Class, The Bell has Rung

May 30, 2003

The two ninth-graders were wrestling in an empty social studies classroom at Washington Irving High School when one of the boys picked up the plastic and metal stool, intending to throw it at the other boy, but instead tossed it out the window, police said.

“They were horsing around,” said Assistant Chief Gerald Nelson, head of the NYPD’s School Safety Division.

Meanwhile, passersby watched in horror from the street below.

“I saw this woman walking. The next minute she wasn’t walking, and I saw a glint of something hit her. She went down very fast,” said Robert Morrison, a real-estate broker. “That chair came out the window and clobbered her on the side of the head.”

I read this story , via the Obscure Store , but Amy points out more about the incident and in turn gave more reasons I decided not to go into teaching. Georgia has a program where a degreed person, can come in and become a teacher (sorry for my over simplification). You’re supervised for about six months and have to pass the cert tests. But the more I looked at it, I decided to pass.

For one thing, it’s a significant pay cut. I had a job offer to become a Best Buy manager and it paid more than some of the career teachers, both were less than I made at my previous job. I worked a couple of career fairs and always printed out job listings for computer jobs. Teachers would come by and just be astonished by the salaries at some of these places. Then they would ask me if I like math and used it. For those who don’t know, I completely hate math and was always told you couldn’t work in computers without it. Bunk! (I could go off on a complete tangent here, as my Mom and Grandmother have been Programmers at one point and love math, while I completely suck at it. I’m better with words.)

But the other thing was that I just couldn’t see spending my days with teenagers or kids who’s parents wouldn’t discipline them. I worked with children for the better part of my teens and early 20’s and just got sick of dealing with a mass of children. You would constantly be belittled by parents who, like in Amy’s post, was sure their little angel couldn’t have done what you said. I got tired of dealing with parents, more than I tired of working with teens and children, but the parents (and the YMCA budgets) ruined the fire I had. (like above, I could go off on another tangent, as I was the youngest Camp Director in the Southeast and could have easily been a career YMCA director. Someday, I’m going to write a book based on some of my camp stories.)

I talked with one of my former teachers a few months back, and told him about what I had been thinking about. And basically he said, unless you have it in you, don’t do it. He said somewhere in the mid-90’s it all changed, kids are basically the same, but there is more crap in the world. Then again this was my English and Lit instructor, so he said it more eleoquently eloquently than that.