I want you to quit your job. Yes, that’s what I said—quit. The way to survive teaching is to quit.
Multiple times during my career I dreamed, fantasized about doing anything but teaching. Have you ever had the same thoughts?
Have you had students who threw pencils, math manipulatives, and temper tantrums? How about one who climbed the walls? One of my first graders climbed the cubby cabinets built into the side wall—then ran out of the building, across the field, and toward the traffic on the street.
Have you ever had a runner? I had a first grader who left so often I wore a school walkie-talkie on my side to alert the office.
I was beyond miserable.
I started dreaming about a different job. There had to be somewhere else I could work. I searched the Internet, the classifieds, and talked about other job possibilities.
The job-search process triggered enough hope that I went to work with a better attitude. An attitude that said—I won’t be here forever.
This thought process unlocks your tangled insides. Do this to survive each day and think—I don’t have to do this.
For me, one day the unexpected happened. The disruptive child moved to a different school, and my classroom became a normal classroom. I started teaching again.
I forgot all about quitting.
Quit in your mind. Quit a thousand times a day. This survival tactic helps you cope when you’d rather hear someone scrape a chalkboard with their fingernails than spend a day in your classroom.
There are moments—sometimes even hours or days—that are brutal, but don’t ever allow the situation in your classroom to alter who you are. You are a teacher. You love teaching. Keep loving it.
Eventually, circumstances settle, change, or the year ends. You’ll survive a miserable year and start thriving again.
See, I want you to quit your job—so you can forget about quitting.