On 8/24/10, 479 wrote:
> On Quitting:
> I taught middle-school Language Arts at a school in Florida.
> The school (to me) was very nice and appeared to be in a very affluent
> neighborhood. As you can imagine, I was a new teacher going through the
> alternative licensing program. I'd been a journalist and marketing
> copywriter and substitute teacher before. My "mentor" was never available
> and even told me she'd only have 15 minutes per week, if that, to answer
> questions. The school Principal and Asst. Principal both told me that it
> was "sink or swim" and even used those words. I was given maybe two weeks
> before the start of the school year to prepare.
> I had a classroom with 30 chairs and 40 students. I had four classes with
> special needs/ADD kids and one gifted program class. There were violent
> fights constantly, with children literally pounding each other into
> hamburger. I was told to never touch a child or say anything that could be
> perceived as hurtful to a child and never raise my voice to any child, or
> they're parents would try to sue me. I was told by another more
> experienced teacher to never give detention because it would only piss
> off parents; which turned out to be true. He told me to only give
> homework on Fridays, and keep it multiple choice so it'd be easier to
> grade. And he told me to never "rock the boat" or I would not get my
> contract renewed the following year.
> After almost a year at the school, I couldn't take it any more. I was
> calling parents nightly and getting nowhere. I was giving homework
> assignments that would never be returned to students completely
> disinterested in the subject matter. My "mentor" was MIA whenever I went
> looking for her and everyone else was gone the minute the final bell rang.
> I went to the local teacher's union for help and was told that it was all
> just too bad.
> I quit after almost a year and never went back. I sent my key to the
> Principal by UPS. And I was getting calls within weeks, asking me testify
> in court cases against other teachers and regarding violent fights and
> related incidents at the school for moths after I had left.
> Now, I've been tooling around for years, going from one low-wage, low-
> wattage, dead-end job after another. Copywriter, tutor, community college
> administrator. None of them paid anything even approaching what I'd earned
> as a teacher, sad to say, and none of them had decent benefits. Now,
> although I know it will all happen again, I'm trying to get back into
> teaching. I know the classrooms will be overcrowded and discipline will be
> a huge issue and nobody will care or want to help. That's all a given.
> But it's all I have at this point. Newspapers aren't hiring, ad agencies
> only hire "impact players" who bring clients with them, and the other
> jobs don't pay.....
> So, yes you can just quit and turn your back and walk away. If you have
> something else to go to in the worst job market in fifty years, in a
> country where the worker is seen as a piece of garbage and schools are
> seen as a necessary but pointless expenditure.