I always wanted to teach forever. (I still do as a volunteer only.)
Then, LAUSD implemented Open Court in elementary schools, forced the teachers to follow terrible pacing plans, selected textbooks with horrible explanations and limited practice exercises, and the tests became the dark cloud over each school, each classroom, and the entire district.
Open Court was the worst piece of crap this elementary teacher ever saw. Scripted, and among it many flaws, it covered adjectives and adverbs on the same page. There were a million other flaws with Open Court.
The pacing plans for elementary classes were designed by non classroom people who knew nothing. So now each grade in every school does the same skill at the same time and the students must all learn at the same speed, in the same learning modality, like a pair of one size fits all socks trying to fit every foot at the same time.
The textbooks currently in use have insufficient practice and teach Math skills in terrible ways. The classes spend two to three days on a Math or Language Arts skill. There is insufficient practice, no time for mastery, and no time for review.
Before the wasteful tests were installed, my principal would say bring the students up to grade level and introduce them to the grade level skills. We did and there was time for enrichment and challenge, remediation and review.
These despicable changes started more than a decade ago.
They took my fun and creativity away. I became an instructional robot. I was burned out.
How many teachers who were trained and who taught the way I did are still teaching?
I still enjoy the children in my voluntary position. But, I could not exist as a classroom teacher today.
The fun, the music in the background, the discussions, the learning centers, the computer programs for enrichment, review, and preview would not be permitted.
If I were teaching today and doing my thing for the future of my students, my future would be teacher jail.