In love with teaching or just the idea of it?


In my mind I love teaching.  I was the little girl who forced her sister to play school with her constantly and knew what I want to be since I was in kindergarten.  When I started teaching, I had no idea what I was doing, but I still loved it.  I was excited to go to work.  Fast forward five years, I finally felt like I had a clue and was headed in the right direction.  Sure, there were challenges and frustrations, but I still loved teaching.

Fast forward four more years and teaching is still awesome in my mind.  Us teachers are amazing and so much is expected of us.  We do it all regardless of the obstacles that are put in front of us.  I read blogs, I get excited about doing things with my students, I take classes and learn new things...and then I go to work.

And it seems as though lately, no matter how much effort I put in or how enthusiastic I am, it's all turned upside down within an hour...and it has nothing to do with teaching or my students.  It's the new last minute meetings, or the all of a sudden cancelled meetings, or the tests we have to give, or the parent that doesn't show up for a conference, or the all of a sudden notice that we  will be taken out of our rooms for reasons that just don't seem good enough, or the meaningless events that take away from class time, the constant interruptions and numerous tasks that are miraculously supposed to be completed while simultaneously teaching 20 eight year olds...just general disorganization or lack of understanding on the part of others.  Yes...me taking 15 minutes to do this or talk to you right now means I can't do a reading group...it means my kids suffer the consequence...get it?!

I told my husband, we want to teach.  Just let us teach.  What is it about society that makes it so hard for teachers to do their jobs?  We love our jobs, but everything associated with the job makes it impossible to do.  Society seems to have sucked the fun out of teaching for teachers.  And I'm sure the fun out of school for kids.  It's really sad to me.  

So I come home every day, read blogs, plan, rest up, and get inspired for the next day.  I say I am just going to ignore everything else and do what I need to do for my students.  That's all that matters. And then it starts all over.  I'm sucked into this vortex of work that seems to have nothing to do with actual teaching.

My husband says I'm just in love with the idea of teaching.  That teaching isn't really what I think it is in my mind.  What do you think?  I keep saying, well I USED to... maybe it's been too long to keep saying that.  Maybe this is what teaching is now.  I keep hoping it will just all of a sudden change back for me.

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way...it's like a love/hate relationship...

Thanks for reading.

P.S. This is why I think blogging is such a great addition to our profession.  It's a like a support group...we need each other to rejuvenate for the next day!  Only teachers understand what it's like...and maybe husbands of teachers.

14 comments

  1. Absolutely not! I am a 19 yr experienced teacher and I too want things to return to where it is fun for me and the kids! All that matters is the bottom line test score. It doesn't matter how it is achieved or what type of adults we are creating. Just get those test scores up NOW! I do think we are all in love with the way teaching was, but no longer will be for us. It makes me sad for the kids.

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  2. Exact same boat as you!! I love my kids, and being able to work with them. I hate the testing, the meetings, the extra committees I have to be on (without getting paid), the people who have no clue about what we do but still feel inclined to open their mouths and put us down, and the fact that o struggle to make a living because I put the money I make back into my classroom. What other job do employees pay to work there? None! But I am so thankful for fabulous bloggers who reinspure me every night after a rough day!

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  3. I totally agree. If they would let us do the job we are good at and love doing - TEACHING - it'd be a whole different story. With all the meetings, and testing, and hoops, and more meetings and testing and hoops, we never get to do what we love. It'd be like an actress never getting to act, a doctor never getting to hear, a ball player never getting to play. We tire of the HOOPS not the act of teaching.

    Danielle
    http://littleschoolhouseontheprairie.blogspot.com/
    P.S. I just started this whole blogging thing and I am your newest follower. :) Don't give up!

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  4. I totally get how you feel. I remember when I was in school, my parents, and other parents for that matter, had respect for my teachers. They didn't question that my teacher was doing his/her best to teach me what I needed to know, they didn't question the decisions that were made in regard to my education, and they most definitely didn't question the discipline that the teacher dealt out. If I got in trouble at school, I got in trouble at home. My parents stood by the teacher and I knew it. I feel like so many people today question everything that a teacher does without really taking time to understand why we do it. Too many people believe that we have a 8:00-3:00 job and that after that we are done. We don't do anything at night, on the weekends, or during our winter and summer breaks except relax. Which couldn't be further from the truth. I honestly have this wish that everyone would have to walk in a teacher's shoes for one week. I think if this were to happen, people would re-evaluate what it means to be a teacher and there would be a new found respect for what we do.

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  5. I hear you! I started the year with endless meetings instead of teaching in class, and now I am back to a whirlwind of testing in the next two weeks. Hang in there! :)

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  6. You are not alone! I have felt those exact same feelings.

    I actually left the classroom at the end of December because of a move to another state. I've felt that I would really enjoy this time at home and that it would rejuvenate me. I do miss teaching, though!

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  7. Sadly, you are right. Just got home from an hour and a half grade level meeting after school (most of it on my personal time) where we were told to do more ... PLCs, RtI (and we have to do it THEIR way, not the smart way), more testing, indepth lesson plans (which, BTW, were given to us by consultants with one set of directions, but our administrators completely misused and wrongly implemented the lesson plan form). I just want to teach. Just leave me alone and let me teach. I had a principal who did just that. He trusted us to do what was right and only stepped in if needed, and that was hardly ever and only for a few. His positive energy flowed through out the school. Even though drama and trauma existed in the world around us, he protected us. Because of his leadership, we worked well together and accomplished much. Unfortunately he left and so did the vibrant and cheery school atmosphere. This year has been extremely exhausting. I truly don't know how much longer I can keep doing this. My heart screams forever. My body say differently.

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  8. Well said!! I to wanted to be a teacher since I was in kindergarten and unfortunately today I question if teaching is what I want to do for the rest of my working days. It's a shame because I never saw myself doing anything but teaching. The meetings, endless testing, data collection and weekly professional development are wearing me down.
    I work with an amazing group of teachers that are both veterans and novices. Yet, every morning we find ourselves in the hallway for a last minute pep talk..."we are going to be positive today!" We promise to do what we know is best and not let anything get to us. But, when we regroup at lunch, we are hardly ever still feeling positive.
    I am hopeful things will get better. At least I have 25 great kiddos that put a smile on my face every time I need one. Know you are not alone!

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  9. I've often wondered this same thing. I think it comes from all the (ever-increasing) pressure from outsiders to validate ourselves. I do think there has been a major shift in education in recent years that keeps us from focuses on the students as whole-persons rather than data points. And in turn, we become nothing more than data points. I fear we are losing the "human" component of teaching. How can we be expected to inspire our students when we're so focused on standardized tests? It's sad. I think I would make an AWESOME home-school mom. Not that I want to be one... but my kids would have so much fun learning!

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  10. Agree...all of it. It truly is so sad.
    Alison

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  11. Agree 100%! There are so many obstacles, it is amazing anyone stays or enters the profession. We need each other to keep the spark lit especially since we are underappreciated and not 100% respected. (Hugs)

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  12. Reading this post was like reading my own thoughts. It's sad, but at the same time comforting that I'm not alone. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. I think you read my mind to write this! Throw in administrative struggles, super difficult students at times (and even more difficult processes and hoops to jump through to try to get them help!), and I have found myself wondering if I'm making the earth-shaking difference I went in to teaching to make! I'm definitely one that is in love with the idea of teaching... the kind of teaching I USED to know...

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  14. So, I'm not the only one feeling that way right now? Whew!

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