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Old 05-19-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Canada
48 posts, read 196,102 times
Reputation: 26

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DISCLAIMER: This is not a knock on teaching/teachers as I'm pursuing this career, too. I'm just curious as to why there are so many people going to school to be teachers and so many applications for a job most people seem to complain about. Perhaps it's my inner pyschologist but I'm c-u-r-i-o-u-s!

I'm not a certified teacher but I've been subbing for about two years (mostly long-term jobs) and I've noticed most teachers seem to hate their jobs and complain about their students.

After subbing, I don't blame them but I often wonder, why don't you switch careers? What keeps you teaching? Is it a love-hate relationship? Do some of the students you can help, override most of the students who, for a lack of better words, annoy you? Or, does it have to do w/ all of the vacation and summers off? Just curious...

Personally, I'm pursuing teaching b/c I like kids, math and teaching math. And, I'm not going to lie--The vaca/summers off is the biggest thing luring me in. I'm an aspiring Olympian so I need as much vaca as I can get...and I need to be available during the summer for travel and tournaments. The teaching salary really isn't an issue with me...

So, what keeps YOU teaching, despite the 'cons' that come along w/ this career?
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Hollywood)
174 posts, read 516,765 times
Reputation: 193
It's like living in a Sit-com. There's never a dull moment.

An older teacher gave me some advice when I started. She said, "No matter how terrible a class might be, there will always be at least one or two students who actually want to learn something. Find out who those students are and TEACH TO THEM." It was the best advice I had ever been given.

In all honesty, it's the economy right now that keeps the majority of teachers where they are at this moment in time.

I enjoy high school students. I like their sense of humor and their honesty. I have fun and have learned to cut corners and play the game. I do what I can to offer instruction with interruptions and minimal participation, but the complete lack of negative consequences in their lives is more detrimental to THEM than it is to me.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Canada
48 posts, read 196,102 times
Reputation: 26
Awe...that's GREAT advice! I'll have to remember that when the goin' gets tough (or rough? I can't remember the saying.)
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Kingwood/Porter
262 posts, read 650,255 times
Reputation: 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtisticAthlete View Post

After subbing, I don't blame them but I often wonder, why don't you switch careers? What keeps you teaching? Is it a love-hate relationship? Do some of the students you can help, override most of the students who, for a lack of better words, annoy you? Or, does it have to do w/ all of the vacation and summers off? Just curious...

Personally, I'm pursuing teaching b/c I like kids, math and teaching math. And, I'm not going to lie--The vaca/summers off is the biggest thing luring me in. I'm an aspiring Olympian so I need as much vaca as I can get...and I need to be available during the summer for travel and tournaments. The teaching salary really isn't an issue with me...
I think most teachers complain so much because they care so much. In education, there is a big difference between "the way you imagine it should be" and "the way it is." So, of course, you're going to stress about that and when teachers are complaining, I think we're just looking for reassurance and support. If I'm stressed out about some kid giving me crap, it makes all the difference if I talk to one of his other teachers and they say, "Oh, he does that to me too." I guess it makes you feel less isolated?

I guess what non-teachers don't understand is that as a teacher, you are alone in a classroom with a bunch of kids 99% of the day. (Or at least at the secondary level, you are.) You are alone to manage the room and behavior, plan everything, make everything work, get them to pass all these dang tests, and still maintain a positive learning environment. It takes a strong person to be able to handle it with professionalism and an even temper. When I'm complaining to my colleagues, I'm looking for support, so in my head, I guess I can know that others are in the same boat as I am.

My colleagues are my biggest asset. Strong administrators and active parents help, too, (and if you're lucky enough to have cooperative kids, that's a plus), but in the end, my communications with my colleagues keep me moving, looking forward, and they keep me from drowning in the pressure.

Of course, there are some people who complain simply because they're tired of trying to use their energy to make it work. And yeah, if you ever get to that point, you probably need to find work elsewhere.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:29 PM
 
25,157 posts, read 53,943,694 times
Reputation: 7058
The problem with school is they expect everyone to learn the same. Strict conformity to an invisible normative is rule #1.

Then teachers pull out their hair when a few here and there aren't "normal". That's what you get for expecting blind obedience from everyone.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,537,397 times
Reputation: 14692
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtisticAthlete View Post
DISCLAIMER: This is not a knock on teaching/teachers as I'm pursuing this career, too. I'm just curious as to why there are so many people going to school to be teachers and so many applications for a job most people seem to complain about. Perhaps it's my inner pyschologist but I'm c-u-r-i-o-u-s!

I'm not a certified teacher but I've been subbing for about two years (mostly long-term jobs) and I've noticed most teachers seem to hate their jobs and complain about their students.

After subbing, I don't blame them but I often wonder, why don't you switch careers? What keeps you teaching? Is it a love-hate relationship? Do some of the students you can help, override most of the students who, for a lack of better words, annoy you? Or, does it have to do w/ all of the vacation and summers off? Just curious...

Personally, I'm pursuing teaching b/c I like kids, math and teaching math. And, I'm not going to lie--The vaca/summers off is the biggest thing luring me in. I'm an aspiring Olympian so I need as much vaca as I can get...and I need to be available during the summer for travel and tournaments. The teaching salary really isn't an issue with me...

So, what keeps YOU teaching, despite the 'cons' that come along w/ this career?
I think teachers just vent. Maybe it's something about our personality but we do seem to let of steam. I don't hate teaching but I do vent a lot about the stuff that bugs me. Students who don't do their work, writing easy tests and having half the class get A's while the other half flunks (pretty much my last test ), disrespectful students...the list goes on. Most teachers I know stay in because of the few students we can make a difference for. All the pains in the butt are worth it if we reach the one.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,537,397 times
Reputation: 14692
Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyguy View Post
The problem with school is they expect everyone to learn the same. Strict conformity to an invisible normative is rule #1.

Then teachers pull out their hair when a few here and there aren't "normal". That's what you get for expecting blind obedience from everyone.
If it were a few, it woudln't be a problem. The number of disrespectful kids these days is shocking.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,537,397 times
Reputation: 14692
Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideteacher View Post
I think most teachers complain so much because they care so much. In education, there is a big difference between "the way you imagine it should be" and "the way it is." So, of course, you're going to stress about that and when teachers are complaining, I think we're just looking for reassurance and support. If I'm stressed out about some kid giving me crap, it makes all the difference if I talk to one of his other teachers and they say, "Oh, he does that to me too." I guess it makes you feel less isolated?

I guess what non-teachers don't understand is that as a teacher, you are alone in a classroom with a bunch of kids 99% of the day. (Or at least at the secondary level, you are.) You are alone to manage the room and behavior, plan everything, make everything work, get them to pass all these dang tests, and still maintain a positive learning environment. It takes a strong person to be able to handle it with professionalism and an even temper. When I'm complaining to my colleagues, I'm looking for support, so in my head, I guess I can know that others are in the same boat as I am.

My colleagues are my biggest asset. Strong administrators and active parents help, too, (and if you're lucky enough to have cooperative kids, that's a plus), but in the end, my communications with my colleagues keep me moving, looking forward, and they keep me from drowning in the pressure.

Of course, there are some people who complain simply because they're tired of trying to use their energy to make it work. And yeah, if you ever get to that point, you probably need to find work elsewhere.
I agree. Most of the time, when I vent, I just want someone to say it's ok and it gets better.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Lower Hudson Valley, NY
313 posts, read 1,053,198 times
Reputation: 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
If it were a few, it woudln't be a problem. The number of disrespectful kids these days is shocking.
ITA. The way some of my kids talk to me is mind-boggling.

I love teaching. But I am fed up with the constant bashing from the public and media where I work. I know I should have a thicker skin but it's truly depressing. We are also expected to be miracle workers, and get the kids up to and beyond grade level, with no accountability on parents or even kids. I had a handful of kids who actually did NOTHING last year despite parent conferences, etc. and they were ALL promoted.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:56 PM
 
25,157 posts, read 53,943,694 times
Reputation: 7058
I know what you are saying. But I think the system is antiquated. Let's have a new system where teachers design their own online courses. This way everyone is happy. Kids don't have to go attend class. And teachers don't have to put up with disrespect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
If it were a few, it woudln't be a problem. The number of disrespectful kids these days is shocking.
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