The Woes of Teaching

I have not posted here in a very long time.  There has been a lot of frustration professionally that caused me to stay off the grid.  I just didn’t think I could contribute in a way that would cause me or anyone else growth.  But now, some things have happened that I think are worthy of conversation.

What are we trying to do to teachers and the education system?  On Thursday, my school district laid off 187 teachers. It is not the schools district’s fault, although I think we really should revisit closing some schools. Thankfully for me I have a job next year.  But some people who have been with the district for as long as four years do not.  I am thankful for having a job, but at some point at what cost?  If the state does not pass a tax increase in May, my classroom may have  at least 38 students in it.  At least.  Really it could have as many as 45- 50 before we start talking about thresholds being too high given that we would be a at a 38:1 student teacher ratio.  When does class size stop becoming about teaching as much as it is about management.  And as one of our administrators talked about the budget and the future we face next year, he spoke of how our pr campaign to get more students is going to go after students in neighboring districts.  He commented we are going after them and we are, “fighting for scraps”.

If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.~Donald D. Quinn

And I must add on a $40,000 salary (I’m being generous) and supplementing his supplies out of his own pocket in a 35 hour work week.

The Big Let Down

Here it is 4 days after my portfolio was due and I am trying to let myself enjoy the downtime. But I can’t.  I’m ready to get started again. I want to get back to loving all of it.  AIMS is mostly over.  We just have to do the field test on Monday, then it’s back to business.  I’m not really sure I know or believe in what that means.  I think in the last efforts to prepare my students for 4th grade, I am saddened that I haven’t done more.  We are short on time now before they go to the fourth grade.  There is so much still to do.

Then there’s the other part of reality.  Teachers got notice that they’re being laid off yesterday.  That is sad that we have to let some of our school go.  What does that mean for those who are left?  Our job just got harder with way less resources.  As if it weren’t hard enough. I hope that those of use who are left can band together and keep some consistency with the good things we have going so far.