please give me advice- do i quit my job?

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  1. here are the details: i work in an inner city school. this is my first year there.

    the reasons why i am considering quitting:
    1. i was punched last week while trying to break up a fight. yes, it was accidental, but it still hurt. i filled out a ton of paperwork documenting that i had been punched, and it was handed to the principal who never once asked me afterwards if i was ok or mentioned anything about it. at first the students who fought were assigned a detention and then when i spoke to the AP about it and said that i thought the punishment didnt fit the crime, they were given an in school suspension, which i still think wasn't enough.

    2. the team of teachers i work with do not get along. there was so much drama all year, but it has since subsided into silence- one of the teachers doesn't really talk to me, and our team 'leader' is a huge pushover, and does not do much in the way of getting things done. the students can obviously see this divide and drama that is going on between their teachers, and it is making them act out.

    3. i have a few students who are constantly getting in trouble. i write them up for verbal abuse almost every class. i have been told by them that i am, 'whack', 'shady', 'must be on my period because i'm so crazy'. i've been told to shut up in front of the entire class, been told 'f*ck you', etc. the students only receive detentions, and then they don't show up for them. the problem is, a lot of t hese kids come from homes where all they know is anger and rage. they don't have much parental support, and so it seems as if they are acting out just to get some sort of attention, as if ANY attention they receive will be positive for them. how am i supposed to teach my students the curriculum when they can't do the basics- like closing a door without slamming it and disrupting my class, or disobeying simple instructions like, 'please take a seat and wait until i have finished directions before going to the pencil sharpener' (the kid goes to the pencil sharpener anyway, looking right at me, and then the pencil sharpener drowns out my voice). i'll say, 'please stop pounding on the table', and the kid will continue to pound on the table while i speak; then when i ask him to leave the room, he gets up, kicks the chair, tells me i'm crazy and he didn't do 'nothing', and then slams the door, doesn't go where i ask him to go, so i have to stop my class, call security, tell them i've lost a student, etc etc. and when i talk to my team leader and my AP about this, i dont get any support. its just a continuous cycle.

    4. i have been so depressed about my job. i do not feel safe, and i often times feel scared. the fight incident really pushed me over the edge and i was crying before i went to bed every night last week until i got the idea that i could quit. i have struggled with depression my whole life and i finally got it under control last year. i felt like i was slipping back into feeling very depressed and anxious over this job until i realized that i could quit. i looked over my contract, and i am allowed to leave at any point without giving notice (though i would, as a courtesy).

    reasons why i should stay:
    1. i dont have anything else lined up at the moment and have student loans to pay- well, i did just talk to a woman who needs a nanny. but it would be a 100/mo pay cut, and would probably be more strenuous than my current job, as i'd be looking after a 2 year old all day, and taking her other two children to and from school.... i have also applied to a bunch of other nanny positions, office admin jobs, and substitute teaching positions, but the thing is i really need a steady income.

    2. it is only until june and then i am moving and wont ever have to teach there again

    3. ...that's all i can think of.

  2. Well, at first when I saw your headline before I read the post, I thought immediately, "not in this economy you shouldn't..."

    However, after reading through your post, I'm sorry, but your life is yours and you only live once. Move on. It really sounds like on top of this abuse from your students, you're not getting the support you need from your superiors/colleagues, which that alone could be stressful.

    I guess it depends on the type of person you are. Not that you're a bad person for wanting to leave, or whatever, but some people love this sort of thing and they want to stick around to try and make a difference. But I'm afraid not all situations are like the movie Freedom Writers.

    If you feel for a minute that your life is in jeopardy, don't even think twice about leaving. However, if you think you can stick it out until you find another teaching job, then maybe do that, because like I said, in this economy, who knows when you'll find another job. Besides, if it's only until June, then think it's only 5 months, and maybe do as much saving as you can until then.

    I was unemployed for 10 arduous long months, and believe me, it caused so much stress in my life being broke all the time and having to juggle our finances. If you think this wouldn't cause this in your life by being unemployed, then quit. Otherwise, try and stick it out (as best as you can) until you find something else. Even if it's at Starbucks or somewhere like that, just so you're in a safe environment.

    Please think about this long and hard. Write a list of pros and cons to being unemployed or employed with this teaching position. And see what you come up with.

    Please keep us posted and I wish you luck on your decision.
  3. Even though you have student loans you can put them back into forebearance or get them reduced to interest-only while you are unemployed, or if you take a pay cut.

    Honestly, the nanny job would probably be less stressful; however, I don't think that is why you went to school.

    Are you doing 'Teach for America' by any chance?
  4. Well, if it was me, I would probably quit and take the nanny position until you can find another teaching position. You should not have to work in a place where you do not feel safe and have no support from your colleagues. That's terrible. A $100.00/month pay-cut is not that bad, and I don't think that looking after a two year old and a couple of older siblings (I have 4 kids and used to provide in-home day-care for several other children when my kids were younger) would be more stressfull then being abused and disrespected by a bunch of punks.

    It is very noble to want to "make a difference" in their lives, but it is certainly not worth the toll that the stress will take on your health.

    Just my opinion.
  5. I was a high school teacher and I've been shoved (never punched), had my car vandalized, parents that threatened's not worth it.

    I quit in 2006 and have never looked back!
  6. are you a teacher, or in some other position at the school like a teaching aide?

    I am not a teacher but have worked those type of jobs a long time ago as a part time gig in those types of areas, and in real life, those places aren't anything like Hollywood movies starring Michelle Pfeiffer if you KWIM.

    If you are a teacher you can transfer, a friend of mine did that and her school wasn't anywhere near as bad as yours. If you aren't a teacher take the nanny gig and then look around.

    No job is worth your life, your sanity, your mental health. Get out before something happens to you there.
  7. #7 Jan 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2009
    i think what youre doing is remarkable...but if you are unhappy you may not be doing the great job you want to be is your choice of course but i respect teachers so much especially those that don't give up....and even if you manage to change one life thats one life that you saved...i know that may sound uber cheesy but its the truth...i went to a pretty hard junior high and i rem some pretty awesome teachers that really kept pushing certain kids and some of them i will admit still turned out to be xxxx ups but some i see at the university and so of our old science teachers even got one of my old classmates a job at a lab and the lab pays for him to finish his degree...and so many of my former junior high classmates i think only wnet on to highschool because of the dedicated teachers we had in jr high...hope you find the answer you need and make the best decision for yourself

    oh jr high is middle school...grade 7-9 in alberta just in case ppl didn't know
  8. You said your moving after the year is over so you only have half a year left. Can your finances support a 100 dollar pay cut? Could you negotiate the nanny job to pay a little more? Honestly, I think the nanny job would be less stressful. Sure a 2 year old is a handful but not that bad, and taking kids to school and back everyday isn't that big of a deal really. Would the hours be any different or worse?

    I know this sounds horrible but have you thought about filing a claim against the school for the punching incident? You do have rights to be protected and you weren't.
  9. I have worked in public education for 15 years. 13 in the classroom. Classroom management. It sounds like you are doing all that you can, but the students are seeing what they can get away with. Speaking from experience, you cannot rely on admin to solve the problem. I was told a long time ago that once you refer a student to admin, then it is no longer your business. YOU have to figure out what you have to do to manage this situation. If the student thinks that they can run over you they will, and honestly, referring them to admin often doesn't help. That just tells them you can't handle the classroom. Establish your boundaries and enforce them. If they want attention, give it to them, but don't give them what they want. My Principal says to give them what they don't want. If you need a student to leave the room for bad behavior, have security come get them. Or better yet, don't let them leave the room. They are getting "rewarded" by being allowed to leave. If they want to make noise, let them. If you give an assignment and they can't hear, that is their problem. I used to sit down and wait until they got quiet. Believe me, they will get quiet. Take the pounder's table away. He can use his lap.
    BTW- our AP was injured breaking up a fight and nothing happened to the student other than being sent to an alternative school. Break up fights at your own risk.
    It also sounds like your school is crap and there is no teacher support. From anyone for anyone.
    And some people were just not meant to work in education. (I may be speaking about your co-workers.)
    Good luck.
  10. My husband teaches in an inner city school (he's been stabbed through the hand) and you are definitely not alone with these issues, believe me. I hear it from a lot of his colleagues.

    A large part of discipline is administrative support. You can be a flame-throwing badazz, but if the kids know that administration doesn't follow through, you have no power. Sometimes, that isn't even enough. A lot of my husband's students have no parents, so even if they are suspended they get no punishment at home. They're squatting by the dozen in old warehouses and empty apartments.

    My first question was going to be if you are close to getting tenure, but I see you'll be leaving at the end of the year anyway. The only reason I could justify continuing to put yourself through this is if you're up for tenure.

    If you do give notice, make sure that it's kept under wraps. If the kids find out that you're going to leave, they'll act even more like animals.

    Best of luck to you.
  11. Bless you. This is why I teach Kindergarten. Big kids are scary!
  12. Can you transfer to an Elementary school? Even a Middle school would be better.
  13. This job sounds horrible. Even though I don't really have any words of advice to offer you, I just wanted to let you know I think it is quite commendable that you have put up with this crap since September. From the sounds of it, I don't think I would have lasted a week at this school. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you good luck.
  14. That sounds like a horrible, horrible job ! But honestly, if it's only till June, I would suck it out. Having a job at a school may be better on your CV than going to work for a nanny, and it would also give you more time to look for something that might be a little better.

    Hope things change for the better for you in the meantime ! :yes:
  15. If you're not happy with your job and cannot foresee a light at the end of the tunnel, then you should quit. If I were in your shoes, I would take the nanny job and the paycut. It's a small price to pay for your own mental health and security. No, it's not what you went to school for and may be stressful in different ways, but it doesn't sound like this is what you had in mind either. I went to school for education and am not a classroom teacher. I hear way too many horror stories about harsh administrators, pushy parents, out of control state demands, and the like. Totally not worth it to me. Now I'm a program specialist at a daycare which paid for just about my entire masters degree and I'm loving it. It's not what I thought I'd be doing and I certainly don't make the same money, but I'm happy. Go out there and see what life has in store for you!