July 29, 2010

Get a New Job

This is the post that will take me off Santa's good list.

It's back-to-school time. I always hated this in high school. I hated going back to school, like most kids. Losing their freedom, having to sit in a chair all day in a windowless room. Who likes that? And many of my friends felt the same way. Right around this time of year, the complaining about having to go back to school would begin.

Now I'm an adult. I'm not a student anymore. But my friends are still complaining about going back to school. Only they aren't students. They're teachers.

And I don't mean "complaining" like, "Oh, I'm not ready for vacation to be over!" Everyone feels like that after vacation. I mean, I got on facebook today and saw a post where one of my teacher friends said she was crying at the thought of going back to work, she hated it so much. I mean, I heard someone say earlier this week that part of "what made their job so hard" was trying to convince their students that they should enjoy being at school, "when I don't like being here, either."
And because I know someone will point this out, no, of course that's not EVERY teacher I know. I can name 3 teachers right now who have said they are looking forward to returning to work. 3. correction: now 4.

Listen, I'm sorry, but if the thought of going back to work makes you cry - get a new job. If you hate going to work everyday - get a new job. If you think you aren't paid enough - get a new job. Get a job you actually want. Because, and this may shock you, not everyone hates their job. You don't have to, either.

And don't even get me started on the ones who are offended at the thought they should actually have to come to work to get paid. What, you mean like the rest of the world?

I just wonder why some people go into teaching. Because so many seem to hate it. Or at least do nothing but complain. And I don't mean, "man, I had a hard day today." I mean the constant "I hate my job" refrain...but then insisting that they were "meant" to teach. My guess is, no, you aren't, you were just like several of my friends in college who didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives, and in their senior year decided to apply their haphazard collection of credits toward a teaching degree so they'd have something to show for all the tuition money they spent. You know who I'm talking about. You went to college with them, too.
I'm sorry, but life's too short to be miserable. If you really feel like you were "called" to teach but just hate your job, move to a new district. Or go to a private school, with less bureaucracy and more authority over the students. Yeah, there's no government-guaranteed pension, but that's not why you're there anyway, right? You're there to educate kids and make a difference in their lives, right?

The education industry isn't exactly cloistered. For that matter, you can know all the warts of the industry just from reading facebook. You knew you would be dealing with children/teenagers, and you knew that at least some of those kids would have behavior or authority issues. You knew you would have to deal with parents who think that you are supposed to raise their kids now. You knew you would have to deal with administrators more interested in playing politics than in education. You knew how much you'd be paid. You knew what benefits you'd get. And you took the deal.

And if you didn't know all that going in,
that's your fault for not asking the questions -
just like it would be if you worked at any other job.

So it's not really fair to complain about all these things related to your job as though it was some big surprise thrown at you once you showed up to a place that promised you 20 hour work weeks and in-house massages, like you were "tricked" or something. No one else in any other profession gets away with that.

I guess it all boils down to, is this a calling or is it just a job? Because if it's a calling, like we're told so often, then why do you hate it so much? If this is what you were meant to do, why aren't you fulfilled doing it? And if it's just a job, and you hate it this much...

get a new job.


  1. Having a job you love can be bad...I loved my job at a nonprofit in KY so much, that now no job really compares...especially one that can be found here in NY. LOL. I miss it :(

    I couldn't be a teacher because kids are SO bad these days...so I gotta give props to the people that do teach. Maybe that's why they are hating it so much...I thought about subbing up here. But I honestly don't know if I could do it. They'd probably run me right over.

  2. Awww, and you know what sucks? If these teachers are going into their classrooms with a bad attitude then that's what their students will feed off of.

    You're so right - you can love your job! It's a shame so many people have to settle.

  3. HAHAHA I am pretty sure you must read my mind!!!!!! My friend who teaches is already complaining too. She also complains about how her husband makes $5,000 more than her per year and when I remind her that he works year round, she gets mad. Sorry but no other "full time" job that I know of gives months and weeks off at a time, that don't even count as vacation time! And not to say it isn't a difficult job, but if you don't like it.. do something else. Michigan also has the highest paid teachers in the country. I'm just fed up with teachers' unions these days but they sure are a machine. Have you seen what's going on in NJ?

  4. The teacher in me disagrees with you. To be honest, they don't really teach you about all the bureaucracy in college. They tell you that most things are going to be all honey and pie - that you can handle anything. Even in your internship. Sure, you deal with kids that drive you absolutely batty, but there are also those kids who make you feel like you're doing something worthwhile. I can totally understand hating teaching - the bureaucracy. As a teacher you're expected to make modifications for 2 kids out of a room of 30. You're expected to make separate tests for them. You're expected to make them succeed. If they fail an end of the year test for any reason - it's the teacher's fault. Not the kid's. Oh no. Surely that kid paid attention in class and did his/her homework! Surely! It must be the teacher. If the teacher's kids' grades on end of the year tests aren't good enough, you can kiss your job goodbye. If your principal doesn't like you for whatever reason, you're pretty much screwed. And that doesn't even touch the gossiping between teachers! Teachers are just as bad as the kids are. Teaching is a hard job. It can be rewarding, but more often than not, it's discouraging. Teachers may say they hate their jobs, between the planning, grading, and crap they deal with from admin., parents, low pay, high expectations, and other teachers it's understandable. But they all go back for one reason - that ONE kid that they may help this year. One kid who will fall in love with the subject they teach. One kid who will "get it." One kid who will be appreciative.

  5. I completely agree with you. Why stay in a job that you hate?! It is just not worth being miserable all the time.

  6. Great advice JG. There is a perfect job out there for everyone, you just need to go figure out what it is.

  7. So true! Life is too short to be miserable because of a job.

    And God bless all the teachers out there that are passionate about their job!

  8. I had a job that I absolutely hated. I was miserable. It even manifested physical symptoms; my head would hurt, my stomach would hurt, and I felt like I was going to throw up. I tried finding a different job. I didn't have any luck. I couldn't just quit, because I couldn't afford to do that. Eventually, I found a different job. I quit that one too. Luckily, I am in graduate school getting my master's degree, so I can get a job that I will actually like doing.

    I know what you mean though. People always complain, but they never do anything about it. People should at least attempt to find a new job. If they want to go back to school, they should. I don't like people that sit around and complain, because they are the ones that are going to have to change it. Change won't happen on its own. A new job isn't going to knock on their door.


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