Tired of Title (a vent by yours truly)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nikkiski21, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2017

    This is going to be long, but I wasn't sure where else to post. I don't really have anyone in my life to talk to about it. I'm a second year teacher and am employed in a totally different subject, different district, and different grade level than I was my first year. Unfortunately, after a huge lay-off last year, I lost my job teaching 5th grade ELa (which I enjoyed). The only job I was able to find was a part-time position as 7th/8th Title I reading tutor. I thought I would enjoy this position as something to do in the meantime, but it's now January and I'm about ready to throw in the towel.

    In middle school, students who qualify for Title are able to opt-out with their parent's permission. So I constantly have kids who show up only to never return. Usually this is because they prefer to be in study hall. I would like my class to be a fun experience, but I know it's not. The program coordinator has me using LLI, which is a very intensive reading program. And while I'm sure it works great in elementary school, the format doesn't seem as effective with middle schoolers. The students read one new book a day, discuss, and either write or participate in a word study (prefixes, word roots, etc.). For kids who already hate to read, this is torture for them. I have kids who fall asleep, kids who skip and hide out in the study hall room, kids who loudly complain about how boring it is, and kids who ask if we can just use the class as a study hall. I honestly can't blame them. Not all the books are high interest, especially for this age group. I do what I can to liven things up (show youtube videos that correlate with the subject, turn the comprehension aspect into a game), but it's never enough. I feel almost like a factory worker. I show up, read the script in the teacher manual, have them read the book, etc, etc, etc...five times in a row throughout the day. Gone is any lesson creativity or really any of the freedoms I had last year. The Title I coordinator is adamant about this program and sticking to it the way it is. And she drops into my room about twice a week so I'm wary about trying anything else. Although to be honest, I don't know what else I would do since I don't have any other resources other than these LLI books. It doesn't help that I have no support...I'm the only Title teacher in the building, and because I'm part-time, I never even have a chance to speak to the other teachers. It's January and I don't know anyone. It's very lonely.

    It's at the point where I'm so miserable and don't know how to keep this up. My anxiety has returned full force, worse at night and making it hard to sleep. I no longer feel the same passion and joy as I did last year. And I know there are only a few more months left, but it's stretching out in front of me like an endless desert or something. I'd rather be subbing, I'd rather be doing almost anything else than this...I don't know if I'm looking for advice, or reassurance, or what. But it's Sunday night and once again, I'm dreading trying to get through another week. Thanks to anyone who reads this...I'm not normally a complainer, which is why it has taken me until January to speak up. Even if it is to strangers on the internet :)
     
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  3. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2017

    Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough go. If it helps (it helped me), try to take comfort in knowing that you are not alone and many of us feel the overwhelming anxiety and stress of our jobs. Focus on one day at a time. Give yourself something to look forward to, like maybe trying for a new position next year.

    I can't really give you any concrete advice because I am a regular HS teacher. But, it sounds like you should voice all of the students' and your own frustrations to your coordinator.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2017

    I understand your frustration with LLI! I used it (briefly) with elementary students and found it to be completely ineffective. I can't imagine using it with Middle school students since I felt it was too "babyish" for my 4th and 5th graders! How does the students' data look? If they're not making progress, can you use that to suggest to your coordinator that you need to try something else? If you must stick with it, maybe you can try to offer more rewards as incentives for students to participate? When I taught intermediate students they would really work hard for "free technology time." I felt it was worth it to give them the last 5 minutes of class as free time to make sure that we got 40 really good minutes of instruction in before that. Or have them earn points towards some reward that they want (free day, pizza party, movie day?)

    I know you're in a terrible position, but if you're interested in staying in teaching I wouldn't quit mid-year, unless you're able to get some kind of medical leave due to the anxiety. I was in the same position myself a few years ago. I worked in a horrible, toxic environment with an absolute nutcase P and I was one of her "targets." I would feel physically ill on Sunday nights as I dreaded going back to work the next day. I thought about quitting, but I felt that other admin/school staff wouldn't understand when I was applying for future jobs and it would make me unemployable. One thing I did was to resign (effective at the end of the year) early on; I think it was sometime in February. This was a big emotional help because I could see "the light at the end of the tunnel," and it really got my P off my back too since she knew I was leaving anyway. She pretty much quit doing walkthroughs in my room altogether (but continued to harass my teammates on a weekly basis). Even though my P was still a crazy micromanager, I felt like I had more freedom since I'd already resigned anyway. What were they going to do, fire me?
     

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