Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by teddydog, Aug 17, 2013.
Aug 18, 2013
Most people who enter a career and think it's "perhaps not for you" give it more than three weeks.
My last job was in customer support-truly a work 8 hours and leave gig. My co-workers were young- right out of college (I'm 31) and they spent their nights and weekends at clubs. But it was a dead end job with the same.thing.every.day. They didn't put any work into it outside of the office, but they also didn't get anything back.
I was just thinking last week how refreshing it is to be able to show creativity with my career again. To have something to be passionate about. DH works in advertising, and he can be up at midnight working on projects after a full day at the office because he's passionate about growing his career. You can't succeed in ant career without passion, and when you are passionate, you don't walk away when your shift is up if there is still work to do.
This reminded me so much of my first year! So much going on and not a good situation at all. I was 6 hours away from home and all I wanted to do was walk away. I called my parents one particularly bad night sobbing so hard I don't know how they understood anything I was saying. I told them I was coming home, my dad was working night shift but got up to talk to me. I'll never forget them telling me that things don't always come easy but that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile....they expected me to stick with it and do my best. They spoke pretty stern to me but made their point. I stuck it out, got out of that situation after 1 year with my record in tact and have since loved teaching. I am actually thankful for what I went thru because I know it made me a stronger teacher!:thumb:
In later years talking to my parents I found that it was one of the hardest things they had ever done. Even though I was grown I was still their little girl and they had to fight the instinct to first tell me to come home, we'd work it out. I am so thankful that they gave the advice they did.
I think one of the reasons that everyone is judging is because teaching is not a career that you just "enter". You go to college for 4years (or more) to learn about teaching, you do countless hours of observation to observe teaching, you do an entire semester (or more) of student teaching, and by the end, you should know if teaching is for you or not. Although I know people that have entered student teaching and then decided it was not the right career for them, I'm not quite sure that 3 weeks at any job is enough to decide that you entered the entirely wrong field. I don't think you're lazy or uncaring, just that someone should have told you in your teacher preparation program that teaching sometimes requires working after school and that it is a career and not just a job. Last year was my first year teaching, and I was convinved after a month that I had made a mistake. I didn't learn until January that I needed to make sure I went home by 4 every day and only spent one weekend day working on plans. I agree with all the previous posters, do you have a mentor teacher you can talk to? Can you work with your grade level team to help? Can you talk with your Principal about developing a growth plan to help in the areas that you feel you are lacking?
Don't stay at a job that you absolutely hate, that's not good for the students who didn't choose you as a teacher. But, I do think you would show much more sense of responsibility and accountability if you could just decide "I am going to be the best teacher I can and do the best I can by these students" and get through the year.
The only explanation you gave for not liking teaching was that your friends were out playing and you weren't. Your comments weren't based on "teaching" but working hours and not getting to do what your friends are doing. All we have to go on is what you posted.
So, what is it about teaching other than the fact that it is a lot of work that is not for you. You said it isn't the students. So, what is it?
Also, I think I asked a question worth answering. What skills do you have that would land you a 9-5 job with no evenings and weekends (since this was your explanation as to why you hated your career choice) that would give you the lifestyle and money that you are looking for? If you don't have an answer to that, you might as well try to make your current situation work while you figure out your next plan since you did make a commitment. Losing a teaching credential or not, quitting after 3 weeks will not look good to future employers.
Last year was my first year of teaching at a charter. Those first weeks are HARD. It is quite an adjustment period as you get used to being in charge of your own class and all that goes along with that. Three weeks is not enough time to tell if teaching is for you. It takes much longer than that to get the kids into routines, to get into some real in depth content (the first three weeks at my school is all review), to really get to know each other and become a community, etc.
I had a friend who wanted to be a teacher. She then decided she didn't want a job she had to take home. If you truly want a 9-5 no extra work type of scenario, then you want a job, NOT a career. I think you would be hard pressed to find a professional career where you do not take any extra work home. I'm curious about this wonderful magic land your friends seem to have discovered where people have jobs that allow them so much free time.
People are asking you some very good questions here. What else would you do? Did you student teach? I'm confused about why you didn't know what goes into teaching if you student taught. Maybe you went an alternate route? All of these things make a difference.
I also agree with the posts that say if you're working ALL weekend and EVERY night with no free time, you're doing it wrong. I work extremely hard and the first year was challenging, but I definitely made sure I had free time. I had to prioritize. I couldn't spend a lot of time on extra things or making everything cutesy. I set up modified reading centers based on Daily 5 so I had little prep for those. I picked up some strategies (Kagan is good) where we could do cooperative learning activities with little prep that stretched across disciplines. Teaching CAN take over your life, but it does not have to. I work hard, and I do frequently work 10-12 hour days, and I always work at least a few hours on the weekend, but I also make sure my Saturdays are free and that I still have some downtime on weeknights. I have to have that to survive. It sounds like maybe you should try balancing things first before leaving.
If you really don't want to be there, then leave. But realize you will have a hard time getting back into teaching ever again. So if you're leaving, you're leaving for good. If you're at a charter, you're at will, so just tell them you're leaving and leave. It's that simple. Posting on this board leads me to believe that maybe there is some part of you that wants to keep trying...but I could be wrong.
I don't know how you go through an entire program in college and then be surprised at what the job is like when you start. True, college doesn't teach you a lot of the things you need to know to teach, but it's not like walking in and being completely blindsided. And I would tell ANYONE in ANY job to give it more than three weeks before deciding to throw in the towel.
I am two weeks into my current school year, and I've got 20 years behind me. I still don't have my sea legs for school yet this year.
It seems like you really did not want any advice. You obviously want out, so be it. If you truly want to leave that bad, then go ahead and go. You already stated that you didn't care if your record is dinged. Plus, unless we teach in your district, we wouldn't know exactly what happens anyway. The only people I ever knew who left mid-year did so due to illness or relocation. The few who just didn't like teaching finished their contact year, with the exception of one who was asked to resign after showing up for work drunk.
Do remember that other employers will want to know why you left your job. "I didn't like it" isn't going to be the answer they want to hear. One of my friends (not a teacher) has been unemployed for more than two years because she quit so many jobs that nobody will hire her. She's chronically discontent.
Not all of my friends are teachers. They don't really have any more free time than I do. In fact, most have LESS because my contracted days are 190. They are working far more days for less money. I could spend every waking minute doing something for school, but I don't choose to do that. If I'm working on something school-related, it's because I want to, not because I have to.
I started teaching at 22, and I had to give up some of the "fun" things that I used to do with my friends. One of my favorite activities was going to a bar in the nearby town and listening to bands. (I don't drink.) The bar was 18 and up, and I was teaching seniors. Many of them were there, too. I decided that it was not appropriate for me to mix school and social life that much, so I stopped going. Sure, I missed it, but not enough to give up a career over. Within a couple of years my friends had also outgrown the bar & band scene, and I didn't lose a single friend during that time we weren't hanging out.
Work is hard.
Growing up is hard.
Hope you find a solution.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume there's more to the situation than just wanting more free time.
My worry for you is that if you quit three weeks in, is that it won't look good for your next job. I don't think a potential employer is going to look kindly on that. Now, if you stick it out for the year and then decide to ditch teaching, you'd probably have a better shot.
We may not have had your exact first year experience, but we have walked in your shoes so to speak. If you stick around these forums long enough hopefully you'll come to realize there's a good support system. Every now and then someone may have a response you don't like; this doesn't necessarily mean your being judged. I'd read these responses carefully and consider the advice before making a rash decision.
So teddy, it comes down to this:
Will you prove us wrong, or will you prove us right?
Whenever a new year starts and they introduce the new staff, a group of us jokingly make bets on how long before they quit, based solely upon our visual assessment of the person.
One year, we had a Spanish teacher from Panama walk right out of the school in the middle of her third day yelling, "Administrators in Panama would NEVER put up with the students treating their teachers like this!" :lol:
Wow. Glad I'm not at your school. It doesn't sound very welcoming. (Regardless of the students)
Interesting...kind of explains a lot. What a sad, pathetic game.
In my school we support new teachers with a mentor, staff developer and new teacher academy...and heres the funny thing, I can't remember the last time someone voluntarily left. Coincidence? I don't think so.
I agree with what other said. When I read your first post, it sounds to me like you have decided teaching isn't for you mostly because you can't go out drinking when your friends can. If you are feeling like you are being judged, then give us some other reasons that we CAN help you with. In all honesty, if you hate teaching that much, why even care about what would happen to your license? It sounds to me like maybe you haven't written off teaching completely...so let us help you.
The first few weeks of any school year can be hard, especially your first year. You probably feel overwhelmed, and feel pressured to have amazing lessons for every second of the day. Teachers borrow ideas all the time - use the internet, us, and your coworkers to help lighten your load right now! You have to take time for yourself - otherwise you will go stir crazy. Why don't you share with us exactly what is taking up all your time - I'd bet someone here can give you ideas, help you streamline paperwork, or even share lessons with you to make things easier.
If the problem is admin, remember if you stick it out this year, you can find another school. I'm not trying to speak badly about charter schools - some are wonderful - but I've heard some horror stories about charter schools with lousy pay and way too many hours - is your school possibly one of those? What hours are you required to work/be available? Is it that you don't agree with admin policies? Don't get a mentor teacher/support from coworkers? Or maybe no support from admin, especially with discipline? Many of these are factors in which merely another school could fix the problem.
If the problem really is that it wasn't what you expected, did you complete student teaching & observations? If you did, what is different enough that it makes you want to quit now?
I gladly tell anyone that asks that this forum helped me to survive my first year. I may not get to post as often as I would like anymore, but anytime I am upset, overwhelmed, or in need of help, the people in these forums have been there. They do understand. They do want everyone who is on here to succeed and to have a support system. Give us more information so that we can help you, if that's what you want. If you don't want that, and just want to quit and never teach again, then do. That's my
Everywhere in life, you will find people who will jump all over someone's weakness and be extremely unkind. Unfortunately, some of them are on this board. Ignore the mean-spirited posts. Focus on the advice that is productive and helpful.
There are people here who continually brag about themselves and use this board to build themselves up. What they must be like IRL I can't imagine.
You are obviously in a very bad situation or you wouldn't be posting here. Can you give us any details about what specific issues are causing such distress? Then we can try to give some specific advice.
I can tell you that I had an experience once that I thought I absolutely had to get out of. I couldn't sleep and I was absolutely miserable. I truly do know how you feel. If your health is threatened, get help....do not beat yourself up.
One more thing, plenty of people post here about guilt over leaving one teaching job for a better opportunity, and some of these same people bashing you tell them not to worry, to put themselves first. So ignore the haters.
Those two situations aren't comparable at all.
Indeed they are. Both teachers are unhappy. Both feel the need to leave to preserve their sanity and find happiness elsewhere. Where they choose to go is not the issue. The fact is that they need to leave. Neither one is under contract, and so they are free to pursue their hopes and dreams elsewhere if they so desire.
You can feel free to encourage one to leave and the other to stay, or not, but don't get mad at Teddy because you don't like her reasons. Actually, we don't know her reasons. I'm going to assume she is in a state of panic based on her statement of getting out and never looking back.
If it's not for you, it's not for you. If you hate it that much and you don't think it will get better, it'll be best for both you and the students to move on. I don't understand all the bashing. Yes, you're moving a bit too quickly IMO, but everyone has different priorities and preferences. The job will go to someone who wants it more and the students will have a teacher who wants to be there. I would speak to your admin and see how long of a notice you should give. I wouldn't give less than two weeks so that they can find an adequate replacement. Sorry, I'm not familiar with your area as far as legal requirements, but check your contract.
Your school sounds good for one thing, and one thing only, reality TV.
I agree that where they go is not the issue; WHEN they go is the issue.
I see what Rainbowbird is saying. There was another thread recently about someone leaving a few weeks in to go to another school, and this person was unanimously supported. On the other hand, teddy is not. I would encourage both of the individuals to stick it out.
The OP hasn't shared anything about terrible work conditions, not feeling safe, uncontrollable classes, unsupportive or overly demanding admin...what the op has put forth as reasons to leave boils down to time mgt, hard work and not having enough time to party with friends on weekends. That's what I see as the difference between the two...but then again, I'm sure this will be classified as the rantings of a 'hater'.
Loved your first post as well, Cza.
As for myself, I am in my late 20s and I get frustrated when others in my demographic seem to shrink away at the prospect of lots of work or any kind of difficulty. I reread the OP's posts, and that's all I'm hearing.
I agree; it makes the rest of us look bad (though, if older generations were being intellectually honest, it shouldn't make the rest of us look bad).
When they feel they need to go is apparently when they need to go....
Not a place for the faint of heart, that's for sure!
I seriously doubt many would have the fortitude for it.
Oh come on. Surely you can sense there is more to the story. Or she wouldn't be posting here. Teaching is overwhelming the first year, heck, it can be overwhelming any year. I totally got what she meant about her friends getting to go have fun. I didn't read it as "I just want to party." I saw it as "I have no life and I'm drowning!"
I don't see anything helpful about telling someone to suck it up. Or get out, you don't have what it takes, which is basically what you said. Of course your final parting shot is your classic "Best of luck to you" which you tend to use after ripping someone a new one. Doesn't sound especially sincere IMO.
Do you tell your students that "when they feel the need to quit because the content is hard is when they should quit?"
I think Rainbows point is there is some hypocrisy going on here(maybe I am wrong). Some of the other members of this sight have talked about how tough it is over and over and over, how they are not happy, over and over and over and how they need to move schools, and the choir chimes in with we support you. Teddy does a similar thing and her legs are cut out from under her.
Basically, Rainbowbird, what I said was to stick it out longer than 3 weeks, that work is hard and that hard work has rewards. You are putting your own spin on my words (and yes, I will admit that my advice used what most parents of newly working young adults would call a 'tough love', reality check approach ) but you seem to make a sport of that. You're doing your own share of 'ripping' here.?.and while you question my sincerity and integrity, I'm sure you are quite sincere in your contempt for those here you call 'haters'.
I have no problem with people moving schools or looking for new positions...after fulfilling the terms of their contract.
Indiana is ass-backwards when it comes to contracts, and I've started teaching without a contract the last two years; since I'm not under contract, I'd feel no obligation to stay at this school until such a time as I'm given a contract for the upcoming year. Once I sign it, I'm fulfilling the terms every time unless I contract some kind of illness or other extenuating circumstance.
"I don't like work" isn't an extenuating circumstance.
No offense, but you should quit right now, if you are as ignorant & self-centered as your post suggests. Do you realize that there is something out there called WORK. It isn't just where you show up every day, and you get money every week/other week/month. You have to WORK. Where else can you WORK for such a noble cause, as helping little kids become better people?
If teaching is not your thing, fine. But quitting three weeks in is a disservice. It is a slap in the face of the person who had enough faith in you to hire you, it is a slap in your students' face obviously, and even a slap against the great parents who seem to share your passion for partying and not working too hard.
And let me give you some perspective--partying, doesn't mean much. And someday, you will be 40. Gasp! You will be ANCIENT! It is when your looks go away, your physical abilities go away, and the only thing left (hopefully) is your mind, and your record. At that point, the respect you get from people isn't cuz you're hot anymore. It is about what kind of record you put on paper over the years.
If my daughters teacher came to work with this attitude, day after day, I would rather they called it. I would have more respect for someone teaching my daughter, saying " I am doing a disservice to the students", than sticking out a contract.(not directed towards teddy)
I am not saying that's what Teddy should do. I am saying that anyone who doesn't like the work teaching requires, when they know they have given it an honest go, should call it.
They are simply not going to be effective.
Now that is showing a real good side of you, Pashtun. You are purposely going to post things that you think are offensive to the OP of a thread just to see what czacza would do. Nice.
Yep. I am going to tell someone in the next 2 months, who tell us their story about how difficult their class is, how horribly misbehaved the students are, how much lack of support they get from admin, how they are looking to leave mid year...."Suck it up. Work is hard. Any work."
Just to clarify. You think telling someone to "Suck it up. Work is hard. Any work." is bashing and a hater when you should be supporting them. You will purposely do this to some unknowing poster to settle a score with czacza to prove a point. You will purposely do something to someone that you view hurtful to get back at czacza.
First of all, my post never said anything about "partying" but it was saying I work all the time and I have no life. I am working harder and longer hours than my friends and almost all of them make more than I do and they have a life. Not sure why people assume because you are in your 20s it must mean I want to "party".
My students actually are great. It is admin and parents. No one mentors as all over worked here and all living in fear of parents who seem to run the school. Colleagues getting sued or reported to dept Ed etc as parents not feeling teachers doing enough. Yet these a good teachers. So it is not just me. As for working and hard working, I do know how to work. I worked 30-40 hours a week to get brought college without debt. All I am saying is now that I am in it full force, I have decided if this is teaching and watching my colleagues then enough. From what I can see all teachers are not happy. I watch some others cry. I do not want to be sued or have life taken over by demanding parents.
Decided to give notice and let him know I can wok until fall break. Hopefully I can keep my license, but if not no worries. Funny... All my nontechnical friends think I am crazy to stay... And after reading some of these posts it makes me wonder why I would want to work with people who jump all over others. Maybe you are miserable and do not have guts to quit. And for those of you who love it, awesome. But why be o mean o someone who says hey...not for me. Thanks to those who actually seemed to not quickly form an opinion of me . I had a lawyer friend look at my contract and he thinks with this much notice all will be fine.
(oh why am I responding...)
That's not at all what the OP said. Can't be compared.
I will tell someone, who is looking to leave midyear because of what I described to "suck it up, work is hard".
I think the previous veteran az posters who find support for leaving their position are supported because it's not their first teaching position, and they aren't leaving the profession.
Separate names with a comma.