Please allow me to vent...Being a teacher is HARD...

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Posted 1/29/2013 by Katybee in NSBR Board
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Katybee
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:08:03 PM
Don't get me wrong...I love my class and I love my kids. And my parents are usually VERY supportive. But lately, I've been feeling very frustrated. And here's maybe why...

1. Sometimes, your little darling angel child makes bad choices. It happens. Stop looking for someone or something to blame. It wasn't that he didn't get enough breakfast. It wasn't that other kid's fault. He made a bad choice. Stop looking for excuses and deal with your child's behavior.

2. If your child continually makes bad choices at lunch...like, say, pouring his milk in his beans or eating butter off the floor to make his friends laugh, he's gonna have to eat lunch at a table by himself for one day. It's not cruel or unusual punishment. It's a natural consequence. No...we cannot give you advanced warning so you can come up and eat with him. That would be a REWARD and therefore REINFORCE the bad behavior.

3. Your child made a REALLY bad choice at school today. Do I think you should take the TV out of his room? Ummm....YES???? And maybe, given that he has the attention span of a 2 year-old, you should LEAVE IT OUT!

4. When I send an e-mail about a VERY bad choice your child made at school, please acknowledge it with a reply. Ignoring me does not make it go away.

5. Yes, I threw your kid's poptart away. I told him not to eat it on the rug. He got it out. I told him to put it away. He got it out AGAIN! He ate half of it and the other half is in complete crumbles (most of it on my rug). The foil wrapper was ripped beyond saving. Honestly--I kind of wish I HAD put it in his backpack...then you would've been cleaning up poptart crumbs, too.

6. And to myself...it's OK to vent sometimes. I feel so guilty even putting these into words. But I honestly feel like I'm going to explode from stress. Better here than in an e-mail to my whole class...right?

Breathe....tomorrow is a new day...

batya
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:11:34 PM
I couldn't be a teacher. I don't have the patience. I've been fortunate and my kids have had wonderful teachers and I let them know everything I just said here. Sometimes, if the teachers are exceptional, I send a detailed letter to the principal at the end of the year about what they've done that's so wonderful to go into their files.

I am very careful when my kids do wrong (and they sometimes do) to try and be fair to my kids, but I do not make excuses for them. The teacher is my partner in my child's education and part of that education includes behavioral and social learning. It's part of the package if you're with my child 30 hours a week. I have to defer to you if you're disciplining my child firmly, but fairly.

Vent away.

Donna in GA
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:14:33 PM
Vent away!

I agree, it is hard. I was telling my dh and son today that you would think after teaching as long as I have it would get easier.

Really Red
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:16:44 PM
Pumpkin! I am trying to figure out the age of the kids you teach. Much of it sounds like either 2yo behavior or middle school behavior.

But seriously. We should all guess. My guess is 3 or 4yo preschool. That is a serious guess.

I that you email parents and tell them about a very bad choice their child made. You rock!!!

batya
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:17:09 PM
Just asking, is 1-5 all the same parent/child? Or did you have that much going on today?

ETA: I was thinking more like 2-3rd grade.

TinaFB
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:17:40 PM
Sounds like Spring Break can't come fast enough! Hang in there!

TXDancermom
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:19:38 PM
Sorry you had a day - and please tell us that these events were not all done by the same child.....

Aggiemom92
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:20:12 PM
I know you teach kindergarten, but I also want to know if these are all the same kid!!
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peaname
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:20:32 PM
I shudder to think what's going to become of the generation that "never does anything wrong."
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Katybee
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:21:14 PM

I am trying to figure out the age of the kids you teach. Much of it sounds like either 2yo behavior or middle school behavior.

But seriously. We should all guess. My guess is 3 or 4yo preschool. That is a serious guess.



Ahh...kindergarten. And I love it, I do. It's just been a rough week. (WAIT...is it really only Tuesday?)


Just asking, is 1-5 all the same parent/child? Or did you have that much going on today?


4 different kids over the last 2 days. My normally very sweet class has turned into a giant-sized version of Whack-a-Mole...

MergeLeft
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:25:15 PM
Vent away ... Kindergarten teachers deserve a six figure salary and a gold medal as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure whether to hope those were all the same kid or five different ones. Put your feet up and have a glass of wine!
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cajuncandy
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:37:32 PM
My son had to write an apology letter to his principal tonight because he was messing around after school and missed the bus. So by the time they contacted me and then I made it out to the school the principal had stayed almost an hour more than he should have.

He whined the whole time about how much of his time was being taken up by writing the letter and each time I kindly reminded him of the principal's time that was wasted today.

scoobers
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:40:45 PM
The only way you could get me in a classroom is if I had a huge paddle in my hand and permission to use it!

I don't know how you guys do it. I would be

shelley36
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:41:04 PM
Kindergarten teachers are my heroes! I'm not sure how you get them all moving in the same direction! Hang in there! Sometimes we have the bad days to appreciate the good ones.

Shelley in WA

haveitall
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:53:05 PM
I can so relate. I co-teach a class of 3,4, and 5 year olds. It has been a tough week. I think the moon must be full. I so want to stay home the rest of the week. The kids are crazy. We have 18 kids. 16 boys and 2 girls.

Sylvia in MN

saraheliza19
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:00:24 PM
Yes it is! There are days when you don't feel appreciated by anyone, then there are days when a student draws a lovely picture of the two of you reading together because that is his favorite part if the day.
I spent the entire day proctoring tests. That will be my next two weeks
I have a kiddo that has already spent 4 hrs taking a 54 question test and she is only on #35( she is not struggling, she does not want to get a single question wrong, a class pet hangs in the balance with the class average)
** these are days that I don't like**

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gryroagain
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:18:07 PM
I agree with the six figure salary and a medal!

I only teach my own two, and some days...

I could never, ever teach in a classroom.

Susie Pea
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:25:44 PM
Teachers are heroes! I so sorry you're having a rough week. I hope it gets better.

ktNryansmom
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:27:45 PM
AMEN

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lucyg819
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:33:09 PM
If my only option for supporting myself were to be a teacher, I would unfortunately have to starve.

You are all saints as far as I'm concerned.

sheins
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:37:15 PM
Have you been reading my mind? I teach kdg/ prep-k. Love it, but wowzers. I'll just add one thing: parents- your child doesn't always speak the truth. Nobody got pushed out the back of the bus. It would have been on the news.
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perumbula
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:52:37 PM
I only substitute for a reason. When a kid misbehaves on my watch it's the first time to me. I don't have to feel the exasperation of having to deal with the same issue for the 33rd time. I also don't have to deal with the parents. And I can take as many days off as I want.

Good luck. I always knew being a teacher was hard, but I didn't fully appreciate it until I stood in your shoes.

2boysandwill
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:36:50 PM
Ita with batya...shoot my 4 yo daughter is not a saint and I need her teacher's I input all the time. During conference her teacher openly thanked me for always being receptive. ..when I shooed her away n said 'everyone does it' she looked at me wide eyed n practically word for word said what u posted. Lol

Admittedly some of that dialogue wad hard for me to hear...but NOT hearing it would only make me that much more naive to the real issue...n frankly what kind of parent would that make me? My sweet wonderful daughter CAN be a pain but with some work n constant reinforcement she's come around n everyone is happier for iit.

Hang in there! N batya gave me a good idea... I'm going to write a letter to the district. ..my girl's teacher is awesome!

SueSume
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:52:39 PM

My normally very sweet class has turned into a giant-sized version of Whack-a-Mole...






We have 18 kids. 16 boys and 2 girls.

Sylvia in MN


I have three boys. I LOVE boys. But Holy WOW that must be and *active* class room!

PSILUVU
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:00:30 AM
I could never be a kindergarten teacher, actually I could never be a teacher period. My kids have been lucky and with one now in grade 4 and one in grade 8 there has only ever been one that I didn't think should be teaching either. Hang in there! Hope your week gets better.

This did make me laugh


Nobody got pushed out the back of the bus. It would have been on the news

batya
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:08:27 AM
Kindergarten. Well, some of the crazy seems par for the course b/c it's their first foray into the social, regimented world. I mean the kids. Not the parents. No excuse for the parents. 4 in one week.

Can I tell you, my DD had the most amazing K teacher. I can't find one negative thing to say about her. She was moved up to 2nd grade. And this year, DD got her again. When we got the placement, DD and were in the street by the mailbox screaming we were so happy and excited.

huskergal
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:15:25 AM
Hats off to you. I could never teach kindergarten. That is such a range of behavior and maturity. You should have put the pop tart back in the ruined foil pack and put it in said child's back pack for mom!


jen1021
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:23:58 AM
I have just one more thing to add:

School is supposed to be challenging. Life is challenging. Get used to it.

I teach 4th grade and this is a common complaint from both parents and kids. No matter how many times I try to explain that part of learning is being challenged, no one seems to believe me.

pheestand
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:49:23 AM
There are certain people put on the face of the earth who are just MADE to be a kindergarten teacher.

I know that I am NOT one of them, nor could any type of extensive, extended training on any level groom me in to being one.

For those individuals who have what it takes to manage, teach, nurture and love 30 +/- other people's children - I bow to you. You walk on water in my eyes.

Please know that there ARE those parents who feel that way and support you. I'm only sorry that those of us who do don't have it tatooed on our foreheads to make it easier for you to see sometimes; especially when you're stretched and stressed like your OP! I love every kind of feedback from teachers regarding my kids; good, bad and the ugly! because I feel my job as a parent is to prepare and encourage them to be great students for you.

I hope things get better for you!!


Velouria
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:54:36 AM
wait a second...

I thought it was ok to eat butter off the floor.


PeaCeaRyder
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:57:04 AM

I shudder to think what's going to become of the generation that "never does anything wrong."
<sigh> Me, too.

Teachers have my undying respect. I hear a lot of what goes on in the classroom by listening to my DD vent. She loves her job but between dealing with the children (~ages 4-5), the administration and some of the parents, I honestly don't know how she does it some days. Kudos to all you teachers out there!

Georgiapea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:01:47 AM
The words "Whack-a-mole" always cause me to laugh out loud.

I'm sorry your class is not having a good week.

IleneTell
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:02:31 AM
Oh my goodness, don't feel bad about venting! Those all sounds like very legitimate reasons to be frustrated...especially since most of those frustrations are mainly with the parents, not even the kids!

While I love my kids very much, they are certainly not going to be treated like special little snowflakes by me, and those parents you described need an attitude adjustment and a good dose of a reality check.

I used to work with kids...couldn't do it! Just don't have it in me. I give you lots of kudos for being able to do this (and having the patience to do this!) day in and day out. Being a teacher IS hard, and you totally have the right to vent!

jodster70
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:04:36 AM
As someone who taught 10 years, teachers have my undying respect.

*BTW, similar to one of your situations, we had reflection tables at lunch, tables where kids had to eat silently and reflect on what they did wrong or read as punishment. I had a mother tell me that under no circumstances were her kids to eat there, because it was a humiliating punishment. *sigh*




Oliquig
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:22:12 AM
People always tell my I should have become a teacher, because I'm so good with kids. I tell them that by the third day I'd be punting small children through the windows.

Vent away!

KikiNichole

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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:25:39 AM
I couldn't do it. I used to think I wanted to be a teacher...way back when I first went to college...I'm ever so glad that didn't work out for me. I think I'd be great with the kids...I think I'd be a nightmare for the parents. Or jobless.

I think a lot of my best parenting decisions have been due to the fact that my parents were both teachers. We always joked, growing up, how unfair it was, when it came to school, that our parents punished first and asked questions later. The teacher almost *always* was given the benefit of the doubt.

Truth be told? There were rarely times, between all four of us, where the teacher shouldn't have been given the benefit. As kids, we were ever so indignant about that...but making and keeping us responsible was so much bigger a reward in the long run than making excuses and placing blame would have been. I'm grateful for that now.

And listening to my daughter talk now? It's maddening...what teachers are asked to deal with with little to no back up, simply because some parents are such squeaky wheels that their screaming can grind the whole car to a grinding halt.

I just keep telling her to remember, it's not her who is failing those children...it's their parents.

And Jody, my daughter has 11 SPED kids in one class. She has the hardest time keeping them motivated and on task. No one was handing in homework, they weren't even doing their class work during given class time.

She decided to go the positive reinforcement route in order to help motivated. She told them that, every once in a while (they wouldn't know when or how often) she was going to bring 'treats' into the classroom to reward everyone who had completed and handed in their assignment that day. (BTW, these are SEVENTH GRADERS, who, one would hope, would be well beyond this point)...the second time she brought in a reward, she got a call from a mother afterward, complaining that her son not being able to have one, while every one else did, was very humiliating to him.

Sometimes, parents, a little humiliation goes a long way. I can't ever in a million and one years, imagine calling a teacher to complain that my child wasn't rewarded for not completing his homework.

How can people NOT understand that their focus and anger are totally misplaced?

purpledaisy
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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:20:07 AM
I honestly don't know how teachers do it! Kudos to you for doing a hard job!

Mystie
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Posted: 1/30/2013 11:52:05 AM
I don't have kids, but I admire teachers so much! What you are doing is important, and you are someone that your kids will remember with gratitude all their lives. I know I remember all my teachers very fondly.

OhSnapPea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 12:04:37 PM
I've been contemplating about whether I should go back to college to become a teacher so I appreciate your insight! And as a parent, I get what you are saying.

Here is a great article I recently stumbled upon:

Why parents need to let their kids fail

Frazzled Mom
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Posted: 1/30/2013 12:34:11 PM
I'm a teacher and I've told my children they could be anything they wanted when they grow up - except teachers! How sad is that?

I wish I had a clue about the reality of teaching when I chose this path. I'm very good at what I do and I love the kids most of the time, but the politics and parents make it harder every year.

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mom2cameron
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Posted: 1/30/2013 12:45:16 PM
Vent away! I admire you teachers more than you know!!
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Designing
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:31:25 PM
I subbed for one day. When they called me the NEXT day, I told them to LOSE my number. LOL Hats off to teachers everywhere! I think I only had two teachers I despised and I STILL despise both to this day!

The first was my third grade teacher and she was an evil, evil woman. I no longer remember specifics (The hell of getting old!) but I have yet to meet ANYONE that liked the woman. God rest her soul.

The second was my 9th grade Biology teacher and after he chased the students with with an embalmed pig (A baby, obviously), I was D.O.N.E.)

Again, hats off to teachers everywhere!

Judy26
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Posted: 1/30/2013 3:47:28 PM
I have been teaching 30 years. I have taught all grade levels k-8 and coached at the HS level. I often say that Kindergarten teachers deserve combat pay. It's like boot camp for school. The best way to get me to retire would be to reassign me to Kindergarten. I love them for the half hour I have them in Library class but I'm always very happy to return them to their Saints (I mean teachers)!

amandabanana
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:02:46 PM
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NativeNewYorker
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:09:52 PM
There are 30 children in our kindergarten classroom. 17 boys and 13 girls.

TheSeabee&Me
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:27:24 PM
Vent away. Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher. Not every teacher is cut out to be a Kindegarten teacher. Your job would give me nightmares -- more the parents than the kids, I think.

ODS is in 7th grade now. He was normally a very sweet student. But, I always liked when his teachers were candid with me. We couldn't help him work on it if he didn't know. Keep laying out those logical consequences. I still remember lessons taught by my very, very patient Kindegarten teacher (who had her eye on me from day one because she had my uncle in her class 13 years before and we're cut from the same cloth!)

Start X'ing off the days until Spring Break!!

momto3hooligans
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:37:01 PM
Oh girl, you deserve to vent and kill a rather large bottle of wine in the process!! Kudos to you for contacting the parents and at least trying to keep the communication open (even if they are not!)
I work with 4yo preschoolers and we are right next door to the K classroom. Needless to say,
there are days I wonder "what is going on over there?!" But most of the time it's pretty tame.
I recently attended a CE class for preschool educators. During this particular class, which mind you was on "Maintaining Order in the Classroom", the presenter went on and on about NOT using time out as a punishment. (if not, then what do you use? You can't keep them from snake or recess!) She went on and on about having an"open classroom" and letting the children go where they feel led, and allowing them to "choose" their areas, etc. I, and several others, sat there wondering how she got anything done in her class!? I know one thing for sure, without assigning stations/work areas/centers to our children, the girls would be in the dress-up/dramatic play area and every boy would either be on the computers on in the lego bucket!!! Seriously, tell me ONE kid that willing goes to the language/writing table?! Anyway, her whole take and philosophy was so liberal and unstructured it left me dazed!It also made me wonder where the state of our educational system is headed!! I'm also grateful I didn't have to pay for the class --- I think I may have asked for a refund!!

Donna in GA
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Posted: 1/30/2013 4:55:16 PM
Ahhh, kindergarten! I could never teach the little ones. I love my high school kids even if they do try my patience sometimes. I have always thought that kindergarten teachers are very special people!

megan_in_pink
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Posted: 1/30/2013 5:06:11 PM
I wish this had a like button I get being a parent is hard. but hear out someone that has gone to school to work with your child...we only want the best for them. Sometimes that means we can bee all nice with hugs and kiss when they do wrong again angin...then get rearawed for it at home.

WillowJane
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:40:30 PM
I agree with everything you say. If my kid continues to make bad choices they have to suffer the consequences of those choices. However, if I could make a suggestion...

    4. When I send an e-mail about a VERY bad choice your child made at school, please acknowledge it with a reply. Ignoring me does not make it go away.


If the behavior is THAT bad, a phone call would be in order. The email would be sent as follow-up verifying the conversation or the lack of response from the voice mail.
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