Today is my last day of teaching. Well, technically Friday was because this week has all been awards, auctions, field days, yearbooks, cleaning, etc. But, today is the last day I will see my students (and some
have the gall decided not to come during the last half day). What is even harder is the fact that I don’t know when I will return to teaching.
However, I am so excited that I don’t have to have the stress that comes with teaching next year! As much as I absolutely LOVE teaching, there are definitely things that I am glad to leave behind.
But, tomorrow (my last day working–teacher work day), I will post about all the things I’ll miss and love about teaching.
My Charter School
– The sheer amount of curriculum expected of English teachers: 4-5 novels, poetry unit, 3-5 short stories, 5 writing cycles, Latin Root vocabulary, grammar curriculum, writing lessons. It is insane, the workload for both teacher and student!
– The lack of technology. There are two laptop labs, one mainly used for Elementary typing and one mainly used for CTE. We have to share projectors. There are no document cameras.
– Ability grouping for math and English. Honestly, I think it is a fantastic idea to do ability grouping…that way, no student falls behind, and we can pace our curriculum easily to the needs of the class. However, sometimes behavior and mental/emotional disabilities and IEP’s go hand-in-hand with academic and learning abilities…my remedial class is 10 students…most have ADHD and almost all have responsibility, honesty, maturity, and behavioral issues. And, they can’t be switched to a higher leveled class to improve the chemistry.
– The chosen classical novels. I love that we teach all classics and no YA. However, we teach the classical classics, like To Kill A Mockingbird, Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, etc., that they will be reading again in high school. We should focus more on lesser read classics like some novels we teach: The Pearl, Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, etc.
– The familiarity of students to other students and staff. This is an extremely small charter school: 530 students K-9. Most of the kids have been here for years and have almost all their junior high classes together. Students sometimes forget to raise hand, talk almost non-stop, and speak to us as equals. I don’t mind being talkative and friendly with my students, but there still should be some acknowledgement that I am the adult and teacher.
– Having to wear tights or nylons! Jeez! In 80-100* weather in August, September, and May?!?
– The hours upon hours of grading, prepping, copying, emailing, worrying, stressing. It’s more than a 40 hour job!
– The salary…although it was a great starter salary for someone right out of college, there’s not much room for growth.
– IEP meetings. I think they’re a great way to get students who need help the accommodations that will help them succeed. But, they are laborious, long, and sometimes, it’s just plain hard to help create specific, measurable goals.
– Parents. Most parents are great–they are on the teachers’ side and honestly just worried about their student reaching potential and succeeding. However, sometimes there are overbearing parents, expecting perfection, defensive parents making excuses, non-present parents whom I’ve never heard from or met, argumentative and angry parents.
– Irresponsibility and misbehavior. This is new to me. I was a teacher’s pet. I was an A-student. I liked learning. I always did my work, always listened to the teacher, and always had my nose in my book. So, I was ignorant to anyone who didn’t do their work or misbehaved! What a shock to teach junior high!
– The Common Core, Utah SAGE state testing, and standardized testing and requirements. Seriously, politicians? I can see your goal and I appreciate you trying, but you are doing a very poor job of achieving it and forcing schools and teachers to teach to the test, you are taking the creativity and fun of learning out! You are stressing kids and teachers and parents out. I appreciate the concern, but leave the teaching the to the teachers!
– The cell phones! I know it’s a whole new generation, and I know I’m guilty of being attached to the hip to my phone and laptop at home, but it’s so annoying to have students be continually texting and using apps during class. Thankfully, I didn’t have this issue at my charter school, but it was a huge issue at the public school I did my internship at.
Again, I absolutely love teaching. I honest-to-God feel that it is my divine calling to be a teacher in all and any setting. And again, tomorrow I will post all the things I will miss about teaching. But, with any job, there are negatives, and these are the things I won’t miss, the things I’ll be glad to leave behind, starting Friday.