This is my first post here at RYS, and after reading through the rest of it, all I can say is, boy, do I have it good.
Yeah the pay sucks, and I have no job security or benefits, but what makes that tolerable is the fact that my students are great and it's not what I'm bringing to the class, it's what they are.
95% are serious about their schooling. They work their butts off. If they didn't, they'd fail. They're respectful, fun, profane, disagree with me all the time, eager, and they help each other out. The workload we thrust upon them is tremendous. I would find it crushing and that's an oft-heard comment made by my colleagues as well.
And here's something else - my colleagues and I like each other. They do their job and the students have acquired the knowledge they need to progress. My boss is even great. We fail students and kick them out of the program for low grades and attendance all the time. If students want to challenge a grade, they agree to a mediation, and their grade is raised or lowered without complaint.
If a student is having a problem, I usually don't have to set up a one-on-one session , they approach me, and most don't offer up excuses. They ask how they can improve their work and pointedly request that I not be soft with them.
I failed a student last term and he thanked me for it, saying he needed the kick in the pants, and he's come around completely.