Teacher burn out
  • This discussion was created from comments split from: Rant - $270 fine for running a red light on a bike, really???.
  • thanks.

    Although there are far fewer bikers than peds, bikers are certainly injured and killed at a greater rate far.   

    This stems from being on the road with cars, and it is quite understandable.   

    I feel there a lot of similarities to hard core bikers and people who pursue jobs that they are feel are below them.   Like a HC biker, there are people from fortunate backgrounds who become teachers, social workers, etc.    They feel they are giving the world a gift, "leading by example".

    Like HC bikers, some in these professions feel that they deserve lots of credit for their sacrifice, and are "saving the world".   They after all, are not working in some profession believed to be evil (banking, ie driving a car).    They want and expect rules and laws waived for them.     They feel they deserve it, and often perplexed by those who don't agree.

    It is pretty awesome to watch them burn out, from not receiving the credit they believe is rightfully theirs.   It is pretty awesome to watch them wrestle with the fact that we can't/won't all be teachers and social workers (ie we can't/won't get everything done via bike).

    They have made a choice.   It has consequences.   

  • I think most of these teachers burn out not because they feel they deserve to be treated well because of their perceived self sacrifice. Rather, they are not prepared for disgusting parents; children who have been groomed by their parents not to have the slightest respect for any adult, especially teachers; supervisors who could never teach or control a class telling them "how it should be done"; disrespect from a mayor who thinks of civil servants as "his" servants; teachers' bathrooms that lack soap, and hot water, toilet paper; and a bunch of other  negatives which elude me at the moment. Most teachers I met during my 34 years in the NYC public school system went into the system for altruistic reason (and some merely because it was a job), but they never expected to become rich nor to be so disrespected.
  • morralkan said:I think most of these teachers burn out not because they feel they deserve to be treated well because of their perceived self sacrifice. Rather, they are not prepared for disgusting parents; children who have been groomed by their parents not to have the slightest respect for any adult, especially teachers; supervisors who could never teach or control a class telling them "how it should be done"; disrespect from a mayor who thinks of civil servants as "his" servants; teachers' bathrooms that lack soap, and hot water, toilet paper; and a bunch of other  negatives which elude me at the moment. Most teachers I met during my 34 years in the NYC public school system went into the system for altruistic reason (and some merely because it was a job), but they never expected to become rich nor to be so disrespected.

    but of course.  I think Whynot means the Teach-for-America or the "I have a great degree from xx Ivy League and I'm going to take this job that is just so
    beneath me and expect people to see that this is beneath me and think I'm doing such great things".  As a public school teacher, I hate those people because it's all about their sacrifice and their "leading the way" to "making things better" -- like those of us who actually love our jobs couldn't possibly be leaders because we simply aren't as smart or as wonderful as them.  This is all very off topic.
  • It isn't so far off topic that it can't be brought back easily:

    We need merely point out that one's choices (even if they involve sacrifice for the "common good") don't exempt one from laws, or garner a lot of sympathy from me.

    A similar phenomena can be seen on the other side of the political spectrum: Police and members of the armed forces have hard core members who act as if they should be exempt from laws and receive special treatment, because of the inherent nature of their jobs.

    ...And sympathetic media sources agree with their claims. Such is life.
  • xlizellx said:

    morralkan said:

    but of course.  I think Whynot means the Teach-for-America or the "I have a great degree from xx Ivy League and I'm going to take this job that is just so beneath me and expect people to see that this is beneath me and think I'm doing such great things".



    Fun fact: Only three of the Ivies have graduate schools of education: Harvard, Columbia and Penn.
  • They're overrated.
  • Although I did not go to one of the ivies (though I did graduate from a highly competitive school), I went into teaching at the time of the Vietnam war when many very bright men who had graduated from very fine schools entered teaching in NYC to avoid the draft. I don't believe I ever worked in a school anyone who had that Teach-for-America mentality. Those who do tend not to last very long in the system, though I think Bloomberg made a policy of hiring some of these seven day wonders to work at Tweed and tell everyone how to properly teacher from their "vast reservoirs" of educational experience. In my final ten years in the system, I was my district;s proposal writer, grants management, etc person. I worked with one of these beauties who somehow rose up in the ranks in our district to become a principal, language arts coordinator, and eventually a regional director or whatever Bloomberg was calling them at that point. She was young, taking courses at Teachers College, and was one of the most incompetent idiots I ever had the misfortune to work with in that district. With just a couple of years in the classroom, she thought she knew everything but was really only capable of parroting whatever her professors at TC had said the week before. Is that the type you mean, xlizellx?
  • morralkan said:

     Is that the type you mean, xlizellx?



    Yeah...I've encountered a lot of them.  As well as 22 year olds from Cornell, Princeton, etc. that don't have teaching degrees but somehow are allowed to teach in public schools through Teach for America -- even though certified, qualified teachers want jobs, they are given to these young, bright people.  People who KNOW they are leaving the teaching job in a few years to be something "better".  People who brag about their sacrifices and hardships at cocktail parties and when they hear I'm a teacher say things like, "oh, what are you plans after?"  No.  F you.  I'm a trained, certified teacher who doesn't see my job as charity work but rather as a job that I take seriously and plan to continue until I cannot work anymore.
  • Young teachers tend to gravitate to (and be recruited by) Charter Schools.

    They aren't staying there very long: http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/5156/why-charter-schools-have-high-teacher-turnover

    Is this because they don't have teaching degrees, and/or are disproportinately graduates from private colleges?

    Do our urban schools represent something that is completely outside their prior experience, and cause them to leave because they can't cope?

  • Yup, they cannot cope. Also, I think the DOE hires the fresh blood ivies in a bit to keep the union weak. High turnover, no one sticks around.
  • whynot_31 said:

    Young teachers tend to gravitate to (and be recruited by) Charter Schools.

    They aren't staying there very long: http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/5156/why-charter-schools-have-high-teacher-turnover

    Is this because they don't have teaching degrees, and/or are disproportinately graduates from private colleges?

    Do our urban schools represent something that is completely outside their prior experience, and cause them to leave because they can't cope?



    The short answer is yes.

    A more complete answer could probably be the subject of an academic paper. ;) 

  • Many of the factors listed in that article have been around seemingly forever.    I wonder if part of why charter schools turnover is so high because they have the newest members of the profession, and they have endured fewer barriers to entry than their public school counterparts (ie more of them are Teach for America folks who didn't pursue a dream of being an educator ...they merely pursued what could be described as a "whim").  

  • I know that other teaching fellows who enter from other teaching pipe-lines do not enter into the program lightly or on a whim. What burns them out is the lack of classroom autonomy and politics. The nail that sticks up will be hammered down, as they say in Japan.
  • Doesn't such a lack of autonomy affect all teachers?

    The turnover among all teachers is high for lots of reasons.  Not only is teaching demanding work, but it is often done by young people who are naturally exploring various careers, and what kind of impact they can make on the world.  
  • Fellows and TFA are very different programs .... Fellows actually get training in how to become teachers and get a masters in education to remain educators.  TFA never makes them become certified so they don't.  They have to leave after two years.

    I also think that the hiring freeze over the past few years has made a lot of young people go to charters -- until this year, general education elementary school teachers could not be hired.  And even still, the hiring freeze has not been lifted in Brooklyn or Staten Island.
  • As a teacher gets older, I can certainly understand why a teacher at a charter who chooses to remain a teacher would move to a public school:    

    -the hours are better

    -the HR benefits are better

    -there is the possibility of tenure

    -their is a greater chance that they will have a boss who is more experienced (public school principals seem to have more experience than charter school ones). 

  • Unfortunately, since Bloomberg put his stamp on the DOE, fewer of the public school principals have had substantial instructional experience. In the "old days," in order to possibly be considered for a principal's job, one had to have worked at least five years as an assistant principal. Before that, one had to have had a fair amount of actual classroom teaching experience, That did not ensure wonderful principals, but it sure made it likely that the AP/principal could approach educational innovations with some degree of skepticism. What Bloomberg wanted was principals who would do as they were told and who did not have institutional knowledge.

    Teaching, particularly in the most ghetto schools has always been a very difficult job and new teacher turnover was around 50% by the 5 year mark. One always hears about how the worst schools get the best teachers, but I seriously doubt that. Sure, the test results and better and classrooms are more orderly. Probably most of that has to do with the students themselves and parental support.This is not to say that the students are uniformly wonderful or their parents are a joy ... or that ghetto schools do not have some wonderful students and parents ... but the challenges are far greater in the lower performing schools. I remember a fellow teacher who sent her son to Yeshivah of Flatbush telling me that, from her experience, that our colleagues were far better teachers than the ones her son had at Y of F. When I taught at a Catholic school for a few years in a federally funded reading program, I was really not impressed by the classroom instruction I witnessed there. But ... the kids were better behaved and far easier to teach.

    One more thing: when I worked in some lousy schools with weak principals, I tended to enjoy it more because I had greater autonomy in my classroom. I could do what I thought was necessary and, as long as my class was well-controlled and turned out decent work and scores, the principal nearly always left me alone.
  • Autonomy certainly stems from a variety of causes, I have no arguement with that.
  • Unfortunately, since Bloomberg put his stamp on the DOE, fewer of the public school principals have had substantial instructional experience. In the "old days," in order to possibly be considered for a principal's job, one had to have worked at least five years as an assistant principal. Before that, one had to have had a fair amount of actual classroom teaching experience, That did not ensure wonderful principals, but it sure made it likely that the AP/principal could approach educational innovations with some degree of skepticism. What Bloomberg wanted was principals who would do as they were told and who did not have institutional knowledge.



    The new chancellor -- who actually seems to give a crap about education and not just statistics -- changed the regulation that you need 7 years of teaching experience at least.  
  • Yes, my mother worked as a student teacher supervisory consultant in Farina's Carroll Gardens school many moons ago, and my mother spoken well of her. The problem is that is that the regulations do not kick totally unqualified principals out of the positions they obtained due to Bloomberg's ill-advised policies. (I say "Bloomberg's" because none of his three chancellors would have ever made a step that B. had not sanctioned.) There are still a lot of deadwood and dead-from-the-neck-up principals and APs out there, especially in the  mini-schools Bloomberg created.