Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Why I Quit Teaching/Going Back to Grad School Was The Biggest Mistake of My Life

  • It started with a dream...however the dream is not the reality 
    • You can't teach whatever you want
      • For example, sex education is scripted, and you can't veer from it despite sex education being one of the most important and applicable things you can learn in school
    • Kids don't know how to make goals outside of what they've been taught (e.g. career, passing standardized tests, etc.)
    • They don't have metacognitive awareness to say what they want to learn because they've never been asked that question before 
      • I wanted kids to know that learning is lifelong and not just a thing that exclusively happens in school. I wanted them know that they can learn to do anything at any age like how I learned to ride a bike and swim as an adult. That was what I saw in my dream. However, when I posed this topic to kids in real life, all I got were blank stares.
  • Why I wanted to quit originally (Fall 2017-my first semester of grad school)
    • I hated what I saw in the classroom
      • Kids' needs not being met
        • Students visibly upset because she couldn't copy what the teacher was writing fast enough
        • Fights between students
        • An extremely needy student who hung onto me
      • Inattentive teachers-not trying to help you, a new teacher
        • Waiting for you to fail
        • Not wanting to develop relationships with you
      • A teacher going off a student simply for refusing to put on his coat when the weather wasn't even that severe
      • Worksheet after worksheet
        • One student wanted to break the teacher's printer to stop the worksheets
      • Bored students
    • Grad school was boring
        • All the "best practices" videos we watched were of well-behaved white children
        • The elementary curriculum was so easy for me. I didn't understand why my classmates were so confused about everything.
        • I spent the majority of my first semester in class doodling. 
  • Why I changed my mind (Spring 2018-second semester of grad school)
    • I finally opened up to my advisor and professors about my struggles and started making peer connections in the program.
    • As a result, I was paired with a great teacher with 40+ years experience. In addition, I had another student teacher with me. However, the placement was at a practically all-white school with richer students, meaning there were way less challenges. I wanted to work with more diverse students. 
  • What I learned in student teaching (Fall 2018)
    • You have to scare kids into submission, and I was not respected by students.
    • While the students were challenging, I had amazing coworkers. They were super supportive and friendly. 
    • You can watch the video below for more information.