What's the proverbial straw for you?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Do you have one? Do you know what it is? What are some things that you hear are happening at other schools that you know will have you resigning if they come to yours?

    I think for me, it would be one of two things: scripted lessons and mandated home visits. I will not do either of these things. The way things are going in my area regarding IEPs and 504s, I might add accommodating students to my list. Here the trend is for students to be awarded (that word works nicely here) 504s if the parents say the child needs them. You can buy a diagnosis super easy in my city. So students that are plum lazy can be labeled Executive Functioning Disordered and not have to do long-term projects if they don't want to. Can sit in any seat they want, making other students move, etc. It is getting crazy and it might drive me over the edge too.

    Anyone else have a line they have drawn?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Given the nature of the courses I teach, I strongly doubt that I would ever be asked to teach from a scripted program. Thank goodness!

    I would NOT do mandated home visits. Absolutely no way, no how. Won't happen. If that became a requirement of my job, I would have to find a different job.

    I would also have to leave the profession if my pay were cut dramatically, to the point where my very frugal family couldn't afford to live on it any longer.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I guess I have finally drawn the line...after years of putting up with the testing mentality of our schools. Every year we drop more worthwhile and motivating activities in order to have time for practice testing. Now we have dumped art and recess.

    This year we have to compete with other teachers in the school to get the highest scores on the practice tests. The teachers in the top scoring classes for each practice test are rewarded, while everyone else is sent an email asking what happened to make their kids score lower. Of course, the gifted classes always score the highest!

    I've had enough. I'm not teaching anymore...I'm just testing. So, I'm
    retiring this year. Time to move on to something more fulfilling.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Well, the straw has officially broken the camel's back, but it's not something concrete, like what you've described for yourself. For me, it's the intangible unrealistic expectations and the lack of respect from administrators and co-workers.

    Those "straws" aren't coming. They're already here. I can't possibly case manage, plan lessons for, teach, and collect data on all of the 20+ students on my sped caseload from four different grade levels, manage a handful of paras, and case manage students who have been referred to but have not yet qualified for sped (on top of the committee duties and other paperwork that everyone has to do).... and still do my job WELL. The lack of respect just adds insult to injury.

    I have the choice to continue pretending that I'm successfully doing all of the above and crossing my fingers that no once comes to see evidence of it all, or I can say I quit. I give. I call uncle. I'm done. And, I've chosen the latter. This will be my last year teaching sped. I may give regular ed another go next year, assuming my principal allows it, but I'm close to giving up on teaching altogether. If I'm not allowed to transfer to regular ed, then I am most definitely quitting, even if it means working at the coffee shop down the street.

    Side note: I teach from a scripted program, and it's honestly not as bad as it sounds. I use it as a guide and make adjustments based on what works for my students and my teaching style. I actually like it, because it makes lesson prep relatively easy. And, it helps that no one is breathing down my neck, telling me to follow it exactly as written. :2cents:
     
  6. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Significant cuts to my pension, salary or benefits. Those three things are the bottomline reason why I get up and go to work every morning. Thus, I would have to walk if there were any significant changes to any of those because the stresses of teaching are not worth it otherwise.

    I've learned to put up with a lot of other things that REALLY bother me: the disrespect from students AND their parents, teaching in chaotic schools with no real direction/focus, lack of funding for basic materials/supplies, incompetent Admin, etc.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    If they ever let me stop teaching kids I'm pretty sure I'd quit teaching. Nothing has come close to doing that yet so I'm rather far from the camel.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    When I was in grad school, I "taught" reading intervention to 3rd graders using Open Court and I loved it. I loved having everything basically planned out and written for me so all I had to do was follow the pacing/timeline guides I was given.

    A huge part of my daily stress is that there is no real history curriculum at my school, so I have to come up with original lessons everyday for each class I teach. And I need 95 minutes of material each day.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yeah, I'm not being forced to do home visits. My experience with those has been negative.

    There are things unique to my position happening across the country. I would leave like that! if it happened in my school.

    Bella, I'm actually happy you've made that decision because I know things are far too stressful for you.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I can handle anything my school throw at me, as long as my pay doesn't get much lower. It's listening to creeps like Michelle Rhee badmouthing teachers that would drive me out of the profession, if anything did.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I can't imagine any such straw.
     
  12. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I've never heard of mandated home visits around here. What exactly are those for and what would that possibly entail?
     
  13. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Allowing parents to enter my classroom without permission. I had a father two years ago who became extremely irate. He got very close to me, threatening to take me to court over my alleged "mean" behavior toward his daughter. I seriously feared for my well being. Now I insist on meeting parents in a conference room by the main office.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I've been on only one before. I went with our school counselor. The parent had requested special ed testing for her son, but she didn't show up to our meeting. We decided that testing was warranted, but we needed her signature in order to conduct the testing. I sent the paperwork home and called her numerous times to no avail. I sought help from the counselor, and her solution was a home visit. It was very awkward and uncomfortable... not to mention the fact that I had to leave my paras to the teaching that took place while I gone so that I could go... Just one more reason to take me away from the one part of the job I actually enjoy.

    Thanks, JustMe. I appreciate the support. :)
     
  15. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I love this question.

    I feel like I've already reached this point due to pay, as I am looking for other jobs altogether.

    But, assuming I wasn't already at this point, my last straw would be no assistant. They are cutting assistants left and right, and I can absolutely not do my job without an assistant.

    I'd do regular ed, which I am qualified for, if it ever came down to this.


    We've already been forced to do scripted lessons. I do hate them, especially for my students. The research even states that these programs are not meant for kids with significant disabilities. But, you can't tell our "reading specialist" or "math specialist" (who are the same person) this.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    My district is notorious for this. Parents can just pop up in our classroom whenever, although they are supposed to check in at the office first. Even if they do, the teacher is not notified that the parent is coming to see you and they ALWAYS expect for you to stop whatever you're doing to talk to them right then. They rarely make an appointment unless Admin has called them in.

    Although, if a parent is visibly irate when they come in the office, the office will call the teacher down instead of sending the parent up and then call a police officer to "mediate" the session in the office.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have recently become much better about insisting that appointments be made when parents just drop by. Never once has a drop-in taken less than ten minutes of my time. And those 30-60 minutes at the end of the day are mighty precious to me.

    The last time a parent stopped by I simply told her that I would love to talk to her about her son's progress in my class but I had something already scheduled for that time (inputting grades into the computer and then leaving to pick up my own child) and would have to meet with her another time. She said "but this will only take a minute..." I replied "Great - would you like to meet tomorrow at 3:30 or later in the week?" She was a bit miffed but I was able to get my work done on time.

    If I have the time I will meet. But that is very, very rarely the case immediately after school.
     
  18. MsB2012

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    We have to do home visits this year. It is a requirement of a grant my school received. We have until the end of the year to do them, and we are required to take an admin or another teacher with us.

    Earlier in the year we sent notices home and the parents who checked off that they want a home visit are the ones we have to go see. I believe I have around 18 who checked "Yes" (darn!). We have until the end of the year to do these, but I don't think anyone has actually started yet. We do get paid extra ($20 an hour) to do them outside of school hours (which is the only time they can be done really since we are not allowed to leave during the school day for them).

    However, I'm still not looking forward to doing them. I have spoken to many of these parents so many times through email and in person at school, but there is something that seems so awkward about going into their home. How do you tactfully say "I've gotta go!" when you're ready to go? :whistle: :rolleyes::D
     
  19. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    A friend of mine teaches Middle School and, although she does not have to make home visits, she has to carry a cell phone with her at all times (even weekends) to make her more accessible to her students and their parents.

    Give me a fracking break :eek:hmy:(BS Galactica lingo). Aren't teachers allowed to have a private life anymore, either?
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    That would be a final.straw.for me too.
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My final straw wasn't just one straw, but more a collection of straws built up over the years. Namely, they included a lack of respect as a professional, dismal pay, even worse benefits, and a lack of support from administration when dealing with problem students and parents.
     
  22. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    How about a website where teachers can upload their resignations??? Someplace where we can tell our stories and hopefully turn it into something positive....

    I hear over and over that good teachers are quietly resigning and melting back into society. What good is that doing our kids? What good is that doing our country?

    I'd be willing to set the site up if there are teachers who have already resigned - and teachers who are about to do so - who would be willing to tell their own personal stories....
     
  23. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Home visits? Oh, h*ll no. If they change our health insurance plans. As it is, our prescription co-pays are $45. One more data collecting and recording, charting, whatever the powers that be choose to call it. If my pay becomes dependent on my test scores. That's been talked about for the last several years.

    I have a friend who teaches at a nearby college. She has been keeping her ears open for any openings there. They get an e-mail of an opening before it becomes public. Last year they had an opening for the dean's admin assistant. I talked myself out of it because it was open in March, right before testing, and I didn't feel right leaving. So, I stayed. For what? To come back this year to more crap required from my admin, the worst kid in my grade level, more data collecting and tracking, more disrespect from parents, less support from admin (didn't even think that was possible). Yeah, my dedication payed off. :|


    Beth
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have another one - losing Summer. I openly admit that one of the reasons that I teach is for Summer break. Initially it was because I wanted to be off when my children were. Now I have come to love those weeks off. If we go to year-round school I will be leaving.
     
  25. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    :thumb: agreed
     
  26. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Straw #1: Detailed lesson plans like I had to do in college. Afraid I can feel it coming in my district as they search for a way to "prove" we are doing our jobs.

    Straw #2: Cut in pay.

    Straw #3: Bad evaluations. I don't think I could handle this. It's tough enough having SO MANY evaluations, even though they've always been good. It's getting ridiculous. :dizzy:

    Straw #4: A close relative wins big at the lottery, as I don't play. :lol:
     
  27. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I couldn't either until I was asked last year to change a grade from an F to a C. At that point my own morals would not allow me to continue teaching in the private ultra conservation Baptist school that I was at. They told me the only way they could consider offering me a new contract--I told them here they could put their contract and I had a new job 2 days later.
     
  28. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Good for you! :thumb:
     
  29. chemnerd19

    chemnerd19 Companion

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    That took a lot of courage, Chemteach55. I really admire you for doing that.
     
  30. chemnerd19

    chemnerd19 Companion

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    My "straws" would be a cut in pay to the point that I could not live on it, or a cut in benefits.
     
  31. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I've had years where I made less than the year before, but if that became a trend, I'd have to rethink my career options. Texas has changed retirement requirements several times. I'm going to have to teach over forty years before I can retire with full benefits. I haven't decided if I want to teach that long.
     
  32. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    So silly- what's the point of the home visit, especially if they parents said yes? I mean obviously if they have something at home to hide they would just say no? I don't get it. We have a school social worker here who does home visits for specific reasons like if a child has chronic absences.
     
  33. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I love the freedom I have with designing my curriculum. I'm hearing on this forum about a lot of people being required to follow the curriculum and pacing of other teachers. I would be very unhappy if that occurred. I remember working in schools that were similar. It didn't stop the teachers from being ineffective, and seemed to exacerbate lazy teaching instead when they had a script to follow. I think it was the secure feeling that they had a script prepared for them already so they didn't feel the need to review it or think about the best way to present it.
     
  34. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    The point is to build a community around the school. The family is leaving their child in our care and we are afraid of visiting them to say hello on their own turf? That seems so silly to me.

    To the one above worried about awkwardness, just tell them clearly when you arrive that you have x minutes and then must go on to your next meeting or back to your life.
     
  35. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I would love to have mandated home visits if I were paid for them.

    I don't think the purpose of them is to find a problem with the student's home life, but to build a better relationship with the student.
     
  36. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'm no longer in the classroom, but I would leave education if the trend continues that parents that make huge waves (even when unfounded) get whatever they want because the district just doesn't want to deal with them.
     
  37. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Wow... I can't think of such a straw...

    I guess if I or my students were not being supported or if we were being harmed. I would leave if I felt unsupported or unheard...

    Those are the only reasons I can come up with. Mandated home visits actually sounds like an opportunity I would welcome.
     
  38. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Your post confuses me a bit. Don't you feel that when parents make waves but have a very valid (founded) reason that it should be considered and changed if the parents are accurate. Honestly, I wouldn't ever want to work anywhere that didn't take parents concerns when founded into consideration.
     
  39. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Geez, isn't that what email is for? I'm sure somehow that phone would end up at the toilet at my house. One of my kids who see that it got there...

    What's next, mandated friends on facebook?
     
  40. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I took it as parents get their way when it's founded (which is good), but also when unfounded--as in no administrative support behind teacher's decisions even when the teacher is clearly in the right.
     
  41. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Personally, I wouldn't be able to handle a "full inclusion" position where I was essentially being asked to be a para in the gen ed classroom. My caseload is way too high right now for that to even be considered, but it may be a concern in the future if they end up hiring another teacher. The "full inclusion" craze is just starting to reach my area, and some of the smaller elementary schools in my district are trying it now. I guess I could try to go back to regular ed or move to a different district, but both of those options are unlikely to be possible. The market in my area is tough, and I'd be less likely to be hired as I keep gaining experience since I'd be too expensive. My problem is that I have no idea what I'd do instead, and I'd have to go back to school. I'll stick to just hoping that it never becomes an issue!
     

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