Teaching is one of the most noble, but also most difficult professions a person can go into. It literally shapes the future! There can be days, though, where it feels less like shaping the future and more like a slow descent into madness. On those days, it's perfectly natural to want to throw your hands in the air like you just don't care. One Reddit user was apparently feeling that funk, because they asked:
The answers they got were eye-opening, gut-wrenching, and thought-provoking. Some were even giggle-inducing. We picked 20 of the ones that hit us the hardest. So take your places, everyone. Class is officially in session.
No me but my wife. She was an engineer at a good company on the east coast. Left because she wanted more rewarding work. Soon after she is doing clinicals at a school on the rough side of our home town. She was the kind of student teacher who showed up early, ate lunch with the kids, stayed late, and followed up with parents. Anyway....
Some months in she has repeatedly had trouble with some students (they came from troubled homes and brought a lot with them into the class each day). She tried working with them one on one, working with the administration, and the parents. More than one set of parents said "Stop calling." And the administration told her to send them to the principal's office (where they could sit all day) and focus on the "good" kids.
Eventually, the futility set in.... She was the only one who cared. Not the kids, administration, other teachers, or even their parents. She finally wore herself out after a couple years with no support at work and no one appreciating her efforts (except me of course!).
She's back in aerospace now.
I worked in a high needs behavior class. I got hit, punched, scratched and spat on daily, but every day I went back and did my best for those kids. It was sickening, but I loved my job and every one of those kids.
One day was called to the office to talk. It was Christmas time and things weren't great at home and as anyone with kids knows the holidays makes children especially high strung so things were also wild in the classroom. My boss said "you seem awfully stressed" and I thought how nice of her to notice so I agreed that yes I was struggling. She said "you have 6 weeks to sort it out or I'll have to let you go".
I was crushed. It literally broke me. 6 weeks to get less stressed...how does that even work? I found myself just showing up to show up and I realized that wasn't fair for me or for the kids.
6 weeks later I get a call back to the office. I am congratulated on the amazing turn around and sent back to class. I was baffled. I was more upset and stressed than ever and they congratulate me?
More and more I showed up to work just for the paycheck. One day I just decided screw it, I wasn't a teacher anymore I was a robot fearful of showing any negativity . I quit that week. Never went back to teaching.
I had a behaviorally-difficult student, maybe 11 or 12, sitting with me and having pizza. I asked how her life was going and she says "Well, my dad's a drug dealer so he's always got people coming over to sell or buy drugs or play cards so I can't sleep. My mom's dying because she has a hole in her heart and they can't fix it. And I have a boyfriend but I'm afraid to tell my mom because she'll tell my dad" Just normal, like this was everyday stuff.
So, as a mandatory reporter I go to my Dean of Students and tell him all this, and he just gets irritated and goes "Yeah, but that doesn't excuse her behavior."
That's when I knew I was done.