Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am not Erin Gruwell

I'm linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays again this week...


I didn't go to work yesterday.

I got up, I showered, I even got to the exit off of I-90/94.

But I didn't go to work.

Instead, I went home, showered (again), printed out a ton of resumes and applied to:
The Latin School
De Paul University
The Larko Group
Lakeshore Staffing
Kelly Staffing
Prime Staffing
Ajilon

I'll probably apply to Houghton-Mifflin again after I type this out.

I feel terrible about it, because I know how many teachers there are out there looking for jobs, but I hate teaching in the inner city.

I don't like carrying my pepper spray in my hand when I walk to my car, not because of the area, but because I'm afraid a student I had to discipline will attack me.

I don't like that a student can make comments about me in class and make me feel uncomfortable, yet I am told not to report it, because it appears "weak" and then they will think that I cannot handle my classroom. Apparently, this is normal behavior here, and it happens to all the teachers. It doesn't make it okay.

I don't like that when a student comes to my defense after a nasty comment is made (just out of my ear shot, but by the reaction, it had to be bad), that student is threatened with gang violence, and I am told to "ignore it."

I don't like that my principal told us not to write up any students for any reason unless we have dealt with it first because "classroom management is your job." I agree, it is my job - if you are late to class, don't have your homework, have your cell phone out, are talking to a friend, cut class or any of those things, I should handle it. If you make me so uncomfortable that I am afraid to walk to my car alone in broad daylight, administration should get involved. NOW. Not after I make two attempts to conference with the student on my own, and call home, and set up a mediation with the guidance counselor. RIGHT NOW.

I don't like that I am afraid of telling my administration I am having a problem in my classroom because I could be fired.

I don't like that I am afraid to say something because I am afraid the students will retaliate.

So I quit last night.

I know I left a lot of good students, and I know I left a lot of good coworkers, but it wasn't worth it.

I know everyone's telling me that its okay, that I shouldn't have taken the job to begin with, that I'll find something better, but I still feel horribly guilty.

8 comments:

Kristen said...

Don't feel guilty. Things will be ok. One teacher to another.... things get .... overwhelming.

Mary Pat Siehl said...

oh my!!! this is terrible. i am so sorry to hear this!! if it were me i would not go back. i would work at starbucks before i could go back.

good luck with finding a new job.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a tough situation! It doesn't sounds like you were getting any support. It is so hard to teach when you have people not ready to learn.

Shell said...

Oh wow, what an unsupportive environment to have to teach in. I don't think I would have lasted long there.

Becky said...

It would be one thing if you were supported, it's a whole other ball game when you're not. You made the right decision. Your safety comes first.

Lisa said...

I'm from Chicago too, and I can only imagine what area you were in.

Head up honey.

Stopping by from PYHO.

Adrienne said...

WOW! When I read the line "So I quit" my eyes got huge. Good for you for following your heart. That sounds like a tough spot to be in without admin support! I'm sure you'll find something! I hope the emails and calls have already started! :)

Thanks for coming by yesterday. I'm a new follower.

Brooke said...

Oh dear! If it makes you feel better, I am sure you WAY outlasted what I would have been willing to deal with. You made the right choice. It's so unfortunate that the kids seem to be running the show rather than the administration. Ugh!

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