Skip to main content

One Teacher's Story: I Hate My Job and Want to Quit Now!

I used to be a teacher. Then I realized I would probably die of some stress-related ailment if I didn't quit.

You're not a bad person if you realize teaching isn't for you.

You're not a bad person if you realize teaching isn't for you.

Giving up on the Wrong Career Is Not a Crime

When I was in high school, I had the coolest history teachers. They were passionate, funny, and basically told stories all day long. Whether it was the dirty details of Henry VIII and all of his wives or the real story of the Roosevelts, I loved history. And boy, did I love field trips. Occasionally there was a paper and a test. There were very few forced group activities, and there was no internet. We had to go to the library. And I still got a great education. We weren't graded with rubrics. You sat there, listened to the teacher, and respected them.

I never remember any of my history teachers telling me, "Today our learning objective is X. It is a question on X exam. You will know you were successful today because you will be able to do and know X and answer the objective on your Exit Ticket." That was in 1989.

As many other people have done, I thought to myself, "Hey, I am brilliant at history. I am going to be a history teacher. With my knowledge and passion, I'm a natural. I think I'll teach high school." This was in 2003.

How Teaching Has Changed

The field of education had changed drastically since then, and since I came in so late in the game, it felt so foreign to me. Little did I realize that being interested in a discipline does not a brilliant teacher make. I found this out when I was student teaching. Student teaching was difficult because I realized that teenagers do not necessarily respect you (you have to earn it), they are defiant, their behavior has to be managed, and you have to engage them. Most importantly, you have to love them, and you have to have 'the gift of teaching.' Or at least you have to work very hard at it if it doesn't come naturally.

Then you have to make lesson plans, be organized, and you get observed all of the time. Constructive criticism is dished out more regularly than praise; from students, parents, and administrators alike. And you always have to be "on." And if you are a Type B person, being 100 percent "on" is not always possible.

I should have realized it when I would get gas in the morning and wish I were going to work at the gas station instead of the school, where I had two sort-of-okay ninth graders and another group of especially defiant ones who should have been drowned at birth.

After the experience was over and I passed, getting a teaching job was a tougher matter.

I was living in the wonderful but small state of Vermont, where history jobs were not plentiful. So I went to work as a secretary at a local college, and but for the fact that I was not using my degree or even teaching, I had a very pleasant job on a bucolic campus and was surrounded by respectful professionals on a daily basis, and I never experienced stress.

My First Charter School Teaching Job

Three years later, my good friend, who worked with various charter schools in New York City at the time, called me up and excitedly told me about how he had been working with this great school and that it would be a perfect place for me to teach. The unspoken reality was that if I didn't finally try teaching, it was never going to happen.

So, I got my resume together, showing I had virtually no real-world experience, sent in my application, had several interviews, taught a demo lesson to a group of perfectly-behaved eleventh-grade honors students, got the job, and moved to Brooklyn. These events all happened in such rapid succession that I had no time to think about the fact that I was going to teach city kids and was headed into a culture shock like none I had experienced before. Had I known, I would have probably stayed in Vermont forever.

But I went.

Little did I know that I would be entering a climate where I would be bullied by school leaders instead of being supported and that I'd be threatened and never complimented. Even new teachers who are learning and sometimes making mistakes need positive encouragement. One of the worst examples of lack of support and even racism was when a school leader said to me, "Get to know the kids more. Eat lunch with them. Find out what bands they like. Show them that you are more than just a White teacher from suburbia."

The first year was understandably challenging. I will go through some of the worst events some other time. Suffice it to say it was a fight. But I always built myself up by telling myself that the first year is always the worst. As it turns out, my fifth year was the worst, and it was the one that made me terminate my teaching career for good.

Charter Schools Don't Have Unions

I will not tell you the whole story now. But I will say this: charter schools do not have unions. This is very good for charter schools, but it's very bad for teachers. Many do argue, understandably, that if schools don't have unions, teachers have to do their jobs well without complaining and be competent enough to handle them. A union, as some may say, is an enabling crutch that allows teachers to be lazy. When charter schools catch wind of teachers mentioning that word, it becomes a witch hunt, with various people throughout the school trying to catch the union agitator and cut off their heads.

Realistically, charter schools will frequently give teachers a workload that surpasses what a union would allow. The reason why my career ended, quite frankly, was that although I was experienced and in my fifth year, having been challenged and meeting each challenge, the powers that be decided I needed even more challenges. I had to teach three separate grades, one of which I was not licensed for, and I had to submit 15 scripted lesson plans by end of business every Friday. If parents did not like something, they would call the principal directly, and the principal would come to me and warn me that this was a problem that needed to be fixed. My writing assignments were also micromanaged. I had been taught to teach students how to write DBQ and thematic-type essays to help kids pass the essay portion on Regents exams, but the school had its own prescribed way of teaching writing that was badly communicated to me since my previous background had been in high school and not middle school. I never received the proper guidance and support in learning their ELA methods and was frustrated because I already knew what I was doing in terms of teaching writing and adding literacy to social studies. Before that time, I had never had anyone tell me my methods were bad before this teaching gig, and in my previous schools, I was praised for doing it well.

I had my share of experiences with getting observed without warning and was used to it in my other schools, so it wasn't a big deal most of the time. However, with this last school, the pop-ins happened several times a week. I was always told what I was doing was wrong but never was told how they wanted me to do it. I was micromanaged. A few times, the principal stormed into my room when things were getting too loud with the group I was not licensed to teach. She would announce to everyone, “This class is not working. It is a disaster.” Then she would tell me what to do. "Ms. Kikibruce, wait for silence. Ms. Kikibruce, do not give them the paper if they do not say thank you. You are not holding them accountable." She said all of this in front of the kids. I was horrified. Even though my other charter schools were not stellar, this was new craziness that I did not think existed in the real world.

I started getting sick every morning before school. I was taking anti-anxiety meds. I worked until 10:00 every night and worked all weekend. I took a day off here and there because I could not get time to write those 15 lesson plans the way they wanted them. And really, who ends up using a scripted lesson plan anyway? I was at the point where I had so many things to juggle that I didn't know where to start. And when I told a school leader I felt overwhelmed because of the third class, it was duly noted, but in a way that suggested there was now a lack of confidence in my abilities.

The Final Straw

The final straw came at report card time. Knowing they harassed me if grades were too low, I made sure that my grading was absolutely fair, but some parents insisted on their kids getting above 90 percent, whether they deserved it or not, and this was supported by the principal and the dean. I tried to give balanced but accurate verbal comments that were both about how their children 'shine' and how they need to 'grow.' I guess I was too honest because I was called into the office and was made to sit with the Dean and change all of my comments so that there were no constructive comments about behavior and respect and how students really were doing and only warm and positive comments that did not relay the fact that the kid ran around the classroom farting all the time. That was finally it. At that time, I came down with a horrible sinus infection and had to be out for five days; confirmed by the doctor and totally legit. All the same, when I came in, the principal said, “for this list of reasons, including your long absence, we will not be continuing our relationship with you after Christmas.” Inside, I was overjoyed. On the outside, I was sober and calm. She kept talking. I said, “It's alright; please do not explain.” And that was it.

Since the beginning of the year, I had a bad feeling about the job. From the first day when a school leader scolded me for not "tracking the speaker" (jargon for looking at the person who is talking), from the extra class I hadn't expected to teach to being subjected to leaders who gave me nothing but obstacles to the ever-changing screwed up schedules and terrible class period transitions, horrible discipline and not enough planning time during the day to plan for three separate grades a day. I tried as hard as I could. I worked my butt off. I enjoyed a number of the kids, and some of them liked me. I tried to do group projects. The kids usually knew their learning objective because I told them what it was and often had them fill out Exit Tickets. My lesson plans indicated how I would assist students with special needs. They were scripted (more or less-I kind of gave up on that because it was too time-consuming). I had a hunch I would be laid off when I would send in the lesson plans and stop getting any feedback, acknowledgment, or response.

Maybe I wasn't the greatest teacher in the world, but then again, who would be, considering where I was teaching and what I had to put up with? I didn't want to wake up every morning filled with dread. I wanted to walk into a place with a smile on my face. It's not that I don't like kids. I just feel that, along with bad charter schools, there is a greater lack of respect for teachers in general, and I wasn't able to connect with them, perhaps because I was not into rap and didn't compare every successful person in history to Jay-Z. Other teachers were already doing that. I wanted to expand their horizons, not keep them where they were. I understand trying to connect to them by relating things to their own lives, but I wasn't going to try too hard and come off as fake. Kids see through it. I had to be true to myself, confident that I knew my curriculum.

I found out later through one of my colleagues that more than one person was hired to teach the load that I was carrying, and they were much more "hip" and "street" than me. To this day, I don't understand why they overloaded me and then ended up hiring more people and costing them more money.

After almost five years of trying and trying and living in the city and not giving up, I was thrilled not to have to go back there, happy to have the time to let the stress hormones leave my body. Generally speaking, being 41 and moving back home with one's parents is not an ideal life change, but for me, it saved my mental and physical health.

Being between jobs is not ideal. It can make you feel like a failure. I don’t feel that way. Teaching was hard for me right from the beginning. I was not a natural, and I had to work at it. I was teaching in some very rough neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx and stayed on while many others would have stopped. Many of my former coworkers from my first school have moved on to other schools. Some have quit. Some have become successful at teaching. I feel no sense of inadequacy because I finally gave up on the classroom. Sometimes you have to admit that something is wrong and deal with it.

My Advice to You

That is my advice to you if you are a teacher who wants to quit. Your new career search will involve thinking outside of the box. It's a hackneyed expression, but it's true. You will consider operating a forklift, and you will get told by temp agencies that you will not get more than $10 per hour doing a clerical job. Many potential employers will think you are overqualified and want to know why you quit the more lucrative career of teaching. Don't listen. Keep moving forward. Just remember, quitting something wrong is not a crime. It is just a new beginning.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Gary Jensen on February 23, 2019:

I saw the writing on the wall in 1973 and turned down a teaching position over 18 other applicants and went into construction instead, so glad I did.

I went from starving and being unappreciated to being totally appreciated for my skills and actually being able to retire in comfort. Now I learn for the reward it gives...

Rena on July 16, 2018:

I have worked as a special ed aide for 15 years. I am now 60. 60! I was offered a teaching grant. I am a person that went to school in the 60s, 70s and 80s, when teachers were quirky, creative, and expressive or at least could simply teach the subject their way. Now I see teachers on a Dickensian treadmill, not teaching, just writing piles of IEPs and taking unwelcome parent calls during class time. I do work in many classrooms directly with students every single day. Stupid me (sorry for s word, not sorry really, I can’t stand the new jargon) thinks that I just go take a few night classes at the local college and they let me be a special ed teacher because there is huge demand in California. No. Not happening. What was I thinking? Education is unrecognizable to me now. I can’t talk or write the way college wants me to now. Or post BS and crap multiple times on forums in all my classes to get a decent grade. Sometimes I find myself more classically literate than some teachers I work with, who are struggling and juggling so much! I guess I am lucky I work with the ones that make it look easy. I am NOT going to force myself through this meat grinder only to BEGIN a mentally and physically exhausting career at 62 or 63 or 64! 65? Now I know why my teacher pals gave me the side eye when I announced my plan. Well I struggled to pass the CSET. I passed. But I am done! And I recently got an aide job with benefits. I get to “teach” and work with students. That’s really the best part of teaching anyway. My time is precious now and I am not going to drive myself to a nervous breakdown to have a maddening teaching career in California in my 60s. And I may even want to leave this home state for good which has become a hellhole in many many ways. If I became a teacher, I would owe two years in the district.

Sean Bassingale on April 17, 2018:

Spot on. I taught AP Economics in an upscale high school for 15 years and each year after the first five went to hell in increments. The real quality teachers began to retire and their replacements were less than stellar. The single thing that suffered and caused the eventual slide into hell was relaxation of rules and discipline, especially the discipline. As the discipline went, so to began the grades. I attribute cell phones as the straw that broke the proverbial camels back. Ultimately, the same quality principal took over as was warranted by the school and its diminished quality students. Today, the school resembles a big jr. high school.

Me? I quit that zoo a couple of years ago after the principal came in and told me the students were not in the military and I could not use tactics learned in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne in the classroom. We had an unpleasant exchange and I resigned effective the end of the school year. Funny thing is, the kids liked the discipline.

Cujo on January 29, 2018:

I feel like you and I havn't even started teaching yet. I am a pre service teacher in an extremely intense after-degree teacher education program in Canada. I have lots of experience in school settings, as I have been an EA at two different schools for 10 years. I worked my butt off and put my life on hold for 2 years (the course is supposed to take three years). Every day I had class for 8 hours and then I did homework all night. When I was supposed to be starting my student teaching last year, I was told I would have to repeat this course and this will set things back a year. In the last 2 years I was taking 5 courses every term and now I am taking one course and feel just as stressed out. The expectations for planning, assessment and implementing technology (I'm sorry but I don't think I will learn to code at this point in my life) are unreasonable. I feel like taking a low paying job that does not have the stress and forget about teaching as a career. It is good to hear from other people that feel the same as I do.

RevolutionaryMe on January 27, 2018:

"I was always told what I was doing was wrong, but never was told how they wanted me to do it".

THIS. I repeat, THIS has happened to me during my whole teaching time, and it makes me quite suspicious, because it might mean that

A. They don't know what they would do THEMSELVES in that very situation.

B. They secretly think they would probably have acted like you did and they DON'T want to admit it.

C. They think they don't have the time to 'teach' you into the career so that you become a successful fellow colleage (which would in turn be good for the school). I always thought that, just like when you attend an artisan's to learn the trade, I SHOULD be able to learn from enthusiastic and dedicated fellow teachers who would help me progress. We would lean on each other and it all would flow smoothly. The truth? This is 'Every man for himself!'; you must learn on your own, the hard and stressful way; and no one will care, but they will lecture. :( What a nice profession.

I understand everything in life is a phase: work is a phase, too, and it shall pass. And then, I'll be able to recover from all the damage that it has done to me. Incidentally, I started fantasizing about retirement ever since I started working. But I expect nothing from this job; I don't expect to take anything with me when I retire, and I don't think it will change me for the best, bringing out the best in me. I think it shall only pass, and I am fine with that. For me, my job is like a house chore. Something that I hate doing, but that I have to do nonetheless. I didn't feel like this when I studied because I liked studying. I was much more respected as a student than I am as a teacher.

Valerie on January 26, 2018:

I recently started teaching at a student care centre situated in the school compound itself. i’m 18 years old, fresh out of high school, and decided to take in the job during my holidays out of curiosity.

it was a mistake.

i have deduced that, like many others in this thread, i hate teaching.

despite having zilch experience with kids and teaching, i am criticised constantly by my higher ups.

the kids can be endearing but are mostly just disrespectful and disobedient.

i am constantly stressed and frazzled about the behaviour of my students, all for meagre pay that i could be earning at a significantly less exhausting part time job.

thankful that my stint in teaching will be brief and is ending in two months (YAY!) i am lucky that i managed to discover my lack of love towards being a teacher early on. rowdy, rude and ungrateful students are simply not my thing.

to those who are struggling with teaching, i wish you all the best and hope you will make a successful transition into another career. your mental health comes first, please don’t feel like you absolutely have to continue teaching if you feel like you’re at your limit.

WillowHollow on January 07, 2018:

I have taught for 25 years. I used to love it. I was allowed to be creative as long as I was within the curriculum. I am considered a very good teacher, and my evaluations are excellent. However, I am dying inside.

It has nothing to do with the students. I love them, even the ones who are difficult. I can usually win them over with fair and consistent treatment.

My unhappiness stems from the new expectations that have arisen from the adoption of common core. The lovely textbooks and materials have been swept aside for teachers to create their own. Sorry folks, but we are not professional curriculum writers.

I will hang in there till retirement, but it saddens me to remember what education was and to see what it has become. Test scores should not be the focus. Poor kids.

h3liflyer on October 15, 2017:

I am a second career teacher-from tech/ATT. I did the 3+ years of university teaching classes and student teaching. I have taught for 4 years, 3 districts (military spouse). In these 4 years I have taught EVERY SCIENCE in HS, only being certified in bio and ES. Being from the "outside" I can tell you I am appalled at how education is being ran, if corporations were ran this way they would be bankrupt and personnel would run. It is sad to see students being passed that cannot read, write a correct sentence, or follow directions. It is a dog and pony show at best. I am sick that I have spent so much money on a career that I went into to make a difference. I have 2 masters degrees and sickened that it will take me years to make the cost up. I never failed at any job assigned (project manager, district manager) but I have concluded I am a failure at this one, the process is out of my control and the problems of society affecting the children I see are too much to bear. I have taught in 3 states, the best was the Midwest (decent pay, good admin, good set up for IEP kids), the worst in the west (low pay, teacher respect awful, dismal management). The last straw was dealing with an "integrated" classroom where it is the norm for students to be allowed to act like they are cutting their wrists, eat food that is falling out of their mouths, and students crying about an assortment of parental problems-no aide-sitting next to kids who are advanced and are being held back by these incidences. I concluded today, Sunday, after being sick and getting a migraine from thinking about going back tomorrow that I have failed and need to move on. I am the only one that can take control of my life again and to do that I need to start looking for a job out. I feel for those teachers that are working hard and sticking it through and wish all good luck. For me, no regrets, life is short and I need to move on for the good of me and the classroom.

My2cents on September 30, 2017:

Thanks for this! It reminds me so much of my teaching experience over seas. I still feel awful when I think about that period of my life. Teaching 4 different grade levels of which I was only qualified to teach 2 and teaching 6 subjects of which I was only qualified to teach 2. The worst part of it by far was the lack of support from the first school I was at. The behaviour was generally atrocious but there were a few sweet kids here and there. To say it was a living nightmare would be no exaggeration. My personality changed during this experience. I was supposed to go back this year but while I was back home on summer break I had severe suicidal thoughts whenever I thought about returning overseas to teach. I've never in my life experienced thoughts that bad and took it as a sign that I shouldn't quit but that I needed to quit. On top of it I was in a foreign country with no family and only a few friends/acquaintances. I now see it as water under the bridge but am nervous about teaching back at home because that experience really shook my confidence. Like you I'm always thinking about new careers. Again thanks for your post. It's so relieving to find stories that you can relate with. Wish you the best of luck in finding a new career!

Alexis on September 16, 2017:

Reading through this reminded me so much of my teaching experiences. It felt like I had written this at several points, right down to the taking anxiety-meds before work part and being relieved when you were laid off. Reading through this I can tell you are a fantastic teacher who did make a difference and cares deeply about the students you taught.

I worked in two charter schools. The last one was exactly as you described down to the details (are you sure you're not me??) When I was laid off, I was honestly, overjoyed. I did spend some time as a nervous wreck and yes, moving back home sucks. I'm in my late 20s and starting over with a new career and it's hard, but I know many people in the same boat. I strongly believe it was meant to be. I was hired as a therapist by a friend and love it! Now I finally have the opportunity to figure out what I wan to do and it's not teaching.

Hope you can find your next calling and there is someone looking for your exact credentials! Keep us posted!

Jim on August 15, 2017:

Become a U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor. Your "students" will hang on your every word...

Eileen on March 09, 2017:

Thank you for this. I am feeling all of these things and have dealt with 3 Charter schools who were all demanding in their own way in an inner city school. In my 7th year of teaching, I am done. I have been applying for other jobs since September and gotten nothing yet. I don't know what to do. I'm extremely stressed.

Vote Betsy DeVos on March 07, 2017:

Dog gone your good enough smart enough and people like you

Kristen on February 26, 2017:

Thank you for this letter. After 22 years of teaching 1st and 2nd grade I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of what has happened to education. It is sad, disturbing, and corrupt.... what this career has become. I am retiring at the end of this school year or else I feel like I might not be alive for my own child's high school graduation. Talk about risk!!!!! I will be unemployed and my son is headed to college soon!!! Fun times...but better than me being DEAD!!!

bopshubop on February 15, 2017:

I left teaching 1.5 years ago after 17 years in the classroom. I worked in both public and private international/American schools. In 2015, I was told my contract would not be renewed because the principal didn't care for my teaching style. I was both upset and relieved. I had always enjoyed working with my students and always said they were the best part of my day.

Over the years though I grew to loathe the endless meetings, the writing of endless unit planners/curriculum and politics all the while having technology shoved down my throat AND then being directed to shove technology down the student's throats. I decided I was done with teaching. My love/ spark/ zest for it was gone.

I thought I would have any easy time finding another job in The Netherlands. I was told that we teachers had desirable skills that easily transferred into various industries. I read "Life After Teaching", had my resume professional redone, read articles, and took language classes. I felt like something great was coming my way. I was so wrong. In my job hunt, I was told I was overqualified or potential employers thought I didn't have skills necessary to do even the most basic office work. I lived off my savings and completely drained it. The in 2016 my partner was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (cancer of the blood). I found myself in a very deep depression and felt desperate to find any job so that if he wasn't able to work we could make it financially.

It has taken me 1.5 years to find another job. I am starting work at a hotel making about 38% of what I previously earned. I have to admit, I'm excited to be in a totally different industry but feel a bit like a loser for having such a low salary. My partner, family, and friends have been supportive. However, a very close friend remarked, "You do know this is way below your skill set and education?" which tapped into my insecurities. *Sigh*

So here is to my new beginning...

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on January 26, 2017:

I admire teachers. It's not a profession I would want to go into. I agree, it's not a crime to quit a job. I wish you all the best of luck for the future.

Phredd on January 09, 2017:

These are obviously the words of someone who's been there. When I heard Trump appointed a billionaire charter school advocate to head up the Department of Education rather than simply eliminating it, I became convinced that we are all doomed.

Back to the theme here though- lesson planning is ridiculous. If the school buys into a basal package for each subject the lessons are already planned, and the teachers should only have to cut and paste certain elements of each (objective, learning standards covered, assessment, etc.) into a prescribed template rather than reinventing the wheel for each topic each day (or as some charter schools insist upon- one for EACH STUDENT.)

The better packages provide everything you need including reteach or scaffold materials.

Because too many "experts" in the field are relativistic ding-dongs, trends come and go in American education, while the countries with more successful schools than ours (Zimbabwe, Imdonesia, etc.) have enough sense to stick to what works: discipline, direct instruction, and accountability beginning at the STUDENT level, for instance.) Remember when it was all about "self esteem" in education? Now differentiating and learning standards are all the rage. This begs the question- if there are clear thresholds set by learning standards, don't students need to be taught to a set standard without so much obsessing over their personal learning style and preferences? Sorry to burst your bubble- but most jobs do not "differentiate" to the personal perferences of anyone. Either do the work successfully and in a timely fashion or be replaced. That is the way most employment works. Catering to the personal preferences of each student instills the false notion that the world shall always accomodate their every whim.

Needtoquit on January 06, 2017:

Kiki, I know its been a while since you wrote your article, (I just found it today), but I wanted to say thank you. Like many others here I'm at the breaking point. I found your article by searching "I'm a 3rd year teacher and I want to quit."

I spent all day reading this instead of grading--spent all my break avoiding the thought of going back. I'm feeling the familiar panic building up as it gets closer to Monday. I've talked myself into the idea that this is IT for me--I have to make it work. However, I'm encouraged by others who have successfully made the break; even though, at my age, I shouldn't be thinking of switching careers again.

Nicole on January 06, 2017:

I am at this point of saying screw it, but I have 3 kids ans bills to pay. Only problem is with 16 years experience and still paying the loan for it what can I do with a masters in the art of teaching and bs in education? I've tired of politics, good ole boys club, test scores, etc. just leave us alone. 20 years ago we didn't have as many problems as we do now.

Kelly Johnosn on December 01, 2016:

I have the same problem, I have a supervisor who is watching me every second, The lesson plans must be written her way. She does not teach what I teach, put she know it ?? sure. The students have to pass, if one student get a D, I made a mistake not him/her. They think the students have to pass with good grades, but they don't study.

imagic5 on November 27, 2016:

DRaquel I am there with you. Writing Lesson plans, IEPs, post observation reports, student reports, meetings... It's a wonder we have time to actually teach anymore.

Also, I need to find a profession where I feel appreciated by my superiors. Any thoughts?

DRaquel on November 17, 2016:

I love the kids, but I absolutely do not love teaching anymore? I spend more time reporting on what I've taught, preparing detailed reports on my goals, and in meetings. Stress stress stress. My health is at risk! What has happened to this profession?

Gibeau on November 16, 2016:

I cannot top much of what I read here, but I can sure echo it. I have been lecturing as an adjunct since 1998, most of those years at the same junior college as well two universities, and it has become harder and harder to find joy in what I am doing. I have a dean that does not support the instructors and students who need their handheld;if I do not achieve this to their satisfaction, they contact the dean. It does not matter whether or not my peer and student evaluations are good, the result is the same: one student complaint = the inquisition. I have been trying for 5 years to exit this occupation (and I have 9 job posting websites to prove it), but there always seems to be one financial excuse for staying. I think many instructors who are in my boat, know the feeling: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush... Still, I dream of living in the woods in an RV and just writing my guts out. I spend hours preparing for each lecture, and my simple and clear directions result in blank faces and silence, even after a week of discussing and reviewing the same material. I'm tired of the treadmill, and I am not surprised to read that it is the same everywhere for instructors. This week, I considered contacting every instructor I ever had and apologize for their anguish, but I am afraid they are already dead.

Violet on November 13, 2016:

I agree with many things you wrote. I too am at my wits end and ready to quit. I hate my job, am also "Type B" and am looking for alternatives I can enjoy. Teaching is thankless and even charters suck, like you noted. To end, I think the person who told you to (I won't quote) be more than a white chick from suburbia, may not have used the right words to say cultural competence. I think she has a point that if you are going to be in an environment your not used to, no matter where it is in the world, it's a good idea to genuinely learn about where you are even when your not interested in the culture. It leads to more understanding and can spark deep relationships. I in no way mean that in the condescending and mean way it seems it was said to you. The way she said it stunk! As someone who works to change herself first when necessary, I know it can make a difference. Anyway, I hope what ever it did for you, that this is working out for your benefit and good.

RuinedinPhx on November 13, 2016:

If teachers didn't get two weeks vacation at Christmas, a week in spring, and a few weeks in summer (not two months; we are doing continuing Ed, re-certifying, teaching summer school/doing second jobs) .... WE WOULD DIE! We can barely get out of bed during these so called "vacation" days.

rgofldo on November 07, 2016:

Wow !!! where to begin. I guess teaching is becoming hard in all states. Texas is no different. I been wanting to quit after being push into a grade levels I'm not comfortable teaching. Don't get me wrong I can teach, but I'm burnout teaching at these levels for 5+ years. On top of that Our school had 3 administrators in less than 4 years. I wish I can do something else but at 42 I'm not marketable lol. and is a long way to 64 to retire lol .Also is the family economics what is keeping me from resigning and going to look for something else. I think would be teachers need to teach for one year before committing their lives into teaching. One thing is for sure, it will be progressively harder to teach as the years advance. I do not see teaching being reverted back to what it once was.

DukeChestnut on November 03, 2016:

I can relate to a lot of what you said. I worked for five years as a full time teacher in private schools and I really hated it. I did a year at a Catholic school, who's principal was a real battleaxe of a nun - frequent class drop ins, mean comments, unrealistic expectations - the whole gambit. I switched to a small Quaker school that was run by parents (believe me it was even worse). After all that I decided I was done. While I still do some tutoring, I'm phasing myself out of teaching. Kids today have way too many issues and administrators are rarely supportive. Im glad you got out too. Society needs to start valuing teachers if they want anyone to teach their kids in the future.

kikibruce on November 03, 2016:

Congrats to you teachers out there working with your students and making a difference. You deserve much more respect than you get.

Nick on November 02, 2016:

Yes, I am a recovering public schoolteacher myself. After years of unnecessary abused I finally got clean.

Catherine on November 02, 2016:

THANK YOU for writing this article!! It helps to know I'm not alone haha. I graduated in 2015 and tried various teaching positions for a little over a year before finally deciding to quit teaching for good a few weeks ago. There were so many indicators that this wasn't what I should be doing with my life, but I kept thinking that "this is the way my first year is supposed to be," and kept trying different grad levels and districts hoping it'd get better. Finally realized that I will always love the kids, but the system burned me out real quick.

John on October 28, 2016:

Good to know that all the BS and hassle isn't just a British thing. I started teaching seven weeks ago. My only consolation is that if it all goes tits up I can only be better off financially. My first pay cheque actually made me chill out quite a bit.

Abouttoquit on October 27, 2016:

Update: They're getting me a student teacher who already has a degree in physics to help me teach my AP physics class. And we've made next year's schedule. I get to go back to my area of expertise AND add some advanced science astronomy and geology classes to the mix. There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Abouttoquit on October 22, 2016:

I'm a high school earth and space teacher and 7th grade science teacher. 9 weeks into this school year I am being made to suddenly (this week!) abandon my beloved classes to, instead, fill in for a physics teacher who quit suddenly. Reason being, they hired the only applicant they had and he was retired and not qualified to teach physics, AP physics and dual credit zoology. He didn't even want to teach the genetics and anatomy classes he was being hired to teach. He was a retired earth and space science teacher. He wanted my job. And he got it. I have never even taken a physics course since high school and I don't even remember the one I'm sure I took in high school. But they asked me to do it. They assured me it was temporary. I was told the AP physics students already had an approved syllabus they were following, and all I had to do was keep them on it and supplement them with resources when I could. I was given two textbooks for AP physics, and one textbook for physics I. I got started. I spent hours in that classroom trying to figure out what all the gadgets and instruments in the locked cupboards were. I looked for resources to go with the textbooks and found very little. I decided to grit my teeth and bear it and dive right in. I started with physics I, since, other than a few basic physics chapters in 7th grade science, I had no prior upper-level physics knowledge base whatsoever. I thought I should start near the beginning. I made lesson plans for 3 chapters, created activities from scratch, ordered lab supplies, created online interactive curriculum in Classcraft, Quizlet, and speedmatch websites. I was not just sitting around feeling sorry for myself until I tried to do that for AP physics. I didn't even know where to start. The approved syllabus was not clickable, the brief assignment summary descriptions appeared to be for a set of packets that I don't have access to or else I just can't find it. The syllabus had clear learning objectives and list of topics covered. But the assignments listed did not seem to be related at all to the two textbooks I was handed. I decided to just pick a topic to get started on. I cracked one textbook, picked a topic in chapter one, and tried to teach myself the concepts. It was completely foreign to me. I have learned that the greek delta means "the change in", and a few other vocab terms I was not already aware of, but once it got to determining a vector from its components using the Pythagorean theorem, using cosine, and then reading the description for how to solve a practice problem, I hit a wall. I kept reading it over and over. I know the Pythagorean theorem. Or so I thought. This is much more intense than the one I learned in the last math course I had taken in my second year of college. I tried asking for help getting started on the AP class. All I was told was "go ask a math teacher to help you". Meanwhile, I was still working until bedtime on just creating my physics I curriculum. Any job worth doing is a job worth doing right. These things I have created so far are quality resources and activities. I am also the academic team director for the entire school. I host academic competitions, multiple practices weekly, communicate, fill out forms, drive activity buses, and spend hours outside of school already on this job. I am also the liaison for the science department. It is a textbook adoption year and I've never done that before, but I am in charge of heading the textbook adoptions for the whole science department. I am diligently doing that job, contacting publisher reps, signing up for meetings, and trying to be the go-between for the science department and administration. With all of this, I am now expected to suddenly take on teaching two completely new courses to me, one that I am terribly unqualified to teach, AND since the elderly new-hire resigned after two weeks, now I am expected to make sub plans for my own classes that were taken away from me, until they can hire someone else to teach my old classes. The time it has taken me to search for this article, read 1/4 of the comments, and write my own experience has already been too long. I should be getting back to work.

Now, all that aside, please note that I am willing to do all of this for the betterment of all the kids involved, and all the parents that are worried and shaking their fists at me because now I might stand in the way of their kid getting his pilot's license by a certain time, and that I've been devoting myself relentlessly to being the best physics teacher I can be. The part that is breaking my heart and destroying my will to go on is the considerable lack of support I'm getting from administration and colleagues. A couple of teachers have sent me some links to video lectures. But my face-to-face inquiries and my emails go unanswered. Before the older new-hire resigned, I asked my boss for my old classes back if anything changed and the new teacher left (it seemed likely). I described my struggles with the AP curriculum, the lack of sleep and nightmares, the toll it was taking on my family, and that it was resulting from the absence of curriculum resources and the fact that I had to create everything myself, apart from the textbook only. The response I received was "Thanks". That's it. I kept trying. Finally I figured out that there was such a thing called a College Board and that I needed to become a member and that they have this awesome online community forum I can ask questions in. I discovered this 3 days ago. The admin still hasn't approved me. So I can't even read anything yet, let alone ask questions. I've only been "teaching" these new classes for one week and then we went on one week fall break. When we start back up on Monday, I don't know what I'll find. Will there be a sub there to take the place of the new-hire who already resigned? Will I have to scramble on Monday morning to make sub plans for my own old classes that I want back until they hire someone to teach them? I'm still trying to develop my first real AP lesson. I've just been showing Ms. Twu videos and looking for non-existent worksheets the students can use to apply those concepts. Ms. Twu has a few resource links on her videos, but for that particular concept I need a ticker tape machine. I can't find one. When I sent my last email 3 days ago, I told them I was ready to panic with no resources or idea where to start or even if I can learn the concepts myself without guidance. I told them I should not be required to teach AP physics because I am not in the least bit qualified. I am willing to take on Physics I because I don't run from challenges, I enjoy bettering myself, and I am passionate about teaching young people and inspiring them to love learning. I am good at that. But I have no ground to stand on for AP physics, or any AP class for that matter, and I'm having so much trouble getting started. My email was ignored. I have never dreaded walking into that building until right now. And I'm afraid that this terrible lack of any support or guidance, the fact that my boss just threw me into that room and turned his back, all this has broken me. I don't want to teach anymore. The stress and heartbreak is too much to take on alone. I have young teenage twin girls who need me at home, and a hard-working husband who doesn't get home until late most nights. My job was already hectic but I performed it with pride and great success. Now I feel lazy for wanting my old "easy" job back. It's a nightmare. I'm sorry for rambling on and on. I'm still trying to organize my panic. Good luck to all struggling teachers everywhere. Don't give up when it gets hard. But I'm learning now that we should also not put up with being used and abused in this profession. I haven't gone to the union. I don't want to. I will likely just keep on keepin' on so I don't make waves and so the kids can feel like they're being supported and cared for. But once it's time for that AP exam... I'm afraid of my future as an educator. I'm afraid I won't be enough for those kids.

Meinaustralia on October 19, 2016:

Hi, I posted on this a few years ago... desperately sad after being bullied and quitting. I now hate that saying “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”Its not true I am broken and hurt. I have looked and looked for every type of job, I cannot find one. I have applied for hundreds. So needing money I have taken more contract teaching positions. I get amazing feedback and terrific results - so I should be delighted. I do still LOVE students and they seem to like me - they say so, I LOVE sharing, I am calm and inspirational teacher... so I know I do a great job. But ALL jobs go to mates. in Australia your job defines who you are. Every TV show, book or story is about work. I have no job, no certainty and no future, I would happily die...... I am sick of not being a person in society that anyone wants. I have been looking for 4 years since being bullied into quitting. I might point out apparently I was so good back then that I was intimidating... since me the new replacing teacher has resigned with mental health issues... I don't have mental health. I am not depressed. But I have worked hard, I am well qualified and love working. But, if I have no worth I am nothing more than a drain on the environment. Sadly i have to stick around - I have two terrific children - so I cannot euthanise myself. I will not do that to them... but each day I smile and step forward wishing I wasn't.

JMD on October 18, 2016:

I needed to read this. I have been struggling for the past 4 years trying to get a full time teaching position. I've been in and out of leave replacements. Last year I was working as a leave for the entire year and had a GREAT time. I was then hired at the same school full time, and I'm absolutely miserable this year. I honestly think the administration and the state are to blame. I wish they would get out of the way and allow us to do our jobs without micromanaging. The anxiety I feel every day is not healthy and it is definitely caused by upper management.

kikibruce (author) from New York on October 18, 2016:


It took 3 years and a bunch of not so great administrative positions working for some very nasty people before I was able to get back into Higher Education. With my Masters Degree and tons of experience and everything it was still tough. I enjoy my position now a great deal, because I like higher ed and I understand it. I like serving the student population and do my best to keep their records, celebrate their successes, etc. I work with a similar population as when I taught, but I am more respected and appreciated and it is a mutual thing. And since I was a teacher, I understand their perspectives too, but now I am the one reminding them to take attendance.

The biggest industry in my area is Healthcare, which is not something I am qualified for. At first, employers did not find me credible, not grasping why I would leave teaching and the salary for a run-of -the-mill admin job. I even had a couple of business owners be downright rude to me in interviews, practically insulting me for the fact that I was switching from education to working for a business. I actually walked out of one of them and told the guy where he could stuff it. His rudeness showed me exactly the jerk I would be working for. I thought that since I had worked at a University for 8 years that getting back into higher education would be a snap with all of the colleges in the area. But with a large pool of applicants, internal hiring and no recent specific higher ed admin experience I had no luck. I did data entry, worked for a couple of small businesses run by unpleasant people who treated their employees badly, who then laid me off.

I took a typing job at a newspaper for $11 an hour and sold solar panels on the weekend to get by, but burned out working 7 days a week. The newspaper job helped bridge the gap between teaching and admin work, since everything I did was published, and I got good references and was there almost two years. So little by little I crawled back through hard work and finally a break.

I also went to temp/employment agencies for admin work, but they make you take those stupid little tests to see how proficient you are with Word and Excel and the pay is not very good. This is bogus because I had two successful positions at the University and my basic knowledge of those programs was enough, but I guess they do everything they can to weed people out.

I am hoping at some point to climb the ladder in higher ed, but right now I am learning as much as I can and gaining experience. In time, my Masters degree will distinguish me from other candidates.

Here is my advice for you:

I got lucky getting the newspaper job when I started looking for jobs related to writing, which I enjoy. There are lots of writing jobs out there that help bridge the gap. They needed a typist to publish entertainment and community events. I got to pick and choose what cool things to publish in the paper and that little bit of autonomy felt good, I had good bosses and only occasionally was scrutinized.

I am not using my IR degree, but I do see that lots of Colleges and Universities have international programs, with Director/Coordinator/Administrator Positions. So do the private colleges. That may be a good fit with your IR degree. The better positions want you to have that particular degree or something equivalent. However, they also require lots of demonstrated administrative/communication/technology/social media experience.

Then there are Civil Service and Private Sector jobs. I almost got a German-speaking Executive Secretary position and a German/Austrian company, which sadly did not work out due to some internal hiring conflicts. But I found opportunities like that via a variety of employment agencies. The agency I went through even scrutinized my resume and helped me target it specifically for that position. I had all of the experience, I just had to present it the best way possible and they helped me do that for free because they saw me as a viable candidate. I might add, that years ago I needed a temp job, which landed me at the University I stayed for for 8 years. I started as a temp, and they liked me. So there are ways to get in through the back door as a temp.

I am sorry to paint the picture that the process of leaving teaching and getting to where I really wanted to be was so long and tedious, but it was. However, it has all been worth it in the end. I have a good job now, a better resume, and future goals in sight.

And even though that three-year process wasn't the greatest time, I was still happier and healthier than when I was a teacher.

Jey on October 18, 2016:

I quit teaching and am happier. Never again.

Emma on October 17, 2016:

I was wondering what you ended up doing afterwards? Did you make use of your Bachelor of IR? I have a Masters in International Relations and am looking at getting out of teaching as soon as possible. I am finding it very difficult to find jobs that are a step up from what I used to do as entry level admin assistant. I feel like I will be taking a huge step backwards (if I can even get back into admin work) and feel like I should be able to make use of my degree somehow to help get a step up the job ladder. I know I can't continue as a teacher for my mental sanity but I can't afford to quit without anything to go to. Any advice for the kinds of jobs I should look for? Every day is a stress so I hope January can be a fresh start away from school.

Glo on October 16, 2016:

I really needed to hear this. Thank you.

hardworkinteacher on September 30, 2016:

This is so sad. It's becoming the norm in our schools. At my school, I have good students and if I could close my door and do my job, I know I can succeed. I have been at it for 20 years and have proven myself time and time again. However, all the documentation, hoops, strategies that get changed year after year, PD sessions about making the kids feel good, giving them prizes for things they're expected to do, grading policies that make it impossible to fail, pressure to grade in a way that forces students to get moved through even if they are not prepared, and a host of other challenges have made me hate what I'm doing. I get to school at 6:30, leave well after dismissal, work another 4 to 6 hours at home, and I'm still overwhelmed and feel unprepared. I feel like no matter what I do, it's never good enough. I'm all about getting better and improvement, but the stress to now do everything for the kids and even if they fail, it's my fault, has made this career one that I would not suggest anyone do.

Ben on September 28, 2016:

As Jim Rohn stated "You are not a tree. Move. Do something new"

Regret is a HUGE fear of mine. Why get to the end of your life wilting away because you were too much of a coward. I know you left teaching. This is for other people who are on the fence.

Teaching sucks! on September 17, 2016:

Thank you for this article! It has given me hope that I am not doomed to misery for the rest of my life! I've been teaching for 8 years at a public school, 2 districts and can honestly say I have loved teaching only 1 of those years. This year has been the worst and it's only the 3rd week of school! Praying for strength to Survive the remainder of the year.

RuinedinPhx on September 05, 2016:

Wow. I can't believe you aren't making more at the CC as an assistant director! Of course I'm in Phoenix and we are dead last in teaching salaries. Again, thanks for your confirmation of everyone's experience in teaching. It's nice when highly educated and intelligent people such as yourself confirm the problem that those of us who are stuck are experiencing. Be thankful everyday for your better quality of life.

Ann Marie on September 04, 2016:

Sure. My title is Assistant Director for a satellite campus office serving adult students of a major university. I have a Master of Science in Education and a Master of Arts in English Literature. However, the minimum requirement for teaching at the post-secondary level is 18 credits in the discipline you wish to teach. For administrative positions, often a Masters will get you there; for some upper level positions a terminal degree will be preferred. Good luck.

RuinedinPhx on September 02, 2016:

Ann Marie, Please could you tell me what the exact title of your job is? And what credentials do i need to apply at my local CC? I am currently tutoring in the learning center of my local CC. I absolutely loved it but I can't get 40 hours in. Thanks for your confirmation story.

Ann Marie on September 01, 2016:

Like so many other commentators, I can totally relate to these posts. I foolishly quit a job I absolutely loved in higher education administration for adults returning to school. Why? I harbored an "idea" that I'd like to teach high school English...Which is now known as "Language Arts."

I taught 4 9th grade honors classes and one "CP" ("College Prep--LOL) class from hell. I was constantly thinking about the next day's class, and the next week, and the week after that. I researched lesson plans, vocabulary lists, etc. I was totally exhausted and short tempered with my husband and daughter.

My biggest shock was the lack of respect from administrators who treat you as a drone, piling on more useless surveys for you to complete, more emails to respond to right away, more parent-teacher conferences at ungodly hours in the morning.

The 4 honors classes, 9th graders, were not bad and most of the kids were kind and participated. However, that CP class at the ensd of the day was filled with juvenile delinquents. After spending my planning time researching their favorite sports and entertainment figures, trying to capture their interest to teach basic vocabulary, I was met with "I don't read." "Can't we just watch the movie?" Spit balls and comments such as "I hate this class." I wanted to say, "Not as much as I hate being with you delinquents, buddy."

One student said, "I thought you said that Edgar Allan Poe said that a story should be able to be read in a single session." "Yes, that's right," I said. His comment? "This story is FOUR PAGES! It's a friggen novel! These kids were simply lazy brats.

I have to say I have nothing but respect for teachers I saw putting in extra hours, giving it their all for these kids. They certainly get no recognition from most parents and certainly not the condescending administration.

As fate would have it, my university job has again opened up and I will be returning to my profession where I have an office, respectful colleagues, grateful adult students, and a smaller paycheck. Really, money isn't everything. I will appreciate each day at work.

RuinedinPhx on August 30, 2016:

I can confirm that every negative listed by every miserable teacher and every x-teacher is in fact true. The job is just hideous! The principals are bullies, the kid's are hoodlums, the parents are coddling and blind. You don't get paid to plan, grade, do clerical work, gather and pay for supplies, make calls, do stupid surveys, organize your room, or put up a bulletin board and student work. But you are evaluated on all those things and an impossible number of other things such as data collection by testing each child individually while teaching whole class lessons. Seriously had heart palpitations at night, hardly slept, then woke feeling sick at the thought of going to work. Thought I'd end up in the hospital with a nervous breakdown if I didn't quit. I am so mad that I am in debt with student loans and wasted over ten years of my life in this HORRIBLE profession. There may be a handful of decent principals with well raised students who attend school regularly and behave normally, but don't personally know of any. Worst profession! Pay ends up being minimum wage from 24/7 and weekend work.

Toyin on August 29, 2016:

I use to love my job as a teacher, When I started teaching it was so fun dat I cant wait to get to work the next day.But now!!!!I hate teaching becos of bad boss and stress.I'm always scared of going to work,I cant sleep of think children doesn't enjoy me as a mother.Today I'm taking right decision to quit!!!!

Tired on August 27, 2016:

I am currently in my fourth year of teaching in a public school in Mississippi. I love working with the children, but I am tired of having a principal who is a bully. I have decided that I am done with it! I am planning on taking a month off and finding a job that is NOT in education. I have children from the time I walk in to school until the time I leave every day! I hardly get planning time, I either have a meeting or I have children because the computer, librarian, or PE teacher are out! I am expected to do all this work at home, I have children at home that need to be taken care of! I am tired of high paid consultants coming in and telling me what I need to be doing. I am just done! I HATE teaching!

Discouranged on August 19, 2016:

I used to love my job. I couldn't wait to get up in the mornings and start my day. I used to lie in bed and think how I can help struggling learners. Then I got 'n higher paid job at 'n private school. What a mistake! They are arrogant, undisciplined, haughty, their parents could not care less and they think their poop doesn't stink. I am tired of fighting and going home crying. I am tired of sitting until 10 every night preparing exciting lessons for studens who just give a damn. I am tired of not having a life and not having time for my own family and never having money to actually do something nice for myself. If you ever want to become a teacher: Don't. It is worse than being a plummer. At least they have some free time

Empty on August 12, 2016:

I begin my 20th year of teaching on Monday and have no idea how I am going to make it. Your article makes me sick because it hits so close to home. I completely understand what you went through. I am sure you were a fine teacher and you should be proud of yourself.

kikibruce (author) from New York on August 01, 2016:

Lovemy Jon, just to be clear...I think I said pretty early into my post that to be a good teacher you have to have the "gift of teaching", which is the same thing as saying "teaching is a calling". I did not have it and stopped for the good of all involved. I finally went back to working in Higher Ed., which is a world that I understand and thrive in. I am still in education but am serving students, teachers, and administrators alike. I solve problems, have jurisdiction over grades, attendance, mediate, give advice, explain policies, etc. I regret leaving Higher Ed. in the first place but I am glad I was in the trenches for a while. I respect all longtime effective teachers and would never underestimate the role they play. I will never insult teachers for having summers off. I still work in education, work all summer, and the school could not survive without the role I play.

Kay on July 31, 2016:

And to clarify, the depravity comment was based on the public US education. I felt self-depravity being a part of the system. I literally felt immortal and unethical subjecting my students to all of the Common core non-sense, watching them cry from the pressure, practice and the prep I had to force them through. I felt disgusting and no longer wanted to be a part of the problem.

Kay on July 31, 2016:

I also want to add to my initial comment:

Many teachers in the school I worked at wanted to leave. A handful did, myself included. Many stayed to wallow in their own self-depravity and misery. Why? If you're SERIOUS about truly taking control of YOUR life and happiness, remember this: DON'T SETTLE.

You deserve more, truly.

I do realize some teachers feel tied to their job due to financial circumstances/ supporting children, etc. but I feel that if you plan carefully and diligently, you can get out. You must be proactive. I've seen some ex-teachers work for non-profit, HR, as insurance adjusters, or, shall I reluctantly say, textbook companies .. Just for a few ideas. You have an array of transferable skills.

Among the thread I saw someone write that they want a SIMPLE job, as a bus driver. That's where my life will begin, at a grocery store, and oh what joy that brings ! If you want to try something simple but value learning, maybe audit classes aligned to your interests at a local college at some point , just an idea. I would love to audit some cultural anthropology or astrology classes ...

I will also say I thought I was drinking too much during teaching. Many teachers I knew drank. After I quit, the drinking went away naturally !!! Health and happiness ...

Kay on July 31, 2016:

I spent hours reading these posts. I resigned this summer ! Oh, the wonderful joy and relief. I resigned after teaching ELA in a public middle school for 3 years. I was a successful teacher with very good discipline, but I was miserable due to all of the endless reasons already mentioned by others.

Instead of running back to school for another degree and shelling out another 40k and years of my life, I took a job at a major grocery store chain (with benefits) with the intention to stay with the company and move up into management, or some other area within corporate (information systems, HR, etc.). I was clear about my intentions with the manager right from the beginning. Please, people, be happy. You have no idea of the relief you will find. The pay cut doesn't matter in the end- it's your sanity and happiness.

Enough! on July 30, 2016:

Teaching for 30 years - feel the same.

kikibruce on July 27, 2016:

As the writer of this article... I did say that to be successful as a teacher you need to have the gift of teaching, which is the same thing as saying that teaching is truly a calling. I lacked this calling. So I stopped. It took me a while to fully admit it, but I did. Then I struggled to figure out what to do next--for a long time. Finally in 2016 I am back in the field of education--but in another facet altogether. I have returned to higher education, which is the world I was in before I left for teaching in the urban classroom. I am back in an environment that I understand and thrive in-helping students and teachers. This is where I belong. As a college administrator. In this capacity I am able to make a difference and still get to work in education. I love every minute of it. I and I could care less that I have the summers off. Successful teachers deserve the ultimate respect.

fed up on July 26, 2016:

i agree with all comments !

SG Teacher on July 25, 2016:

Very true ! Especially about the disrespectful students and supervisors. Now I have been in the private teaching sector for about 4 years and left the disgusting public school sector for the same reasons. Ministry is just fxxx up.

First Year Teacher on July 23, 2016:

Your article is just perfect and so relatable. I'm only in my first year of teaching and I've decided to leave. So many things you said are so relatable but i think what really resonated with me was when you said, "Sometimes you have to admit that something is wrong and deal with it." And that's what I have to to do! Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone in my feelings about this job!

Twinkle on July 12, 2016:

I related very much to your post. I feel overworked and underappreciated. I quit teaching four years ago, and it was a good decision, though I took a pay cut. It was an office job, and I was filled with joy that I no longer had to scold kids for a living. The job scope was better, but my new boss was difficult to work with. She was a dragon lady that scolded her staff like they were high school students. After getting scolded by her a few times, I decided to quit without a job. I had lasted in that job for 3 years, while many of my colleagues quit after two or three months because of the boss. The four months I spent jobless was one of the most stressful times of my life. I job searched, sent out resumes, but was only called for one interview, and even then, I did not get the job. Finally, I got a job offer, and guess what? The only job that took me back was teaching. I had no choice but to go back to teaching again. It was that, or be jobless. I try my best in my job. I wake up at 5.30 am every day. I reach school at 7 am, and leave school at 6 pm, then go home and work some more. I work on weekends too. Since I started this job, I hadn't had a single day off. In exchange, I have parents that complain all the time, students that are rowdy and disrespectful and just loads of additional bureaucratic work. I feel like I put in my best, but it is not enough. It is never enough.

Allan on July 05, 2016:

My five-year teaching career resembled yours in many ways. I went into the game believing that because I loved the subject (English lit), that this love would translate into being a skilled teacher. I was an 'okay' teacher, but got bored with teaching the same lesson to four sections of students every day. What they don't tell you in university is that for some, teaching is a 24/7 job. Being up until 11 p.m. (or later) grading, preparing, fine tuning, and organizing every night for the next day's classes wore me down to the point that I was always exhausted. And even after putting in such long hours I was still always behind. Then came the heavier-than-usual anxiety load in the mornings. Then came the anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. Early in my teaching career I sensed the profession wasn't for me and we should part ways. Before I had time to decide whether to resign, I was let go due to departmental budget cuts. The news was bittersweet. Teaching is a worthwhile profession and I sometimes miss the students and my many wonderful former colleagues. I realize now, though, that I never had the stamina to make teaching a lifelong career.

LovemyJon on July 05, 2016:

I have read through nearly every post in this thread. Although I find almost all of your situations very disheartening, I have only one conclusion. This being that teaching is really a calling. Not everyone can do this job and sadly most people think they can. I have been a teacher for 19 years in a public school in an inner city district. I still love my job and have no desire to leave- EVER! My opinion is that this simply wasn't and never was a job that you could do. It just wasn't your calling in life. Sorry (not really). I find so many people who think that they can just teach and have summers off and make a decent salary. However, once they actually get a teaching job they learn very quickly that this isn't something they can do. Then, just as all of you are doing on this site, you complain and make excuses for not being able to cut it. Instead, what you should be doing is just admitting to yourself that this wasn't something you were cut

out to be. Just yesterday I went to my dentist office and the secretary said to me " ate you enjoying your summer off?" " I should have become a teacher." I get so infuriated when people say this to me. This is rob ably why most of you became teachers- for the summer off. Well, all if you learned the hard way that not everyone can be a teacher. I hope you are all enjoying your life out of the classroom. However, I also hope that none of you ever return to it. Please stop your complaining Nd just admit this wasn't a job for you and stop trashing my profession.

JuliaGoolia on June 21, 2016:

I "taught" high school for a few months in the early 2000s. What a disaster. I really identify with your post and many of the comments. I jumped ship sooner than later and went into a completely different field, and now after 10 years I make 4 times what I was making as a teacher. Sometimes I feel trapped in this job too, if I don't have enough to do. But it's the golden handcuffs. Can't quit now - I'm in too deep.

Jan on June 21, 2016:

Lazy overpaid teachers always complaining

giffy on June 09, 2016:

I'm not a teacher, but after reading string of messages, i realized i am not alone in world who is suffering becoz of world around me. It really helps a lot.

thank you.

Jari on May 23, 2016:

Funny you mentioned your teaching practice. I remember how a few from my class quit teaching training literally weeks before graduation. One girl left and opened a Fish and chips joint instead. We had little understanding for it then. Man how I wish I listened to my gut myself. I agree with how much paperwork etc. grinds you down but in the end I think it is more about personal job satisfaction. I sometimes think that teachers are like farmers. Every year much the same as the one before. The yearly planner stays. Only the years change. I know that one can say that teachers can also see the fruit of their labor. It is just that there is something wonderful about seeing what you accomplished at the end of the day. I was a builder while in college, paying my way through. I often think of how great I felt driving away from a well finished job...

Ashley on May 20, 2016:

Wow! This hit the nail on the head for me. I am currently "in between jobs," or as I like to call it, "on a sabbatical." I left teaching for good last November, after 5 years and multiple grade and school changes.

I felt peace after doing so, but continue to struggle to find my purpose here on Earth! I have been on countless interviews and applied to any and every kind of position, and am going through the same issues- lack of pay, over-qualified, under-qualified, etc. I paid off student loans and didn't want to go the Master's route without knowing just exactly would be a good fit for me.

I am feeling discouraged and like a failure at times, but know in my heart that I am doing the right thing for my mental health and well-being. Our time on Earth is so short as it is, and I want to live my life to the very fullest.

Any suggestions or ideas on which direction I should take? I live in Florida with a BS in Elementary Education. I pray that this too, shall pass....

Kat on May 17, 2016:

I'm only in my 4 month (5th month starts in June) of teaching. I was teaching Autistic Support in a major city. The only reason I said was is because I was replacing a teacher who was on maternity leave and our district did not tell me that she would be coming back. (she is really nice and she did try to get the school to keep me in there with her to coteach). The school pushed me out of the room and had me be a floater. Basically I cover the special ed classrooms when a teacher is out or has an IEP Meeting. I also still have my caseload for the students in the Autistic Support class. The first few months in the classroom, I cried because it was new and I was unsure of things since I never taught Autistic Support or in an actual school (not counting student teaching). I went home and cried and did not want to go to work. I love working with kids and teaching but the adminstration makes you not want to come in. They leave you with very little help. Right now I'm in what I'm calling limbo. They aren't keeping me at this school next year (partially glad because the school is terrible) but at the same time I'm upset. My boyfriend teaches special education in the suburbs, he has had many calls for interviews. I'm stuck in the process of site selection and none of the schools I put in for called me for an interview. Then there is a suburban school that I applied to that hasn't viewed my application. It feels as if next year, I may end up taking a break from teaching due to not finding a decent placement. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing though

kikibruce on May 01, 2016:

Thank you for writing and posting, friends. I have finally found a nice and a side gig that are giving me a feeling of purpose and happiness after several years. "Sometimes you have to go to hell before you get to heaven." And I believe a have a valuable new topic to begin writing about. Stay tuned...

ExTeacher on December 19, 2014:

@Anon, I agree. As you said, it's a farce and no one even knows the person other than hearing what they want you to hear. For all we know, they beat their wife on weekends for sh*ts and giggles. What really gets me the most, in connection with what you said, is how you see the supporters on TV clapping and roaring like mindless, brainwashed drones every time their favored candidate finishes a sentence...any sentence. Amazing how someone can be so emotionally charged over someone they never talk to in person. Doesn't matter which party we're talking about either.

Anonymous on December 18, 2014:

The idea behind "I approve this message" is supposedly to get politicians to be more aware of their negative ad campaigns. Like you mentioned Ex Teacher stating this doesn't carry any weight. In fact, all it's done is create even more negative ad campaigns. Politicians even go as far as derogatory name calling and accusing each other of criminal activity. It's sick and so are the majority of politicians. Does it really make sense to vote for someone to run the country when you don't actually know the person? Politics always has and always will be a farce. The only thing voters can see is what they want you to see. Their true character is always kept well hidden.

ExTeacher on December 17, 2014:

Haha, yes "I Approve This Message" really is a joke. Why in the world would they NOT approve their own message?? How does stating this even carry any weight? Now, take a political figure with a history of being ethical and moral (which is about as real as the Tooth Fairy now a days) approving someone else's message and MAYBE it is slightly meaningful.

Nathan on December 16, 2014:

Ex Teacher it's so true what you wrote. It's definitely no longer "We the people". It's more like "We the politicians" or perhaps more like "We the criminals". So much nonsense going on that it would take volumes to explain. All I can say is "I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE (wink)".

Also very true when you wrote that morals and ethics have taken a turn for the worse. This country has unfortunately gone down hill rapidly. I see very little chance of recovery unless all the people at the top are arrested in masses (and I mean the very top). Even then the taxpayers millions would probably bail them all out.

ExTeacher on December 16, 2014:

Oh, had no idea who the person was, and to answer your question, yes. Everyone has indeed gone insane. Boy, am I sure glad I spent many of my younger, meaningful years during the 70s and 80s.

Nathan, you hit the nail on the head. They are not interested in doing what's correct. Politicians will always be politicians, but the last decade or two has taken a turn for the worse. Morals and ethics have decided to take a long, and probably permanent, vacation.

Many people are clueless as to it the extent of it as well. It's no longer "We the people" but "We the sheeple".

Nathan on December 16, 2014:

I just saw on the news that yesterday a Baruch college professor was about to throw a garbage can in the street while protesting. When they tried to arrest him protestors began attacking the police. It was all caught on video and they said it was on youtube. Has everyone gone insane?

Ex teacher I don't think education will ever revert back to "normal" because too many leaders have a political agenda instead of a "do what's correct" agenda. Our job today is to stay completely sane in a totally insane world! The insanity, unfortunately, has affected just about every profession including teaching.

ExTeacher on December 15, 2014:

Nathan, I like the question you posed: "If they don't make it and die would the protestors be collectively responsible for murder?"

Certainly their actions would be indirectly responsible. I'm wondering how many drivers really did have a serious situation going on and how they, or the people they were with, were affected.

You're right, teaching is a slow death and the system has been murdered. As for who's responsible, I think the list is a long one.

So Nathan, do you think things will revert back to the extent that teaching will once again be a profession in which they are relatively happy, respected, etc.? It's only a guess, but I would guess no. I think too much damage has been done and too many changes have taken place to the extent that a modest reversal will not take place.

Nathan on December 12, 2014:

Yes Ex Teacher you see things correctly and clearly. That's why you're smart enough to realize that no money in the world is worth a slow death as in teaching.

Your "what if" scenarios are perfect. I'd like to add one more. What if, like my elderly next door neighbor, someone is on the way to get dialysis for their kidney problems. If they don't make it and die would the protestors be collectively responsible for murder?

Speaking of murder, I wonder who's responsible for murdering the educational system as seen today. I also wonder how many even know that there's been a murder. Just a little food for thought.

ExTeacher on December 12, 2014:

Yes Nathan. You know what I always think of too when you see these protestors going to extremes like blocking streets, bridges, etc. What if someone in a car is in a rush because of an emergency? What if some guy is driving his wife to the hospital because she is pregnant?? What if someone is driving a family member to the emergency room because they are having chest pains? Those selfish protestors, in many cases looking for 15 minutes of famer, don't even think about that or care if they did. Has society even been so self-absorbed? I don't think so. How about the wonderful daughter suing her parents for tuition?!

Oh, and yes, it's a very scare time for teachers. There is little respect for them, plus kids are not being suspended as they should, so teachers are forced to deal with them.

Nathan on December 12, 2014:

Very interesting info Ex Teacher. It's truly a scary time for law enforcement. It's even a more scary time for teachers who are a constant victim of various threats from 30 or more young criminals at a time! To make matters worse, the administration could care less because they have their own sick agenda.

ExTeacher on December 11, 2014:

Nathan, I understand and you are correct. Writing letters would be the more intelligent way to go. These protests are doing nothing but adding to the dismay of many others who are already against such demonstrations. Unfortunately, many protestors do have the able to write, but choose this way. It's not safe for the protestors themselves. In fact, one protestor had written in marker on his shirt for the cops to stop killing black men. Ironically, he was attacked by a few black men and hit in the head with a hammer. This was in California. Feel free to Google it. So, even those with good intentions can become targets.

Nathan on December 10, 2014:

It sounds like you were a good disciplinarian which is one of the many keys to good teaching. Too bad the administration could care less when you taught.

In regard to the letters, my point was that this would be much easier than spending weeks causing trouble and freezing in cold weather. You're right that the letters would not do much. However, it's the educated way of protesting. Also, if these people had writing skills their message would at least get more attention. They could even write the news media. As it is, lack of knowledge is making them do things the hard way (one could also argue that it's the dumb way)!

ExTeacher on December 10, 2014:

Yes Nathan, negative behavior is repeated, especially when they know they can get away with it. I didn't teach very long (at least compared to someone such as yourself), but the time I did, I had little problems with student behavior. I taught in different settings, from Gen Ed to Sped, elementary to high school, public school to summer programs. If there is one thing I did exceptionally well, it was that I created an atmosphere in which good behaved was expected and NOT "rewarded". When I taught in a particular summer school 3 consecutive years, it was for low income, emotionally disturbed kids, ranging in age from 6 - 15 depending on which class I had (and I had them all). Wasn't long before the toughest group would come in and all sit with their hands folded. After my class, they would go right next door to their next class. It would sound like a zoo for 45 minutes. The teacher in there would attempt giving them rewards for good behavior. It didn't work for the entire summer. Deep down, most of these kids yearn for structure and a loving, yet authorative, figure in their loves. At least, that's my opinion based on my experience.

As for the letters, not sure how much it would help Nathan. Seems like all politicians, on either side, have their own agenda. In regards to that, things are like never before.

Nathan on December 09, 2014:

You hit on another important point Ex Teacher. Kids today get away with everything. Their bad behavior goes unpunished and results in repeated negative behavior.

The same exact thing is happening in society on a broader scale. That's why there are so many protests from so many frustrated people. The only problem is that there protests will not accomplish much at all. Unfortunately their writing skills are too limited to write letters to the appropriate people which would accomplish a lot more in the long run.

ExTeacher on December 08, 2014:

Nathan, thanks for the breakdown. I think it's safe to say the changes that occurred are a combination of things. From the educational system, to our societal values, to the way the average child chooses to play. I definitely agree that decades ago, children learned through play which naturally involved things like problem solving. I was born in 1971, so my early years were as child involved play such as building tree houses. Do kids even know what a stick is now a days? As you know, even more so than I, punishment was not uncommon (from parents and/or teachers) for bad behavior. Now, kids are rewarded for not behaving badly. Quite a difference when you think about it. Well, I thank you once again for your replies!

Nathan on December 05, 2014:

Yes Ex Teacher my experiences is sort of like knowing what life was like before the computer age. I grew up with exactly 7 useable TV channels and no electronic devices except a radio. Back in the day we used brains rather than devices to do everything from inventing games, remembering phone numbers to doing math without a calculator.

Without a doubt there was a noticeable decline due to changes in society (mainly babies having babies at 16 in the 70s). By the late 1980s there was a noticeable decline and that's why I transferred to a more prestigious school in NYC.

Here's an estimated breakdown over the years:

2007 At least 70% of all 9th graders should be or are in special ed. Regular ed students were about the same as the special ed students of 2002. More than 80% of 9th graders could not solve 4th grade math problems. Almost 50% became dropouts without graduating.

2002 Almost 50% should be or are in special ed. Regular ed students were the same as the special ed students of 1990. Nearly 30% of all 9th graders could not handle 4th grade math. Nearly 1 in 3 students dropped out without graduating.

1990 Only about 10% needed to be in special ed. About 15% of all 9th graders had trouble with some 4th grade math problems. The dropout rate was about 1 in 15 or about 7%.

1980 There were schools for behavior problems but very little special ed. Perhaps 5%, at most, had trouble with some 4th grade math problems. Virtually all students could handle basic fractions and decimals which is 5th to 6th grade work. The dropout rate was about 1 in 30 or about 3%.

1970 Everyone listened when a teacher spoke. There was no special ed classes that I saw at that time. It started a few years later. Also 98% of all 9th graders had math scores above 6th grade. The average student in 1970 could easily handle math that the average adult in 2014 knows nothing about without a calculator. Back then over 90% listened, learned and produced results. Dropouts were rare. Maybe 1% at most.

I started from the present and went backwards (just like the educational system). These are pretty accurate assessments of my experience over the years. You're right that newer teachers couldn't possibly understand.

Nathan on December 05, 2014:

Yes Ex Teacher my experiences is sort of like knowing what life was like before the computer age. I grew up with exactly 7 useable TV channels and no electronic devices except a radio. Back in the day we used brains rather than devices to do everything from inventing games, remembering phone numbers to doing math without a calculator.

Without a doubt there was a noticeable decline due to changes in society (mainly babies having babies at 16 in the 70s). By the late 1980s there was a noticeable decline and that's why I transferred to a more prestigious school in NYC.

Here's an estimated breakdown over the years:

2007 At least 70% of all 9th graders should be or are in special ed. Regular ed students were about the same as the special ed students of 2002. More than 80% of 9th graders could not solve 4th grade math problems. Almost 50% became dropouts without graduating.

2002 Almost 50% should be or are in special ed. Regular ed students were the same as the special ed students of 1990. Nearly 30% of all 9th graders could not handle 4th grade math. Nearly 1 in 3 students dropped out without graduating.

1990 Only about 10% needed to be in special ed. About 15% of all 9th graders had trouble with some 4th grade math problems. The dropout rate was about 1 in 15 or about 7%.

1980 There were schools for behavior problems but very little special ed. Perhaps 5%, at most, had trouble with some 4th grade math problems. Virtually all students could handle basic fractions and decimals which is 5th to 6th grade work. The dropout rate was about 1 in 30 or about 3%.

1970 Everyone listened when a teacher spoke. There was no special ed classes that I saw at that time. It started a few years later. Also 98% of all 9th graders had math scores above 6th grade. The average student in 1970 could easily handle math that the average adult in 2014 knows nothing about without a calculator. Back then over 90% listened, learned and produced results. Dropouts were rare. Maybe 1% at most.

I started from the present and went backwards (just like the educational system). These are pretty accurate assessments of my experience over the years. You're right that newer teachers couldn't possibly understand.

ExTeacher on December 05, 2014:

Nathan, thanks for the story. Though it would be hell on Earth to survive as long as you have if someone started teaching now, you sort of went through a different hell. You saw, and experienced, your beloved profession go from fun to tortuous. That must be very difficult but in a way that newer teachers couldn't possibly understand. You truly know what it used to be like, beyond hearing stories. Much like we know what life was like before living in front of screens like computers & cell phones. Though they offer many benefits, there are certainly negative consequences. Kids today wouldn't know the difference...nor could they care less. I will say that you were very fortunate to have began in the 70s as opposed to the 80s. Instead of retiring mid-2000, it could have been 2015 until retirement, if you would have made it.

I like your analogy of the wheelchair. you're absolutely right. I also like how you mentioned that the kids "were very smart back then". They really are being dumbed down. Even the inherently more intelligent students are suffering and are not reaching their full potential with the system that is in place.

Just for curiosity sake, would you say there was a noticeable decline, as whole, from the 70s to the 80s, or not so much? Again, we know the 90s really began the changes, but I'm just wondering if the 80s were just about as good as the 70s for your average teacher.

Thanks as always for your insight. Very interesting stuff.

Nathan on December 04, 2014:

I'm glad to hear Ex Teacher that you're doing anything except teaching.

I was lucky to have spent most of my good years teaching during the 70s, 80s and early 90s when it was actually enjoyable to teach.

In 1993 I was accepted to teach in a very reputable NYC school and for the next 2-3 years I loved the staff, the kids (very smart back then) and the system which was actually normal.

By mid 1990s some retarded changes started to take place. Up until about 2003 it was still quite workable and bearable. Then calculators were enforced on the regents. I refused to ever bring a calculator to class except when giving a test. Calculators and many other ridiculous changes slowly took over the schools. Learning math with calculators is equivalent to using a wheel chair for physical therapy. Instead of learning to walk the wheel chair will do it for you.

By 2004 I applied for retirement because I was totally disgusted. It took the DOE (Dopes Of Education) nearly 3 years to tell me I was being given credit for 5 back years. The only reason they finally sent this information is because I physically went and demanded it and threatened to go to the news media and report them. As a result I happily retired in 2007 and haven't looked back.

In a way you could say that I was born in 2007 because that's when I first started to thoroughly enjoy my life! No more hours of unnecessary paperwork. No more brain dead meetings. No more spending hours marking papers for kids who simply threw them in the garbage. Finally, no more nasty self centered criminals who got away with murder. I'm referring to the principals. The kids were much much worse.

I actually went to hell and survived teaching. Today (2014) I'm sure it's much much worse. Prayers are desperately needed for all teachers today.

ExTeacher on December 04, 2014:

Yes Nathan, "changing the world" continues to be the big lure. As you stated, then reality sets in and the dream goes down the drain.

I did feel like I was making a difference when I originally started teaching in 2000. I left in 2003 when I could not get a full time position, only to return in 2007. I noticed the changes that occurred in my four-year absence. Yet, I decided to hang in there and endure. Got a full time position in 2010. A few years later, I left two months into the new school year.

Besides the mounds of useless paperwork, etc., I found that I really couldn't make much of a difference anymore due to the system.

Though I'm disappointed it turned out this way (as I now pursue a new career at 43), I am happy I didn't invest anymore wasted time in the NYC Board of Dread. It's easier to walk away with a few years or so invested as opposed to 10 or 15. That being said, I am reading more and more on teaching forums how even teachers with well over 10 years in are calling it quits.

Nathan on December 03, 2014:

Ex Teacher: Even though I caught your message the first time it's definitely worth repeating. You're informing people not to go down a dark road that leads to nowhere but trouble.

Unfortunately there are many young inexperienced teachers who think they will change the world and wish to pursue a teaching dream. The sad part is that their dream will eventually explode as reality sets in. What once worked very well in education no longer works.

ExTeacher on December 03, 2014:

Nathan, you're right when you say don't walk, RUN. You also reminded me of something.

I know I posted this here quite some time ago, but in case you didn't catch it, I have an interesting story which I shall repeat.

When I was subbing, there was a teacher who kept telling me to run away, find anything else, etc. I said to myself, "what a negative a**hole. Just because you're not happy for some reason, don't push that onto me so I'm miserable like you."

One wish I would make before I die is to see this wise man once again, face to face. I would really love to apologize for the way I was thinking. I would tell him how right he was and how I was a know-it-all, fresh-out-of-college FOOL.

I have warned others (two at my present job). I can tell they are thinking the same thing I was. Unfortunately, they will end up learning the hard way, just as I did.

Nathan on December 01, 2014:

Martini I agree with Ex Teacher. Over the next 25 years or so it's going to get worse every year. That's why I, as a retired math teacher, strongly recommend not teaching below college level.

The fact is that people who have limited knowledge about education are controlling the system. Only experienced teachers have the the real skill when it comes to education.

Ex Teacher your words are well stated and correct. I couldn't have said the truth any better than you did. Ironically your words are teaching other teachers what to avoid which of course is teaching.

Like I wrote in a previous post "Don't just walk away from teaching but run away as fast as you can"! If you don't you will suffer greatly and your health will get dangerously worse as you get older. Take this as a WARNING and I hope I don't have to say in the future "I told you so" because by then it will be too late (it's already too late).

ExTeacher on December 01, 2014:

Oh yes, I remember the great importance of bulletin boards being updated monthly. I believe it was twenty lashes to the back if they were not updated in a timely fashion. Not aligning your CCSS with your homework? You got tied upside by your big toes and stoned until unconscious.

Seriously though, when does this crap stop? It won't. It will continue to get worse year after year...after year. The days of Welcome Back Kotter are loooong gone and they're not coming back. The 90s is when our society started changing in ways never seen before and school is simply a sub-division of society, thus facing the same changes. So now, the changes have led to, in a nutshell: Teachers bad, all kids victims. A student uppercuts another student across the room, it's YOUR fault teacher! The blame game gained popularity in the 90s and has now dwarfed into the monster it now is.

On a side note, a part of me does not feel bad for many of the teachers. After all, they made up a good portion of the types of people who pushed things in this direction. That's a whole other story.

Martini on November 30, 2014:

I, a former math teacher, now a sub, enjoy this article! I work for Chicago Public Schools. Everything has been said in this blog, but one question lingers on: My former colleagues have to mention now in their homework assignments online to which CCSS it aligns; Or to which power standard it aligns; "Bloody shame!" cried the principal of my former job, when bulletin boards where not updated for a whole month; Teachers are being harassed by teachers to see if they were following personal plan requirements. WHEN DOES THIS CRAP STOP??? (so I can go back into teaching and enjoy teaching math again?)

ExTeacher on November 23, 2014:

The end of the road is near folks.

The skinny white bitch thing is funny. I'll assume it's coming from someone who isn't so skinny, nor White.

I'm glad to be 43 and not in my teens. Quite a future out there waiting for us all.

Anonymous on November 22, 2014:

People today are so dumb that they typically write like 3rd graders. I'm talking about adults here. Below is a typical post I read on facebook. I had to search and ask questions to find out what it meant. Below the quote is is a translation.

Real facebook quote "Yo betches. WTF DBAB I LOL and LLAB. QYB U SOAB. I am a BAB and you just a SOB. You just a SLUB. Just # the SWB."

TRANSLATION: First off "betch" is another made up slang that's supposed to mean "bitch". Anyway here's what the poster was trying to say: "Hello bitches. What the fu%* (censored). Don't be a bitch. I laugh out loud and I'm laughing like a bitch. Quit your bitching you son of a bitch. You're just a slutty bitch. Just hashtag (slang meaning search on Twitter) the skinny white bitch.

The above is just one of many examples of what's happening in education today. Kids and adults write like 3rd graders and as usual it's always the teacher's fault (according to the so-called authorities).

Once again I advocate getting back to the basics. Turn off technology and start teaching basic reading, writing and arithmetic (as early as possible).

Anonymous on November 15, 2014:

You're so right Ex Teacher. People who now run education are 100% out of reality!

ExTeacher on November 14, 2014:

Well, in my opinion, those who are making these insane rules are, themselves, the types who live in a fantasy world. They are out of touch with reality. The types that think no one's feelings should EVER get hurt. The type that have labeled every other kid a bully because they are not acting as they should be according to these dreamers. The same types who made it so that every child "everyone is a winner". Yayyyyyy!!!

Anonymous on November 14, 2014:

The latest educational fiasco is about to take place in New Jersey. They believe that school should start later so kids can sleep more. They also claim it's because kids stay up late.

Duh. Dumb asses actually want kids to fail on purpose. How can kids learn responsibility in the REAL world if they live in a school fantasy world. Does anyone actually think jobs will open later for kids (or adults) who can't get up early enough for work? Will parents actually approve when kids get home after dark? Perhaps they want kids to play in the dark? The truth is this will only serve to make them stay up even later yet and still arrive late to school. I'm totally convinced that the world has gone mad and it's so sad and too bad.