Middle School Teachers, How do you do it

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Middle School Teachers, How do you do it
13
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 10:46am

So I've been subbing because even with two degrees now, I can't find steady stable work in Michigan, which is why I am so moving east. But anywhoo, I subbed for middle school for two days...

WTF??????? Now, I can recall being obnoxious and even a smart mouth but I'll be DAMNED if I was "academically challenged" on top of that?? And then when I was checked, I backed up and sat my but down.

This new group thinks they can get in your face, lie to you, lie on you, aggravate you and then don't know SQUAT. Now maybe this is a geographical problem. Urban setting and all, but wow. I've noticed that the papers are FULL TO THE BRIM with ads for middle school and high school teachers. If I had a secondary endorsement, I'd have jobs a plenty to choose from. But I'm an elementary teacher, less postings and a bigger pool of candidates.

Anywhoo, two days with middle school and I was physically and emotionally drained. I ached all over and woke up yesterday with a headache. Just two days. My best friend worked in middle school for 4 months and just quit yesterday. He told me he felt this way everyday. Again maybe it's particular environments that cause this type of stress but OMG, how do you survive it??

Cause I was so close to saying the wrong things to these children. Yes, I'm the teacher and I'm the grown up I know, but you take the high road, walk away and they keep coming at you. At one point I had to ask some of them to go somewhere else cause I felt if I wasn't left alone, they would get told off. That's how far some of those kids took me. I'm standing there praying in my mind and talking myself down.

I felt horrible that I would even think to treat a child that way but two of them were asking for it and asking for it HARD. But I stayed calm. Mainly because I knew I wouldn't have to see them again. If that was my everyday job, I know I would have slipped and been in big trouble for it.

God bless Middle and High School Teachers. I can say with all certainty, YOU ARE BETTER THAN ME. *bowing down to you right now*

GT38

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 12:38pm

Hi, GT: No dobt you know that the problem is magnified with a sub being in the class, but the MS attitude is there even in the best situations. I think you also know that parents are often clueless and spineless when they have to handle it also. That magnifies the problem for everyone in the classroom.


I think a big part of dealing with it is the engagement and pedagogy. We have to present content in ways that interest them and with tools and resources that relate to their needs and personal interests.

Sherry

 

Avatar for judy_joey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 12:48pm

Thanks for the virtual homage, lol. Talking to my teacher friends, it seems

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 2:43pm

You are right Sherry. But when I walked away, two of the children continued to come at me. I certainly tried to disengage and they would not stop. Which is why I just asked them to remove themselves.

As for the games, tried it and guess what a damn near violent argument broke out because someone asked a highly inappropriate question.

Next, they were allowed to work in groups or pairs to complete the assignments, but 75 percent of the room was far below grade level, so even though they were working, THE WORK WAS WRONG!!!

But I do agree whole-heartedly. The lack of consistency is killing the progress in middle school. Everyone is afraid of these kids. And the admins are not supportive. Keep them in the class at all costs. They are costing everyone else their education. I mean, I had to explain every single little tiny detail because guess what, SO MANY OF THEM CAN HARDLY READ.

Then when I said, you can use your book to help you, it was like, OH we can?? Yes, she didn't say you couldn't. Why are you sitting there with a closed book saying you can't find the answers. Come on??

But again, no consistency. For example, one teacher doesn't care about the uniforms, the other does, so they go to class a, no write up, class b, a write up. Same with eating in class, one teacher says fine you can eat, just clean it up, the other says bring food in here and its a write up, so they eat in one class, bring it to the next and get mad when they're in trouble.

Am I saying middle school teachers should be carbon copy robots of each other, no not when it comes to teaching styles. But when it comes to discipline and policy issues, we're either going to all care or all let it go.

Cause then the parent comes up there and throws a fit, "no one else wrote him up for a uniform violation, but you did" Um, frankly the first person that saw him like that was supposed to say something, give them the written violation and make the other teachers aware that it was done. Don't let them go all day and get to the last class and the one teacher who cares about it writes it up. Which she has the right to do, its her job and in the policy to do so.

It's all around, it's the kids attitudes, home lives, parents lack of involvement and teachers not working as a cohesive team on discipline issues that make middle school unbearable in some places.

I really could have been okay if they were at least academically on point. But you're angry, pissed off, unhappy, rude, adolescent and YOU CAN HARDLY READ. Bad mix!!

And one more thing. You're my absolute online mentor and I love you, but I do get tired of everyone saying, don't let them get to you. These children chose to try and disrespect me and I'm supposed to laugh it off?? And then when I was the bigger person and walked on, i got followed and persued???

Trust me, what I wanted to do and what I did are the differences between sanity and A FELONY!! Yep, that's how far one of them tried to go with me. But the rub to it all, went downstairs and told the social worker, I removed him for nothing. You sat in that room and antagonized me, asking me over and over again what if someone attacked me after school and when you wouldn't stop, I asked you to leave. Then, you ran to someone like a little "chump" and said, "she's picking on me" Naw, believe me what I wanted to do and what I did do, I'm quite proud of myself.

GT38

Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 4:50pm
It's not easy. I'm a librarian in a MS and I teach 2 periods a day. I teach only 6th and 8th grade. I like the 6th graders for the most part. The 8th graders are more trying. It's only a handful in each class but they're a pain. They think they're too cool to work. I don't think they're quite as bad as what you're describing but some of them can be very disrespectful. I wrote a kid up today for insubordination because he wouldn't give me his cell phone after someone threw it to him across the room. I told him if that was his choice them he would have to go to the office and he said he wasn't going to the office, they could come and get him. Nice,huh? So now he's in a bunch of trouble because he wanted to save face. He got ISS for the rest of the day and I hope he's suspended when we come back to school on Tues.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 5:21pm

Hey, G: What I meant was to not let your feelings show to the kids. It's a game to them and if you show them they are getting you frustrated or angry they pour it on more to win the game. You can fume inside. I would be too, but if things get ugly you are the one who will lose.

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 5:52pm

That's the crap I'm talking about. You did something inappropriate and then want to say, "I'm not leaving" well maybe if you had of just handed over the phone, it would not have gone that far....

Ridiculous!! He deserves what ever happened. And the kid who tossed the object too. We're not outside, this isn't a playground. Wow!! Over a cellphone. Why do these kids have all the gadgets in the world and couldn't tell you the dynamics of the phone. (the insides, not the functions) I mean none of us can really, but that's the issue our values are so GONE and yet we wonder why our children are turning out a certain way. That child in that moment sacrificed his education for a cellphone. SMH!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 6:10pm

Moving to my sisters next month to save money. Hopefully moving to DC by Spring. I've had some great interest but had no money to get there so I couldn't interview. Really sucks.

I didn't blow up at the child, I explained myself, moved on and walked away, the kid followed me around continuing to ask the same damn questions. That's when I asked him to leave and at first he refused, but then when he realized I was serious he walked out. I'm just tired of people telling me to take the abuse you know. I know that's not what you meant but that child was trying to provoke me over nothing. I was a sub and up until that point very nice to him. But you want to be annoying and then when I'm done with you, cry I was picking on you, please?? Anyway...

I've been so financially strapped that when they do call, I need the money. But if they call for her class again, I'll just say no, cause encountering that particular child again, I may actually blow it. I'm trying to grow up but even his classmates told him to pull up and he refused. Oh and his reasoning "he's going to be a journalist, so that's why he's like that"

So my target move date is April 1st or sooner. I'm going to apply for my certification in Virginia and Maryland so I can work in DC as well as Virginia and Maryland. I've decided to live near the Metro trains so I can get around better and "gulp" go without a car. Cause I need to save all the money I can at this point.

Maybe its is my location. But it's also lack of support and inconsistent discipline policies too. Thanks Sherry and I didn't mean to jump all over you, I just think women in general take too much mental and emotional abuse from people, that's all. I'm tired of carrying people's baggage for them. Plus that child doesn't understand how tough my own life is right now, you picking at a time bomb and when it blows up in your face, you're wondering why??

Okay, I'm calm!!! Woooosah!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 9:34pm

I'm

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 11:14pm

I understand. The inmates are running the asylum!! It seems like you have to be on a serious dose of stupid to be an adminstrator. Out of the 10 I've had, 2 of them were worth working for. The rest, if I catch them fools on the street, I swear.....

I'm so sorry things are sucky for you too. I guess education is just a hot ass mess and we are the ones who get blamed for it.

But you did remind me of an old r and b song; "Got it all together don't ya baby, Murphys Law sure out get ya" LMAO!! That song is so true.

But what they are doing isn't working and they can see that, just don't want to admit it. All we both can do is keep on trying. And remember, we still have our vacations. For now at least. LOL.

GT38

Go ahead and vent away, we love it.

Avatar for coloradomom2b
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 01-16-2010 - 11:50am

Sherry - I'm with you. Until we have a complete change in education, I'm not sure I want to continue teaching. I'm fed up, and I work in a private school where the kids are well behaved. My husband and I have been talking about having me stay home with the baby. Not sure how we can make that work, but we're going to have to figure it out. Perhaps I'll work part time evenings, babysit during the day, or find an online job.

I'm terrified of public schools, charter schools I've worked at are too political, and my private school has too many pushy parents and leadership without a backbone.

When I told my husband I was 'done,' I felt so much better! A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. (only to be replaced by money issues! LOL) I'll probably apply for a couple of places that I'm willing to work at and see what happens, but I don't think I'm going to freak out if I don't get a job.

Feb 09 Siggy

Feb 09 Siggy

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