, etc] and another kid who used to steal and crawl under the desks and wander around my room whenver I wasn't right on top of him :dizzy:)

    I know first hand that 1st graders can drive you INSANE and make you hate coming to work. (I'm blessed that my class isnt like that this year)

    I would try very hard to stick it out because the principal will probably be very upset if you leave so early in the year and yes, the P's do talk. However, if you are really that unhappy, I would interview and tour the other school, see how you like it, and if in your heart it feels right, then resign AFTER you are sure the SPED job is in the bag.
     
  5. cheerfulfifi

    cheerfulfifi Rookie

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    Nov 1, 2010

    I really think you should tough it out a bit longer. It's still just the beginning... plus it's tough to remember but at the beginning of first grade- they're still just like kindergarten babies! It'll take time before you can get them to where they need to be.
    Last year I had a class that made me want to pull my hair out, cry everyday, and made me want to move far far away. However, I'm so glad I stuck it out because I learned new things/techniques and this year I have the most fantastic class that I love.
    Not every year is going to go smoothly. Give it until the end of the year and if you still hate it - consider something else.

    Also- use the principal as a resource. She feels you need help, so ask for it. Ask for ideas and techniques. Ask for a sub so you can go observe other rooms to see what they're doing.

    When you have a tough class, you're going to have to constantly come up with new ideas to keep them moving- but it'll be worth it in the end.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 1, 2010

    Cheer makes an excellent point. A lot of times, first grade can become frustrating because they are still very young and dependent on the teacher. Its quite common to hear them slip up and call you Mommy by mistake because when they're at school, they see you as a parental figure.

    It takes a lot of patience and a lot of reinforcing rules and procedures. Little kids respond a lot to candy and stickers, so in the beginning, I showered them with both. I gradually decreased it and now they are on an incentive plan, where if they get a green on their behavior chart, at the end of the week, they get to choose a treat from the jar.

    I once read somewhere that children desire structure and authority because it helps them know what to expect and they need that, really at all ages. I'm 27 and I like structure and knowing what to expect.
     
  7. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Nov 1, 2010

    Teaching is hard and those of you who have a helpful and caring administration should thank them every day.Why do so many administrators think their job is to catch their teachers doing something wrong and threaten them that they will lose their job.?Shouldn't the administrators job be to help the teacher and children to do the best they can in the classroom.
    That said i would try and stick it out the best I can.I don't think applying for another job after 12 weeks is a good idea. are you sure special ed was so much better,or does it just seem that way after the terrible time you are having this year.Try to share ideas with the other teachers on your grade and find a caring teacher that is willing to help you.
    Good luck.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 1, 2010

    You shouldn't quit. Barring some sort of medical issue or other, very serious problem, you need to stay where you're at. You signed a contract for one year, presumably, and you need to honor that commitment.

    Some classes some years are just difficult. We can't give up on them when it gets difficult. We have to turn to our colleagues and admins for advice and assistance. We have to do what it takes to become the teacher that our students need. Is it a lot of work? Yep. But it's what we signed up for when we accepted a teaching job.

    If you quit now you can expect black marks on your record. In some places you might even receive some sort of suspension of your teaching license for a period of time. It's not worth it, especially if it's just a "I'm having a rough time" situation.

    Spend the rest of the year in this position. In February or March, begin applying for other positions in new districts. Keep in mind that the grass isn't always greener, though. There are difficult kids everywhere.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 2, 2010

    Caesar makes a good point. Also, I thought about it some more last night and it's really not fair to your students. What will happen to them when you leave is:

    A) The kids will get a permanent substitute who may or may not be qualified to teach them (last year when the fifth grade teacher left, the kids went through about 2 permanent subs until finally a retired teacher came in and took over the class)

    B) They'll split them up amongst your teammates which means the class sizes will be too big and all those personalities will collide causing issues for everyone

    Also, it sends a bad message to the students either that you don't care about them/gave up on them OR that they are so big and bad they can scare you from the job and make you leave
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Nov 2, 2010

    I also think you should tough it out. It's too bad that your administration is not being more helpful in this situation, and especially since it sounds like you have an extremely difficult class. Can you be specific on what sort of behavior issues you are having in class? Maybe we can help. This is my 2nd year teaching 1st grade and I absolutely love it. Of course, I teach in a private school and my group this year is awesome, which makes a difference. But, if you can provide specifics, maybe we can offer some advice.
     
  11. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 2, 2010

    :yeahthat:

    I agree with Tam. I teach public school 1st graders, but I enjoy it as well. My first year teaching 1st grade, I hated it. My students were so out of control we NEVER did small reading group because whenever I was not staring at them, they were all over the place.

    If you don't want to share in the forum, you can email me about the issues you're having.
     
  12. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 2, 2010

    Hi Art, any updates? How did it go today?
     

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