It's been a while since I've been here...I've been dealing with, well, the stuff in this post. The standard statistic is that half of us wash out in five years, or seven years, or whatever it actually is. I'm in my second year out of college and in the teaching force, and starting to think I'm circling the drain. College was rough. The first half of undergrad, I found mostly mind-numbing--the simplified-overview-of-fill-in-the-subject-for-ed-majors classes bored me to tears. The last half, I basically suffered through to get out of there so I could go to grad school, because the school I went to for undergrad made people apply to a special program for the actual meat of the teacher training classes, and I, in spite of jumping through all their hoops and doing everything anyone suggested to try to get ready, didn't get in--they said they thought I would have too many problems with classroom management, because of my personality, or confidence, or something, I never did get a straight answer about what was wrong or what to do about it. Grad school was this "social justice based" program from which I got the message that anything the kids do wrong means they need something so we should spoil them. I look back at that time and I can barely find anything I don't regret, because if I'd done the right things different then, maybe I wouldn't be almost giving up now. The first district I worked in sold themselves as a great supportive district for beginning teachers. The induction program classes were a joke, my "mentor" was a nice enough lady but knew nothing about my teaching area and spent all her time with the younger kids, the parents were the demanding types that want to know why their A student got a B in the subject that they say isn't her strong point, the principal was a start-perfect-and-get-better type, and the district was applying an evaluation system that made 8-year veterans cry to everyone down to rookies. I got out of my contract mid-year, on paper for health reasons (my depression actually did flare up but I would have stuck that out if it weren't the job causing it). I got another job a month later; the rest of the year went OK-to-mediocrely, and mediocre was an improvement, so I agreed to go back this year. This year, they brought in a new administrator who I couldn't make happy no matter what, and the kids were objectively worse as compared to last year--other people thought so too. The new administrator's suggested technique of looking at gang members to get them to stop talking in class didn't work, so, after a few iterations of this, I was asked to resign or be fired. I went with the resignation because it seemed a little less bad. Either way, my resume is permanently trashed. I will never again be able to say no to the "have you ever been asked to resign?" question on a job application, and I can't help but think it's statistically inevitable that this will shut some door somewhere in my career. I'm subbing now, as of about a month ago. The going rate here for a sub is $90 a day, which almost pays the bills--almost. My parents are helping me out. Which is f'ing embarassing: I have $70,000 in student debt and all but the paperwork on a grad degree (I moved out of state before it went through and can't get a straight answer from my college's grad office about what I need to do to wrap it up), and I'm living off of my parents who have GEDs and drive a semi-truck. Not exactly proof that knowledge is power. I'm afraid to apply for a full-time position, not because I think I wouldn't get it, but because I just might, and I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't fail again. I think I could psych myself up to try but I don't think I could handle failing. One of my friends is saying that I should quit and do something else for a while; the one thing I'm sure about is that that would be a bad idea, because I'm having a hard enough time with the idea of walking partway back (from subbing), and if I walk all the way away, I don't know if I could ever make myself walk back. I've been having the exact problem that the undergrad school said I would, classroom management. Sometimes I think that they must have been right and I need to just give up because it was me all along. Sometimes I think that I'd be doing fine if it weren't for all that, and I'm only having so many problems because every time a kid mouths off I think it's my fault (as in the previous option), but since that's stuck in my head, even though I managed to get the training anyway they still might be able to keep me from amounting to anything. Sometimes I think, if I could just figure out what to do, get my crap together, pull out of the spin...but I don't see any way to make that happen. I'm out of resources and out of patience with myself. I've read the books, I've tried routines and time out and "if you can hear me say shhhh" and sending kids to ISS and the look-turn-walk over-write up progression and copying sentences and counting minutes for detention and calling home (the worst kids are the ones whose parents are calling the school asking how to raise them...) and seating arrangements and standing in front of the door so they can't leave early (they f'ing shoved past me! and I wrote them up! and nothing happened!). Everything in college was useless. I'm not picking it up from thin air. As a sub, now, I'm no one's priority (as I theoretically was in college) and I have no regular colleagues to talk to about it (as I did when I was in a full-time spot). I've always known that teaching is what I'm supposed to be doing, and I have no other real purpose in life so basically I wouldn't know how else to earn the right to take up space and oxygen if it turns out that I'm a lost cause, and I have to earn my air somehow, because I can't just jump off a bridge, because there's no one else to feed my cats. I know I have to keep the subbing going, because that's my only foot in the door, but I don't know how to use it, or what else to use, to fill in the things I have no clue about. I'm not even sure what I'm asking at this point, but I can't actually be the only person this has ever happened to (although I realize I have to be in a minority, with how long and how consistently things have gone wrong), so someone out there must have seen something work for someone (themselves or otherwise). So...thoughts?