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Old 01-12-2013, 11:07 AM
 
6 posts, read 17,214 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi! I am interested in hearing from teachers about what they like or don't like about teaching in different counties in Maryland. I taught in a different state previously and moved to Maryland and started teaching in Anne Arundel County this year. I am finding it very different from my other experience. I love working with children (I teach elementary) and can't imagine doing anything else but I feel like the added demands here in MD are leaving little time to enjoy teaching and working with children. I understand that teaching is a lot of work and I am used to that, but now I feel like my job never ends and I run out of time to get it all done, even after working very late each night and on the weekends.

I am starting to wonder if I am not cut out for the demands of teaching or if it could be better in another district/area. I am interested in hearing about the work conditions, supplies that you do or do not have, and especially about the curriculum. We have curriculum guides with many different resources listed but we don't have many of the resources or we spend all of our planning time searching for them all. Is it like this in other districts? I feel that I was a better teacher when I had more freedom and could be creative in my classroom. It also made a huge difference being able to teach from one main curriculum for each subject and supplementing it when needed. Now I feel like all that is being asked of me isn't realistic but they obviously expect us to be able to get everything done. I came from a much smaller district with less "higher ups" making decisions and creating demands and feel that maybe the large district has something to do with my frustrations.

If you teach in Maryland and love it, I would love to know why and what it is that you love. Is it worth looking for a different district/area to teach or would it be similar everywhere? I feel that there has to be a better fit for me but worry that I just can't handle the stress and demands of teaching. I am trying to be hopeful because I do love working with children and am not ready to give it up, I just don't know how much longer I can be so exhausted

Any help/information is greatly appreciated, thank you!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
36,785 posts, read 47,702,703 times
Reputation: 47828
I'm not going to disect your post except to say that the experiences you've had in Anne Arundel are the same in all MD school systems. The state's public education is a very top down driven model and MSDE sets the requirements which all the systems must adhere to. You do know the curriculum you're using is likely used in all the systems and "recommended" by MSDR as part of a Voluntary State Curriculum (it isn't voluntary, by the way). Those are being replaced over the next several years by Common Core.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:47 AM
 
4,190 posts, read 4,182,978 times
Reputation: 5397
I'm curious where you came from. My family has some experience teaching in PA and comparing notes with the ones who are working up there (Smaller independent school districts) there was a lot less structure but I'm not sure it was good for any of the kids that didn't fit into the middle of the main stream. There also seemed to be a lot more local political influence in hiring, grades and promotions.

Maryland must be doing something right, the state constantly does well in the ratings.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Hagerstown
459 posts, read 1,144,874 times
Reputation: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
I'm not going to disect your post except to say that the experiences you've had in Anne Arundel are the same in all MD school systems. The state's public education is a very top down driven model and MSDE sets the requirements which all the systems must adhere to. You do know the curriculum you're using is likely used in all the systems and "recommended" by MSDR as part of a Voluntary State Curriculum (it isn't voluntary, by the way). Those are being replaced over the next several years by Common Core.
Bingo. Plus, for many counties a new evaluation model is going into effect as well. Add in Race to the Top demands, Title I requirements for some schools, etc. and these are tough times in education.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:31 PM
 
26 posts, read 47,840 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SushiBean View Post
Hi! I am interested in hearing from teachers about what they like or don't like about teaching in different counties in Maryland. I taught in a different state previously and moved to Maryland and started teaching in Anne Arundel County this year. I am finding it very different from my other experience. I love working with children (I teach elementary) and can't imagine doing anything else but I feel like the added demands here in MD are leaving little time to enjoy teaching and working with children. I understand that teaching is a lot of work and I am used to that, but now I feel like my job never ends and I run out of time to get it all done, even after working very late each night and on the weekends.

I am starting to wonder if I am not cut out for the demands of teaching or if it could be better in another district/area. I am interested in hearing about the work conditions, supplies that you do or do not have, and especially about the curriculum. We have curriculum guides with many different resources listed but we don't have many of the resources or we spend all of our planning time searching for them all. Is it like this in other districts? I feel that I was a better teacher when I had more freedom and could be creative in my classroom. It also made a huge difference being able to teach from one main curriculum for each subject and supplementing it when needed. Now I feel like all that is being asked of me isn't realistic but they obviously expect us to be able to get everything done. I came from a much smaller district with less "higher ups" making decisions and creating demands and feel that maybe the large district has something to do with my frustrations.

If you teach in Maryland and love it, I would love to know why and what it is that you love. Is it worth looking for a different district/area to teach or would it be similar everywhere? I feel that there has to be a better fit for me but worry that I just can't handle the stress and demands of teaching. I am trying to be hopeful because I do love working with children and am not ready to give it up, I just don't know how much longer I can be so exhausted

Any help/information is greatly appreciated, thank you!
I teach for Baltimore County at the high school level and I feel as though my situation is similar to yours. I regularly put in 10-11 hours a day, then spend a good chunk of my weekend catching up on grading, planning, doing various school-related paperwork, and preparing for the next week.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,044 posts, read 21,015,693 times
Reputation: 6132
My wife teaches at AA and after 12 years of teaching in Missouri (specifically Kansas City district which has a LOT of urban problems), but also some suburban districts.

After four years in AA County, she loves it. Loves the people she works with and how the district and schools are run.

Having said that, she has stated that the districts in MD have a lot more responsibilities and “red tape” than back in the Midwest. The schools are also not as modern and updated as they are in the suburbs around KC. But for the most part, she seems to really like it out here. She works from home all the time, has little time for lunch or even bathroom breaks and is always complaining about it.

Teachers are underpaid, even in Maryland where you make 60-90k average, but you do get summers off! I think you have to figure out a way to deal with the lack of time to actually teach. The red tape and paperwork/meetings part of teaching seems to only get worse every year and with all the budget cuts in the public sector, it’s gotten especially bad in the past couple of years. I would say hang in there and you will probably get used to the negatives of teaching and find a way to do what you seem to have a passion to do.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,676 posts, read 9,044,074 times
Reputation: 4199
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
My wife teaches at AA and after 12 years of teaching in Missouri (specifically Kansas City district which has a LOT of urban problems), but also some suburban districts.

After four years in AA County, she loves it. Loves the people she works with and how the district and schools are run.

Having said that, she has stated that the districts in MD have a lot more responsibilities and “red tape” than back in the Midwest. The schools are also not as modern and updated as they are in the suburbs around KC. But for the most part, she seems to really like it out here. She works from home all the time, has little time for lunch or even bathroom breaks and is always complaining about it.

Teachers are underpaid, even in Maryland where you make 60-90k average, but you do get summers off! I think you have to figure out a way to deal with the lack of time to actually teach. The red tape and paperwork/meetings part of teaching seems to only get worse every year and with all the budget cuts in the public sector, it’s gotten especially bad in the past couple of years. I would say hang in there and you will probably get used to the negatives of teaching and find a way to do what you seem to have a passion to do.
That depends heavily on what part of the state you are in. Here in Allegany County, the starting teacher salary is about the median household income from the county. Just getting hired gives you a middle class lifestyle here. Add that to another income, and you are a member of the UMC in our corner of the state.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:49 PM
 
8 posts, read 11,959 times
Reputation: 10
I think this is pretty much the case that you describe everywhere, I have been teaching in Baltimore City for 3 yrs & I average 60hrs/wk on a good week. In the counties, I would say it definitely is school by school or even assignment by assignment. By and large though, as we have been seeing there is just an incredible amount of demands placed on teachers everywhere these days. It isn't a profession that I would really refer to as a "lifestyle" career anymore, but of course it all depends on where your at, some are lucky. As someone stated earlier, I don't know how much I buy the fluff of MD being #1 in education & if its actually true, I'm very afraid...

I say get out while you still can, heck, I'll even take 50hrs/wk and you can keep the summers! (I'm a little jaded already)

GL
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:22 PM
 
Location: MD suburbs of DC
607 posts, read 1,194,272 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
The schools are also not as modern and updated as they are in the suburbs around KC.
It largely depends on where you are. In essentially all of Montgomery County, some lower parts of Frederick County (most notably Urbana), and parts of Prince George's County (particularly in the North County region), schools are extremely modern and up-to-date. Not sure about places closer to Baltimore or other regions.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:23 PM
 
503 posts, read 721,117 times
Reputation: 382
The trouble that AACO teachers are facing is the incessant drone of the Ending the Achievement Gap mantra. Everything the system is doing is being driven by that initiative, whether it's pushing APs or the it's the new magnet programs.

ETAG is draining resources from actual teaching as teachers are being forced to spend undo amounts of energy and time dealing with data collection and preparing reports.
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