Urban Ed Teachers - Advice Wanted

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Merc, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Merc

    Merc Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2015

    Hi All!

    I just finished my fourth year in a Title One school in one of the most violent cities in America. Its been a tough four years. Many of my students have fallen to gang violence (6 have died in shootings in the past 18 months), drugs, poverty, imprisonment, and disfunction. Many more have made huge gains and are fighting to secure better futures for themselves. I was wondering, how do other teachers find the strength to keep fighting the good fight. I still feel energized after these fours years, but I have to admit, the idea of doing this work for another thirty is daunting. Any advice on staying sane for the long term. :thanks:
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 26, 2015

    My hat is off to you. I work with students who come out of your neighborhood, and others just like it. Gangs are a large part of their lives, and it is hard to sell education as a way out of the madness. But you are in there, trying to make a difference, and you may be more influential than you think. I don't know if that will get you through the next 30 years, but maybe the next couple?

    Good luck - these are students who need the most, and you are there for them.
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 26, 2015

    Make sure you make time for yourself! It's easy to spend all of your time/money on the kids. Set your limits. I give my all when I'm at school. When I'm home it's my time. I've done it for 15 years.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jun 26, 2015

    I understand, merc! I am in a similar situation. It's taken me several days of summer just to begin eating right again and being a person. I struggle to find balance every year.

    Most teacher friends and mentors of mine have quietly gone to the suburbs after 5, 10, 15 years. I can't find anybody who's lasted longer than 15 years. I'm just gonna keep going until I'm not good for the kids anymore.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2015

    It's not an easy world to live in. What you really need to do is find a way to leave work at work. Once you find that balance you'll be able to survive for longer. Forever? Maybe not. Best wishes.
     
  7. Merc

    Merc Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2015

    Thanks for the insightful answers.

    Half of all the teachers I've worked with over the past fours years have either left the profession or transferred out of district. Its a horrendous rate of attrition, and it has a negative impact on the quality of education available to the students. I feel the pressure every year to seek greener pastures, but I don't want to "give up the fight" either. Its a tough balancing act.

    It doesn't help that the district leadership doesn't treat the teachers well (though thats starting to look like the new normal nationwide). We are working without a contract (no contract in 3 out of the last fours years) again and our wages are very sad compared to the rest of the county. I wish it was like the movies and my willpower and energy would be enough to overcome all the social ills facing the students.
     

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