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Teachers/Educators Thread

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Matt Metzler, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Matt Metzler

    Space Cadet Prestigious

    I seem to remember a thread for teachers on AP, although I don't think I was ever very active in it.

    I went to college to become a high school English teacher but by the time I got to my senior year, I was so dissatisfied and discouraged by my field experiences and the standards that I was expected to teach to that I all but decided I was never going to be a teacher (I even opted out of my student teaching, meaning I'd still get my degree but I wouldn't get a teaching certification).

    Then I graduated and stumbled upon this Montessori school in the same town where I went to college and it totally changed the trajectory of my life. I worked there part-time last year and am almost done with my first full-time year now. I teach in a classroom of 1st through 3rd graders, and they bring me so much joy on a daily basis that I can't imagine doing anything else for a living.

    I've also been doing a lot of reading lately on unschooling, which I think is pretty much the coolest thing a parent could do for their child. Recommended books if you're interested in learning more about it are The Teenage Liberation Handbook and Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World.

    Anyone else here a teacher? If so, what do you teach and how long have you been doing it?
  2. YoSoyCaitlin

    Newbie Prestigious

    Hollaaaa. I'm in my 5th year of teaching secondary Spanish, currently only 8th grade (170 of them to be exact...)

    I call it my double life
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  3. mgiannotti

    edge mike Supporter

    I just got into grad school for special education at Rutgers, but i'm curious to hear lots of other people's experiences as teachers, see what i'm getting into
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  4. YoSoyCaitlin

    Newbie Prestigious

    It varies so much from state to state, but the biggest frustration for me is how out of touch most administrators are; most haven't been in a classroom in years and often the disconnect really affects the morale of the school. I'm pretty thick skinned but I find myself stressing about things admin or parents have said to me at night and stuff like that.
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  5. Jakobindeed

    My Whole Life is Thunder Prestigious

    I'm in my senior year of school for teaching at North Texas, and I also work as an outdoor educator at a camp teaching 5th graders science.

    And yeah, the politics of it all are crazy even from our side, all I ever hear about at work is teachers complaining about administration and state testing
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  6. Leftandleaving

    I will be okay. everything Supporter

    I plan on going to school next year for secondary education. Anything I ought to know?
  7. Dan_P


    Primary School teacher in England for a year and a half now.

    Love teaching and spending time with the children. Hate the pricks with clipboards constantly walking around looking for something to criticise you for.

    Guessing the stress and anxiety levels this job causes are the same everywhere?
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  8. YoSoyCaitlin

    Newbie Prestigious

    Just be prepared for a lot of mental stress farther down the road!! I really underestimated it. The kiddos make it worth it, but I'll be heading back to grad school soon for counseling (family and adolescent- not school- aka the stuff I like about teaching).
  9. Leftandleaving

    I will be okay. everything Supporter

    Haha, I figured. Thanks. Good luck with that! I hope you enjoy it
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  10. Dan_P


    Get yourself ready for a roller coaster of stress and emotions, with that small sense of self satisfaction thrown in every now and again that you are making a difference.

    It's a hard job and the workload will be daunting. You just need to box clever and spend your time efficiently as possible. Some teachers I know dedicate themselves for hours on the wrong things and they pay for it.
  11. Leftandleaving

    I will be okay. everything Supporter

    Yeah, the biggest thing I'm worried about is the amount of work. I hope it won't be too overbearing but like you said as long as I'm sensible about it I should be fine
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  12. Dan_P


    The first few weeks/months will be insane but you'll get there. I'm 18 months in now and I've got a better control of things.

    The key for me is now stopping senior leadership from seeing I'm coping okay and giving me more responsibility. That's something I definitely don't need.
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  13. Leftandleaving

    I will be okay. everything Supporter

    Yeah, I figure it'll start tough.

    Just as a student I'm already not a fan of administration. Hope that works out for you.
    Dan_P likes this.
  14. Matt Metzler

    Space Cadet Prestigious

    I'd definitely suggest doing some of your own research on alternative teaching methods/school types, like Montessori, Waldorf, etc. I don't think they were ever explained at great depth in any of my education classes in college, they might've been briefly mentioned but that's it. And personally, with all of the standards and rigidity and frustration that come along with a lot of jobs in the "normal" public education setting, I feel like I would've felt much more optimistic about my future if, during college, I'd learned more about the various kinds of schools that are out there.

    I'd also stress not to buy into the idea that private schools are more elitist or are doing work that is somehow less important than public schools. While both of these things might be true in some cases, for some schools, for me it came down to what kind of job would feel sustainable for me in the long run. Even though private school salaries can be less than public school salaries, if you manage to find a private school that aligns with your vision, your cultural values, and your preferred teaching methods, then it can make a huge difference in your morale and your ability to get yourself out of bed every morning.

    Edit: also, some people seem to think that private schools are always affiliated with a religion, but there are plenty out there that are not.
  15. Leftandleaving

    I will be okay. everything Supporter

    Wow, thanks. I'll definitely read up on alternative schooling. I didn't really know that was out there at all.

    I'm keeping my mind open with regards to private schools. I've talked to a couple of my teachers and most of the ones who've taught at private schools have told me that if nothing else it provides a bit more freedom.
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  16. Jakobindeed

    My Whole Life is Thunder Prestigious

    Working in a Montessori school for a year was one of the best experiences I've had teaching, the whole system is great because of the freedoms it provides for learners and teachers both.
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  17. YoSoyCaitlin

    Newbie Prestigious

    You figure out how to make it work. I don't take any work home with me, don't go early or stay late, AND only have a 45 minute off period every day. It's possible.
  18. Jusscali

    Trick or Treat Mfer Prestigious

    Secondary ELA and Remedial Reading teacher. Holla.
    Collin Skeen likes this.
  19. Leftandleaving

    I will be okay. everything Supporter

    Damn that's impressive haha
  20. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    6-8 ELA teacher in my 3rd year. Next year I'll be teaching 10th grade English
    popdisaster00 and Collin Skeen like this.
  21. mgiannotti

    edge mike Supporter

    I can imagine, my mom is constantly freaking out about my two little brothers and the politics of sports and everything. I know I'm going to have to deal with a lot more, considering I'll be working with kids with special needs and IEP meetings and such. I'm definitely going to keep coming around to this thread once next year and grad school rolls around. I'm in New Jersey, and definitely looking to leave when I'm done, so any recommendations, tips, or anything will help. Sounds like you're doing pretty well, though, haha.
  22. Kiana Mar 31, 2016
    (Last edited: Mar 31, 2016)

    Goddamn, man child Prestigious

    I teach preschool. I'm a youth advocate tho. I teach half days and the rest of the day I work closely with the children's families and do home visits and social work. I'm routinely hit, kicked, bit, screamed at, etc. I'm too passive to make for a great teacher but nobody has died in my care so that's cool. My reflexes to avoid being bit are actually ridiculously fast as it turns out.
  23. eversotru

    harmony in a sad song

    I'm actually coming from a different side of education. I work mostly in the administrative area in higher education and have worked in/in conjunction with the public school system in NY.

    It's probably been mentioned in this thread but if you're looking to teach, please be prepared mentally to deal with the politics of both whatever district you work in and the politics of the school as well (also entitled parents and students). This particular facet can make you hate your job. Issues with funding, pay raises, too many students in a class, not enough support are some of the most common downsides I've seen as both a employee and as a student. The issues are faced at a minor scale in private schools.

    If you go for special education, you work with IEPs or a 504 plan, please be informed of what they say and what accommodations students are allowed. The students are well informed and educated on what their rights are and if they feel the school (or teacher) isn't complying with them, they will make it known. I've seen this cost a teacher their job.

    Education is a beautiful field, you figure out as you go what works and doesn't stress you at the end of the day.
  24. Andrew


    I'm in my 6th year of teaching high school history. Feel free to ask any questions. I still feel like I learn something new every day.
  25. Andrew


    Make sure you you want to go in to teaching because you like kids, not just because you like your subject.