Showing posts with label Teaching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaching. Show all posts
So it has taken me awhile to post...well because this was hard to talk about.  I cried at work this week...not ugly cry....but the I am so pissed off and really want to drop a bunch of F-bombs so crying seemed like the only option (clearly that is way more professional than swearing).  So a wee background about this incident.  In our school, like all in CT, are going through a huge transition in our evaluation system.  We are moving in the direction that many of those in power feel is the right way to go.  That way is basically to have teachers prove they are doing their job.  In theory this sounds reasonable-make sure teachers are doing a good job so you can get rid of the bad ones.  No objections here.  The problem comes in how you decide I am doing my job...teaching is not like any other job.  You can't really assess it because it is more art than science....I don't make widgets I teacher 120 uniquely different students.  So anywho....the way that we are assessed is tremendously complicated that even after several day long meetings the formula that is used to decided if I get to keep my job or not is scary complex.  At that heart of it is proving that I have taught my students skill (not subject matter) from the start of the year to the end.  This involves a tremendous amount of testing, record keeping, data sorting, and no like like 12 forms.  All of which take hours-again literally hours- to fill out.

So just as I am finally getting my head above water....we had all of these forms, parent conferences, as well as grades closing on the same week THE FORM hit.  Now granted this form is not as complex as the others but months prior our principal promised (I even wrote the date down because I was shocked he said we wouldn't have to) that we would not have to keep forms on our daily meetings.  Well guess a meeting on Monday we were told we have to fill out a form daily (yes every day) on what we do in this meeting.  For a business person this would be equivalent of filling out a full page form every time you had a meeting with a co-worker on a project and answering five questions about what you did.  It is making us justify every minute spent as though I have the time to dick around and waste precious time.  I swear I want to write on the form "I filled out the 100 other friggin forms you gave me today" and write that every day for a month.  SERIOUSLY.  So everyone is starting to panic at our meeting about another form and I raise my hand and start to say "Can this wait, can it be modified....this is too much" and I well up.  It was embarrassing but it was how I felt.  It was true raw emotion the kind that is so strong you just can't hide it.

Well needless to say....the aftermath of that moment was interesting.  Many colleagues came up to me and expressed not only concern that I was upset, but more than that many of them said "THANK YOU".  You said and showed exactly how I felt.  Another colleague said he was watching me and it made him so sad because he could see me break.  It was that moment where you can't take anymore and you just fall apart.  Another friend gave me this...she said I earned it.  I joked and asked if I was part of the club "Bitches who cried at work club" she said yeah sort of.

The other aftermath...the one that stings a bit is two of the "head" people at that meeting although they are superiors I am close with an neither of them has asked me how I was doing or even made reference to what happened.  I don't know if perhaps it is embarrassing for them as it is for me.  I know that this was not their form....they are just following the party line as we call it.  Yet, to not follow up with me stings. Then again perhaps no follow up is better than the "that wasn't appropriate" follow up.

For me the aftermath has been hard....I am a girl who loves her job.  I have loved almost every day of my 11 years at my school.  That form, that moment made me realize the job as I knew it is over.  My husband a future school administrator said to me today "You need to realize this is how it is going to be and if your ass can't take the heat get out of the fire."  That hurt.....but it made me realize the reality of this situation.  I love what I do.....I believe in what I do......I love and believe more than I hate all those fucking forms.  I know I am a good teacher, I know what I do matters, and I know in my heart I can cry all I want those forms aren't going away.  So as pissed and angry and sad as I am.....I choose what I love more.  I love my students and they are worth the stress, the aggravation, and the 9,999 shitty forms I have to fill out to continue to do what I love.

So from now on I am going to try my best to always choose love over frustration, anger, and stress.  It doesn't mean it will happen but if I try and always remember what I love...maybe it will make my back a little stronger so it doesn't break so easily.
The start of this school year has been overwhelming to say the least.  I plan to write a more adequate most on this when I have the time.  There are some years that start with nothing major and there are others where it takes every ounce of energy I have just to stay afloat....this is one of those crazy starts.  Add to that a first grader and my daughter going to pre school full time.  Although she loves it she misses her Mama so there is lots of snuggling and momma time needed.  Basically that means that my online life has had to come to a screaming halt.  Although I have lots to blog about, great reviews of books and products to post....sadly that can not be my priority right now.  My family and my kids (the school ones) need to be number one.  I should be back and blogging soon and thanks for hanging in during this radio silence.
How cute is my wee one right here.  She looks cute considering she isn't feeling well.  She came down with a cold after we went and took family photos with my in-laws.  I thought it was just because she didn't have a nap on Sunday but by Monday is was a wee booger filled mess.  I could totally have sent her to daycare but she would have been miserable.  So I decided to take a day off to spend with my little lady.  I still struggle with taking time off because unlike "real" jobs-My work can't wait for me.  I have to figure out what the kids can do and know that they are not going to get nearly as much out of their time with the sub than they will with me there.  Yet, how could I not take the opportunity to snuggle up this little one.  There are those moments where I wished I had more time for that.  I am sad that now my little boy is sick and I can't stay home with him because I took today off.  Good thing my mom is retired now and she can come over.  Lets be honest the next best thing to a mom taking care of you is a grandma taking care of you.  If I am being honest when I was a kid I loved having my Noni (Italian for Grandmother) to take care of me.  

Also, if I am being honest things around work have been getting crazy.  There is this negativity that is seeping into all aspects of my job and I hate it.  I sometimes feel like I need to shower the stank off when I get home.  I probably needed this day as much as my wee little lady did.  Maybe I am the one that needed the snuggles, maybe I am the one that needed the time on the couch watching the Disney channel, maybe I am the one who needed the day to recharge!!!!

Also, if you didn't already, look at her.  Look at those cheeks that I want to just smoosh

So I will start by saying some of you might not get this post...and that is ok.  Those who teach and love their job will and I know some others will too.  

I live in Neverland.....I never grow up.  I have been in high school (with the exception of the four years I went to college ages 18-22) since I was 14...I am 32 now.  I have spent more time there than anywhere else.  In fact for the last nine years I have even lived in the exact same room.  Although the layout of the room changes (I get antsy and I have to change my classroom layout every year or two) it is the same room...330.  To be honest unless something happens like we get a new school I will spend the next 25 years in that room.  Most days I love it.  I am so happy surrounded by the things in my classroom.  My posters, the desks, my desk with all my organizers and sticky notes on it.  Even on the craziest moments of my life (dealing with deaths, my husband's depression, the anticipation of the birth of my children) that room has brought me peace and calm.  Every day that room gets filled up with light and sunshine.  It gets filled with the laughter and joy of 100 teenagers.  Also, if we are being honest it gets filled with hate, anger, angst, and teenage drama as well (the kind of drama only high school seniors can have).  Yet, I love it even when the kids are bad, when I am told to go fuck myself, or when the stack of papers to grade on my desk are bigger than my dog.  

In the other room around me are dear friends-my second family.  Although sometimes we don't always get along I love them.  They are crazy, and unique, and the smartest people I know.  Even the Captain Hooks of my Neverland (my bosses) are sort like the Captain Hook on Jack and the Neverland Pirates-More clueless than mean.  Most of the year my Neverland is the greatest place on Earth and I get to be Peter Pan-The star of the show for 181 days of the year.  

Yet, there is one day of the year that I hate to be Peter Pan-Graduation Day.  Just like Peter Pan my kids grown up and they leave me behind.  I have spend the entire year getting to know them, their families, their lives and in one quick moment they are gone.  The hardest thing about teaching seniors, other than senioritis, is that they graduate. This year was especially hard, my homeroom-the kids who I saw every morning for four years in a row, graduated.  I was a crying mess as they walked across stage with diploma in hand. They all move on to the amazing things that await them in life.  The things that a teacher always hopes for them.  College, the military, jobs, families, and all the great stuff that life has in store for them.  I am not sad for them...they get to grow up.  I am just sad that I have to be Peter Pan and be left behind again.  

But-come the end of August I will get all new kids filling up my classroom with light, excitement, and of course angst...I will forget about the sting of having them "leave the nest" until the next graduation.  I guess it is a good thing that the other 180 days in Neverland are so great that I always forget about that one bad day!