T Nation

Done Teaching


#1

Anyone else decided to quit their job? I've made up my mind - I'm done teaching in American schools. Its a question I've struggled with for a few years now, especially in the spring time.
The beginning of the year is generally OK but as the year wears on, I just get to a point where I feel like I'm wasting my time.

I'm trying to pinpoint everything that's led to my decision. The #1 biggest reason is I feel
like I'm wasting my time. What's the point? I imagine myself doing more important things. I think of my idols, such as Garibaldi, Caesar, Orwell, our Founding Fathers and it makes me sad that they accomplished great things and I haven't done anything IMO. I'm not saying that I can accomplish what they did BUT doing what I do now I never will do anything noteworthy. I won't even be in the game.

There's plenty of other reasons: for ex., I can't stand the disrespect. I can't stand being hated for no good reason. Its ridiculous: some kids hate you and some adore you for no real reason other than whether they think you're cool or not. I lived most of my life from HS on up actively trying not to give a shit what anyone thinks about me, to be my own man and to resist as best I could the pull of the masses, of conformity.

So when someone didn't like me, I really didn't care and could tell them that. My colleagues say they're just kids and who cares what they think, yet it bothers me. I'm probably too sensitive in that regard.

I hate the constant conflict. I hate being strict and I hate hating myself for sometimes not

being strict enough. Another thing that really weighs on me is I realize, like many others on T-Nation, that men are being pussified more and more. Our society is increasingly dominated if not by women than by feminine emotions and POV. Political correctness as well. Nowhere is this more evident than in the schools which are the ground zero of the war on males and independent thought. I look at the the other male teachers and all I can think of is: he's such a nice guy. I'm not always nice. I'm not always Mr Personality esp. early in the morning. I'm not sugar and spice and everything nice. And with my size, I think that can sometimes comes across as intimidating. I look at all the other male teachers (18 male teachers out of 110 in the school!) and I'm not really like them. There's only 3 male teachers that I think are similar to me in personality: one's 62 and has been teaching almost 40 yrs (just retired to Florida where he plans on betting on the horses all day), one's 55 and has been teaching 27 yrs, and the other one is 26 and in his 1st year(but he's a lot smaller than I am).

I think I'm more of the old school. I don't put up with bullshit and I call students out when I think they're up to something or not doing their work. I believe I should be respected and that you should follow what I say regardless of whether its wrong or right, if you have a problem talk to me after class. I don't care to be their friend or whether they think I'm nice. I want to impart knowledge and guide them and help them out, not put on a show.

I think back to the teachers I grew up with, especially in HS. Most were men, and they didn't put up with anything. They would call you out and cut you down to size in front of everyone, and if you crossed the line you were in trouble. Now, kids do whatever the f they want and many times they don't get in trouble for it. Here' a small example: many of the girls dress like the hos on Washington Ave in South Beach. Tiny shorts, low-cut shirts, mini skirts, strapless tops, and some even try to come in with a bare midriff. Yet there are rules explicitly stating that they cannot dress like that.

As of a few days ago, the teachers have stopped sending girls to the office or making phone calls home complaining. Why? The administration gives them no consequences. Just go back to class they say. This is after they SPECIFICALLY told us to enforce the rules. Some of their parents don't see what the big deal is. Your girl dresses like a skank ho and has tattoos at 15 and you don't see what the problem is?

There are other factors too. I don't fit in as well (again, prob b/c I'm a guy and my personality). I don't have much in common with my female coworkers. They talk about their babies, and the weddings/baby showers/colleges their kids are applying to, etc.

I also was not asked back for another year, the reasons given I don't agree with - at least not
with what's written on the official letter. The real reason is basically this: my supervisor
basically told me enrollment is the most important part and so if I'm not nice to everyone more
kids will hate me and they'll tell everyone what a prick Mr. S is and enrollment in World
Languages will drop and Italian will get a bad rap, etc.

They said I don't use enough technology - I was one of 2 classrooms in the whole building that
didn't have an LCD projector. How am I supposed to show Power Points, bitches? How am I supposed to show multimedia clips of current events?

Another teacher in the department has been there a year longer. She was on extended maternity
leave and missed part of last year, and the first 3 months this year. This woman literally sits
by the exit waiting for the bell to ring at 2:46 and boom, she's out the door. Yet she gets away with it. Why? Well my theory is she's really sweet and nice, and all the kids love her, and all the other female teachers gather around her and coo while she tells them the latest news on 10 month old Katelyn and 2 year old Jayden: "...and the other day he said, 'Mommy, I love you'".... She uses no technology other than the projector. The other teachers use no more technology. They've told me straight up they're not going to use the 30 Ipods the dep't has. So why'd you buy them? Some teachers do nothing but work from packets!

Just today, the teacher who'll be teaching Italian next year walked in to an after school meeting and 2 of the other female teachers who will be on her floor said "Yaaaay!" and started clapping like retarded kids at a clown show. They were so excited! OMG! How immature!

Funny though, I wasn't introduced to her. What are they afraid of? That I'm jealous? That I'll say something mean? I'm quitting you twats!

So what's next? I have some ideas. I'll stay in Italy til late September, maybe go to Russia or
Czech as well. I'll come back and either I'll go abroad to teach English, go back to school, or
maybe look into starting my own business. I plan on finishing a couple of screenplays I've begun.

Interesting note: my relatives who own their businesses think Im making a big mistake by leaving a secure government career with bennies. My relatives who work for other people pretty much all agree with me and say if I don't like it, leave.

The way I see it: I'm young, no kids, not married and have money in the bank. Teaching kids can
kiss my ass.


#2

What's all the hype with technology? I find that my worst teachers rely on it the most; my best teacher uses only a projector and packets.
And yeah, fuck kids! damn whipper snappers


#3

Get the credentials to teach classes offered in only AP in most districts. You'll like us more.


#4

I don't necessarily agree with everything you said, but I understand. I could never be a teacher either, for a lot of the same reasons. However, I don't agree with this statement at all:

I would never want my kid taught by someone who thought like this. If you're wrong, you're wrong. Who cares if it takes a 16-year-old to show you, especially if they are respectful in showing that you're wrong.

I think the above statement kinda goes against independent thinking, too


#5

I think most don't quit their jobs nowadays. They are merely let go. What did you expect when you decided to become a teacher? Unconditional admiration? I set ablaze my high schools AP History teacher's classroom because I refused to be taught his whitewashed, right winger, cock wrangling take on US history. I doubt you've encountered that level of disrespect or an attempt against your life.


#6

It sounds like you've either changed since you became a teacher or didn't think about it before you started. Either way, the world is full of people who are bad at their job, unhappy and unwilling to do anything about it. I have to give you credit for manning-up and moving on.

I hope your next move makes you happy and finds you in a role that allows you to be passionate.


#7

Hahahahaha Sorry for laughing, but you get owned by a bunch of kids and women teachers and you tuck tail and run? Hahahahahahahahaha. Man up, go back to school and realize that YOU have the opportunity to touch hundreds if not thousands of kids who will soon be entering the real world. I don't care what subject you teach, it's pretty irrelivant, I can't remember a single lesson on any subject from HS. What I can remember is the few standout teachers who taught thier kids how to be better people. How to look out for yourself first and then others if you can.

How to earn respect by being respectful to others. The curriculum you teach is merely a stage upon which you have the ability to teach your kids so much more than just the subject matter. Whatever, now you have opened the door for another suck ass teacher who will bend to the kids will and get them through the class while squandering the opportunity to make them better people.

V


#8

"I think most don't quit their jobs nowadays. They are merely let go" Sorry, but this is incorrect.

Retention of young/new teachers is a major problem in K-18 education in the US. Top issues: working conditions (student behavior is a top concern) and lack of support from administration another. Sounds like the OP has experienced both of these.


#9

How about teaching at a private school?


#10

I don't know how you teach at high school I know I definatly couldn't unless it was an all boys school especially with how girls are willing too show there bodies off younger and younger and act a alot older than they are, I used to feel sorry for the male teachers at my high school as on free dress days(we had a uniform) girls would come in cleavage bearing tops etc and of course it is human nature too have a look but they arent allowed to and could cost them their jobs.


#11

Illegal.


#12


#13

You missed the part where I said they should talk to me after class.
And don't take it too mean that I feel I don't make mistakes. I make grammatical mistakes at least 1x a week in class and I like it when they correct me. Shows me they're getting it.

To expand upon it : being outright questioned on my methods and tactics in front of the class in an aggressive, disrespectful way is unacceptable - to me and most other teachers. It almost never is the high-achieving or serious students. Its students who don't want to do work or have a bad attitude.


#14

I'd definitely agree. Whenever I questioned a teacher's methods, I did so at least somewhat respectfully (depending on my level of respect for the teacher), and not during the middle of class, "Why do we have to do this?! This is fucking dumb..." like so. I am one of those few, high-achieving, serious students, and I hear that type of outburst by nearly everyone in a majority of my classes.


#15

At least the school you teach at isn't instituting a "no zero policy". And yes, this means that students can get marks for any assignment or test even past the due date as long as they just "get it done".

If I were you, I'd take a look at the opportunities for teaching in international schools, or in the public education systems of countries such as Singapore, Australia, Canada, China, or the UK. A friend of mine taught in Singapore for 2 years and came home with $120,000 POCKETED. It wasn't the money that he said was enjoyable, but in fact the students he taught were amazing and always wanted to learn more. Was very refreshing.

I'm thinking of doing the same (teaching abroad) in a couple years. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.


#16

Please punctuate. FUCK!

DB


#17

It doesn't sound like you hate teaching, rather, your current set of circumstances.

There are lots of options for a teacher who wants to advance or have a career change:

1.) Get a Master's degree, become a department head. Or, teach at college.
2.) Get a Master's of Linguistics, teach in the middle east (Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, etc). Very good money. Saudi Arabia pays the best but you have to forgo alcohol and fun for your stay there.
3.) A master's degree of just about anything qualifies you to become a professor at many Micronesian or Polynesian universities. I knew a guy who was a science professor in Palau. Easy, rewarding job that allows you to live in paradise
4.) Move to Canada. Your teacher's degree might well be transferable to a provincial one. Teachers here enjoy yearly guaranteed raises, complete job security and, by in large, less bullshit to put up with. A bit tough these days to find a position though.

I would advise against Japan and (especially) Korea these days. The market is drying up, there are far fewer jobs, and in the case of Korea there are a ton of shady, fly-by-night "schools". The starting salary has plummeted to nearly half of what it was 10 years ago.


#18

First off, I'm a high school senior, graduating in a couple days. I'm headed off to a private liberal arts college this fall. Just so you know where I'm coming from.

It's admirable to be one of those that stands up and says, "Enough!" I would do the same in your position, because it is certain that you are not happy with what you're doing. While we do need teachers such as yourself, I would not ask anyone to remain where they are not happy if they have the opportunity to go elsewhere, pursuing what they desire to.

The state of schools now is atrocious. I've done a few reports through the past couple years about the subject. It is something that I don't feel we can refuse to confront, yet we are. Teachers who are there to teach cannot do so under such circumstances. Kids are there to learn, not to socialize. They don't seem to agree with this, nor do the teachers enforce, promote, or even seem to support this ideal--at least not emphatically. You might get a, "Get back to work," but not much else.

Like you said, whatever forms of punishment that are in place are not even severe, nor are they often enforced. I'm not sure where you taught, but I go to school in a rural Wisconsin town, and it doesn't seem like it's much different. The girls here still dress like sluts at age 15, occasionally younger.

We can't just blame students, though. It's their parents and teachers that play a role. I'm also seeing more females enter our teaching staff (no, this is not inherently bad, I am not sexist). They do seem to care less for enforcement, though, coinciding with their hormone behavior. Because of this, more leniency results, and the students go just that much further. Also, they use the lines like, "Well this teacher doesn't make me do work in their class, so why should I do all this in yours?"

Parents, conversely, aren't raising their kids to value respect, nor are they paying taxes that are necessary to fund schools for teachers. This is a huge issue in our district at the moment. Less teachers means more kids per classroom, which means even more difficulty in keeping the class on track, or certain students in line. And here we are, spending more money on technology, blindly assuming that this will keep the students focused enough because it's shiny, makes noises, and has some sort of screen.

And there's a lot more to it than this, but the important thing is that it's not different where you are in the country. I've heard similar stories from all over the country. You're not likely to find too much a better situation unless you look towards private schools. Teaching English in other countries is definitely a viable alternative.


#19

Yeah okay, I'm sure the 600,000+ plus people all got together and quit their jobs in February of 2009


#20

I assumed you were talking about teachers since the thread is about teachers. So, 600,000+ teachers were let go in the early middle of the spring semester? Huh. Wow, the unions must really suck.