What do you enjoy most about your Math Teacher career?

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What do you enjoy most about being a Math Teacher? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Jessica in Oakland, California

84 months ago

I love math and education and so naturally I went into teaching in hopes to marry my two interests. My dream job became a nightmare in the first year. Let's start with the positives. I love the interactions with my students and being able to share my knowledge with others. I have taught a few honors classes where some students are really there to learn and have the same passion for the subject. The summers off are fabulous. If you enjoy working with people, that is also a plus because the job is not so much routine or mundane.

I cried almost every other night during the first year. I couldn't even wait until I got home sometimes and would be in the car sobbing. Some students were so mean and would yell and scream in my face. The discipline was tough and on top of that all the planning to be prepared for the next day. I was overwhelmed by the workload. I would go straight to sleep after work because I was mentally drained. I woked up each night around 1am to figure out what was to be done the following day. I taught 3 different subjects and from my opinion that is ridiculous for a new teacher. I also looked over homeworks, assignments, etc and would go back to sleep around 4am to wake up for work at 6am.

This cycle repeated itself for months. My classroom management improved significantly with the help from books, coworkers, experience. I have taught for four years now and although I hate the disciplinary part of the job, I can do it well. I do not wake up in the morning anymore to grade/prepare. I have learned to do much less, but the work that I take home is still there.

I finally gave up the profession all together this past school year. I resigned my position. I just could not take the workload. I would tell people that I was an entertainer for the last four years and not a teacher. It felt that way because everyday seemed like a show. I was the screen writer, producer, stage hand, and sole actress.

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Jessica in Oakland, California

84 months ago

Continued...

There were 3 different shows to be put on everyday, 5 days a week. Every year I asked to have fewer preps, but in my last year teaching, I had 4 different preps. That was 20 different shows a week, that was it I called it quits. Oh and the weekends that were devoted to planning and preparing was just too much.

I've been fortunate enough to be granted many talents from above in my opinion. School was not so tough for me and I'm used to doing well. It was and is still hard for me to acknowledge that I gave up on something. I'm don't give up easily. I'm sad to the point where I feel a bit depressed. I just don't know what to do with my career. Going into teaching feels like a big mistake right now. I know in retrospect it will be different, but now it does. So many of my friends told me that but I just couldn't hear them. I should have listened. I honestly regret not listening to them.

On a more positive note, I know many many people who love their teaching jobs. I think it's definitely more of finding a good fit. I was naive and did not consider many things going into the field. If you are considering teaching, definitely do your homework and find out everything you can before jumping in. Good luck.

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slumpslumpken@yahoo.com in Riverdale, Georgia

84 months ago

It was nice to see a comment like this.Most people have a great story about teaching.I am considering getting into the teaching field. I will start off coaching first, so I can get used to dealing with kids again. Ease my way back in so I will not have the discipline problems.And knowing how to deal with the workload will come. I am a truck driver and I will tell you that anything you do will not be as smooth as you think.Worked a lot of hours and never saw anything come from it.We wake up sometimes at 12:00am and get off at 4:00pm non stop.Different times everyday and not knowing what time you were getting off.It was horrible do not consider driving trucks as a career. Just joking I don't think you will.Hopefully you will find something and good luck.

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Jessica in San Francisco, California

84 months ago

Good luck to you slumpslumpken. Another tip I would suggest is going into counseling if you want something similar with a lighter workload to take home. As a counselor in school, you will enjoy the same vacations and go through a similar prep program to get the job. However, it offers far less take home work because you don't have to prepare anything. It's also a plus to get to see the children, but not as much contact. I would have so went that route if could do it over again.

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Ruth colon in New York, New York

80 months ago

the comment at I live is at new york

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Stephanie in Township Of Washington, New Jersey

76 months ago

Jessica in Oakland, California said: I love math and education and so naturally I went into teaching in hopes to marry my two interests. My dream job became a nightmare in the first year.
I cried almost every other night during the first year. I couldn't even wait until I got home sometimes and would be in the car sobbing. Some students were so mean and would yell and scream in my face. The discipline was tough and on top of that all the planning to be prepared for the next day. I was overwhelmed by the workload. I would go straight to sleep after work because I was mentally drained. I woked up each night around 1am to figure out what was to be done the following day. I taught 3 different subjects and from my opinion that is ridiculous for a new teacher. I also looked over homeworks, assignments, etc and would go back to sleep around 4am to wake up for work at 6am.
I finally gave up the profession all together this past school year. I resigned my position. I just could not take the workload. I would tell people that I was an entertainer for the last four years and not a teacher. It felt that way because everyday seemed like a show. I was the screen writer, producer, stage hand, and sole actress.

Jessica, I feel I am very much in your same shoes. In fact, I came across this while searching for a job that can utilize my strengths in Math in a way other than teaching. My question for you is: What job do you have now? I am desperately searching for some path that I will enjoy while utilizing my Mathematical mind but without the stress and outside time commitment of teaching.

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MathyForever in Bakersfield, California

75 months ago

This is my first year teaching. I came on here because I wanted to see how many math position there are in CA right now.

My story...as I said this is my first year actually teaching. I tutored math for almost 10 years before I began teaching, so I already had the experience of working with children. Granted these were the kids whose parents were closely involved in their lives and most of them wanted help. Then I spend a semester at a school as an in house tutor I traveled from class to class to help the students. This is were I got my first experience with the students who could care less about school, so I did ALOT of observing in that class. I asked ALOT of question. I watched the teachers as they disiplined the students and I was lucky enough to have worked with teachers who let me do some of the diciplining to get my feet wet. I worked with 3 different teachers that year and then I worked with one in summer school. I made some mistakes in summer school, but I did learn alot (that is a long story for another time).

So, now I do have to say that I feel called to this profession. I now work in a community school in my area. If you don't know what a community school is...briefly it is a school that students go to after they have been expelled from "regular" school. In my case I teach Jr. High and High School (7-12 everyday) and I am a classroom teacher though I do have experience in Independent Study too.

Obviously I do understand that working in this environment is not for everyone, but it is very fullfilling to me. I love the people that I work with (staff and students), so I really hope that everyone has the same opportunity that I have had. What I mean by that is that I hope everyone finds a place where they can be fulfilled, whether that is in the teaching profession or not.

Everyone...have a BLESSED day!

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Abu Adham in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

74 months ago

I teach math since about ten years at my first year usually I asked myself that What I am doing?
All of these students who made me angry and all of these rules which usually have exceptions so I could not controll the students.
I discoverd that if you deal with the students with the way they used to use it with other words as they thinking you can control them well and teach them even make them get heigh marks.
this is a great thing to make the others learn and improve their skills at this moment you feel that you created a valued thing and you will forget any loadwork or hard moments.
mathspider.blogspot.com/
excues me for my language I am not a native speaker

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Doris C in Columbus, Ohio

71 months ago

I have a middle school math and science education degree. I have been subbing for 4 years and feel no closer to a full-time job than when I started. I NEED A JOB!!!! What else could I do with this degree? I cannot relocate because of my husband's job. I live close to portsmouth, Ohio.

Some people tell me to hang in there...the pay is good, but it is not a steady income.

Some people tell me that I should go back and get my master's degree (either intervention specialist or speech pathology-is there a real need out there???)

I just don't know what to do...any advise would be appreciated.

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offshoreEverything in Bedford, Texas

71 months ago

I have a degree in Math and am certified to teach math and I can't get an interview. Meanwhile, they have Math teachers w/o degrees, much less certification. It's all about connections.

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math teacher in San Diego, California

70 months ago

I have a Mechanical degree with a Masters of Education, teaching part time in a private school and I can't get a full time job in teaching.

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Elliot

70 months ago

offshoreEverything in Bedford, Texas said: I have a degree in Math and am certified to teach math and I can't get an interview. Meanwhile, they have Math teachers w/o degrees, much less certification. It's all about connections.

OFFshoreEverything, I am surprised you cannot find a job in Texas and I was really thinking about moving there to get a job. I live in New Jersey and have the same problem. I tihnk i applied to the whole state of new jersey and not one person called me.

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Doris C in Columbus, Ohio

70 months ago

In order to secure a job, you have to know someone connected to the school...or better yet be RELATED to someone connected to the school. I had an interview where both the superintendent and the principal really liked me. When I got the call, the super said that the board wanted/recommended "someone from the district". I later found out that he was related to someone connected to the board. I keep hearing about the upcoming massive retirement....but when?

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jwow23 in Winfield, Illinois

40 months ago

i love this i feel the same way about math and i hope i become a math teacher when i get older its my future

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Mr. C in Springfield, Massachusetts

33 months ago

I just got hired as a high school teacher in an urban school. i am 22, went to school for JUST math (no ed degree) but have tutored professionally for 5 years and subbed for 2 months. i even taught summer school independently at my sub school. Based on this, I thought i had a good connection with my sub school and they had THREE openings for math teachers, but they didnt even interview me. To follow what someone else above said, it really is all about connections and being proactive. After becoming certified, i applied to over 10 schools in my area through schoolspring and did not get one SINGLE interview. two weeks into the school year (basically i had given up on the idea of teaching for this year) i got a text from my cousin, who had taught in NYC for almost ten years. She had recently moved back home (i honestly didnt even know) and got a job in an area high school. She told me they needed math teachers and had been using subs for 3 weeks thus far. i sent her my info and she gave it to the right person. that got the interview ball rolling, i did a demo lesson which felt just like summer school and went very well, and i got the job. so although i havent started, i do appreciate the above advice and would just like to add my story here. Hopefully having my cousin, an expereinced teacher, in the same school to help me should get me though my new first time job but putting in a lot of time seems like a central theme and honestly to me the kids and the subject matter not to mention the salary are worth my time. its all the teacher stuff: gradebooks, organization, planning, discipline, and authority that worry me. i feel like i am going in blind and hope someone will show me the ropes because the math and the kids seem to come natural to me. Hope this sheds some light...

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Alice lewis in Houston, United States minor outlying islands

18 months ago

Thanks for sharing..
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