I hate teaching

seriously. all of you people who were thinking “karen/max will spend this year teaching and she’ll realize how satisfying it is and how much she loves it and then she’ll have a career and a job and the rest of her life sorted out” you can just climb back on your magic carpet and take a ride through your fantasy world because teaching sucks.

it’s difficult and I’m not good at it and I don’t get any sort of satisfied feeling when one of my students actually grasps a concept. I feel relieved that I can now stop the lesson and go do something interesting. the only thing I have going for me is patience, and I don’t even have that with some people (one guy I actually physically hide from when he comes in so that I don’t have to tutor him, I just can’t handle it). I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t teach reading to people because I never was taught how to read so I have no idea how a normal person learns. I can push my way through an algebra lesson but even then my students spend the majority of the lesson confused. addition and subtraction? forget about it. I cannot sit for an hour and watch you carry ones and borrow from zeros. it makes me go crazy and then I can’t sleep at night because I feel guilty for being such a horrible teacher. I know that I am a bad teacher. I am one of those teachers that knows the material but can’t communicate the information to anyone else. or that assumes that something is common knowledge when it isn’t. I’ve had those teachers and I hated them and now I am one.

I do, however, like my job (now you’re saying “how the crap does that work?”). I like my bosses, the brothers. they’re nice and fun and actually interested in my well-being and normal not just nosy and overbearing like the nuns tend to be. bro bob complimented my for being able to do everything he asks of me. I told him I’m really good at faking like I know things. he laughed and gave me more work to do. he always asks if I like what I’m doing and if I’m happy with my job and he’s actually interested in the answer, like if I say no he doesn’t have me do that task anymore. I learn a lot from the brothers about how to interact with people. I like the students and clients that come in. I like talking to them about their lives, I like hearing their opinions during our reading group discussions, I like learning about why they came to Mercy Connections (or the US) in the first place, I like encouraging them to keep going. they’re very cool people. I like the other people that work there, Ms. Lee makes me crack up, Essie and Ron are totally nuts but in a good way, Annette speaks spanish with me and compliments my eating habits, Mary Ann and Laurena work constantly without any regard to what the crazy white people are up to now, Dorothy and Donna back in their cubicle giggling and then yelling at me to come see what’s so funny.  I like having projects and completing them.  I like learning new skills.  I like when the students bring food for each other to share and when they help each other out.

basically, I like everything but teaching.

37 Responses to “I hate teaching”


  1. 1 Beth October 2, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    So do you have a list of – What I could do when I grow up? And then as you see them not fit you cross them off?

  2. 2 Leah October 2, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    whoa, I didn’t know I was supposed to totally LIKE my job. Now I feel like a total failure. I only like parts. Parts really suck.

  3. 3 phampants October 2, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    don’t worry. i love the kids; just not the teach part. what’s worse is the fact that i have to lesson plans. btw, i only lecture once a week. how am i to complain like you. :-P

  4. 4 Leah October 2, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Did you know you can fly from KC to Columbus on Skybus for $20? How far from Columbus to Cincy? Do you get a real seat, or do you have to stand and hold on to something like on a crowded subway? I’ve been sick and searching the net for info to entertain myself :-) Found that one on airfarewatchdog.com.

  5. 5 deeb October 2, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    I also don’t really like teaching. However, maybe you shouldn’t rule out education entirely. You can do what Beth suggested (which I think is a good idea) or do the opposite: List out the parts of the job you like and parts of other jobs that you like and try to match them to actual job postings.

    I usually also look at the people around me and try to figure out if I would like to do their jobs (the good parts and the bad parts). I do this all the time. That’s one of the reasons I went back to school, the jobs I saw that sounded good to me preferred candidates with a master’s degree. Also, read job announcements and notice which ones catch your eye. Oh, and there’s always dumb luck! You might just fall into the perfect job environment.

  6. 6 Cali October 3, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Just for the record, I was pretty sure you were going to hate teaching. Seeing as you always describe things in the most concise way and then expect me to be smart enough to get it the first time. Lucky for you I am so clever!

    Still thinking about Christmas. Will there be a tree? Do I not get a present if I don’t come?

  7. 7 AJ Burke October 3, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Don’t go to law school. But if you do, come to Portland and live with me.

  8. 8 nb October 4, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    ok your description of yourself as a teacher is exactly like Pop, so now you have turned into your grandfather. Yikes.

  9. 9 mlh October 8, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    Well, you should try to teach some little person how to write M over and over and over and over. up, down, up, down. Never going to get it. Moved on to A this week (second letter of her name). Up, down, across. We make a line of A’s. She says count the M’s. Just like last week and the week before. Never going to be a teacher. But hey – 5 days of real girl pants with no accidents!

  10. 10 phampants October 10, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    btw…it took me 4 hours and 3 Monk episodes to do a 10 slide powerpoint lecture for tomorrow. balls!

  11. 11 don December 7, 2007 at 1:07 am

    I quit teaching after 5 years of misery. Going into sales. There are other professions out there for people who are miserable in their profession. When I knew it was time to quit was when I started getting jealous at guys in Barnes And Noble, when I didn’t even know what they did, but I knew it wasn’ t teaching. lol. 1 more week, and I’m done! :)

  12. 12 h April 15, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I thought I’d try teaching because:

    1. I enjoyed training new employees at my previous jobs

    2. I had been working as a temp in an analytical lab for 3 years with no definite plans to be added to the regular payroll (but it was a GREAT company to work for, even as a temp, which is why I kept hoping..)

    3. …As everyone says, “You get summers off!” …Backpacking is one of my hobbies, so with summers off, I could go on some great trips.

    At present, I am either miserable, depressed, or relieved (if it is a Friday). I feel that I went into teaching for the wrong reasons. That is, teaching was never the “dream job” that I woke up every morning hoping I’d get to do one day.

    Don couldn’t have said it better when he said, “I knew it was time to quit when I started getting jealous at guys in Barnes & Nobles when I didn’t even know what they did, but I knew it wasn’t teaching!”

    I arrive at school crying because I have to be “there”. Today, I even left my 3rd period class from hell so I could take a break in the hall for 5 minutes, because I just couldn’t take it. In any other job, I would have been fired, but unfortunately, I’m an 8th grade science teacher and science positions are supposedly hard to replace, so I don’t think it’s even possible to get fired.

    Only 35 more days left (and 7 more sick days left!) and counting until I can work with adults again.

  13. 13 Serkach May 8, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    I totally agree. I had great teachers when I was in school. But also I was a good student. Now, even those 5th graders dare questioning my style and tell me what to do while they are violating all the rules in the classroom. I hate being told my principal and students what to do, I hate waking up to go to “work” that early (I would easily wake up early for something I would like), I hate to think how that day will pass.

    I like science, but I can’t handle teaching. It’s a totally different career! Knowing your core area never means you can manage a class full of kids who are drama queens.

    Labs are another problem. My class is also the science classroom. And I have no break (except once a week) between my classes to setup labs, so I end up with doing a few activities/labs a semester.

    I wish I could just be the lab manager.. I hate teaching.

  14. 14 Sasa July 29, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Gosh can’t believe I found your posting. I am dreading going back to school this year. Am a science teacher too. Get into teaching for the summer break so I can take care of my own kids. Thought teaching is easy too. Wrong reasons!!! Actually I am quite natural at it. But the school is horrible, no money and bad PR. Just real poor support from admin.

    Pray for me I just told them I won’t come back this year. Looking hard for lab jobs. I want to be ALONE.

  15. 15 Techy Teacher August 7, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    I totally agree with your article. I really hated teaching and after 2 years and 8 months I left that profession. I felt totally unappreciated. I came from the IT world to make a difference for these kids. I had gotten to the point where I though money isn’t everything and when I leave this world I would like to be remembered as having made an impact on someone’s life. However, the administrators and parents were total idiots. The administrators were intimidated by freaking flys and the parents didn’t care much more for their kids than a hobo would. I left and never looked back! I realized that the old saying is true: “Those who can- do, those who can’t -teach.” I’m much happier being back in IT again and get more accomplished than I ever did in teaching. Guess my social impact will be reduced to HOSTS and volunteering for at risk youth programs.

    • 16 Sick City May 8, 2009 at 6:19 am

      I didn’t even get through the teacher training. The curriculum was just cultspeak, had nothing to do with teaching maths, history, reading, general knowledge. The teaching staff themselves are assholes, and the principal was just pure fucking evil…. and yes, they were extremely stupid, even for people.

      Are you a man? They called me a pedo on the first day, not directly but implicitly, and it just kept going on…

      Whatsmore after mastering the OBE curriculum, I couldn’t find almost anything skill-based in it, and was convinced it would dumb the kids down, so I researched the history of education and man I am glad to get out of this one quick enough.

      Putting a kid in an institution like that is like throwing an animal in a goddam cage–they just go psychotic and all the teachers threaten them to conform then try and be all touchy-feely to relieve whatever damage they’ve done, BUT IT DOESN’T WORK.

      I reflected and realised all the teaching methods used on me in the education system made me stupid and wasted all that time, there is no way in hell I’m putting my kids in that place. I blocked all the abuse and deprivation of those teachers out of my memory, and it all came rushing back when I discovered what they were doing.

      Kids killing each other with guns? Committing suicide (much more frequent)? Attacking their teachers? Getting molested?

      Doesn’t surprise me.
      I’d rather mow lawns and lay pavement, at least I’m doing something productive.

  16. 17 Susan August 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I am right there with you sister! I HATE it! I have tried for 6 years to talk myself into liking it. I recently finally faced the reality that not only do I hate it but I should NOT be doing it. It’s a disservice to the kids when you hate it. It is hard to be good at something you don’t like! Don’t feel guilty, just find your bliss and move on!
    As far as the summer off thing, would you rather have 2 happy weeks of vaca or 14 weeks of miserable dread knowing you have to go back to something you detest? Just MHO.

  17. 18 Susan August 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    LOL. I agree with H. It’s mostly impossible to get fired as a teacher! My co worker is not tenured and is always worried about getting fired. I tell her I fantisize about getting fired…then I could get outta my contract. LOL.

  18. 19 Jaded August 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    I’m in my eleventh year teaching and I always wonder why. Why did I remain in this sh__ awful profession for this long? Actually, my 4-8th years teaching were okay. I taught online and got paid to sit on my can for eight hours talking on the phone, tutoring, grading, etc. No summers off but the money was good. I am in another e-school that is freaking awful. The admin. is totally into herself and could care less about the faculty. My boss is amazing but I think he thinks I could bail anytime. He keeps encouraging me to hang in there and claims it will get better; it hasn’t. Not ever. I plan to leave as soon as I can find a job that pays as well. And except for legal holidays and two weeks’ vacation, we are a year ’round school so I won’t be missing summers off, in case you were wondering.

  19. 20 phampants September 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    i can’t believe i’m saying this but i miss teaching. i dont miss the administration or idiot parents, but i miss the kids. it was fun. after teaching for 2 yrs, i left only find myself wanting to go back one day.

  20. 21 TW October 20, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    I am so damn sick of teaching. I hate just about everything about it. I have taught for 13 years now, primary grades. I am so ready to be done but feel totally stuck since I need the money. What else can I do? Going back to school is out of the question since I am in terrible debt with student loans. I have a masters degree. I’d love to teach preschool but who can live on $11 on an hour? If anyone has career ideas for me, I’d be grateful.

  21. 22 Cynthia December 12, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Hallelulah! I am SO glad to have found this site – I don’t feel so alone. I have taught for 7+ years and, like others on this site, am really really sick of teaching. But what can I do? I’m trying to find another career, one that doesn’t demand 12 hours a day. I’m scared, though, ’cause I support my husband who has cancer and my severely retarded daughter. I can’t just quit, but on the other hand, teaching has become really excruciating. Does anyone know of good job/career advice websites?

  22. 23 Cherie January 11, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Gosh, so we all feel the same way. With three kids and a mortgage, how on earth can someone get out and earn the same money or even better?
    What other careers can teachers do without having to retrain?

  23. 24 Anna February 21, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I hate it too. Glad to find this site. Tired of all the sites where people say teachers complain too much, or worse– I hate those sites where teachers go on and on about how hard it is, but they still love it.

    I think it’s masochistic. I teach as an adjunct at a college. I’m bleary-eyed right now from grading student essays, and I still have more. The workload doesn’t end. There’s no health insurance, and the pay is dismal. I definitely want a normal job. Regular hours.

  24. 25 Ronnie February 22, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Wow, okay, so you feel like I feel except I teach 1st Grade. I am tired of teaching and someitmes I feel like I suck at it. The kids are tiring though, I am not enthused at all and it is like dang, when do we have another break cause I am ready. I don’t like planning, dealing with the kids, and meeting deadlines. I hate it. Teaching is okay in that you have vacation time, other than that, its a lot of work man. So are you still teaching. Gotta know since this article was like in 07.

    Ronnie

  25. 26 Katrina February 26, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I am a first year teacher and absolutely HATE it! I dread every moment with high school kids. They lack responsibility, accountability, aspirations…you name it. I hate when mommy and daddy call me up because their spoiled kid is failing my class when the reason is because he/she doesn’t do homework. I hate when they say, “what can we do about it?” Well, for starters…make your kids do his/her homework! Catch a clue!
    I teach science and I am way too overeducated for high school teaching. Stupidly, I got a Master’s in Education and regret it tremendously. I fear I am not qualified to do anything else without going back to school, but I already owe $80,000 in student loans! I am on the 30 year plan to pay it all off with my low paying teaching job! Argh! I am frustrated to no end.

  26. 27 shiny8 April 20, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you everybody for writing!

    I went into music education because I was told I’d be very good by my professors and parents and my friends were also going into music ed. My favorite thing in college was marching band.

    It’s my second year and I am really struggling with liking kids and not being annoyed by them. I feel like the old cat that hates the new kitten. I am very successful according to other people, but they’re probably being nice because they other music teachers sucked and quit.

    I don’t really like them talking to me because they usually ask me if I’m sad or mad and I’m not really proud of them unless they surprise me. I think their personalities are annoying and wasting my time. I am sad and mad all the time because I don’t have enough time or resources to do my job properly.

    The school is in a place I don’t want to be and the building is ugly. I have to work way too hard to get lame results and I am not paid enough relative to my education and how important I am to the school and how no one else can do it.

    In fact, I’m the first to get riffed at my school because I’ve only been teaching 2 years. I hope I do so that it’s not my fault I left.

    If I don’t get riffed, I need to quit, but how?!

    I feel very trapped. First off, I’m at my old high school. My dad has taught the middle school band for 26 years. I will be betraying my community, my students, my parents… it will be messy.

    I also have been envying low end jobs like taxi driving etc.

    I’ve been having extreme thoughts like I need to leave the country or end my life.

    I tried to enjoy the sunny day, but I was so upset about my life I had to do a google search and spill my emotions to people that have the same probs and could possibly give me advise I want.

  27. 28 Anonymous April 21, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I hate it too! I’m a first year and sooooo ready to quit. The only positive thing are the vacations. Luckily I just have an undergrad degree, so I can go back to school and do something else, thank god. 10 more weeks!

  28. 29 elena October 7, 2009 at 5:21 am

    I hate teaching in a school with no leadership, and as result the discipline is terrible. I so want to get out, but don’t have training in anything else, and I don’t have the money nor energy to go back to school. I am actually thinking of moving back home and getting a job in an office. I also hate correcting papers (like most teachers).

    • 30 D Smith October 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      Hi, 10 years and about to sell up after buying in 2007 (England). I should probably break even now and its been a long wait. I have no dependents and 35 year old single women. I have waisted 10 years or at least the last 5. Why should I be bringing up other peoples children? What a career choice! I have a degree from a top UK University. Nobody in the profession gave me the right choices or advice and when I was under extreem stress, people ignored it….so Im out. My friends now have families BUT as I am continiously told I have the HOLIDAYS!! Whippeeef……..do!!

    • 31 mrteachbad December 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm

      Let me tell you, teaching kinda sucks. That’s why, just two days ago, I created a new blog devoted to why teaching sucks. It’s perfect. There is poetry about why teaching sucks and thoughtful commentary. Why not take a peak?

      mrteachbad.wordpress.com

      Sincerely,

      Mr. Teachbad

    • 32 mrteachbad December 13, 2009 at 1:39 am

      mrteachbad.wordpress.com

      We have answers…well, not really answers. But we have poems about why teaching sucks that will make you laugh a little…that’s something.

  29. 33 T January 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I am a teacher candidate here in Cleveland and I am heading into my last practicum placement. I also feel that I will not be a good teacher becuase I don’t have that kind of commanding presence, I am way too laid back and I usually turn a blind eye if I hear some kid swearing or goofing around. I find I too overwhelming with all the expectations, insensitive teachers,know it all teachers, various different needs of students, acting like I care about students infront of other teachers, planning for upcoming days, and taking your work home. I have not had proper sleep for so many weeks. For me there are more negatives than positives. Once I graduate I will not pursue this career since I don`t want to make my career my life I would rather do something more simpler, have a peace of mind and search for the deeper meaning of life. Im outtie!

  30. 34 maria January 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I am not crazy about teaching. I HATE block scheduling; it’s too long. I find it ineffective; you have to find ‘fun’ activities which are ‘dumbed down activities.’ I hate teaching unmotivated students. If parents did a decent job of raising their kids our work would be easier.

    • 35 Anonymous January 28, 2010 at 3:59 am

      29.488 years in and NOW they are telling me that my retirement is not secure? We have added a few kids to your roster, too, just to balance the budget on your back. And you won’t mind that 12% paycut, either, will you?
      One of my classes has so many disruptive students ( 12 Special Ed 22 regular ed)that I cannot get them to sit down. If I raise my voice, they complain, “She yells at us.” and I am slapped with a Be Respectful To All Persons notice. So they do exactly what they want.
      Six graders-they made a list of people they want to kill!!!!!!!!! And the Dean gave them 3 hrs of detention and this happened the week of massive murders.
      And they lie. Especially at grading time when they know they haven’t done a lick of work and don’t want to face the truth with their parents. In they go to the Counseling Office to run their mouths off to the evil Administrator just plotting and waiting to catch something on someone.
      My retirement date is june 2015 and I cry many days going in. I try to take a walk at OUTSIDE the school (close enough to hear the bell and not have to sign out off campus). It gives me strength to teach 5th and 6th period by getting away from that cruel and horrid place with evil children who are extremely rude, loud, disrespectful, and clumsy.
      Oh! I used to LOVE teaching. But let the secret out — Parents-your kid might be having sex in the bathrooms at school.

  31. 36 firsty January 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    This is my first year teaching. I have a BBA and am a career changer. I was a flight attendant, but quit because I had kids. So, I went back to school to get certified to teach.
    I am teaching first grade and feel incompetent everyday. I started six weeks into the year and my class is made up of all the kids from other teachers classes (that they did not want–they added a 1st grade class to the school). I do not have a commanding presence either. I am not threatening, and I have all the behavior problems. A substitute came in for me the other day, and the kids were 100% better behaved for her. Can you believe that?? I really don’t think I am cut out for it, but I can’t stand the “little miss perfect”, straightlaced, typical teachers that are actually good at their jobs. They are the teachers I hated as a kid. So, I guess I was hoping I could do the job and not be like them. But, as I see it now, they are really the good teachers. I hate it because learning really is boring the way it is presented now days. I feel like all the fun is sucked away from 1st graders…no recess, read, read, read and read some more.
    I want to quit now, because I actually feel the students would be better off with someone else. I love the kids. I wish I had become a counselor. It’s just that I am TOO compassionate..and not strict enough for this job. Oh well. At least I know I can do something else. For those of you that are concerned you can’t do something with your teaching degree..don’t feel that way…there are millions of things you are qualified for…sales/customer service/training/management….you will be surprised at the responses if you put out resumes. And, if you can, become a flight attendant. More time off than teaching, better pay than teaching…and no work to bring home!!!!
    Good luck all!!

  32. 37 topito2 February 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I hate teaching too. It is frustrating. Kids nowadays don’t have too much intellectual capacity, which makes it difficult to them to learn concepts and apply them in real world problems. They can’t face that reality and then say: “Mr. So and So doesn’t know how to teach! That’s why I can’t learn”. Kids and their parents prefer to think that than accepting the cruel truth: kids don’t have too much brain material in their heads.


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