What would you do? *EEEK, long*

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Dec 10, 2012

    I have been feeling very stressed about my job lately. I always say that I love my job from 8:45 to 3:20, but I hate everything else about it. Here are some things that have been running through my mind:

    -I do not feel trusted, respected, or appreciated. All we ever hear from admin is that we're not doing enough. A favorite quote from them is "Good enough never is." Our school received a 9 out of 10 on our report card from the state, but we're watched over like children that are incapable of doing anything right.
    -We're known in the area as the district that is always way ahead of surrounding districts, which means they often have unrealistic expectations for teachers, they are always implementing new things, etc.
    -Teachers are constantly compared to one-another in a way that fosters competition and animosity.
    -The meetings are out. Of. Control. We average 3 mandatory meetings per week, but there are usually other things that pop up, as well. I don't have any time to prep during the week (just on my own time, after school).
    -The long hours and low pay is starting to take a toll on me. I get so frustrated when my nurse friends are making $20,000 more than me, and working 40 hour weeks (I wouldn't want their hours, though!).
    -Someone on my team is resigning this month, because she has had enough of it all, like so many other people in my district.

    So, here is the internal battle that I am having. Do I:
    a) Stick it out, because I love teaching, and hope that things improve for education in my state/area. My district does have a fantastic special education system (lots of support), and tons of technology and resources. It's a tough district to get into.
    b) Look for a job in a surrounding district (although, it sounds as though everyone from other districts is just as stressed/frustrated!). Is the grass really greener?
    c) Look into another career.

    I'm always wondering if I'm just so "stuck" in my job that I don't realize how awful it is. For example, would I be happier working a job that doesn't require so many hours, and pays better? I would actually be able to have a life, and have money to live it! Or, would I miss teaching too much?

    What would you do if you were me?
     
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  3. msufan

    msufan Comrade

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    Dec 10, 2012

    I would eliminate option B of finding a job in a surrounding district. I doubt things are that much better there.
     
  4. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Dec 10, 2012

    I sometimes think we become so used to our jobs that we forget the good stuff, too. I left a great job a couple of years ago because I felt under-appreciated. Boy, what a mistake. I didn't realise how much I would miss my colleagues. The camaraderie made up for the negative things, I can see with hindsight! I think sometimes jobs are like relationships, we get complacent and take for granted the good stuff and start focussing on the negatives. To really draw out the metaphor, I also think we often have a 'rebound' job when we leave a job for negative reasons, a short-term job that serves as a bridge to the next 'good' job. That's been my experience, both from myself and others. I try to think of leaving as having two sides: am I going FROM a job, or going TO a job. If I'm going from, I really need to examine all aspects of my current job. If going to a job, that's usually positive (better job).
    I understand what you're saying, it sounds like a very demanding position. That's ok, as long as you feel rewarded and appreciated. It doesn't sound like either of those applies to you.
    But you obviously love teaching. I have no advice, everything I could say sounds glib.
    Thinking of you.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Dec 10, 2012

    Geez, I'm sitting here contemplating whether or not I should stay at my school just because I love my co-workers. Everyone has an individualized program in my class and the time it takes me to plan is almost 4 times as much as the other teachers and my principal is really wishy washy. I talked to my principal about it last month and I get rewarded by having him remove a student from another class and placing them in mine even though he doesn't meet the sp. ed. criteria to be in my class.:dizzy:.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Dec 10, 2012

    One of the only reasons I will likely stay at my school next year is my grade level team. A lot of other things are bad, but I know it would be hard if not impossible to recreate what we have somewhere else. My admins are both lunatics and there is a lot of "politics" that I didn't have to experience at my last school. My principal is extremely negative. Funny you mention "good enough never is" because she says that all of the time too. We aren't allowed to celebrate anything that goes right because she is afraid praise will make us complacent. Expectations change from day to day and they act like that's what they wanted all along (won't admit it's changing all the time). We have a lot of behavior problems that either aren't present or wouldn't be tolerated in other districts. With our evaluations and job status now be based mostly on test scores and getting kids coming to me 2-3 years behind, I worry constantly about that too. However, I think I would only leave if I were switched grade levels or if my team were broken up. Here are my thoughts:

    a) The chances of finding another job in a higher SES district where I wouldn't have to worry as much about the test scores/evaluations is pretty much slim to none. I'm lucky to have this position in this market. So that's not even really a "what if" for me because I know it's not really possible. Along the same lines I'd likely end up with similar behavior problems.
    b) I enjoy teaching regular ed much more and with sped experience on my resume, I'm afraid I'd be pigeon-holed back into that if I moved to a new district.
    c) I already left one school after two more years. I left because I hated the location, but I did have occasional feelings of not feeling respected or appreciated. Now that I see my current school environment, I realize I was being treated like a queen at my previous school. I'd kill for that kind of daily work environment again.
    d) Personally, I can't afford to go back to school unless I moved back to my home state and lived with my parents. I would HATE that. Words cannot describe how much I would hate it. Not just that I would lose my independence, but I love my new city and want to keep living here.
    e)As annoying as admin is, the people I see/work with every day are my team. They are simply the best people ever. We are like a little family. They make work 100x better. If I moved to a school with a great admin, I'd still be missing my team.
     
  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Dec 10, 2012

    So, here is the internal battle that I am having. Do I:
    a) Stick it out, because I love teaching, and hope that things improve for education in my state/area. My district does have a fantastic special education system (lots of support), and tons of technology and resources. It's a tough district to get into.
    b) Look for a job in a surrounding district (although, it sounds as though everyone from other districts is just as stressed/frustrated!). Is the grass really greener?
    c) Look into another career.


    I do know that not all schools are like yours, but there are many that are. You may look into other districts, but look really close to see if the "grass really is greener".

    You've had a positive work environment before so you know it exists. I hope you can find another one so you can get back to being more respected. Good luck to you.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 10, 2012

    I didn't want to leave my previous school because I loved my colleagues. Loved. Them. When it was offered a position in another district and it was time to make the big decision, I realized there was no guarantee my colleagues would remain. They had also been teaching for several years more than I had, so it wasn't as though we'd be a big, happy family for the next twenty years until my retirement. So I left. To be honest, I'm getting a little emotional right now just thinking about how much I miss working with them. It's not the same at my school and I have a hard time imagining it ever will be. But as I said, the people and dynamics would have changed eventually at my former school...so I couldn't stay just for that. Well, I got paid a lot more at my former school as well, but...had to give that up, too. :)

    Point is, colleagues are important and something to certainly consider when thinking about a move, but be realistic at the same time.
     
  9. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Dec 11, 2012

    Don't get me wrong. I left a great job two years ago. This year, I left a terrible job. If you're really unhappy, overworked, coping with awful admin, I would leave. Regardless of colleagues!
    Going to a new job can be a lottery.
     
  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 13, 2012

    I think you have to reflect on how bad it is really. Can it get worse? Can it only get better? Last year, for me, it was the latter. So I left and it was the best decision I ever made.

    JustMe says some good things about colleagues. My colleagues are the one thing I miss from last year...but I realized they were going to leave eventually. We were not going to retire from our school. I can see myself staying at my new school a LONG time, and this is better for me professionally. If you look at the big picture, I lost some things, but I am in a better place long term.

    Only you know if you need to leave teaching all together. Good luck! :hugs:
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 14, 2012

    I won't encourage someone to leave a job, but I will say...I left my job in education to take a position in higher ed administration, and I've never looked back.

    I miss my coworkers TERRIBLY. But we get together for dinner at least once a month, we email, we call, and we see each other socially.

    I did not realize how stressed out I had become in my old job until I met with a couple friends the other day. They started talking about test results that had recently been released, and even though I don't work there, I started to feel myself tightening up, stressing out-even my heart started to wig out (I have a murmur, which is controlled by medication, and I haven't had issues with since I left).

    So while I won't tell you what to do, because everyone's decision is personal, I would say: Don't allow yourself to be stuck. DO what you feel is right.
     

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