Tue Sep 18, 2012, 03:58 PM
RandySF (5,698 posts)
Salon: Teaching ate me alive.
It wasn’t one single incident that made me quit teaching in a public middle school. It was the steady, moldy accumulation of dehumanizing, lifeless, squalid misadventures of which I was a part. Like that time with “Carlos,” to pick an incident more or less at random.
I can’t even remember what it was that happened between Carlos and me. Anger, impatience, frustration, stupidity — and that was just me. Probably just another student who categorically refused to do as he was perfectly reasonably asked — open a book, pick up a pencil, hand in homework — or a teacher’s ineffectual attempts to come up with any good reason at all to learn the Pythagorean Theorem, or some such timeless knowledge. OK! Let’s say you have a ladder leaning against a wall. Suffice to say, our “conversation” ended without closure. But, evidently I said something that upset Carlos.
The next day I saw my friend the Dean of Students. He told me that he ran into Carlos’ father and a couple of his uncles; they were looking for my classroom. They had baseball bats. I am not the coach of the baseball team. There is no baseball team. In fact, there are no teams at all.
My friend the Dean of Students had diplomatically suggested that Carlos’ father and a couple of his uncles accompany him to his office, where the matter could be discussed at leisure. My friend the Dean assured me that the bats were for dramatic effect only; that they did not intend to use them and that they only wanted to put the whammy on my head in a metaphorical sense.
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Replies to this discussion thread
Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #1)
Tue Sep 18, 2012, 11:39 PM
mbperrin (7,335 posts)
4. I have to agree about the indifference.
I've been teaching at the high school level in a large urban high school for three decades now, and I still love it, but I came from the oilfield and construction industries before that, and grew up poor.
Our district has had a 30% turnover in each of the last two years. A young colleague resigned this morning after a year and a few weeks on the job - the total lack of support from administration, staff, and parents got her.
I was trying to have an actual discussion on another thread here earlier, and the other party was obviously just baiting me, insulting me and all other teachers as well. So I've made up my mind to do what I decided long ago in my classroom - my priority is my classroom, my students and me. I ignore anything that interferes with that, and I'm going to start doing the same, in fact just started doing the same to others who are only interested in insults and abuse.
"No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up." - Lily Tomlin
Response to RandySF (Original post)
Tue Sep 18, 2012, 05:16 PM
oldsarge54 (582 posts)
2. I with you
I too am a former middle school teacher. I taught what I thought was a fun subject, art. What I found that art was the elective of last resort. The dumping ground for the student who didn't cut the mustard in band, choir, journalism, or drama. Who didn't want to work. They thought, aha, art. You just sit around and draw. Except, I expected to explore careers, history, technique, and other horrible boring things which are tested as part of the Texas Education Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) . I didn't even make through my last years. In my interview with the Principal, I said, "The VC didn't get me, like hell will I let they buggers get me. I had a heart attack six months after I quit.
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="8ab19692"></a> oldsarge54 said