Love of TeachingWhen I first started to teach I knew I found what I was meant to do.  That was nine years ago.  I am now in a different district teaching and I can't believe the changes. ...

Love of Teaching

When I first started to teach I knew I found what I was meant to do.  That was nine years ago.  I am now in a different district teaching and I can't believe the changes.  Teachers are now secretaries, too.  At least here they are.  I spend so much time doing things other than teaching that I am losing my passion.  What I fell in love with doing seems to be non-existent.  Is this just here and me or is this found in other states also?

Asked on by mjlamonea

10 Answers | Add Yours

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree that the bureaucracy of teaching can certainly drain one's passion.  I teach in a huge school district, and every semester, we have some new recordkeeping, planning, or other non-teaching-related role (in addition to being responsible for parenting our students and taking the blame for our students' poor choices because my district is so afraid of a law suit.

Admittedly, I have found myself becoming rather jaded after 8 years of teaching at the same high school, but what has really helped me focus on my students and my love for teaching them is to not complete mandates that I know have nothing to do with helping my students.  While it might not be possible for you to escape all of the new responsibilities placed upon you, you could consider asking veteran teachers what they do and don't do.  We all know that faculty meetings and district e-mails are filled with scare tactics, and it helps if you have someone who has been teaching for many years to help you determine which action you must take.

I used to be a teacher who did everything by the letter, but as the years have passed, I've realized that I was one of the few and that my students were not any better from my "letter of the law" attitude.  Now, I just try to use common sense and think about what is best for my students, and that has truly helped me enjoy my passion more.

drmonica's profile pic

drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I found when I was still in the classroom that more and more of my time was being spent on generating paperwork, much of which seemed to be needless. It seems that if society values teachers as much as they claim to that the taxpayers would be willing to fund administrative assistant staff to take care of much of the routine paperwork.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

First let me say, I’m sorry for the things you find infringing on your passion for teaching and reaching your students. The passion is our reward because certainly the pay is not incentive. Finding ways that refresh you as both an individual and a teacher might help. Sometimes all the pressures that go with teaching but aren’t academic oriented drains us like a flashlight left on, and we find ourselves getting dimmer and dimmer. Reconnect with those things about teaching that fed your passion. Find a way to rise above those things trying to pull you down. I AM TEACHER HEAR ME ROAR! God Bless.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I agree that there is more data collection and record keeping in classrooms today than there ever was in the past. Some of it I feel is unnecessary, but some of it I actually feel makes us do a betteer job of teaching students. I tell my special education teachers that for the here and now they have to focus on the little gains that are made, however in the long run there is nothing more satisfying than having a young gentleman or lady approach you years later and tell you that you are the reason they are a successful young adult, sometimes it is even one of those "future delinquents" that come back to you!!

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

No one has mentioned all of the time spent with disciplining unruly students. Sooo many kids are sent to public school these days with little training at home on how to behave in public. Paperwork concerning disciplining often exceeds the classwork. I love to teach, but babysitting future delinquents is not very fulfilling.

booksnmore's profile pic

booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

My primary job these days is consulting and I see what you are describing everywhere I go. The teaching world that I entered (and loved!) almost twenty years ago is not the same. I feel for teachers. They are in a very, very difficult position.

lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I am fortunate because I teach in a small private school with minimal bureaucracy.  But what you describe is what I hear about from teachers who teach in public school districts. To some degree, NCLB is responsible for these changes,since record-keeping of student test scores has become the sine qua non of teaching. But I observed these changes even earlier than that, to tell you the truth.  There are other reasons for the problems as well. Teachers are one group of professionals who have none of the accoutrements of professionalism, for example, offices or secretarial assistance.  I imagine the source of this lack has two causes, one being that teachers are paid with taxpayer dollars, and two being that teachers seem to have less respect than any other group of professionals. But it means that teachers are often their own secretaries, administrative assistants, researchers, and so on, tasks other professionals can delegate to others.  I understand your unhappiness, and I sympathize with you.  Making less money at a private school has at least allowed me to maintain my passion.  

msgraham's profile pic

msgraham | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I agree that the bureaucracy of teaching can certainly drain one's passion.  I teach in a huge school district, and every semester, we have some new recordkeeping, planning, or other non-teaching-related role (in addition to being responsible for parenting our students and taking the blame for our students' poor choices because my district is so afraid of a law suit.

Admittedly, I have found myself becoming rather jaded after 8 years of teaching at the same high school, but what has really helped me focus on my students and my love for teaching them is to not complete mandates that I know have nothing to do with helping my students.  While it might not be possible for you to escape all of the new responsibilities placed upon you, you could consider asking veteran teachers what they do and don't do.  We all know that faculty meetings and district e-mails are filled with scare tactics, and it helps if you have someone who has been teaching for many years to help you determine which action you must take.

I used to be a teacher who did everything by the letter, but as the years have passed, I've realized that I was one of the few and that my students were not any better from my "letter of the law" attitude.  Now, I just try to use common sense and think about what is best for my students, and that has truly helped me enjoy my passion more.

  I can relate to what all of you have said.  I am in my fifth year teaching, and I too used to try to do everything by the book.  Of course, many times teachers find that just isn't possible, and we are placed in difficult positions trying to do what is required because usually we're the ones blamed when something goes wrong. Our school system recently bought an expensive software product that was supposed to make our lives easier, but so far has only added more tasks for us because it isn't reliable.  Information gets lost, students' get dropped, and grades do not transfer.  Somewhere in there we are supposed to keep a separate archaic handwritten record of grades and attendance
"just in case" the system fails. 

A couple of years ago, I was talking with a teacher who has taught for many years, and her advice was "Make sense first."  So far that has worked best for my students. 

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

It is not just you and in the states but all around the world. No longer is teaching a small matter that it used to be. Now, teachers have to answer to how well their students do and with new laws and regulations, sometimes it is not up to the teacher to even quit.

mjlamonea's profile pic

mjlamonea | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I agree that there is more data collection and record keeping in classrooms today than there ever was in the past. Some of it I feel is unnecessary, but some of it I actually feel makes us do a betteer job of teaching students. I tell my special education teachers that for the here and now they have to focus on the little gains that are made, however in the long run there is nothing more satisfying than having a young gentleman or lady approach you years later and tell you that you are the reason they are a successful young adult, sometimes it is even one of those "future delinquents" that come back to you!!

  I totally understand all of the record keeping.  Why it is done.  But the fact is, we aren't given any extra help or time to do it.  I am in a Title 1 school and have 12 Title 1 students in the classroom.  I am barely getting any support for them.  It is a very difficult classroom but I try to teach them about manners and becoming a good citizen.  I feel at least I can try to get them to learn that.  Except, my principal doesn't support me in that.  Everything is about the test scores.  My students aren't meeting the standards because I have little to no support in the classroom.  I am at my wits end.  Sorry for the vent! :)

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