• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Negative Remarks



Why is that you think when I discuss the possibilities of becoming a teacher with others whom are teachers whether they be family members or not; it seems I always get negative remarks like, Are you sure you want to be a teacher? There is so much work envolved from grading to quizes to lesson plans? it's not an 8 to 5 job...... and so on. It frustrates me because everyone is so negative, could it be burn out on their part, or is it that I'm just new to this, bushy eyed and excited like they use to be. It seems like so many are literally bitter at my excitement. I'm so confused.


don't worry

I am a special education teacher and I love my job! Sure, everyday has its challenges, but I knew that coming into this field. The highlight of my day is when one of my students learns something new or finally catches on to a skill. Maybe your family and friends just want you to know what to expect. I'm sure that they still enjoy their job. It really wouldn't matter what career path you choose, because there are always obstacles and challenges and up and down days in any career. Take heart, teaching is a wonderful career choice.


Ignore them!

I'm a second-career teacher as well. (Well, not that I had much of a career as a secretary but still...it was a big life change.)

I'm in a first year as a teacher, and it is the hardest thing I've ever done to be honest. But it's also the most fun, most rewarding, most satisfying thing I've done with my life. Sure I don't get to leave work at 5pm and leave it until the next morning, but I finally feel like I have a CAREER that makes a difference rather than just a job that pays the bills.

Every job has its negative sides, but I don't think you can find many jobs out there that are as satisfying and rewarding as teaching.


You will always get the negative remarks. But, you sound like you've got a good grip on the origins of them. It's true that it's not an 8-3 job like so many think (maybe that's why some are negative!) I think many people go into teaching with completely wrong expectations and get a dose of reality.
I taught 6th grade for 4 years and absolutely loved it. If you have a genuine love for teaching and kids then you've got the biggest part covered.
I will suggest, however that you also make sure you know how to budget your time-maybe a weekly schedule. And use other teachers (the ones that love their jobs and know what they are doing!) for suggestions. I was never afraid to ask someone how to do something better.
Don't let the fears of others dictate your inspirations. There are so many kids out there that need teachers that care.


New Member
reasons for remarks

I've taught for many years. It's gotton harder in terms of having to meet expectations like standardized tests, documentation, etc. It's less fun than it used to be when teachers had more freedom to select our lessons and even develop our own curriculum. Many of us who have taught a long time grieve over the loss of teacher creativity as we're expected more and more to teach from scripted programs that allow little deviation or creativity from the teacher. The pressure on everyone due to testing is enormous, and administrators are more in the position of wardens than facilitators in many cases for fear that their campus will not score high enough--so they watch the teachers for faults. Parents are more uptight than they used to be because of the testing as well. Those of us who taught in more relaxed and happier times may still love teaching but because we know it is no longer the career we enjoyed, we feel a need to warn those entering it that it isn't as easy as it may look, that there are more restrictions that you may think, etc. If you are expecting to enter teaching and do all sorts of wonderful things and change lives, I suppose we're warning you that you might be frustrated by all of the restrictions that teachers work under now that weren't there even 15 years ago. We want you to enter the profession knowing that it's not about having the summers and Christmas off, and that you may not be allowed to teach kids the way you think is best. If you are aware, then maybe we won't lose you after 3 years the way we lose so many new teachers who thought it was going to be fun to make bulletin boards, that they could reach the difficult kids with special activities (that may not be in your scripted lesson plans now), and that they'd have holidays with their own families (except for the 3 weeks of summer inservice and the days you spend of your holiday grading papers and going to school to catch up on documentation!). There is a lot positive to be said about teaching, but you'll hear less of that because we want the new ones to come in with no blinders on, ready to buckle down and work (because many times we've been left to keep things rolling when they weren't willing to put out the effort) and to stay in the profession long enough to really invest their efforts in learning (and we won't have to keep training new ones!). Now, that sounds a little selfish, but the truth is that the students and your coworkers will all be better off if a teacher who enters the profession works hard to learn, carries her own weight, and stays long enough to be an expert in her area. We've had many--many--who didn't last even 3 years...and that's hard on the kids, us, and those infamous test scores that we get blamed for every year!


New Member
Negative comments

As a recently retired teacher, I have given the same comments to others. I know how much requirements have changed in 30 years and to complete records well takes a large amount of after school time. In my area, a large percentage of new teachers last five years and move on to other jobs. I sense your enthusiasm, however, and hope you will at least listen to all views objectively. People who find a good fit in grade level and school should give it a try. Likewise, those who don't enjoy it should get out!


Full Member
I really appreciate your comments

Oldie, no one could have laid it out better than you!

I am a second year teacher. I studied business administration in college, and was in Marketing/Management for 4 years. After my position was downsized, I began to search for a job in my career field, but in a failing economy, there were none. After going to interview after interview and being told "we're looking for someone else to fill this position", I decided that I'd had enough of the rat race and needed a career change. So I chose education. I completed college hours in elementary ed, completed an 18 month certification program and am now a certified elemenary teacher.

When I began teaching, I was ostracized from the beginning. There are many educators who went the traditional route to become a teacher, and they resent someone like me who comes in "off the street" and can make just as much (if not more) than they do, and they've been at it 5+ years. I had no support from my grade-level team. The only person who supported and encouraged me was my principal and in the end, that was all that mattered. Information would be purposefully given to me at the last minute, and while these teachers had the knowledge up front and could be proactive, I would always be behind. I had to endure the gossip, snickers and snide comments from other teachers. What was worse was observing these veteran, "highly qualified" teachers gossip IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN about the students and their parents, academic performance and behavior. I saw teachers that spent more time in the halways talking than in their classroms teaching. Yet they wondered how come the school was on the bubble for AYP. After one year, I was disgusted with the school and public education itself.

The contract-administrator in me is FURIOUS with the red-tape and beauracracy of public education. I take care of my paperwork FIRST so that I can get it out the way and TEACH. It takes a lot of pre-planning and organization and you have to find a system that works only for you. However, there aren't enough hours in the day to do BOTH! I've spent many late nights, on into the wee hours of the morning getting the work done so that I could go in and give me students my undivided attention. And the thanks that we as teachers get for our job is a salary that is significantly lower than that of a physician, attorney, or executive...who put in as many hours in education/trainingas we do, but we get paid less! Is there any wonder why teachers are burned out?!

But the nurturer and protector in me makes me want to "suffer the slings and arrows" of public education because I realize that these kids need someone who cares enough about them and has the tenacity that it takes to make a difference. I have come home in tears many evenings after learning the circumstances and backgrounds my students come from; it's heartbreaking. I've spent many nights tossing and turning, trying to figure out what makes these kids tick so that I can reach them. Then there are the times when you're teaching a lesson and you're helpless because your students just don't get it. And, you may have found a strategy or materials that work, but an administrator gets wind of it and makes you stop, and when you try to explain, they won't listen, because public education (especially here in Texas) has become so test-oriented that deviating from the script results in you getting written up and putting in calls to your union rep.

I truly believe that it's not that these teachers want to project their negativity towards you, they are just giving you a dose of reality so that you understand that teaching is a very stressful, demanding job.


Teaching is a disappointment

I can honestly say teaching has been a big disappointment.

Nothing can prepare you for how it REALLY is!

Another thing you will need to be prepared for, is how HARD it is to get a good job in a decent school. The only places jobs are plentiful are in CRAPPY districts!


New Member
Educators can be very defensive.

When I was in college (the first time -- long ago), we looked at the Ed Dept. as the place where you went to learn how to cut flowers out of construction paper for bulletin boards. When I returned for my teaching certificate seven years ago (after a career in law), I realized the Ed Depts still suffers that fate. At least they think they do. During the time I was enrolled in education classes (maybe two years total), they increased the graduation requirements 4 times!

So while we've all experienced those increased demands, and can all agree that this is perhaps the toughest job we've ever done (beats law school hands down!), for some reason we still believe folks think we work part-time, lounge around all summer doing nothing, and make too much money for so little effort.

We need to get over the low self-image. If you find meaning in it, it will excite you and motivate you. Regardless, it will exhaust you. And if it doesn't work out for you, you'll find your way to the next thing in life and you'll still be the better for it. Have fun!


New Member

I can not agree more with you..you have summed up wonderfully..been teaching spec. ed. for 19.5 years...I am ready to scream with the nonsense..I want out..I love the kids but it is an impossible task to live up to grand notion that these administators have that these kids can pass these state tests..it is horrible..we are just jamming rubrics, 4 square, 6+1 down their throats..I want to choke and I bet the kids do to..Education is more than test scores..It is such a pity..


To Tell The Truth

I Am A Fifth Grade Teacher And The Comments That Others Are Giving You Is Well Founded. I Have Had A Passion For The Children And Their Best Intreset Since As Far As I Can Remember. The Problem Is That The Education System These Days Does Not Have Children's Best Intreset At Heart. Education Has Been Overtaken By Politics And Burocracy.

Your Excitement Is Naive And Will Soon Be Cut Short. All The Information That These People Are Telling You Is Reality And It Is Important That You Take Heed.

A Few PosterS Had Positives To Say, But That Is The 5% Who Land Their Dream Position. The Following Is The True Way Of The World For Most Incoming Teachers.

1. You Do Not Get To Pick And Choose Your Grade Level. Senoirity Wins And The Newbie Gets The Crap Grade Levels.

2. You Do Not Get To Pick And Choose The School That You Work For. For Ever School District Out There. You Have The Few Schools That Are Beautiful And Great An Lovely, The Majority Are Crappy. The Newbies Get The Crappy Schools.

3. These Days The Children Are Raising The Parents. Parents Have Loss All Control Of The Children Ad The Classroom Behavior Mirrors This.

4. Teaching Is A Luxurary In The Teaching Profession. After Paperwork For Boss, Taking Money, Discipline, Meetings, Ect. You May Get To Teach If Your Lucky.

5. Testing Dictates Your Ever Teaching Move. You Don't Do Anything But Drill,drill,drill For Testing.

6. Social Life---"You Got Jokes" Your Time Away From School Is Nothing But Grading, Professional Development, Making Test, Or Some Other Work That Has To Make It's Way To Your House Because There Is No OTHER Time To Do It.

These Are Just The Beginning. Many People Go Into The Profession Of Teaching Because They Have A Genuine Love For Kids. I Have Come To See That In Today's Teaching World That Is Not Enough. You Must Love Kids More Than You Love Yourself. What That Means Is That All The Pressure That This Profession Places On A Person Is Havoc On Your Physical, Emotional, And Mental Health.

I Post This Not As A Form Of Dicouragement, But As Forewarning. My Degree Is In Elementary Education, From A 4 Year University. It's Not Like I Am A Person Who Has No Background In Education. Had Been Told These Things Direct And Explicitly In College I Would Have Chose A Different Path. I Just Want To Do For You What Others Could Have Done For Me, Tell You The God's Honest Truth.

teach & learn

Senior Member
Follow your heart

Best advice is to get out there and volunteer and test the waters to see if it's right for you.

Things have changed and it is very hard work, but I still love it!!!

My daughter said that she wished she had $5.00 for every time someone discouraged her!! Not sure if she will head that way, time will tell. I think she would make an awesome teacher, but she isn't positive she will go that route at this moment in time!

Good Luck!


two sides of coin

I'm guessing you posted "negative remarks," because you see these teachers as negative. I don't. I see those remarks coming from people who are positive about you and don't want you to be fooled by what is commonly believed. Society leads non-teachers to believe we have a short day and lots of vacations. It's important that you know we work seven days a week, and bring work home every night. Teachers are telling you this because all of us were surprised by how much work there really is. The enormous workload isn't a myth, because society says teachers are complainers, it's a fact. I agree, you should choose what you believe is right for you. Teaching is a wonderful career, but the hours are long and the energy you'll need to support your students is greater than you can imagine.


New Member
not bitter...realistic

I have been teaching for a lot of years and if I didn't love it so much, I would have quit a long time ago. I am old enough to remember when we could create units of study and the excitement of teaching would be the motivation to keep on creating...HOWEVER, I AM SO SWAMPED WITH CONSTANT DOCUMENTATION AND ASSESSING THAT THERE IS LITTLE TIME TO PLAN AND TEACH CREATIVELY. WE HAVE MOSTLY PROGRAMS WITH ASSESSMENTS THAT TAKE UP SO MUCH TIME. SOME SKILLS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THE GRADE LEVEL. SO WE STRUGGLE WITH THAT ISSUE AS WELL AS THE FRUSTRATION OF THE KIDS. Most teachers that I work with do not leave until 5 or 6 p.m. They have little time for their families due to the fact that they take so much work home with them. In some buildings the teachers go in on Saturday's and Sunday's as well as their regular week. I get up at 4:30 a.m. I am at school at 7 a.m. Most nights I do not leave until 5 or 6. We beg our custodian to open the building on the weekend for us. My doctor said she does not know how any of keep these long hours. I also realize that not all states are alike. If you are one who realizes that this profession is your life and you devote your entire being to it, you will love it. I am not bitter for your excitement. Motivation must come from within. That sustains me and it will sustain you. People need to understand that there will be little to no support from parents or administrators. So if you can rise above all this and keep focused on the children and their needs, you will have a successful classroom.


The Reality

is there is no Teacher shortage - schools system may have trouble getting daily subs (iffy call in and low pay) - the reality is you will be competeing with hundreds - maybe thousands of people for the same job! This is why I tell people not to go into teaching. Finding a teaching jobs is like finding a needle in a haystack. Some people have listened to me - some haven't and have come back to tell me they should have listened. If you choose to spend 4 years or more and thousands of dollars - and then have to sub - you will regret it. My advice is study something that has job availability. The colleges are not telling the truth about how many people cannot get jobs - if they did they would have to shut down their teacher college programs and lose lots of government money. If I had back the money and the time - I would study something else. But now I am financially down the tubes from studying to be a teacher and spending 10+ years looking for a teaching job while subbing and looking for a real teaching job. I am now pursuing teaching English overseas - meaning I have to give up most of my belongings and car - just to have a teaching job - because there are none in my area and in most of the USA.


Full Member
I think there may be some people who are disappointed in their teaching experience because they had unreasonable expectations going into it. If they chose teaching because of summers off or because they thought it would be "fun" then I'm sure they got a rude awakening. Yes, you get summers off, and that's great, but you're paid for the days you work (even if it's spread out into 12 paychecks). As for fun - yes, after 28 years I think my career is fun, but not every day. I have bad days and good days, but no two days are alike and I love that! I've had "good" and "bad" administrators, but I'm there every day for my students, not them, so I don't let them get to me. There are good and bad bosses in every profession. You might try visiting some of the other message boards on this site. You will find MANY posters who love teaching and enjoy its challenges. It's hard work, but so rewarding. I have never once regretted my decision to become a teacher.