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my desk, my plate, my party

if you are a FB follower..
you have already seen this...
without the fancy pink font...

BUT this is how I have been feeling lately...
really this morning I woke up and did some real serious research on the
excessive paperwork act...
because that is what I feel like consumes my life...
PAPERWORK of the excessive kind....is a naughty word
it needs to be spanked, put in time-out, and washed out with soap
(no naughty words were hurt in this blog post...
and I am not admitting to agreeing with or disagreeing with the various forms of discipline mentioned above)
this has consumed my conversations with my mother on our walks... we walk miles talking about this and the fact that I
have been contemplating  possibly changing careers...
YEP you read it right!!!
I feel more like a
well not really sure what BUT
I will tell you the majority of my time (paid time) is spent doing paperwork or meetings or testing and not planning
not planning great lessons...
that is done on MY time...
many a day I stay late or
STAY UP late
I have a life outside of teaching and sometimes I forget that...
and I can't
don't get me wrong I will get it done
but what gets sacrificed in the process?
(priorities are being aligned as I type)

my change in careers is something I have thought about for some time now...
law school would be in my future...
school law to be exact

I am still in the THINKING process of this sooooooo
file that thought away and just keep reading

I have been teaching for over 10 years
(all in a state testing grade... that might be my problem too)
and every year seems to be getting a little more...
well less teaching and more non teaching....

I feel like I am at an ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET
I have been given a small salad plate...
that's it... I can't get another plate...
just one...everybody gets one plate
I get to pick what I want BUT
the servers (yes there are servers at this buffet)
well the servers keep giving me food that I HAVE TO TAKE
it just keeps piling on...
higher and higher...
some of the stuff I LOVE...
and want to eat... BUT then
THEN there is this yucky stuff...
I have to take it... no choice...
it takes up most of my plate
and I have to take it... I even have to like it (I pretend)...YUCK and
to top it off
it is juicy so all of that juice has now leaked and soaked
into and onto my YUMMY stuff
so I take some of my yummy stuff away (because who really wants a soggy anything)...
little by little FARLEYness is falling off
and more stuff that I really don't want
is put on my plate...
more stuff falls off
and guess what falls off?
and now what is on my plate?
majority YUCKY and bland and a little of me...
this is how I feel
my little plate won't hold it all
and even though I know I should keep my stuff on my plate
I  can't
I am required to keep what the servers give me
no matter how high and deep it is
and instead of my plate resembling a rainbow of color like all health experts say it should...
it looks like a bland smorgasbord of BLAH
and all of my teaching buddies have the same looking plate too

if only I had a PLATTER!!!
and don't get me started on the utensils I have been given to eat this...

don't want to be a Debbie Downer or a Poo Poo Penelope
this is my blog and this is how I feel
and if I feel like this I am sure some of you do too
and well
just wanted to let you know you are not alone...
just because I have a blog
and share some of my lessons and ideas
that appear seamless and perfection *wink*
(editing is magnifico)
and I throw great linky parties **double wink*wink**
there is still the fact that some days I feel like I need to put on my waders to trudge through the buffet line

I LOVE YOU GUYS and no worries
I am still here
blogging and trudging
and no worries about me leaving anytime soon...
ONE - law school is expensive
TWO - law school and a 4 year old at home scare me just as much as flying
THREE- I don't think I could ever leave the KIDS... I love teaching just not the EXTRA additives that come along with it

thanks for taking the time to read my
pity party
all decorations are being put away as we speak and
feel free to take a little goodie bag with you!!!

go download it today!!!
click on the pic to take you there :)



  1. The Mr. and I have had the change career conversation (too often) within the last two months. My priorities need to be straighten out.
    Hugs to you.
    My Second Sense

  2. I'm sharing this post with my teacher friends at school. Some of the older ones aren't into blogging, but would TOTALLY agree with everything you said in this post!!! It's great to hear that we are not the only ones feeling this way. I told a friend the other day that they are taking all the fun out of teaching. Assessments are not teaching my kiddos anything.

    Thanks for posting this! It's nice to know that I'm not alone and that I'm not the only one that's frustrated!


  3. Thanks for sharing how you feel. I love your plate analogy! I don't think you are the only teacher that feels like their plate if full with yucky stuff!
    -Lovely Nina

    Lovely Little Learners

  4. I feel this way too. I am so tired of being tired and feeling like I am stranded without a paddle. It is nice to see I am not the only one.

  5. I get what you are saying...and I've used the plate analogy before...we are getting more and more heapin' helpings of things that are expected, yet our plates are smaller and smaller...we do need a platter! Hang in there kid...but hey, doesn't it feel great to vent? Sometimes we just need to do that!

  6. THANK YOU Farley!!! I am so not kidding when I say I have been feeling EXACTLY the same way (ok not about being a lawyer). I'm truly feeling like leaving teaching because every waking moment seems consumed by meetings, paperwork, and making things (thank goodness for all of the awesome bloggers out there and their creations). I barely have a minute to breathe or to spend doing the fun things with my family and friends. It's nice to find someone like you who can be honest about how they feel!!! So THANK YOU!!! :-)

  7. Feeling your pain! All the legislative changes in La. have me eating at the buffet too! Saying a prayer for all of my teacher friends!

  8. I {puffy}heart you!
    Thanks for the freebie!
    Second In Line

  9. I am five thousand percent CERTAIN that you are not alone. I was planning my escape last year. Maybe you saw me? I was the one on the buffet line sobbing because of the giant cockroach in the middle of the oozing plate. I had no solid plan--Starbucks, maybe? This year is different for me for a variety of reasons, but I'm not naive enough to think that it's blue skies from here on in. This is just plain hard.

    Thank you for saying what we're all thinking a good chunk of the time.

  10. oh Meghan, this isn't a pity party at all!!! I think you are so smart and brave to think about this and talk things out with your family. I'm sending my love and support from the east coast!!

  11. We do know how you feel.....it seems that it is a national problem! Not sure what the answer will be....but like you....I can't leave my kiddos behind!

    Oh! Thanks for the goodie bag!!

    Mrs. B's Nook

  12. I hear ya, Farley! This has been my year of "No" and it has made things a little better. No, I can't take on that extra responsibility. No, I can't grade everything the kids create every day the minute they're finished. No, I can't stay after school at a moment's notice to meet with you. No, no, no. It has helped me have more of a personal life and made me feel just a little bit better about all of those "Extras" they keep piling on our plates. We can't say no to everything, but it has made a small difference for me.

    Keep your head up, girlfriend. School law could use people like you!

  13. Oh Dearest Farley:
    I think this hurts your heart because you are the kind of teacher who puts so much of herself into the job. Many teachers simply turn the page and simply teach the next lesson. (And it's not just the old ones or just the young ones--it' a mix). Although I am not eligible yet, this is the first year, I ever thought about retiring (I guess that's an oldster's version of a career change!)
    So much has changed in the thirty years I have been teaching. It seems that as children become more and more different from each other and from their predecessors), they-that-control-teachers expect something more scripted and less unique. That's wrong for kids, in my mind, because I think many of them live in a world without sufficient human connections. Sadly, I am beginning to wonder if eventually all of education will be digitized and the human teachers will become less important. Big sigh.
    Hang in there, my dear Pal, while you can, while it's fun, and while it still brings you JOY. And when it no longer does (which, fingers crossed, won't be for a LONG while), I hope you will find something that makes your heart happy.
    I think there's a good chance that YOU will be one of the people who could help turn things around--either as a teacher or in some other capacity. You are an amazing teacher and a serious WonderWoman!
    BIG HUGS sent your way...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  14. Farley,
    I think your post is so true and I like your analogy because like a teacher, you made such a beautiful illustration of what is happening. No matter where your little walking feet take you, I know you will be amazing.

  15. I am probably one among many who really appreciates your honesty..and the honesty of other veteran teachers.

    I'm currently in my 4th year teaching and am also considering moving away from teaching...at least for a while. I work in a failing district that is constantly trying to tweak a system that does not work. Our current Elementary Superintendent is a wack-o micromanager. I personally feel as if he is power-tripping to an extreme. He got into the position in October of last year, and our test scores tanked from the year before. It's ridiculous. But I digress...

    I have hope that one day I'll get to have the teaching experience I dreamed of as a kid and while I was in college.

  16. Amen and hallelujah! I don't know about you, but we have 2 hours of (contract) planning time each week. In that two hrs, I am expected to grade 30 students' papers for 5+ subject areas, plan for 5+ subject areas, create technology-related lessons/activities for 5+ subject areas, make printed copies for most of the lessons, enter grades into grade book, gather manipulatives and materials for science/math/games, meet with grade level teams, analyze student data, plan intervention groups, plan for an aide within those intervention groups, respond to emails, and occasionally make phone calls to parents or field trip locations. Overwhelm is an understatement. I often wonder if I am making this job harder than it needs to be, then I look back at my "to-do" list and realize it's not just me. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to write about how hard and time-consuming teaching really is.

  17. I don't think there is anything wrong with having the feeling of wanting to leave. We have a very stressful job!

    What makes me sad is that it is almost like no one cares that we feel this way- I don't even want to get started on what could happen after the election this year. Depressing-city!

    Love your blog & your posts.

  18. Your post made me get teary!! It is so true and I love the analogy you made. If I hear one more time that teachers only work 180 days a year, I am going to, well, I don't know what I am capable of! I literally cannot grade any papers at school because any planning time I do get, I have to do things in my room that can't be done at home. Grading and putting grades in the computer are what I spend every night doing after my kids go to bed. I grade until I can't keep my eyes open. Blogging is my "free time" activity but even then I am looking for ideas for teaching. Thank you for expressing what all teachers can relate to!
    Your blog crush,

  19. I actually cried.... I felt that I was the only one going through this and I have only been in teaching for 2 years.... I feel the exact same way. I feel so grouchy at the kids because I'm not getting to do things I want to do... because I'm doing the blucky yucky things I HAVE to do.... Thanks for your thoughts, and thought I'd be heartbroken if you left teaching, I still would read your law blog! ;)

  20. omgosh!! you hit the nail RIGHT on the head...well, let's face it - it could be one of those HUGE railroad nails...because what you said is the BIG FAT TRUTH!!! even in the lower grades, ALL WE DO IS TEST!!!!!!! ahhh!!! HOW can my kids POSSIBLY improve if I'm spending ALL my time testing them - small groups!??! and our tests have a lot of one-on-one time..ugh...
    BUT...I just sent you an email of something that should make you smile :)

  21. WOW! Reading your post and all these comments makes me sad! I've been teaching for 23 years. It is a HARD job and I don't blame anyone for wanting to leave, but it's too bad it's the good teachers! I've seen this profession go through a lot of changes over the years...the kids are different, the parents, families, the demands are greater! Sometimes(most of the time) I nod my head and then shut my door and do the "right" thing for the kids! Keep your chin up & do what makes you happy!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  22. Thank you so much for your post! I have been feeling this way especially this year and it's good to know that it's not just me. I've tried saying no to things and I get questioned so that hasn't worked so far. Thanks for your honesty!

  23. I jokingly told my principal last week that I need a full time teacher's assistant. She laughed of course, and said, Yeah sure. But can you imagine? It might allow me to do my job if I didn't have to make copies, clean up my classroom, grade papers, wipe noses (ok, not really), find missing jackets, lunch boxes, papers, pencils, attend constant meetings...etc...if only I had some help then maybe I could do the job I was hired to do in the first place. And now with Common Core, which I do think will be good, but there are just not enough resources at our disposal yet. It's just too much!!!!
    I hope you do what your heart wants. We only live this life once!!! :)
    One Berry Blog

  24. You have written exactly what I've been feeling lately ... only in a much more entertaining way. I'm in my twelfth year, all testing years, too. And, with special ed classrooms closing around me, and resource teacher hours being cut, many days I've felt like I'm being abandoned on a sinking ship ... and this is not how I want to feel about a career I want to love. I've had this exact conversation with my husband too many times in the past year and a half, and I keep holding on to the hope that it will get better ... it will get better ... it will get better. There, if I said it three times and clicked my heels, it will happen, right?? I clicked my heels an extra time for you, too. ♥

    Runde's Room

  25. Thank you so speaking the words of my heavy heart. I wish I could say more in this comment, but if I open those gates- a flood will come. Pray. Pray hard.

    The Learning Tree

  26. You, my friend, are not alone.
    Powers that be are completely oblivious as to what teaching/learning is supposed to be.
    Many of us teachers over in my neck of the woods feel we are watching/in the midst of - the demise of public education.
    It's difficult to feel so lost while doing something you are so utterly passionate about.
    Hang in there. Try to stay within the positive aspects of your life as much as possible. :D
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

  27. How did you read my mind? In lue of venting at school, several of my teacher friends and I have started going out to dinner 1 school night a month. (Hey if other people with jobs can do it, we can too!) It helps to let out all the stress. We discussed this very topic at dinner this week!
    I love your plate analogy. I feel like I am benchpressing a weight that just keeps getting heavier, and it is getting hard to push the bar back up. The paperwork/ lack of planning is definitely an issue. Its bad when you don't even have time to put papers back in a filing cabinet. (Me, since August!) I think it all comes down to stress. When there is not time to get the paperwork taken care of it adds stress. There are many people out there who don't understand the stress we teachers have on our free time. They aren't worried, after all most people leave work at 5pm and get an hour for lunch! In the end we commit to the kids, and I am confident that together we WILL find a way to balance our jobs with our lives.


  28. My name is Stephanie and I have a new blog Sparkling in Third Grade
    I have followed your blog for a while and just love it. I just boo'ed you. Go to my site to find out the details for what to do next. Thank you for inspiring me the last few months :)

    Stephanie Ann
    Sparkling in Third Grade

  29. Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I have only been teaching for 4 years and I feel the same way! LA is making all kinds of changes and I swear I'm so sick of 504 plans, IEP's, PLC's, SLT's, Lesson Plans, and all of the endless paperwork that they keep dumping on us. Now they are going to start rating us based on students scores and observations and thats what my job is all dependent on??? I teach high school art and it has been crazy for us to write SLT's. Plus I teach at a title 1 school so thats a whole other story in it's self!!
    Our school just had a hugh turn over this year and only 7 of the 35 teachers returned this year. Out of those 7 there are 5 of us doing most of the club sponsoring and extra things like Homecoming and Prom...one of the teachers asked a new teacher to help co-sponsor Beta club with her and she said nope!
    I was so stressed trying to juggle it all and do all I started getting migraines! I had to get a note from my doctor stating that I needed to cut back at work...Im freaking 32!!! I really have been asking myself is this the right job? I love what I do, if they would just let me teach. My favorite time of the day has become after school when my art club kids stay and we work on projects. Thats when I feel most like a teacher, we work on things that they are interested in and not things required in the "curriculum" and I feel I'm not waiting for someone to pop in my classroom and look to see if I have my objectives posted.

    But I'm much like you and can't see myself doing anything else, well for right now at least. I would miss my kids! And there are still those days when I can just pretend that I don't have a stack of grades that have to be posted and paperwork that needs to been done and I can do what I really love and just TEACH Art!

    Keep up the great work and thanks so much for letting me know that it's not just me. Sorry if I got a bit long :)

  30. Right there witcha girl! The "suits" have made the pendulum swing too far in one direction, we just have to hang on and wait for it to swing back. Hold tight!

  31. I feel exactly the same way!! My parents are here visiting this weekend, and guess where I'm going for a few hours before we all head to my daughters volleyball game....that's right, school! It was such a crazy week filled with additional discipline behavior sheet creation, extra meetings about students, IEP's, and my additional PDC responsibilities....I have had no time to lesson plan because I chose to get my grading done (grade cards are due on Friday:(

    I have also considered leaving the teaching profession (this is my 6th year in a testing grade). I am often so overwhelmed I feel like I'm drowning. There are days when I absolutely HATE my job....I always love my students, but I hate the number of responsibilities I have and the endless parent emails on how I can be doing my job better....it's exhausting! Unfortunately, I am a single parent with two children and I just don't know what I would do if I didn't teach. I can't afford to quit and go back to college, I can't afford to do anything that doesn't pay the bills and offer insurance....some days I feel trapped!

    I love my students and would dearly miss them. What I really want is to just teach. To just BE the teacher....to get rid of the criticism, paperwork, extra, unnecessary responsibilities, and just teach.....I love to teach, but often times that is the thing I actually get to do the least.

    Thanks again for sharing!!
    Super Pig and Tyrant King

  32. Girl you are not alone. I think hubs begs me to quit every year! And lemme tell ya, I moved to 2nd grade after 7 years of testing and I swear its worse! Still testing it's just constant testing! Ah! But like most all crazy teachers we love kids and actual teaching so we stick it out!

  33. Farley, this is a brilliant post. I am sick of the buffet, too!!!! Things are looking up for us because of Commom Core--is TX doing it?
    And we just started a new series at church last night all about Doing Business With God and the first sermon was sorta an intro but he started off with, " Are you in the right career? Are you fulfilled?"
    Are you???? Because you're supposed to be.
    Anywho, sorry to get all preachy on you, but you could watch it online at saddleback.com if you got a hair up your butt or on your salad plate.
    Big hugs!

  34. I hear ya loud and clear! The paperwork is OVERWHELMING! Oftentimes, I share the celebration of "finding my desk" with my hubby and close friends. They always look at me like I'm going crazy because why would "finding my desk" be such braking news! But hang in there! Live in the moment and remember that we are ALL in the same boat. Even if we are bailing out water. . . we are doing it together!

    Take care and keep your head up!
    Kristin Cook’s Classroom Blog

  35. Thanks for helping with 4th Grade Folics giveaway! I know what you mean about not being able to find your desk! I don't even know why I have one; I just use it to hold more "stuff"! LOL


  36. Girl.....you have been in my head!!!! We/I am dealing with the same type of plate and "food issues" here in lovely Florida.....our state is killing us!!!! Every single day this year we have been met with an email about another meeting, another thing to take on, another training about how the state is now going to "grade" each of us. The paperwork and extra time given to it all is insane and sad and really takes any fun left, out of teaching....I was so stressed out last week, I took a personal day and drove to my daughters college to see her...didn't check email, didn't do anything school related. I LOVE my kiddos and love to teach but all the stuff that is coming with it is getting to be a little much!!!! I feel the same way you do friend!!!

    4th Grade Frolics

  37. You are definitely not alone! I think that we've all been there at one time or another. Hang in there!

    Fifth in the Middle

  38. I am right there with you, and I have been having the exact same conversation with my mom this week!

    I love the kids, but I am really not loving the "extras" we are given...large class size, testing, new evaluation system, Common Core, collaborations where we don't get to collaborate...AND on top of that being treated like a kindergarten who can't be trusted to make educational decisions rather than the progessional (with multiple degrees and certifications) that I am...I am reaching my breaking point and looking for a way out too!

    It makes me feel better that I am not alone in my school, system, state, or country...thank you for saying what I'm feeling!

    The Polka-dotted Teacher

  39. You are SO not alone. I've been looking to bee keeping . . . not kidding. :)

    Second Grade Math Maniac
    Second Grade Freebies

  40. Farley - I hate to echo what everyone else has said, but why not pile on. Amen. I have taught for 19 years, and I feel I am trapped. I have to make 25 so my system will pay my health insurance in retirement, but I really, really don't think I can. I love the kids. I am good at what I do. However, the years I have lost off my life from stress and the fact that I have no free time = not worth it.

  41. Farley,

    You are not alone and it is not just an American problem. Australia is just the same. All of the teachers at my school are so frustrated with the new curriculum and national testing and the volume of administrative requirements. I work four days a week to try to manage time with my family. I had a conversation with some friends last night saying that working four days a week would be easy, if I just worked 7am to 6pm and had Fridays and the weekend off. Alas, with meetings, planning, marking, making resources (because the school can't afford to buy much), moderating, ICT problems, parent emails etc etc work takes up all my Friday and a few hours on the weekend too. I love being a teacher and have been since 1999, but seriously, something's got to give. Have contemplated leaving many times over the last two years just to reduce stress and get back quality of live. My per hour pay rate is less than a McDonalds worker, according to my teaching partner and from doing my tax yesterday, my husband worked out I spent 5% of my income on teaching stuff. Trouble is, I LOVE teaching.....anything else seems so bland and boring in comparison. I just would like to be able to teach my kids the important stuff, like reading and writing, and not the vast, time consuming stuff our highly scripted curriculum contains, that is very limited and not well-sequenced in the areas of reading and writing. Sigh :-(

  42. I am feeling the same way!! This is my 18th year to teach and all in a testing grade in Texas. So very burned out because I get to school at 7 AM. Leave at 7 PM with a bag of papers to grade:-(. Heaven forbid I don't get them graded because that will just be double work the next evening. I have seen how teaching has gone from fun to the state curriculum that is unreal!!! One day lesson they say?!?! Lol. It takes 3 days for one lesson so now you are off track and have to figure out how to get back on track!! I would leave and go to a different career but with 6 years left until I retire that wouldn't be a smart move. BUT I am out of there in 6 years for sure!! What is sad is I was always going to be that teacher they would have to boot out the door with my walker !! It is hard to be positive with new teachers!! I want to tell them to run back to school and go a different career path!! Get out now while they are young!! I thought that education had hit rock bottom about 5 years ago and was on the upswing but boy I was really wrong. The ditch keeps getting deeper:-(

  43. oh my...have you been following me around in my brain. I just wish I could shut the classroom door and do what comes naturally to me...and have so much fun doing it. My plate runneth over, also. Keep on trudging...we will! WHAT can we DO about this?!

  44. One more thing I do not understand about public education...we all learned how to read, write, and do 'rithmetic back in the old days...what's so bad about how they did it then?!

  45. AMEN!!!!! The picture of your desk looks just like mine at the end of each day it's CRAZY!!!!! I clean it off every afternoon before going home and then BAM the next day chaos again. I can only imagine the pressure that testing grades feel because I know I feel the stress in primary. I still love the kids and their smiles and laughter is what pulls me though but oh man the behind the scenes stuff is getting out of control. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so open and honest.

    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

  46. I have no husband and no children so it is really easy for me to use my free time for school related things. I am trying hard to balance my time now, so when I have a husband and children, it won't be a problem. I love teaching and I've wanted to do it since I was 6 years old, but unfortunately it isn't a 9 to 5 type of job. I've had 9 to 5 type jobs and I'd be lying if I didn't occasionally miss it. But for me, the good ALWAYS out weighs the bad....I am still pretty green though, this is only my 3rd year!

    Sometimes craftiness is a downfall. You are like me, if you can't find what you are looking and find it the way you want it, you make it...which takes up time at home :) Hang in there...and get a binder (or 5) for all the papers. LOL!


    A Work of Heart

  47. You are definitely not alone (either in your feelings or with how you're desk looks)! I'm just glad to see I'm not alone in either!

    Teachin' First

  48. Farley, thanks for keeping it real! Yes, it is so hard to feel amped up when like you said we are being forced to eat and accept the pile of YUCKINESS and in the process lose more and more of our teaching identities and passions. Just so you know, this system we have going on, especially in the Title I schools is ridiculous! I'm completing the second year of my MBA program right now and unfortunately cannot say I will be in the classroom for much longer - it's a tragedy that there will be a loss of so many amazing and dedicated teachers but who's looking out for our welfare in the long-run?

    Anyway, thanks for agreeing to donate your Halloween bundle to my giveaway this Friday. That rocked my socks off!
    Antonia @ forkin4th

  49. It IS hard! This is my 7th year (the past 3 were in 4th grade), and I thought it would be easier because I'm out of the regular classroom, so no more grading papers, etc. I moved into the Title I reading specialist position. But that comes with it's own new plate of headaches - students WAY behind, teachers insisting that their kid HAS to be in Title I, large class sizes because of failed (or not so great) teaching practices. I keep saying maybe next year will be better when it's not all new to me, but then I see my friends who've also recently had babies and decided to stay at home. They're so relaxed and get to spend so much time with their sweeties. My hubby's only working part-time this year while he finishes grad school, so he gets to spend most of the day at home with Keagan (10 months). It killed me that his first word was "daddy". I know it's good for him, and he gets excited when I come home, but I want to be his favorite.

    Thanks for your honesty!

    Don't Let The Teacher Stay Up Late

  50. I completely understand where you are coming from.. you are SO talented and whatever you decide to do is right.. you have some very valid points and WOW, law school, you could definitely because you are so smart and wonderful, but yes it would be hard to leave your kids!! Ahh.. well you have a good attitude though, that there are other priorities and that the paperwork can wait.. head up girlfriend! :)


  51. Right there with you! And going to vent right there with you as well! I am also here in S.A. (live in the neighborhood where you teach, I think, but I drive to the westside each day to teach). I have thought of jumping ship and teaching in a different district (maybe one that is less than a 45 minutes to an hour drive each morning), but maybe it wouldn't be any better if I did. I also often think of changing careers.
    I'm just... tired. I quit a corporate career about 7 years ago to teach. People thought I was crazy to give up what I was giving up then, those same people still think I'm crazy for giving it up, and lately I wonder if maybe they aren't right. In my first year of teaching, I taught in a very different environment (different state, no state testing), and while it had its stresses and was certainly not perfect, I would go back in a heartbeat if it was feasible. I was teaching then. What I'm doing now... There are bits and pieces of true teaching there, but less each year. My district implemented CSCOPE a few years ago and it has been downhill ever since. Our district tanked on the STAAR test last year, but so did - what - 10 or 11 other districts in the area? But somehow it is the teachers' fault and the "leaders" are tilting at windmills even more than usual to try to overcome all of the challenges of teaching in a 99% Hispanic, Title I district - in our elementaries, every kid qualifies for free breakfast and free lunch - in less than one school year and make every kid pass the more-important-than-life-itself STAAR test. They have now decided Thinking Maps will save us all. Nothing against Thinking Maps, but that is not going to magically fix all of the issues our babies bring to the table. Out of my entire class, I have 3 kids who can honestly identify - or write - complete sentences consistently, but I will (again magically) get them all to 3s or 4s on their compositions by the beginning of April. (Imagine if I could teach them to truly write - or, gasp, even to love writing! - not just teach them to write what will earn them a decent score on STAAR.)

    Venting over. You are not alone.

  52. Just want you to know that you are not alone in the way you are feeling. I am in my 18th year of teaching, and I too have been contemplating a career change. I love, love, love working with the kids, but I do not feel like I am able to teach the way that I want to anymore. All the testing, data collection, CFAs, PLCs, MAP tests, etc. are exhausting, as I am drowning in paperwork. The sad thing is I know in my heart of hearts that all this testing is not making the kids in my class smarter. The powers that be have gone overboard with testing, and in doing so they have sucked the fun out of learning for the students and the fun out of teaching for the educators. Thanks for your post - it made me realize that I am not alone in feeling this way. Hopefully there will be a shift away from so much testing in education soon. If not, I'm afraid there will be a serious teacher shortage as new teachers are not staying long in the profession, and veteran teachers are looking for other careers. Good luck to you as you ponder what career path you want to follow.

  53. As many others mentioned....you are not the only teacher out there feeling this way!! I am right there with you!!

  54. I love your blog! Thanks for all the sharing you do!

  55. We're all in the same boat~ Totally Overwhelmed~ Well said! You rock!

  56. Words of wisdom from my principal..."We all just have to link arms and get through this together." I'm a 20 yr. vet in 4th grade. For the past 6 years, I've been a LA teacher, which means not ONE, but TWO state tests (Reading and Writing). This past year I even went so far as to tell my principal that I was leaving to go to another school, because they had a 2nd grade opening. I ended up chickening out. However, I have made it abundantly clear that next year I AM doing something different. Hopefully, 4th Math/Science (still can't seem to leave my comfort zone.)Hang in there!

  57. AMEN SISTA GIRL!!!! I am RIGHT there with ya this week. Sometimes things just have to be said. (us Texas chicks have to stick togetha!!!) Now breathe, take a good look at your cutie patooties & let the paperwork lag a little. Hug the hubs & bub and have a BIG Texas girl drink! Love your stuff and your blog, good to know we are not in this alone.

  58. I love your analogy. Right now I am taking a small break from teaching to be with my family. I have to admit that I miss the kids. I miss sharing all the fun things. And then I remember the hours of paperwork, the tests, and the hoops I had to jump through and I realize how hard teaching was. Teachers need so much more support than they are given. It's not surprising that so many teachers burn out after just a couple of years. You are doing an amazing job Farley. Keep up the good work. You will make a difference for good wherever you end up. You're just one of those people that doesn't back down or give up.
    Life with Mrs. L

  59. You are an amazing writer! I totally "saw", VIVIDLY, what you were writing! Keep up the great work, along with your chin...the kids LOVE you! <3

  60. Amen sister! I can't tell you how much you are speaking my language. I'm a Texas teacher as well who not only teaches 7th Grade Math but also 7th and 8th Grade Resource Math (Special Education). My case load is that of a general education teacher as well as special education. I'm pulled to every last measure daily and while I have worked it to energize me to keep going I don't want to hit that breaking point.

    Simply reminding myself that Rome wasn't built in a day and that it will all be there tomorrow makes me remember that I'm human.

  61. I am a new blogger and just found your blog courtesy of a co-worker. Thank you for your vent that says all of the things the rest of us are all thinking. I say so often that I love teaching, it is all the other "stuff" that I do not like. My next profession isn't law school, but I often joke of opening a cupcake shop. My husband always know when it has been a bad, busy, paperwork day when I say "here I come cupcake shop." Thank you for reminding us we are not alone!

  62. I am also a new blogger and I just wanted to say thank you for your vent because I am glad I am not the only one feeling this way.

  63. Well said. When I first started teaching 22 years ago, we had so much freedom to teach how we could best teach. I still feel that teachers should not be expected to all fit in the same mold. We all have different styles of teaching and different strengths. Over the past few years, we, too, have been required to attend countless meetings. The requirements are often overwhelming, but I try to smile and nod, then go to my room and close my door, and do what I can do best. (That doesn't mean that I don't complain to my husband and my bff's.) Everyday is far from perfect, but I try each day to give my students what they need. My heart feels your pain, and I pray that God leads you to where He desires you to be. Love your blog!

    Teaching Fourth

  64. I love your little rant and it's great to see that even you are feeling this way. I am a new teacher and already feeling run down and I know my coworkers are as well. I'm printing your post to share with them and say "It's NOT just us!". You are amazing, just keep trying to be you as much as you can!

  65. Thanks, Farley. I wish so many of us weren't feeling the same way. Your analogy was perfect. Unfortunately! My teamies and I are so beaten down this year, it's awful. I am SO SICK of data and assessments. If I never heard those words again, it would be too soon. *SIGH* Hang in there!

    Teach On.


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