{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I feel awful saying this even on anonymous: this is my first year teaching and I’m not sure if teaching is for me. I don’t think I have the passion for it and I know myself and my students deserve better. I think about the pros and cons a lot. I know this year is so different and, let’s be real, sucky for many reasons. I want to give it a fair shot in a normal year but idk if I even have that in me. Then I think about how I may have “wasted” my degree. Would anyone have any advice?", "post_id": "5fb7c736ac44a70024de2ae5", "reply_count": 86, "vote_count": 21, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

I feel awful saying this even on anonymous: this is my first year teaching and I’m not sure if teaching is for me. I don’t think I have the passion for it and I know myself and my students deserve better. I think about the pros and cons a lot. I know this year is so different and, let’s be real, sucky for many reasons. I want to give it a fair shot in a normal year but idk if I even have that in me. Then I think about how I may have “wasted” my degree. Would anyone have any advice?

likesmart
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I say this to you, from a background in government service to our great nation and belief in making society a better place for everyone, going all the way back to our founding fathers: I have seen with my own eyes the dark side of humanity, in many other countries and without that spark, to make our future better and a positive difference in as many as possible, even if it is just one upcoming doctor, first responder, plumber, electrician, congress person, mayor, physicist, CEO, entrepreneur or construction worker, ad infinitum, I truly believe each teacher: public/private primary secondary etc. - must choose for themselves - their purpose and mission - teaching will not make you rich, probably not famous even, but when you ask most successful people, what influenced them the most, in a lot of the answers you will find a positive role model of some kind, and mostly those are teachers............ In addition, nothing replaces baptism by fire, in my 23 years of teaching, I have not met very many (that includes the children of teachers that became teachers themselves) who thought their first year of teaching was the best ever! True story if this helps - during this entire election year, I had many seeking elected office, that requested my donation and my vote, claiming to support teachers in all they do, I asked everyone of them to come spend one day in my classroom, in exchange for my political contributions....... not one, down to the local level, ever accepted my offer. Take solace in the stone cold fact, that you do something that, some of the most influential and powerful absolutely refuse to do........that makes you a hero in my book. Do not feel awful by seeking advice and wisdom of knowledgable others ever! All good teachers know they still learn something everyday, no matter what that may be. Each situation is different, and you will need to decide and be true to yourself. I am truly sorry that at your campus, there is not a teacher development person for you to consult/confide in and to help you and you felt compelled to post here. I think that does not speak well of that management..........Find your spark and endeavor to reach your goal and a college degree of any kind is not wasted......it is what you do with it that matters....... :-)

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Well sad!! Beautiful and full of wisdom. If I worked with you I might even have tried to get to 23 years but at 65 and just getting to 20 yrs and no support I’m leaving end of June.😢💕🙏

First and foremost, it's honest. Never ever feel guilty for being honest with yourself. It's the only way to improve and make progress. Second, the fact that you're questioning if you're doing a good job is always a good thing. It's hubris to assume that EVERYTHING you do is going to be perfect, especially in your first year. You spend 4 years of college prepping to be a teacher, but then you set foot in your classroom for the first time and you realize how unprepared you ACTUALLY are. You learn theories and hypotheticals in college, but that's NOTHING compared to when you're actually juggling your own classroom. It's hard, but it's the only way you learn. Lastly, I felt the same way when I started. I think all of us will say the same thing when we started. You end up questioning yourself EVERY DAY with EVERY lesson that you do. The feeling is horrible. I wish I could say it goes away as time goes by, but the feeling comes back every time you're given a new grade level or subject or school to teach in. I've been teaching for 13 years, and every year, in one form or another, I feel like I have to start from scratch. It's not a fun feeling, but as time has gone by, I've adapted and found ways to work around it. I think everyone goes through that. From what I can tell, you can do this. I know it seems overwhelming, but it can get better. If I were you, I'd give it one more year before making a final decision. Get through this year and you'll have a better idea of what works and what doesn't work. Then, take your second year and it'll give you the freedom to loosen up a little and use what you learned from the previous year to get better. After that, do another self-evaluation. Does it still feel overwhelming? If it is, then you can feel comfortable throwing in the towel. At least you gave it a shot and you can walk away knowing that you did your best and that you feel comfortable knowing it's not for you. Whatever you choose to do, good luck. You have support here.

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I know several people who went to college to become teachers, but after one year, two years, five years, they knew it wasn’t for them. DON’T feel guilty. Life is too short. You need to find a job that makes you happy.

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Do not feel guilty. This is your life. It doesn’t get better if you don’t love it. This job is tough and in many ways, thankless. You have to absolutely love it to do it and feel any kind of happiness. My advice would be to go with your gut. You could always do a regular year while you are getting your ducks in a row for your next career. I’ve been teaching for 22 years. There is no shame in deciding this isn’t for you finding a career you love. Good luck!

likehelpful

Don't give up, it took me several years and three schools for me to find my place in the education world. Don't let the learning curve ruin something that could be wonderful.

likeupliftinghelpful

I second this! Three different schools and two different grade levels! I started out in elementary and then went to Middle School. I find the jobs open to new teachers are the most difficult positions and take the most out of you. Once you get a few years under your belt (for me it was 3) you will get better opportunities open to you. Also, to get the a good position at a good school district you will probably have to apply for the last minute openings. Don't feel like you are obligated to stay at one school. If you aren't vibing with the administration or your colleagues see if you can find another position! Also, I can't stress the learning curve enough. After even 2 years starting the school year was SO. MUCH. EASIER. I feel like this is the only career that does this to you.

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Lol I totally disagree about the above quote - I think those who can, do, and those who can but also like children and want to share what they can do, teach. I became a teacher just because I thought it was a job I could do. I did not want to do it, but I needed a job. My first year was a terrible fit and I would rather switch careers than do that again. My second year was a totally different subject and a different age group. It was hard, but I loved what I taught and it was better. My third year went off the rails for reasons I won't go into here but then I went back to teaching what I taught my second year, and I loved it. During those third and fourth years of teaching, I let go of a lot of my hangups, and teaching became much easier. If you aren't sure, and you do like your content area, maybe give it another shot. I love the topic I teach. When I didn't like what I was teaching, it was god-awful. Don't worry about wasting your degree - forget sunk costs. You had life experiences there that will serve you in some other way. Don't regret the past. But do find something you can be happy doing most days. That is the most important thing to me - I want to do what I am doing every day. The bullshit is there, but the underlying work is worth it.

likehelpful

Glad you found it funny! Unfortunately, it is much truer than we would like it to be.👍

smart

Never make large decisions that are not necessary during anything that resembles a crisis. I wouldn't recommend anyone even consider changing schools within the same district right now. Focus all energy on little things. What can you do to lighten your load and difficulty now? If you are just getting started it is not the time to walk away. You can't judge a house when it's on fire (grab a fire extinguisher instead).

likehelpful

No reason to feel bad at all!! It’s a tough gig, especially having this year be your first. You’re being honest with yourself. If you want to stick it out to see, go for it! I know what you mean about the wasted degree. I’m in a similar boat where I don’t think I love it anymore. I’m in year 10. There have been great years and awful years. I bounce back and forth. It will get easier to manage mentally, but if you’re just not happy, then move on! Life’s too short:)

likehelpful

Wait and see if next year isn’t an improvement over the last several years as far as the students behavior and attitudes. I have been hearing over and over from the kids how they want to be back in school, how they miss it. Far cry from what they said a year ago.

This job depletes us, that’s for sure. We do, indeed, need the passion to thrive and survive. If it’s not for you, be true to yourself. It’s definitely not the job we signed up for, so you need to ask yourself if it’s your calling, or are you being called elsewhere. I feel like you would “know.,” even in the hard times. Be still and listen. You will know. Best wishes in whatever you decide!

likeuplifting

So true, this is not the job any of us trained for or signed up for.

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I say get out now while you can. I have been in for 31 years and the changes are so extreme from when I started. You can always come back but find what makes you happy! I wish I had gotten out when are hands started getting tied. Teaching use to be fun and inspiring. Creative teaching is a thing of the past. There is no respect in our profession anymore and everyone expects more, more, more.

likesmartfunny

I agree with this statement. I started teacher on 1998. It is not fun anymore. I have been considered a good teacher, but I am still expected to follow scripted lessons. I hate it. I feel like a horrible teacher now.

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I totally understand that! You are not alone! So many people leave teaching for the same reasons and lots of people decide to get into teaching via the alternate route process as well. As you said, this is a hard year to judge by, ESPECIALLY for a first year!!

likehelpfulfunny

Did you like student teaching? My first year I didn’t like teaching high school and I wasn’t so found of how some of the staff behaved so I switched to elementary and I am much happier with a better school culture. This is a very different first year and you probably don’t even have a mentor because people are too busy treading water and learning themselves. I would hang in for next year which may be a little more normal. But also examine your school culture. Then if you still don’t like it, switch to something else. Also, you may be feeling down because...who isn’t right now? I say give yourself some grace.

likefunny

I know how you feel. I question myself every year. I still feel like I am that horrible old saying, "Those that can't do, teach." I/ we cannot make this decision for you. My third year teaching was literally the worst year of my entire life and it was all do to the toll my school had on me. I literally made a list of all the reasons to stay and reasons to leave. In the end I knew I couldn't leave. I'm a single woman who needs a job to pay rent and take care of myself and my dog (he's my baby). Make that list, but be realistic when it comes to money. Google search alternative careers with an education degree. I've done that. I don't know your situation or your personal life. Just be realistic and know the consequences of your choices. Best of luck to you. P.S. I wouldn't say a word to anyone inside your building! You don't want this to come back to bite you

likefunny

Right! Mum’s the word!!

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As others have said, and you yourself, this is not a good year to judge by. The most rewarding part of teaching is the interactions you have with students, and that has been largely stripped away this year. There is really no other reason to stay in the profession. The pay sucks, hours are long, expectations are many. It may be worth trying to stick it out for one "normal" year (assuming and hoping that will be next year.)

likesmart

Don’t give up just yet. You haven’t found your place here you will be comfortable. This is not a normal year. Look for the good and set aside the bad.

likeuplifting

If you don't think it's for you and you don't feel passionate, get out. It's ok that teaching isn't what you thought it would be or what it seemed like in your degree/certification program. Most Teacher Ed programs are based on ideal circumstances within the classroom, district, and world, but they fail to teach the realities of teaching. This job will eat up your soul and spit it out saying, "eeewww, that's gross" if you let it go on too long and you hate it. The great thing about a teaching degree is that you have a well-rounded set of content knowledge and skills since teachers have to do such a wide variety of tasks in our jobs. Your degree will make you marketable, so use it however you want.

likeuplifting

I am so sorry you feel this way. I’d say give it time. I still love teaching and I’m on the very down side of retiring. Do I put in another year?? Yes? Maybe? Yes? Maybe?? We will see. Stay turned.

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You have to be honest with yourself. Continue to weigh the positives and negatives! It will work out. Teaching is not for everyone. It is a calling. You have to be your biggest cheerleader . It’s a thankless job.

likehelpful

If the passion isn’t there don’t wait any longer to leave. Teaching is often glorified but it is a hard career with only sentimental rewards here and there. Ask yourself what will sustain my spirit in this career path. Your degree is never wasted and you have many skills that can be applied in many industries. Contact a head hunter for direction.

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In my experience, which had been 30 years, both Reg. Ed, but mostly Spec. Ed. - you have to be passionate about both your desire an ability to teach and nurture student. I decided in 1st grade that I wanted to be a teacher. I have a BS in Elem. Education/Math; a Masters in Special Ed., a 2nd Masters in Education with focus on Educational Technology; and a doctorate in Leadership with a focus on Instructional Technology. I was seriously underpaid in PA, but am decently compensated for my experience and degrees in Washington, DC. Never wanted anything to do with Administration certification/ just always wanted to be with kids. But I have always been passionate.

likeuplifting

Don’t base your decision on what’s happening now. At least give it a chance to get straightened out. Teaching can be professionally and personally rewarding. It is one of the last ways to earn a pension, you always have weekends off, usually you get most of the summer off and can be out of work in mid afternoon. It is also rewarding when you realize you made a difference in a kids life that nobody else did! When considering a career change, consider this: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, become administrators. Those who can’t become administrators, go to college and teach others how to teach.

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