This past school year was TRYING, to say the least. I learned a lot.. some good, some bad. I realized that real-life teaching is nothing like the picture they paint for you in college. You don’t write lengthy lesson plans (unless you’re being observed), intentional ignoring doesn’t work, preferential seating is a joke, and co-workers are NOT your friends.
If I’m being completely honest, this year made me question my decision and desire to be a teacher. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since elementary school, but there were so many times that I just wanted to pack up my things and never go back. I’m not sure if it was the administration, fellow teachers, or the climate of the school I was in, but it was not good for my mental health.
With all the changes made within my classroom, things did not get better. In fact, they seemed to get worse. It’s like with the one kid out of my room, other kids were trying to take the place of the “trouble maker”. A few parents called the principal to complain about me, and one even wrote a letter to the superintendent. Being called into the principal’s office to have that letter read was fun.
In spite of everything, I tried to keep a positive attitude every day. I gave my all, especially during my observations, and taught things in a way that I felt was most beneficial for the kids. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. My principal called me into his office about a month before the school year ended. He informed me that he was going to repost the job, meaning he wasn’t rehiring me. I was getting pink-slipped. I heard that it was common for first year teachers to get a pink slip, but they usually got word from their principal that they were being rehired. That was definitely not the case for me. He told me I was more than welcome to re-apply for the job if I was interested.
I was crushed. I was angry. I was confused. He didn’t give me any explanation as to why he wasn’t rehiring me, and I didn’t ask. I probably should have, but I was so angry at the time. I’m still angry about it. honestly. I mean, there are things that I should’ve done differently, but it was a learning experience for me. I was a first year teacher. I did everything that was asked of me, and I tried to implement things that other teachers and administration advised.
A few days later, the job was posted. I debated applying. I was back and forth on it. I was so angry. If he wanted me to re-apply, why didn’t he just rehire me? Was it just something he is required to say? I felt like a fool. I didn’t apply. Not right away anyway. A week or so went by and I decided that I would give it another go. I applied. I told him the next day that I applied and he seemed happy. All of a sudden, the job was filled. I didn’t even get an interview.
I have decided that I am going to sub this year while I decide whether or not I want to continue to pursue teaching or find something else. I am very disappointed in how my first year of teaching turned out, but life must go on. I’m hoping this year brings my love for teaching back, or at least solidifies that one year was enough..
Have you ever been disappointed in a job you expected to love?