i'm thinking it's time to change professions

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sk8enscars, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. sk8enscars

    sk8enscars New Member

    I hate my job. I feel grateful that I have one and for the most part am able to do it... but I just hate it. I teach PreK-8 music in DC and it is soooo not worth it sometimes. I was prepared to work with underpriviledged, neglected children. I was prepared to face the inner city gangster behavior. I was not prepared for the disrespect and disruptions from a bunch of whiny coddled teenagers. Parents think "Oh certainly not MY child..." If they only knew. It's bogging me down. I've managed to keep my fibro pushed away (still always ready to jump in though) and the stress of this job is going to cause it to hit full force which is something I haven't felt in a good 8-9 months. I feel very blessed that it's hidden for that long.

    But today, I feel so depressed... like, put my head down and bawl for hours... my joints are stiff and sore, headaches are becoming more frequent again, my stomach is upset and I'm going through some severe separation anxiety (my husband is in an even worse teaching situation). I think the worst thing I feel right now is this heaviness in my chest. Like, it's hard to get a good breathe but also an emotional thing. I don't know. I'm afraid what I'll do when I get my 6th grade class. I've had them for a week and a half now and have managed to keep the attitude of "I don't really care... " Today feels so different.

    Just needed to get all that out. Hoped it would help. Doesn't really feel like it will.
  2. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    With as much time as we spend at our jobs, it is important that you don't feel total dread. Maybe it is time for a change. Can you start putting together a plan for change? Even making the decision may start to make you feel better and not so trapped.

    It's normal not to enjoy your job 5 days a week, but there's a difference when you
    Hate what you're doing.

    For your health and your mental well being, I'd check into what options you have. Just looking into it, as I said, you may start feeling better.
  3. sk8enscars

    sk8enscars New Member

    Sorry for bringing so much negativity.... Sometimes things just feel hopeless. I had a much better day that I anticipated but my husband's day was still pretty rotten. We are so close to each other... It's impossible to let his problems be his and mine be mine. I miss him so much, even for short periods of time when we're apart. We've been married 2 1/2 years and together 4 1/2 years and we could still spend every minute of everyday together. We're best friends. Sometimes I think that's what makes it the hardest... having to leave each other for 9 hours everyday and face our own scary situations. I know it's all part of growing up but getting this dd certainly doesn't make it easier over time. Most people scoff when we tell them how close we are but I wouldn't have it any other way. Makes me feel bad for the people who never experience that.

    Back to the topic, teaching in DC was never our first choice. We taught in MD for 2 years and decided to move to WV (my hometown) to build a house and find jobs. I'd been incredibly homesick. We started building a house and suddenly there were no jobs. So the house is on the market and we're living back in MD with my in-laws and driving into DC (the only place with teaching jobs the last week of August). We decided the second week of school that there was no way we'd stay after this year. Being a music teacher here and having even a Bachelor's degree makes you overqualified. We want to be somewhere where music is appreciated so we're pushing for Loudoun County Va, which is where we tried last year but they weren't hiring much. It is comforting to know that we're leaving after this year. To make things better, our worst classes will be done mid-January. So really, we're just looking at a few months.

    I don't know. Sorry this is so long. It's just so hard... and most of the problems are because of other adults, not kids.
  4. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    Normally I would read and not reply. But I have to say something to you as you are so young.

    1966 my husband and I both graduated with BS in music Ed. Our classrooms were next door, me vocal and him instrumental.

    He retired after 41 years doing the same job, the same middle school. No aspirations of his own musicianship , merely a love of the students and a sincere desire to teach. Many years were difficult, but the waves come and go with both students and administration. Thus the level of frustration also changes. He truly loved the kids and misses them. Not me.

    As for myself I was pregnant in 1970 and you had to leave teaching at 4 months. tsk, times have changed I know.

    But in the years I taught, my job went from a combo elem/middle to including literally K-12. Exhausting schedule, no travel time and in 3 different schools per day. No time to scrape ice from the windshield. Concerts involving 4 different chorus' plus 3 PTA meetings each month.
    An impossible work load that was like having an IV in my arm that went out of me and not in. Of course always the few talented and driven students, but your situation is a really difficult one.

    By the time I left I hated the job, hated the demands and hated problem kids. And, back then 95% of kids were ok.

    I should never have stayed in that job as long as I did. They totally drained me. I would have been better doing almost anything else.

    In the years my children were growing up I got involved with breeding and showing dogs. I learned the dogs were loving, and I could have made a profession with animals and loved it.

    Perhaps you are in a position like I was: I always had a private studio and a church job, then managed to make the dogs profitable for me. Life was so much better.

    You are young enough to make a change. Please don't kid yourself into thinking a school with a better reputation or more affluence will be easier, each job contains the same rebellious students whose parents defend them to the hilt. I am not in any way trying to step on toes or cause an argument with other posters.

    I just want you to rethink a way to use your education in a job that doesn't ruin you both physically and emotionally. You are young enough to change your avenue.
  5. sk8enscars

    sk8enscars New Member

    Thank you for replying Asatrump... and thanks to everyone else too. It's been a while since I've been here. I forgot how cool people are here.

    That's cool that you and your husband taught in the same school. That's our dream job. I'm pretty sure I love to teach (when I can actually do it)... and I love kids and I love the school schedule. We both even want to further our education and get our masters. The actual act of teaching music is awesome!! It's all the extra baggage. The unruly kids, the incompetent administrators, mean teachers. However, there's a lot of job security in it and in this economy I think the stress of teaching would be less than the stress of finding a new job and making ends meet.

    Anyway! It's cool to see someone on here who understands the music education profession. Teaching music is different from the other subjects. It's especially hard when it's your first year in a school that didn't have a good program. It's play time for the students and planning time for their teachers. Who cares if the music teacher actually has a curriculum to teach.

    We've considered other options. Like opening a music store or something like that. Everything just seems like it'd be more stressful than just sticking with it and hoping the next year will be better. What we both need is to be in a school for more than 1 or 2 years. We're third year teachers. This is my 2nd school. It's my husband's 3rd. I know we won't find that perfect school where all the children sit quietly with their hands folded on their desks (that would be freaky). We want a school that has an administration that supports its teachers. That's what it really boils down to.

    Thanks again for writing. Your job sounded like the one I had last year and the year before. My principal demanded a lot of performances. In the two years i was there I put on 16 full programs (32 if you count full dress rehearsals!)

    Here's hoping for a better tomorrow!
    [This Message was Edited on 11/05/2008]

    Okay I'm editing this... trying to respond to other messages and it won't let me. I can see now what others are talking about.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/05/2008]
  6. Lazy_Susan

    Lazy_Susan New Member

    I'm sorry you're going through this. Do you have a new career ideas in mind? What are your hobbies? I haven't read the entire thread, just your post, so if you answered these, don't worry about it. I'll see it. I sure hope you find a good place where you won't feel like this. I can so relate.

  7. Asatrump

    Asatrump New Member

    Things in common~~~ we all love the kids and the music. The difference in our situation was we stayed in one district, both had tenure there, and the retirement in our state is excellent.

    I would have to say tsk tsk to your hope in finding admimistrative support from any school. From my vantage point they all sit at the mercy of the parents, and most of the parents are at the mercy of their kids. Vicious cycle.

    Gone are the days when a child gets in trouble at school, and gets in twice as much trouble when the parents found out.

    Everyone must pick their own street to walk down. For my husband staying in the exact place he began was his choice. When my last child was in high school I started subbing for music only, but any music any level. I found I much preferred the high school kids, of course I had some gray hair and kids of my own. Yes, I willingly walked into bands with 85 kids etc.

    One story just for you on the lighter side.. the first day I subbed for high school symphonic orchestra I had them tune..... ack, some violins actually needed help tuning. But basically they played about a level 5. Eight measures into ???? and stop. Repeat... stop.... ask basses to please play the same 8 measures...... all high school boys playing: let's screw the sub. Stinkers tuned their A strings to B flat... caught it immediately and for years after that it was a piece of cake. But I was older, wiser, and better equipped emotionally to handle them. I started teaching at 22 and was barely older than the students. A totally different scenario.

    In my state either 30 hours or masters is mandatory, you have 3-5 years to get them to continue teaching. So be very sure before you invest more of your energy that this is really what you want to do. No guarantee that changing jobs will make it easier.

    I commented to another vocal teacher at my grandsons elementary concert last year.. my words to her were : hey Sue, next year let's offer to tune the strings before the performance begins. She looked at me and my obvious dismay and disappointment with regard to the end result of the concert. She told me I should bow down to those teachers.. she teaches inner city, schedules concerts during the school day so it doesn't require getting the kids to return in the evening... and even then most of them skip it. I could never tolerate those actions, she is a calmer, less driven person. Her attitude is: whoever shows up is fine... I would want a chopping block for heads to roll, have no patience with ........ well basically anything less than a best possible effort.

    You need to further prepare yourself emotionally if you plan to continue in teaching and even moreso inner city schools that are out of control. Tears are not going to help, and if you have fms your body will react strongly. There is no ON/OFF switch. Once you sign the contract your are committed.

    Currently I am trying to offer emotional support to an ex student. Although she graduated #13 out of 917 she had no talent musically and I merely worked with her for private lessons. Fine because she wanted to be a Spanish teacher. I told her then.... WRONG.. I told her she did not have teacher instincts or abilities to communicate and that she was headed in the wrong path.

    She went ahead, trips to Spain, masters. I saw her give my grand kids their first swim lesson as she was a previous swim team member. They got in the pool and she said: what do you want to do? ackkkkk, not words that should come from a teacher. Logical points to start and give instruction, etc. etc. I saw her in action and thought nothing but trouble lies ahead. she simply does not have the instinctual, logical thoughts a teacher needs, nor was she capable of any kind of discipline.

    She is now teaching and signed a contract until January. She hates it, they are killing her, and she is not communicating with me. I certainly would not put her in the position of saying I told you so..... but she has to see an exit followed by different roads and choices. Soon she will contact me for advice. She already told me Mrs. ***** you were right, I should have not picked teaching.

    Good luck. Make good decisions, ones that you can live with 25 years down the road.

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