“Is It Worth It?” Saturday October 8, 2016

I’m one month into teaching. In the last month I have neglected my friends, my family, and myself. I haven’t worked out in a month. Other than Zooey, I don’t hang out with any of my friends. I don’t call or see my family.

I can’t imagine how other teachers do it. I see some of them packing up and leaving right after the students have cleared out. I’m lucky if I make it home before 8pm.

It’s almost a good thing that I don’t have a boyfriend. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’ve lost most of my free time. I spent all morning lesson planning and grading math worksheets. I have more work today tonight and I could work tomorrow, too.

Is it worth it? I don’t feel like my students are making much progress. At least, not the progress that would reflect the amount of time I put into my lessons.

I’m stressed out. I’m not sleeping well. I don’t have an appetite so I’ve been living off of mostly popcorn and coffee. My back and shoulders are killing me. I’ve never been this tense.

I thought working morning shifts at the coffee shop were rough. I thought working every Friday and Saturday night until 3am was rough. I would rather do both of those than spend all of my waking time either working or thinking about work.

Did I make a horrible mistake? It’s been my dream to be a teacher since the third grade. And I want to quit after 1 month.

did_you_know_education_052114I want to believe that I’m a good teacher. I want to believe that I’m making a difference. I want to imagine that Tyrese will grow into an adult and say something like, “If it wasn’t for my 2nd grade teacher, I would probably be dead or in jail.” But in actuality, I think it might be too late for him.

The most important year of a person’s life is first grade. That’s when you learn to read. If you leave first grade knowing how to read, anything is possible. If you can’t read, you can’t succeed.

And I have kids that can’t read. I’m told that I have to teach skills that assume my kids already know how to read. This will be the same thing every year for the rest of these kids lives.

It’s not right. These kids have reading disabilities. The special education teacher only has time to pull them once or twice a week and that’s only to test them to confirm they’re still disabled.

I have to do something. I should offer to tutor the lower group before and after school. It’s the only way to catch them up.

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4 thoughts on ““Is It Worth It?” Saturday October 8, 2016

  1. Teaching is a stressful job–no doubt about it.
    As for lesson planning and marking….that will get easier and faster with time (marking not so much). You will achieve a good work/life balance.

    And you will influence your students a great deal. I know your situation is a lot tougher than mine (mine is a cakewalk compared to yours) but I have seen lots of new hires struggle in the beginning and question their choices and roles. I don’t know exactly how it will turn out, but it will get better.

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  2. Don’t give up. The first year or too is hard as you learn the job – it does get easier. You do need to remember though to give time to yourself – a stressed and burnt out teacher doesn’t do your students any good. You help those you can and even a little progress in your student goes a long way. Give yourself time. Give your students time. Caring goes a long way to helping students and even though they may not be caught up by the end of the year, know that you can give them something else. Support, a sense of self, and a sense of knowing that someone cares for them.

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