Along The River

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 31 2012

Lies lies lies…or untruths

If I could give one piece of advice to an incoming CM, I would say never believe what anyone says about which month is the worst or when things get better. You’ll hear things like “October is the worst month” and “Everything gets better after winter break.” Well I’m here to tell you that for me, these kinds of comments have not predicted anything about my teaching career. January has been the worst month. Things didn’t get better after break. In fact, my mood has gotten worse as I’ve come to realize that things just are not going to get better. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Of course they won’t get better if you think they won’t,” but that’s just where I am right now.

My school is a miserable place. When people hear where I work, their reactions confirm my experience. I get no support. My students don’t respect me. No one is happy. I hate going to work and count down the minutes until the day is done. My second period class is just a madhouse, and not just for me but for all of the teachers. ┬áThere are students in there who have been expelled and gotten sent back by pupil services. Today I thought about quitting for the first time since September.

4 Responses

  1. Gary Rubinstein

    July and August are the best months.
    My first year, the months got worse and worse until about 3 weeks before the school year ended and then the kids started giving me a break — probably because they were amazed I was still standing.

    Hang in there, Caitlin.

  2. anne2011

    I know exactly how you’re feeling! Some teachers at my school told me November was the worst month and that after Christmas break, it all gets better. Right after Christmas break, things seemed to be finally getting better…but that lasted for about a week, and now it’s more similar to how it was in the fall. I also teach middle school, and I’ve learned that ironically, the only predictable thing about them is that they’re unpredictable. Some kids who were great in October are now shouting at me during class; some kids who were telling me to go die in a fire back in November are now starting to turn in a few assignments. It’s very frustrating and overwhelming, especially when combined with the nuances of the school. Hang in there!

  3. anne2011

    p.s. “nuances” is my euphemism. Insert what you will in its place.

  4. danielle2011

    I teach middle school math in a different region, and I feel the same way as you. Though things go up-and-down by the day, overall, things haven’t gotten better for me. I do not know if I can do this a second year, if it’s just going to be more of this.

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