A fanatic is a nut who has something to believe in.
-Dean Koontz
Lord Galen
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Scared of my Career
January 1, 2015

Dear Galen

I used to read your site and then for some reason I stopped. I thought of you recently because you're a teacher and I need help from a teacher.

See, I'm on my way to becoming a teacher. Almost finished, actually. I'm doing my student teaching right now and pretty much have a guaranteed job at the school where I'm assigned. To most people, this probably sounds great. I'm almost out of college and already have a job lined up in my chosen profession.

The problem is that I'm scared out of my mind. Teaching is NOT what I thought it was. The more I do it and observe other people doing it, the more I have to say..... TEACHING SUCKS!

It's a little late to realize this though. I'm in so much debt from student loands and I've devoted the last four years of my life to this. NOW, out of the blue, I realize I actually am probably going to hate this career and I don't want to do it.

No Teacher

Dear No,

Well, there sure is a lot to hate, isn't there? If you'd written me this letter 4 years ago when you were first getting started, I would have told you to pick a different career. In fact, if there are any prospective teachers out there reading this, here's my advice: Run - don't walk, but RUN - to a different career!

Teaching ISN'T what you see on TV or in movies. You're not "making a difference" or any of that shit. I mean, sure, on a small scale you might have some impact. I taught a 7yo deaf girl the concept of "zero" and that it means "nothing." Somehow, nobody had ever been able to get this concept through to her before, but I did. Things like that are where you go, "Yeah, that's what it's all about...." and that good feeling lasts all of about 2 seconds until some little bastard is sitting under the counter playing instead of paying attention to the lesson you worked so hard on. He doesn't give a shit, but you make him sit up and at least pretend to pay attention. Then you get the sit-down talk with your Principal about the phone call he got from that little bastard's parents and how YOU were the one in the wrong for daring to correct his behavior, because it's in his IEP that he has ADHD, ODD, PTSD, HTML, and parents who are influential in the community, so how fucking DARE YOU do your job!

And those are the fun times you can expect once or twice a week, if you're lucky. Oh, and if you're a man (you didn't say and I can't tell from your email), you can expect even more good times! Like, you could be sitting right next to a female teacher who is getting her shoulders rubbed by a kid and if the same kid moved over to you, guess who's going to get a phone call? Hint: It's not the female. Oh, and hey, did I ever tell you about the time that a little girl was bugging the shit out of me about how it was her birthday and so I wrote "Happy Birthday" on an index card and gave that to her so she'd shut the fuck up and go away? No, didn't mention that one? Well, it ended with my Principal coming to me a month later to talk about how the girl's mother is some kind of investigator and called up to say how my birthday card was a sure sign that I'm a child predator!

And if I'm not trying to fuck the children, then I'm trying to beat their asses. Another fun story is when I told a kid to go to the office. I patted him on the back (actually, on his bookbag) and pointed up the hall, telling him to go. Yeaaah, that ended with me sitting in a room with a social worker and a Deputy Sheriff as they investigated me for suspected child abuse. Because I patted the kid on the bookbag!

Are my stories helping? I hope so. I hope like hell that they're helping you to realize that you're risking your freedom and reputation by becoming a teacher. It doesn't matter what's TRUE, it matters what a group of 20-30 underdeveloped minds THINKS is true and what their fucking parents' underdeveloped minds happen to imagine about you! You will never make enough of a difference in anyone's life for it to be worth the heartache, stress, and just general bullshit you have to deal with. RUN to another career right now. My horror stories are pretty mild compared to others that I've heard. Add all this on top of what you've already seen to make you hate the job and I think you already knew the answer to this problem before you ever tapped out the first line of your email.

Fix the problem yourself. If I get the chance to go to a 9-to-5 job with better pay, I'd jump ship in a heartbeat. You're only just now boarding the ship; get off quick!

With Unmatched Revulsion,
Lord Galen

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