My Transition from Teaching to Programming

I’ve been teaching for 5 years now. I think I have one more in me, but after that, it’s on to the tech world. Why make such a drastic change? Well, for me, it doesn’t seem all that drastic.

I’ve been messing with electronics and computers since I was a kid. I remember one Christmas when I was in 3rd or 4th grade and my mom asked my sister and I, “would you rather go on a vacation to Myrtle Beach or get a new computer?” We answered, “computer!”, although I can’t remember if I had my “buy” my sister’s vote or not.

I remember it came with a cd booklet FULL of games and applications. I installed and uninstalled all sorts of stuff, including AOL (always making sure to update to the latest version) and of course, Oregon Trail! That computer was my gateway into electronics and I really never looked back.

I built my own computer in middle school, and by high school, I had a collection of old computers and parts, always trying to re-assemble my working computer into a better version of itself.

Computers just came naturally to me…just like teaching did. I connect easily with kids and I can speak to them instead of down to them. I just have to get out of education. The lack of respect is a real thing. It’s not like I’m a person that needs respect, it’s just that I’m afraid of what a kid might go home and say on a daily basis. If I pat a student on the back and they go home and say I invaded their space, I will instantly be under police investigation. These aren’t paranoid fears, we’ve literally sat in meetings talking about actual events like this happening.

What happened when the teacher was found clear of any wrong-doing? Was the district as quick to act in the teacher’s defense as they were to begin a police investigation on the student’s behalf? HELL NO. The teacher couldn’t teach in the district again.

The way our district runs is, “what can we do so we don’t get sued?”

Earlier this year, teachers weren’t allowed to use restrooms in their own hallways, because of fear that a student might say something like “Mrs. Smith was looking at me in the bathroom.” The school system is so quick to jump to protect one child, whether they are telling the truth or not. And to be honest, it’s not even really protecting the child, it’s appeasing the parent.

We are no longer to watch movies at the end of the year (after tests, when we’re just killing time to get the required hours) because ONE PARENT complained that we were wasting too much time.

We are no longer allowed to take away recess from perpetual problem-children (a consequence that might actually cause a change in behavior), because ONE PARENT complained.

I’m just tired of school. Tired of being run over by kids and parents, with no consequences we can really give. We can’t even give in-school-suspension or out-of-school-suspension because it goes on our administrator’s records and makes the school look bad..

I’m tired of school and so excited about coding. I can’t wait to solve problems every day and be able to see actual results. What I’ve done in the last few months with Bloc has me more excited for the future than ever. I may miss teaching, but at least I’m following something I know I love. And I can always tutor 🙂

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