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Changing direction

Discussion in 'Personal' started by thelastunicorn, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Hey,
    I could do with advice on this.
    I'm becoming increasingly unhappy with teaching as a career choice and really think I possibly made the wrong decision. I went into teaching at secondary level and have always been praised on my subject knowledge, planning and delivery of my lessons but what really gets me down is classroom behaviour.
    I wouldn't mind just naughty children as although it's irritating at the time at the end of the day that old saying about it being their time they are wasting is true but what I hate is being made to feel it's some sort of failure on my part. Also, is it just me or are children getting increasingly bolshy and mouthier about their rights and making complaints? Three times this week I have had children behave badly and when told off go to a member of the senior management team to complain about me and the way I dealt with it. I'm not criticising SLT there, I know it must be a hard job but honestly, when I was at school if someone had been rude to a teacher the last people they would go to would be a headteacher or deputy head!
    I've purposely taken badly behaved students into my class because I'm head of a faculty and feel I should but now I feel like it's backfiring on me. This just seems to be a society attitude and expectation, I'm not sure but do OFSTED look at parents' complaints now? It seems in the last three years or so complaints which would have been just ignored/dismissed as a child obviously exaggerating or taking something out of context are being taken very seriously which is embarrassing for the teacher and gives a misguided sense of power to the child.
    In short, I am questioning the way teaching is going and whether it's for me and I want to make a change of direction, still in education but not actually in teaching as I'm just sick of being blamed for kids' rubbish diets, lack of sleep, inability to concentrate and rows and arguments they have with other kids.
    Any suggestions? Thank you for reading my moaning post. :)
     
  2. Hey,
    I could do with advice on this.
    I'm becoming increasingly unhappy with teaching as a career choice and really think I possibly made the wrong decision. I went into teaching at secondary level and have always been praised on my subject knowledge, planning and delivery of my lessons but what really gets me down is classroom behaviour.
    I wouldn't mind just naughty children as although it's irritating at the time at the end of the day that old saying about it being their time they are wasting is true but what I hate is being made to feel it's some sort of failure on my part. Also, is it just me or are children getting increasingly bolshy and mouthier about their rights and making complaints? Three times this week I have had children behave badly and when told off go to a member of the senior management team to complain about me and the way I dealt with it. I'm not criticising SLT there, I know it must be a hard job but honestly, when I was at school if someone had been rude to a teacher the last people they would go to would be a headteacher or deputy head!
    I've purposely taken badly behaved students into my class because I'm head of a faculty and feel I should but now I feel like it's backfiring on me. This just seems to be a society attitude and expectation, I'm not sure but do OFSTED look at parents' complaints now? It seems in the last three years or so complaints which would have been just ignored/dismissed as a child obviously exaggerating or taking something out of context are being taken very seriously which is embarrassing for the teacher and gives a misguided sense of power to the child.
    In short, I am questioning the way teaching is going and whether it's for me and I want to make a change of direction, still in education but not actually in teaching as I'm just sick of being blamed for kids' rubbish diets, lack of sleep, inability to concentrate and rows and arguments they have with other kids.
    Any suggestions? Thank you for reading my moaning post. :)
     
  3. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    No real advice, just sympathy.
    It isn't just you.
    Me too (and it wasn't that long ago!).
     
  4. Nor me!
     
  5. busadam

    busadam New commenter

    What a sad situation, almost as sad as checking TES on friday night. What does this mean!!
    Take comfort in the reality that kids have always been horrible, it's just you used to 'get' them, now they are digital.
    I've no doubt you've seen this, and the more recent material from TED on education, but just in case, it can really help you reappraise what's important in your classroom - it helped me.
    With regards you overarching question... TES offers excellent, expensive, careers support; have you thought of moving into FE (the pays not too bad now, hours are fabulous, and although many adult learners and 16-19's are still as lazy and angry as my old school students - they have a calmer demeanour and it takes less time to get to know them and be able to converse).
    Hope some of this helps. I love teaching, and have had many times like yourself over the last few years, but kids are still as exciting and creative as they were when we started: now they have a load more tools and distractions for us to harness. That's all.

     
  6. I have had very similar thoughts to yours over the past few years. I love teaching, I love planning lessons, I will happily stay in school till 5 every evening teaching things to students who want to learn, I even enjoy marking when I have the time to do it carefully the way I want to.
    I have fixed all my problems and am now working harder than ever before as a teacher, longer hours, more planning, everything, and loving every minute.
    I've done this by moving to an independent school. The difference is immense. The students respect learning (the teachers, the books and resources, the building, each other, everything) and that constant complaining and sense of entitlement is (bizarrely) gone. I think it's because their families make sacrifices to send them to the school because they value education, so the children do too.
    I'll probably get slated for saying it but it's been my personal experience.
     
  7. I'd quite like to work in an independent school, but I haven't been in my present position long and think they'd wonder why I was moving.
    It is really depressing me the more I think about it!
     
  8. Although not secondary, I'm primary and Year 6, I do think children are different these days. I've worked in education for a long time (not always as a teacher) and there has been a subtle difference over the years. Perhaps one or two per class that were difficult, these days is now a lot more.
    The problem I find is that children are not very good at listening, are easy to fly off the handle and do not really speak to an adult in a different way than they would their peers.
    I find managing behaviour easier now. The kids are not different but I am. I remain calm, do not get in an argument with them but state clearly and calmly what I expect. Eventually they respond and calm themselves down. I remind myself they are children and I don't take their behaviour personally. I think watching Mr Drew on Educating Essex just echoed how effective this way is. It helps me deal with stress which results in enjoying my job more.
     
  9. I never had any problems with discipline, in that I was never in tears in the staffroom at break, like many teachers are, I never had to have SMT involved, there were never any fights etc in my lessons - my behaviour management was good. But it was tiring and tedious and the constant need to stay one step ahead became just so boring.
    If you applied to an independent school and said you are looking for the opportunity to teach in a school where you can TEACH, they wouldn't wonder, they'd welcome you as one who is making the change they themselves made 1, 2, 5, 10 years ago.
    I have gone from part time to full time yet have never felt less frantically stressed and busy. I'm working really hard as a teacher. Not as a prison-guard, ringer of parents, detention chaser, wisecrack despatcher, tension defuser. I couldn't be happier.
     

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