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Teachers, Five Years and Done?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by NorthShoreBuck, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. NorthShoreBuck

    NorthShoreBuck True Madness Requires Significant Intelligence

    From the WSJ

    THE FIVE-YEAR ITCH: Susan Palmer just hit a milestone in her teaching career -- her fifth year. It might not seem like a major accomplishment, as retirement still looms decades in the future, but in the U.S. today, it's no small task. The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "In Utah, as throughout the nation, up to half the teachers leave the profession within the first five years. They become disillusioned. They want more money. They leave to raise families." Three of the five new teachers Ms. Palmer started out with have already called it quits. Ms. Palmer says she's not ready to give up yet, though she has already switched schools.
  2. AKAK

    AKAK Well, that's like hypnotizing chickens. Staff Member Tech Admin

    I'm not surprised at all.

    First... its a hard job...

    Second... for a lot of teachers, when they make that choice, its like the rest of us, they might not know what they want to do when they grow up but they go down that path anyway. (A lot of us do this)

    ... but decide to go into education because (from my observations) its waht their parents did or they view the profession maybe a little bit overy idealistically. (thus the disillusionment)

    And.. of course I know a number of women Teachers that got into it because they like kids.. and not surprisingly... they like their kids more than they like ohter people's once they have their own... so... you know.. if you don't absolutely NEED the income.

    My mother was a teacher before I was born... gave it up... my parents got divorced so obviously she needed the money so she went back to it at age 38 or 39.
  3. scooter1369

    scooter1369 HTTR Forever.

    School is never the same from the other side of the mirror I guess. osugrad21 will probably attest to this. I fancied the idea of becoming a teacher once. Then I realized I would end up with kids my classes that acted like me. And I would have ended up in jail for hanging them by their toenails and beating them with a yardstick.

    I'm much more calm in my old age and becoming a teacher is once again a possible ambition. Maybe one day....
  4. ScarletArrow

    ScarletArrow I'm wearing Gold Pants

    My wife was a school teacher and assistant principal for 6 years. We had our first child that summer and my wife didn't return that fall. She still keeps in contact will the teachers who still work there and the administrators. She'll probably go back to teaching in a few years.
  5. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    I think the biggest reason that many throw their hands up and quit is that they no longer have any control over their classes. Punk ass kids can tell a teacher to "Fuck off" and the teacher has little or no recourse. At the risk of sounding like an old codger, "back in my school days" a student wouldn't even think about challenging a teacher, even if the student was a 6'6", 300-pound football player and the teacher was a 70-year-old 100-pound lady, because the student knew there would be some serious fucking consequences one way or another. Both my parents supporting the teachers disciplining me if I needed it, whereas nowadays parents sue and threaten teachers that even raise their voice to their kids.

    While I have a very good ability to show people how to do things and to impart information, I could never be a school teacher, because I'd be in jail for spanking or flat out decking some smart ass little fuck. Props to those teachers today that stick it out.
  6. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    A few years ago I was considering early retirement and becoming a teacher myself. I started taking educaction courses. Since I was attending school in the evenings my classes were filled with current teachers taking classes to maintain various levels of certification.

    When I spoke to them of my plans they were almost unanimous in their advice. Don't do it. When I spoke to friends who taught they gave the same advice - don't do it.


    They felt that their ability to influence lives was diminishing. That their control over what they did in the classroom was diminishing. That they were frustrated by the increasing challeges presented by problem children and the negative effect these children were having on their classes. That they were frustrated on the restriction being placed on them in dealing with such children.

    Mili is right. As part of one of my classes I was asked to observe teachers in the classroom. For one of them I chose my neighbor. He was one of the most effective teachers I have seen. A year later - in his late 30s - he had left the profession. Why? He had sent a misbehaving teenager to the principles office only to have him return 15 minutes later with a smug smile on his face and the message that the principle has told him to return.

    It distresses me greatly to see people who I respect wanting to leave the teaching profession and tell me that they are being replaced with folks who view teaching as a job and a check. People who aren't bothered by their inability to influcence lives because for them that is not a primary goal.

    There are a lot of teachers on this board and I would love to hear their opinion of this post.

    And BTW - I now teach at a local college that features a large number of foreign national students. Relative to US students they kick ass.
  7. ohiobuck94

    ohiobuck94 Buckeye Beach Bum

    The trouble in the classroom today can be summed up in two words:
    Dr. Spock!
    His behavior modification techniques don't work and yet it's still being implemented in schools today. Discipline has been replaced with positive reinforcement. It don't work.
  8. BuckBackHome

    BuckBackHome Wolverine is largest member of weasel family

    I just offered a position to a person who had been a teacher for 4 years. He was laid off, but was glad to be given the opportunity to try something else. He said he loved the kids, but the parents did him in. I don't think parents is the main problem of why teaching is such a difficult profession, but the parents who expect teachers to raise their kids and ensure that their kids are the brightest do not help.
  9. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    No doubt...but that is what I tell my kids. "I was the biggest H-E-Double Hockey Stick Raiser in the school....but I still got it done." I don't buy excuses, stay real with the problems of a young kid, and still show them the love they need...the fucked up part for me is realizing I'm dealing with problems i can't comprehend...

    For instance, took a player home one night after an injury. Helped the kid into his house to find mom passed out cold with numerous empty cans around, a toddler with a full diaper, and a fucking hole in the ceiling big enough to see the stars...

    The bags of ice I brought home for him were stored in a Coleman cooler and the stove was a hot-plate....when they had electricity.

    The Mother was an addict who had no clue about social services...which we quickly amended for the kids' sake.

    Many of today's kids are facing problems we as a generation cannot comprehend or even imagine...shit like that makes me say fuck the money and fuck the other bullshit. There are a number of kids who get out the bed every day from their shitty lives to see me and to listen to my big mouth...I can't let those kids down.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2004
  10. ScarletArrow

    ScarletArrow I'm wearing Gold Pants

    Parents are the number one reason why teaching is so difficult - they enable the undisciplined behavior in the classroom that makes teaching impossible.
  11. stxbuck

    stxbuck Woody wore Sambas

    I teach at a parochial school, so I don't see a lot of discipline/social ssues present in a lot of public schools.

    I have always told everyone that a good teacher is 1/3 college professor in their subject, 1/3 standup comedian, and 1/3 drill sargeant/animal trainer. In order to be successful a HS teacher needs to
    A-know their subject cold. The kids will not respect you if it is clear that you do know your ass from a hole in the gound regarding your subject-and a lot of teachers do not. They(the teachers) do not respect the subject they teach, and do not take the time to become informed in it outside of the classroom,IMO.
    B-Make a choice. 1- Be a 100% Nazi drill sargeant in the classroom-no exceptions whatsoever. 2-Have a sense of humor, and make it clear that whatever rules you have are there to allow for learning to take place-not to be anal about little things. Of course, you still need to crack the whip occasionally, but, generally, the kids will repsond to a more relaxed environment if you don't feel like acting like Gen. Franco every day in class. I chose option #2 and it has worked well for me.
    C-Let the kids adapt to your personality, not the other way around. Don't go out of your way to become "friends' w/ them outside of the classroom-if you are naturally cool enough they will drive you nuts soon enough, and if you establish your personality in the classroom things will go smoothly.
    D-Remember-you have way more vaction time than virtually any other job in the world that is open to everyday people-not politician, movie star, or professional athlete.
    E-Get to know the parents and establish a positive rep w/ them-that can help you out a lot!

    I am suspicious-no offense-of people who suddenly have a mid-career epiphany that they want to become a teacher. If you enjoyed being w/ the kids, or had a great love of the subject-guess what-you would have done this earlier. You cannot simply waltz into a classroom and expect that you can do a good job because you had some scmuck in HS and though 20 years late "I can do that". There are personality issues that you must be aware of. If you are not a somewhat gregarious person, or are uncomfortable speaking your mind in public-guess what-a class full of teenagers will chew you up and spit you out, even if you know your subject.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2004
  12. scooter1369

    scooter1369 HTTR Forever.

    That's kind of short sighted don't you think? I knew in my younger years I didn't have the temperment nor patience to be a teacher. So, although I loved the idea, and felt I could be a good teacher, I didn't do it. Now, 15 years removed from high school, a marriage, and two kids later, my life and temper have calmed down. I'm no longer an angry youth looking for someone to take my miseries out on. I did that in Kuwait/Iraq. I sent young men like myself to face the maker and have buried one of my own children. I'm not the same person I was when I made that choice. Fortunately, I did make the choice that I did, or my life wouldn't be where it is now. That doesn't mean I should never go back to my first love, the desire to teach.
  13. coastalbuck

    coastalbuck And this one belongs to the Reds!

    I made it for 7 years so I did good! It is a rough road, and not because of the kids.
  14. stxbuck

    stxbuck Woody wore Sambas

    If you served in the service, and are just working now to put yourself thru school, that is different,IMO-you haven't started your "career" yet. I just hear people who are businessmen or engineers or cops or whatever say "I should say the heck with this and become a teacher" as shortsighted-it is not something that anyone can step into and truly enjoy your career. Personally, I don't think anyone should become a HS teacher unless they are interested in what they teach outside of the classroom-science,nature,literature, history, politics,etc.
  15. DaytonBuck

    DaytonBuck I've always liked them

    My mom taught for Montgomery County, and she said there turnover rate was incredible. She made it sound if someone would stay there for 3 years it was a miracle.

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