Being a student teacher, it’s already a difficult task when you’re overwhelmed, as many new teachers are.
This is where I’m going to post some of the major complaints that I have experienced that’s just pushing me toward a mental breakdown. I hope to have some positives afterward.
I’m learning content as I “teach” my students. It’s a lot to cover in an 89-minute class period. My guide teacher expects me to be a lecturer but that’s not my style. She expects me to lecture, which I do. I understand that it’s the most efficient way to get through material, however, I’m learning the content and that takes up a lot of time, and trying to remember everything. She said it’s OK to have “teacher’s notes” to remind to stay on track, but I’m like, I don’t know anything, so I’m going to have to read from it.
Assessments. Are they learning anything? Can I assess whether they learned what was just presented to them and have them not complain at every second? Guess what kids? It takes work and effort in the world outside of school. How do you expect to get and keep any job where you’re not exerting effort? Practice for my high school students and they don’t even think about it.
Grading. I’m expected to update grades at least once a week, so when I grade all of those assessments, which I read everything they write, add that to learning content, and putting together a PPT or something on the board where students can look and copy notes from, and I need to toss in a video or two because every student learns best in a different mode, I’m more stretched than a stretched Dollar. [I also work, so I’m as good as dead.] Of course we have to check whether they’ve learned what we’re teaching them. My guide teacher argues that we can’t read everything they write, it’s impossible, and think about when I have 5 classes instead of 2. I’m going to have 150 students. She said that they have to adapt or they’re left behind. That’s the reality. We have to get to WWII by the end of the semester; if we spend too much time at one point in time, then we’re going to take it from something else.
I want to take a day off for my mental health but my guide teacher doesn’t believe in those; her logic is, “Suck it up. It’s called being an adult.” OK. I’ve tried being an adult and it doesn’t work. If that’s my only option, you can kill me or I can commit suicide. Either way, I’m not meeting your expectations and I have no other options. It will end my suffering for 60 years.
Expenses. It’s expensive being a student teacher. I’m paying all of these fees on top of tuition. It’s like they’ve never heard of poor college students. How do they expect students to come up with $350 on the fly? I’m at my school site 5 days a week, before first period begins to after school. Sometimes I stay till 7pm because there’s so much work to do, I stay there to avoid wasting time being on the road – that’s a 12-hour workday. I didn’t pass the teacher’s assessment that my university has us doing in order to earn our credential. So the expense will be another $300 to resubmit the assessment, and to pay for the “coach” (one who shows you where or on what you might’ve earned those low scores) is $350 (and I recently discovered that some of the fees for the coach are in tuition). So the school expects to come up with $650 when we’re student teaching (which we don’t get paid for) and we can’t really work anywhere because we’re at our school site during business hours. Most recently, my university changed its policy regarding opening classes to redo the teacher’s assessment. If it doesn’t open, that means I can’t register for it, which means my “coach” doesn’t have access to everything that I submitted. He’s a really busy teacher – day job is a teacher and a PD expert when he’s not a teacher – so his schedule is pretty much committed. So because I couldn’t come up with the money by a specific date that no one told me about, the university changed its policy regarding opening classes for “coaches” and it’s delaying my process. The university’s like, “No, last year wasn’t the time to change our policies for this summer class, no, the year before that wasn’t right, either, no next year won’t be good for us, yep, this year is the year we’re going to change our policy.”
I am cursed and I’ll stay cursed. The universe hates me for something I did in my present life or past lives. I just need something to go my way to give me hope in life. This struggle is almost unbearable and I don’t think being a teacher is worth all of this bullshit on the back end.