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    OOLALA53   34,674
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rough day at work

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I almost cried at work today. I felt like I am wasting my life and energy. I earned honors at school but knowledge is not honored by teenagers! But I also felt a sense of shame that I have never been able to find work that suits me better.

I had that kind of frantic thought that I just have to be able to quit my job (high school teacher)but I know I won't. Kids really resent that I try to keep order in class and that I insist on them actually trying to understand the material. I'm not always nice about it, I admit it.

Then I got a message that a parent wants to speak to me because she thinks I have a personality clash with her son. He is always yelling out comments that have nothing to do with the lesson and talking to peers when he isn't supposed to. Then he gives me smart-aleck backtalk when I ask him to do what he needs to do. He claims he doesn't know what he's doing wrong. Honestly? Do parents think it's okday for their kids to act the same familiar way at school as they do at home? Amazing to me is that the other teacher in class rarely tries to stop him. I know he doesn't approve of the behavior, but he rarely says anything to the kid. I feel I am being called to task for doing the right thing even if it rocks the boat. The boy is actually doing okay in grades now, but he earned mostly D's and F's last year. Did he have personality clashes with those teachers, too? Or did he not have them because they assumed he was a loser and not worth the erffot? I hate to tell you this, but that is what a lot of teachers think. Why should they let themselves get stressed over kids who obviously have no need or desire to please anyone else in their life? I do definitely have more run-ins with students than most of my peers and I feel resentment that their more tolerant attitude actually works better for their anxiety level and with parents. I can't blame them, though. The work is not a perfect match for me, but at almost age 59 and having entered the career late, I can't afford to retire nor go back to the low wages I was earning before. I will lose most of my social security that I qualified for because I became a teacher, too.


Then in a different class, where I teach with another person, kids were asking if they had to put my name on a short essay they had to turn in. (I guess they had no idea that I was the one who created the assignment and set it up so that they would be successful instead of handing in some crappy work that they would then complain about if they didn't get an A because they "tried.") They were implying that they wish I wasn't their teacher. I wonder if they have any sense of how hurtful some of the things they say are? Things have changed so much. Kids criticize and blame all the time during class. Usually it's the students who know very little of the lesson, don't ask questions to try to understand, and never know an answer when you do ask them to contribute to the lesson who are constantly complaining.

Anyway, thank goodness I didn't eat over it.

And one cute thing was that a student I had last year, that I gave plenty of grief to over his very frequent off-taks behavior, saw me and asked how the year was going. I said the kids were wishing they could get rid of me. He said, "Well, they're just stupid sophomores! What do you expect?" Out of the mouths of babes... emoticon
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKWORM27S 8/22/2012 2:55PM

    Oh gosh, I can only imagine how difficult it is to be a teacher now days! I see it everywhere I go, lazy behavior and extreme disrespect for everyone. When I was growing up, my mother or grandmother would have back-handed me if I spoke disrespectfully to my elders, or anybody else. I'm teaching my daughter respect, but it concerns me the examples she will see in school.

Comment edited on: 8/22/2012 2:56:55 PM

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 8/22/2012 2:23PM

    In my day kids would never act out against a teacher, either physically or even to smart mouth a teacher. Only one boy I knew ever did, and he was taken into the next room and bounced off the walls (which was and is a no-no). Oh, and I smart mouthed that teacher 3 times; cause every time he bounced that boy around I gave him a speech about it being wrong, about it being abuse; and thus I was sent to the principles office for 3 days with my nose in a corner for each time I told the teacher it was wrong to whack a kid. And, every teacher that came into the principles office would be utterly shocked to find me there, cause I was such a well-behaved kid. (Ahhh.) But generally the worst thing that happened was the cute boy that looked like one of the Beatles, playing footsie with the girl across from him. But, even the teacher couldn't get mad at such a cutie (and nice guy to boot).

Amber

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JADOMB 8/22/2012 1:56PM

    OH how I understand where you are coming from. I have been substitute teaching now going into my 5th year. BEEN THERE DONE THAT. I now have enough experience with enough of the schools I work at to turn down the ones I know are just a mess. Sounds like a cop out, but my sanity and welfare is at stake. I don't think the folks out there have a clue as to what is going on in too many of our schools. The crazies are now in charge of the asylums as they say. They know their "rights" and one seems to be that they can not be forced to listen or learn.

That being said, when I come into a school or class that actually acts normal or above, it gives me hope. It makes my calling one that I can continue on with. I love to help kids that want help and even those that don't want help. So I continue and put up with the rude and sometime violent actions and words from the lost children. I could go on, but I'll stop here. My prayers are with you and may God give you strength to help mold these children into good young adults.

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OOLALA53 8/22/2012 12:19PM

    Thank you, all! I was a few years into teaching before I read an analysis of different jobs and teaching rated high on stress, one of the main reasons being having to interact with difficult people on a consistent basis. I went to a small, private high school, though very middle class. I didn't know what the hoi polloi was like!

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KAYTEETOO 8/22/2012 8:37AM

    I have sometimes thought about going into teaching but have to admit being put off by the thought of difficult students. It's a hard, hard job to get people to do something that they think they don't want to do, or can't see the benefit of, and you are quite right that the parents are often not helping their children to have the right attitude. I think it's true to say that many people don't appreciate the opportunity of education until they are several years out of school.

I think it is commendable that you care enough about your students to want to challenge them and get them to learn something. Some of them WILL look back on your lessons in years to come and they WILL realise what you were doing and appreciate that you made the effort.

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Don't give up!

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KANOE10 8/22/2012 8:17AM

    I sympathize with you. It is not easy being a teacher today. Kids do not respect responsibility and are not highly motivated to learn.

Good for you not turning to food when you are stressed.

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CHRISTINASP 8/22/2012 6:05AM

    Er... 59? Really? Looking at your pics (like the ones from '10 and '12) I would NOT have guessed that. You look much younger!

I think being a high school teacher must be a VERY tough job. I mustn't think of being around teenagers all day. So in my eyes you're brave just for doing the job. I'm sorry that you don't get more support from the atttitude of collegues.
I think you should take the comment about 'just sophomores' to heart!
I also just posted a comment, a compliment, on your page because I thought you gave a very good, insightful answer to someone on the forum. So I think that what you learn and learned being a teacher DOES pay off and there are others who benefit from it.
And GOOD FOR YOU for not overeating because of this.
love, Christina

Comment edited on: 8/22/2012 6:10:22 AM

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OOLALA53 8/22/2012 2:53AM

    Amber, I pray I am not that teacher to someone, though I'm aware I am not like the teachers I liked best. But I never saw them get treated as I have been. And I do praise good work no matter what.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/22/2012 12:42AM

    Deep. Breaths.

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ELSCO55 8/21/2012 10:36PM

    kids today have no respect for anyone. Iy gets worse they older they get, I am in a community college and knlow your pain. good luck . Congrats for not eating as a response to the problems.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 8/21/2012 10:25PM

    You have a certain type of thick skin that I don't have to deal with those kids and give them any sort of structure when you're not getting support. I don't have any, so I can't respond as if I know anything about it, but I admire you for sticking with it. I worked with at risk teens for about 10 years and was constantly frustrated because no one could tell them anything because what they knew was all there was and always the best things to know. I think the kid from last year might be pretty accurate, teenagers will be teenagers. I hope you can find some peace and perspective about it. Pick your battles that will support your self preservation.

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 8/21/2012 10:19PM

    I would really hate to be a teacher, but then again I have a hard time having a lot of sympathy for teachers due to the abuse I received at the hands of some extremely ignorant and prejudiced, mean teachers who had not a care for further wounding an extremely abused child. Many teachers were disgusted at the level of poverty we were, and looked down on us, and used their (superior) status to denigrate us poor, worthless children; even though we always were well behaved and attentive in class and worked towards getting good grades and were usually As & Bs. The damage done to me by teachers still resides with me, and when I see a hoitie superior acting person it reminds me of the humiliation done to me by teachers.

It was only my 4th grade teacher who treated me like a human being even though I was in bad physical condition from course straggly hair from starvation, and dirty clothes from having to wear the same outfit for a week straight, and then after having the outfit washed on the weekends was back on Monday wearing the same outfit. Teachers looked down on us like were scum. And, it hurt beyond measure!

Just a note from the other side: one who experienced the wrong side of teachers, even though I was a good kid.

Amber

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OOLALA53 8/21/2012 10:15PM

    Nope, not transferable, and the compensation from private schools is much lower. I'll never know if I would have been happier at one. I think I just have to find a way to alter my perspective for now and the foreseeable future. Maybe that's why I'm in the profession in the first place!

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WATERMELLEN 8/21/2012 9:59PM

    Oh, yikes . . . as a former teacher myself I really feel for you. It's not a good job under those circumstances, not at all. Would a private school be better? (The education system is different here in Canada, so I don't know if your benefits would be transferrable etc.).

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