Teachers are stressed because of the unrealistic expectations they have to meet. On top of that, we are observed and told that we have not met the unrealistic expectations. Let me share some of the things that led me to quit teaching.
The observation tool was used with teachers ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade in my state. I taught first grade, and some of the requirements were not obtainable, thus leading to a lower score.
The Harder you work, the more you want to quit teaching
The harder you work, the more responsibilities are placed on you. Several years ago, I was volun-told for the grade level leader position. This position came with several additional hours and responsibilities, with no extra pay. All the while, other teachers did not ever have additional duties.
Each year, it seemed like the students were catching on to the failing discipline in the school system. Students were not disciplined for their behaviors. Their behavior escalated because there were no consequences.
Behvior problems that lead me to the edge
After sending a student to the office for throwing objects at me, she went to the office and played games on an iPad. When she came back to the classroom, she smiled and told me all about the games she played.
After a student repeatedly refused to do his work in class, he was sent back with a decorative pencil with an eraser top. He returned to class and said, “You sent me to the office, and I got a reward.” Then he started laughing hysterically. He still refused to do his work.
These disciplinary practices happened at both schools in which I taught. Actions such as these are happening throughout our country. Children are not held accountable for their actions. I fear that this will eventually lead to more crime when they become adults.
Along with the rise in disciplinary issues came the students falling behind. When you spend half your time trying to discipline, it starts to take away from the other students. I spent countless hours (even during breaks) researching teaching strategies to help my students.
When the option to quit teaching became a decision
The “low” students and behavioral students would be assigned to me year after year. In my last year teaching, I was given a class of documented behavioral students because “I know you can handle them.” When I found that they were also low academically, I approached my admin again. I was told, “If you can’t get them to read, no one can. Take it as a compliment.”
I will always be a teacher, just not in the classroom…
My role in education isn’t over. I continue to create fun and engaging resources. I am committed to helping other educators save time and relieve stress.