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View Diary: Maybe I'm Just Done. (105 comments)

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  •  I Admire You (4+ / 0-)

    Service learning and pedagogy classes were required in my English Lit major, and I spent a semester helping to teach a class of remedial English to inner city 10th graders once a week. Even that limited exposure turned me off of teaching.  I admit the kids were endearing and I wanted to help them succeed. But seeing how much teachers have to do with so little, and how many obstacles the students overcome just to go to school (no food at home, domestic violence, teenage parenthood, "antisocial behavior issues") left me frustrated, especially because getting to school was half the battle. The overcrowding leads to students not getting much personal attention, and the boys especially start to act out. Dealing with the behavior issues takes even more time out of the actual instruction. I was lucky to read aloud a whole chapter of Animal Farm in a single class period to my third of the students (we separated them into 3 groups so we could give them more individual attention). We couldn't expect them to read to themselves because at least half the class wasn't up to the reading level of the book. The kids were very self-conscious about their reading and writing abilities and wouldn't share their projects with us for the first few weeks. We constantly used positive reinforcement and they did start to open up. This allowed me to see just how great the variation of ability was. Tailoring instruction to everyone's pace in a class of 45 students is near impossible. How do you decide what to do with your time in that case? Challenge the kids who want more, or help the kids who  are struggling to learn how to really read and write? And how do you balance that with what the administration wants? I could see immediately how frustrating this could become to deal with on a daily basis.

    Far be it from me to tell you to stay. You have 5 years under your belt and surely made a difference for those kids. You are not a failure for thinking about exploring opportunities outside of teaching. Trying something else doesn't mean you won't go back to it once this "teach to the test" obsession fades out. It's ok to take a break from it and do something that re-energizes you.

    Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

    by bull8807 on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 09:20:58 AM PST

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