Well, I believe it's begun

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by shouldbeasleep, Nov 14, 2011.

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  1. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Nov 14, 2011

    1. An acquaintance at another school left education after 10 years two weeks ago. She had a nervous breakdown directly related to job stress. She's fine now, but she's not coming back to education.

    2. Two teachers in our small district are not coming back after having their babies. They said it's not a sane environment and not worth it. These are veteran teachers, and not their first children.

    3. Another teacher at a school is leaving as soon as a replacement is hired. She's been applying for work on cruise lines!

    4. Teacher absences are up in our county. I got that from a friend who works at the Central Office.

    5. The administrators at our school have been telling us to go home directly after school and be with our families or enjoy the fall weather. We're getting jean passes left and right. Biscuits provided for us by them last Election Day.

    6. County directive on Election Day. NO MEETINGS. We haven't had a day without kids that has been meeting free for a very long time. I think the superintentent has told administrators to ease off. He's a great guy, and his wife is a teacher. He's sent several e-mails to the entire county telling us how wonderful we are.

    Today I heard of two more situations.

    7. An administrator who has been with the county for many years has decided to retire, and she may not wait until the end of the year. She told her staff that she's tired of the pressure and doesn't think it's good for her health. She's not the type to tell them they should ease off...but.

    8. And the best one yet... a 3rd grade teacher of many years has decided to leave at the end of the year. The kicker? She is not doing any more of the paperwork she has been handed. She leaves at her contract time. And she has decided to just teach the kids what they are supposed to know without worrying about anything. No RTI hoopla. If they want a graph, she'll give them the paperwork and they can create it themselves. She refused to chart the kids progress for the data room. She told them she didn't have time. She stopped creating and putting up standards posters. I heard that she's enjoying herself very much. She's told her coworkers that she's looking forward to getting fired. And I heard she's a great teacher. I have many friends over at her school and they are all tickled pink about her attitude and assure me that the kids aren't suffering one tiny bit. I don't know her personally, but I've heard her name several times in past years as an education "star".

    So is it happening in your district yet?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2011

    Nope. I work in a place, that despite budget cuts and political constraints, still values professionals, puts kids' needs forefront and where colleagues build each other up.:love:
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What do you think is happening?
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    In a matter of speaking....they are giving the finger back to their district/state.

    Sounds great to me.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 14, 2011

    Lady Eight...that would feel sooooo wonderful. :)

    I am at the place again where I am working far too many hours in the day. Yet, if I didn't...things would fall apart. Unhappy.
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I would love to go back to teaching, but I see how much work it is. I would not physically be able to make it through an 8 hour day. I admire all of you still working hard. Teaching is not like it used to be. My GM was a teacher and she told great stories. She once had a student throw his book out the window, and she picked the kid up and threw him out the window.
     
  8. tired.mom

    tired.mom Companion

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    Nov 14, 2011

    Stress is rampant. Grad school is stressful but less "sucking dry" of one's soul

    I think a lot of districts--mine included--are stressing and working teachers to death. Friends who still teach are working even more hours than normal and are exhausted. Several say they are close to throwing in the towel--I understand completely.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2011

    It always makes me sad to read this sort of thing--it is so far from my experience.

    We had a number of visitors to our school yesterday from another country and they were asking about the opportunities for teachers here. Although the job market is tough, our profession has a good reputation and our work is valued.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Yep, I feel like I am starting to experience this too. A lot of people want out. I feel like this could go two ways - everyone leaves because of all the crap laid on them, so the schools shape up and start treating us like human beings again, or everyone leaves and opens up positions for young teachers right out of college who have been desperately seeking jobs and will do whatever they are told.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree, Mrs. C.
     
  12. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Nov 15, 2011

    Yes, teaching is stressful, but cleaning toilets can be stressful if you let it. I mean, who knows what kinds of germs I might be breathing in? What about the .1 % of germs these scrubbing bubbles aren't killing? What I spend all this time cleaning and someone finds a hair on the toilet bowl? Why am I doing this anyway? Someone is just going to come in here and tell me I missed a spot or, worse yet, someone's just going to come in here and pee on the seat again and I'll have to start over! And what kind of tools should I be using anyway? Brillo pads? Might scratch the delicate surface. Bleach? Too caustic. I definitely need good gloves, though. Oh my gosh...how am I going to find time to search for the right tools and methods...which ones are the best? Where is the money for this going to come from??!! Gaaah!!!!! :eek:

    Don't get me wrong. There are days I feel completely overwhelmed and wish I didn't have to go to work. Usually it's during a time when other things are piling up in my life as well, when I haven't been eating right or getting enough rest/exercise, or when I haven't been feeling well.

    The longer I teach, the more I am trying to get to the place where I can prioritize- do what is most important for the kids, then get other "required" things done as I have time. I still stress more than most people, I think, but I'm trying to be realistic about what I can be expected to do. HOWEVER, I also respect and value my position as a teacher and I am willing to give my best (usually!)- which means filling out meaningless paperwork, jumping through state hoops, etc. If I don't understand something I ask. If I really don't have time to do something I let my principal know. I know that I work in an awesome school and I am a generally positive person, though, so maybe my viewpoint is different? :confused:
     
  13. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Nov 15, 2011

    This past weekend my friend told me she's leaving in December and my cousin in Texas told me she has put in for a replacement and will leave asap. I was shocked. They both mentioned scripted lessons and paperwork. It's a sad day when such highly qualified teachers feel the need to leave. My cousin told me teaching to the test the way her admin wants her to teach is educational malpractice. I love teaching and even I am sometimes shocked at the endless paperwork and data collection that,s redundent.
     
  14. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2011

    I wish that good teachers (most) would speak up in mass
    to the nonsense filtering down from the policy makers.
    If you dont think it is a real attempt to undermine the process
    you might want to listen to the noise made from certain political
    circles. Public schools (union driven liberal institutions)are horrible and only massive reforms
    (testing, testing, testing=accountability=mountains of paper work) can fix them. They would believe schools are like factories and should be run as such.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We had a few surprise exits at the end of last year, including the team leader of the 9th grade English teachers. This year, the administration is hearing our cries and has added two new teachers to our grade level. While my school is totally at-will, administration knows that it works both ways and the faculty has the ability to walk away from the job without penalty. They are doing what they can to keep us content, if not thrilled with our careers.
     
  16. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 15, 2011

    A school in our district recently cut 35% of the staff, and the rest of the staff is expected to absorb the students and carry on.

    At another school, about 30% of the teachers are ready to walk out - leave the field permanently - because conditions are so demanding, there is no support, no appreciation from admin, pay cuts, and admin keeps piling the work on.

    I am hearing that teachers all over the country are experiencing the same things: budget cuts, staff cuts, which produces more work for the remaining teachers, without compensation, and more and more paperwork. Teachers seem to be required to spend so much time on paperwork, meetings, and test prep, they aren't allowed to do the wonderful creative teaching which makes the job worthwhile.

    I'm hoping with all the walk outs that things will eventually change.
     
  17. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Nov 15, 2011

    I don't know of anyone at my school throwing in the towel and overall we have a very positive spirit. However a former coworker at the high school where I was last year does not plan to return next year, and she's in her 8th year. Another former coworker is out on a medical leave that is stress/work related. Both of these are for the most part related to changes this year due to budget cuts.
     
  18. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Nov 15, 2011

    Oh my goodness, no, it hasn't happened here, but I am sincerely praying that it's contagious and "infects" the East Coast. We have serious budget cutbacks here and they keep piling on more and more work.

    I have so much administrative crap to do and it seems each week our principal is doing her darnest to suck ALL the fun out of school (latest fun sucker outter -- "NO ART OR COLORING EXCEPT IN PRE K and KINDERGARTEN UNTIL AFTER THE STATE TESTS ARE GIVEN IN MARCH!"
     
  19. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2011

    My P is about to have a mental breakdown. She's taking the next month off. :(
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    After today, I REALLY NEED OUT.
     
  21. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2011

    It hasn't happened here yet. I mean there's been some "drama" between elementary schools because the upper grades are trying to start some stuff about us not needing some of the things we have because Pre-K - 1st "don't need it" but other than that... we're fine.

    No one is quitting that's being vocal about it. I've heard rumors that a couple of K teachers are retiring (hoping to snag their spot) but they have the years in to do so and it's not because of anything except they're just ready to retire.
     
  22. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I find just the opposite at my school- with even more budget cuts coming next year, it seems that everyone is just worried about having a job next year. People are definitely more stressed out, and I don't think the atmosphere in my building is as positive as it used to be, but it's not that people want out- it's that they're terrified they're going to be out of work next year. We have a lot of non-tenured teachers, and the rumor mill is that a small elementary near us will be combined with our school next year since it's so small, our building is huge, and a lot of the kids at that school are there on variance anyway. If that happened, a lot of people between the two schools would lose their jobs. Due to a local charter school closing mid-year, I ended up with a ton of kids transferring in and expect more to come. I literally now have about twice the caseload of most special ed teachers in the district, so I really don't think the budget cuts would effect me, but I'm hoping to move anyway.
     
  23. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Nov 15, 2011

    Agreed.

    A lot of people don't seem to realize what a hard job teaching is, or what it entails. Unfortunately, it's reflected in others' attitudes. It's a shame that so many teachers are leaving the field due to stress and frustration.

    I could never manage a classroom for eight hours, on my feet all day. I can't even comprehend the hard work that goes into it.

    It's just a shame.
     
  24. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    We have new administration this year and it has made life a living hell. Everyone is feeling it. Me being an untenured teacher needs to just take it, but at this point it's gone too far. I'm starting to think this isn't for me. It's sad, because this is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. There is just too much pressure and this new principal is always presenting it in such a terrible, demeaning way. Everything we do is horrible according to him, everything that has ever been done in the district has been wrong, he questions everything and needs to change everything (even if it is not necessary). I teach math and la and both of those subjects are tested and all I keep hearing is how we have to pass, but we are given no new resources, and our elementary school keeps dropping the ball (blunt, but true).

    I'm overwhelmed. I'm counting down the days until June. I'm putting all of my effort in to my job because that is what I signed a contract to do, but when I come home at night I'm exhausted and defeated.
     
  25. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Nov 15, 2011

    MissJill,

    In the past it has felt like that at our school as well, but the more we have gone on and the more pressure they have put on us, we have realized, that only makes things worse. As a group some of us have just decided that we will do what we can of what is asked, but just stay focused on the teaching. Do it the best that we can and the students will benefit more if we let everything else go. The more we stress ourselves out, the worse we end up being at our jobs, you have to find a way to relax, let it go and just teach. That is not the easiest thing to do, took us a while to figure it out.
     
  26. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I've been having a rough time this year due to having 33 5th graders in a small classroom, but THANK GOD my P is really helping me out. I NEVER had a P that offered their time to help me manage my kids. One of our teachers quit within less than a month into the school year.
     
  27. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Nov 15, 2011

    My 2nd grade team meetings almost always end up with us just talking and trying to de-stress. We are all feeling so much pressure.

    It sounds like not everyone is feeling the insane amount of stress that some teachers feel. Yes, every job can be stressful. However, the amount of work that is required by teachers in my district is just beyond manageable. There is no possible way that one person can do everything that is required of them in an 8-hour work day (especially when your prep time is filled with meetings). Class sizes, pressure to raise standardized test scores, and RtI paperwork are adding a lot to our workload.

    I really don't know how much longer I will be able to teach. If everything doesn't begin to fall into place by the time I have my first child (hopefully in the next 3 years), I am seriously considering leaving the profession and being a stay at home mom.
     
  28. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    It must be a Georgia thing, with the new teacher keys, class keys, ccgps, and everything else. We have two leaving for early retirementbin Jan. They will get more money throughout the year than if they wait till May. Two more are leaving education entirely. We have a great school and build each other up, but it's getting a bit crazy with everything with race to the top.
     
  29. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    I hope I didn't imply that our administrator is any less frustrated than his staff. The amount of work that he has to do for the new teacher evaluation program is insane, and his employment depends a lot upon what we do in the classroom. He's one step removed from teaching, yet has all the consequences.

    I think that he and the superintendent are aware of the stress and are doing what they can. Unfortunately, not everyone in administration is on the same page.

    It isn't just the paperwork either.

    Here's an example: I teach 4th grade. The kids are supposed to take a county-level test on multiplication and division by the end of the week. The test is incredibly difficult; all word problems and huge numbers. Double-digit into 4 digits. My kids just aren't ready for it. They will be, but not by some random time chosen by someone far removed from the classroom. Do I give it to them, see a lot of failures, and then have a meeting to discuss how we as a team can do better?

    Or do I skip the deadline altogether and simply tell them they weren't ready for it? Hang the consequences.

    I'm so tempted to do what's right and get two more weeks of practice in. Or just give it to the ones who are ready and wait on the ones who need more time?
     
  30. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Man, this seems like some TOUGH times emerging across the country, with very tough times surely ahead.

    What we need are people with vitality and passion, who will be willing to go the extra mile for the sake of the system. We need to tread on the human capital of loyalty, dedication, and goodwill that we have fortunately built over the last few years.

    It's a good thing that we didn't forsake the next generation of teachers.
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I gues that's bad timing w/ a lot of people at your school acting on their burnouts all at once & not caring anymore.

    I personally, ALWAYS wanted a career working w/ children, BUT not a teacher. I prefer working w/ them on-one-one or in small grps, which is why I got into RSP at first & now I'm in speech, which I like even better. I know I would make a good teacher, but I never liked the idea of having 30 kids all day long. Coworkers & the other adults, I can deal w/ & since I just started my new job, I have yet to encounter a frustrating parent, but I never encountered one in the past either. I don't work for the adults, I work for helping out kids & making my living. I do the best I can & go home & try to enjoy the rest of my life by travelling, etc.
     
  32. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    I am an "unemployed" teacher here in Georgia (have out-of-state credential & currently taken a special ed class to clear a Georgia Certificate). I have never heard of the Class Keys system so I just looked online and researched it! You have to be kidding..... 99 pages of rubrics to grade teacher performance. How in the world can this be implemented and why? I can't imagine the stress this must cause teachers. Not only do you have to worry about getting your students to pass the state testing, you also have to pass a crazy 99 page evaluation yourself. Makes me want to completely jump ship or not even get on the teaching ship to begin with! I can't think of another profession where you have so much education (I am working on 5 1/2 years of college at this point), have an incredible amount of state testing before getting a credential (I have taken CBEST, CSET, RICA, MSAT, US Constitution Exam, Praxis and TPA's 1-4), and to top it off you are constantly evaluated in your profession to make sure you are doing the job you have been trained to do. It is completely overwhelming. This CLASS KEY stuff is out-of-control. Any other states implementing similar programs?

    I don't think I can handle the stress. I had a hard time with Preschool. Yes.... Preschool is extremely demanding. I worked at least 2 extra hours everyday and one of my weekend days preparing centers, lesson plans, paperwork and activities. I had check lists of hundreds of things to be done each week.. State Proceedures that made no sense (washing students hands 16 times a day?), annotations, 7 individual files for each student in class filled with photos and notes (that is 140 files per class), ect... I felt like I was doing all busywork and very little teaching, if any. Students just weren't prepared for Kindergarden due to all the rules and regulations of the Georgia Pre-K system. It is all very frustrating.
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'm hearing of more and more teachers wanting to get out of education than at any other time. Most of it stems from more pressure put onto teachers, cuts putting a strain on those remaining, programs, etc. I'm not wanting to get out of education altogether, but I definitely am wanting out of the classroom. There is just too much paperwork and not enough teaching going on.
     
  34. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm out. I have no intention of ever stepping foot inside a k-12 classroom ever again, unless something dramatic changes. For now, I'll have to satisfy my desire to teach by running a loosely organized "math club" in my neighborhood.
     
  35. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    A coworker of mine is in the hospital - nervous breakdown. Teacher absences are way up. Teachers are complaining that they aren't allowed to teach under the new Marzano model/evaluation. Everyone - including admin - is walking around, looking dead on their feet.

    I love my students, I love my coworkers, I love my bosses - but I love my family, too, and they deserve to have someone come home happy to see them, not sitting shell-shocked on the couch and just waiting for bedtime.
     
  36. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Nov 16, 2011

    Chebrutta-you have to follow Marzano's too? All my P does is walk around doing "walk throughs" and keeping tab on what questioning we use. It's hysterical because when we see the P in the hall with the Blackberry, we duck into each others classrooms to warn of a walk through! Skewing the data? I guess so!
    Honestly, it is not the actual teaching that is wearing me down, it is ALL the testing, and data collecting I have to do. My kids are BORED. I try to make it fun, but how fun can 2 hours of reading instruction and one hour of math instruction with science and social studies thrown in be????? Discipline problems are WAY up-with NO support. What do we need all the data for? We collect it, yet we NEVER do anything with it! We look at it, say, oh, we need to work on that, then we are given NO collaboration time to plan our action steps.
    You would think I would have dropped 50 pounds for the lack of lunch I am eating(because I am working during my lunch hour to catch up!), but the doc says my stress is making me gain.
    Sad thing is, I wouldn't even know what to do if I weren't teaching.
     
  37. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Marzano is almost a swear word in my faculty, mostly because we're so tired of hearing about him! However, since this is my first full-time teaching job, I honestly don't know any other way but to go along with the flow. It helps that my immediate supervisor is a pedagogical goddess who can show how Marzano's ideas are applicable and practical. She walks our walk, not just our walk-throughs.
     
  38. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 16, 2011

    This is a by-product of teachers and their unacceptance of more common-sense and traditional forms of teacher evaluation IMO. Teachers have traditionally been loathe to let their employment be dictated by a manager (i.e. principal), as it might in other forms of industry, citing potential biases or personal agendas (Even though this is a common employment practice in business/industry.) They rail against test results, for the reasons we all know very well. This is the unintended result.

    Common sense can/should prevail. It's NOT that hard to evaluate a teacher and her/his worth. One can get a sense very quickly, and if they were to concentrate their efforts over course of a year... then multiple years, it's actually quite easy to determine whether a teacher is good, bad, or indifferent. No fancy metrics. No elaborate protocol. Just common sense criteria and input.
     
  39. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Nov 16, 2011

    knitter & catnfiddle - If I hear "scale" one more time... URG. My kids HATE it. They were complaining about it one day - saying we don't learn stuff any more, the teachers just ask where they are in their learning - and I told them to write to the governor.

    I'd like to see Marzano teach a year using his best practices. All 41 of them. Every day. And have time to write a reflection on each lesson.

    But I feel bad for my admin - for as horrible as each individual teacher has it, they have it times 25.
     
  40. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 16, 2011

    The trouble is that the "commonsense" metrics require judgment in ways that make them subject to abuse both by (a) principals/supers with axes to grind or friends to hire and (b) "teachers" who either don't have what it takes or won't put out what it takes but who are willing to game the system.

    "Quantifiable results" are the resort and the result when none of the parties involved trusts the others' goodwill or intelligence or integrity.
     
  41. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Nov 16, 2011

    We have a fairly high turnover in our district; not just at the end of a year, but during as well.

    It's a lousy district with a lot of violent students, lousy building administrators, and a lousy staff of administrators at the central office.

    Everyone that I know in our building is just waiting for an opening somewhere, anywhere, either in a better school district or out of education entirely.

    I've stated in other threads how I've seen the profession decline so sharply in the 20+ years I've been teaching. I'm constantly looking for an opportunity OUT of education.


    :mad:
     
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  2. agdamity,
  3. waterfall,
  4. ally06,
  5. Debgifts,
  6. YoungTeacherGuy
Total: 432 (members: 9, guests: 406, robots: 17)
test