Lately, I have been less than pleased by the education system as well as by my school’s procedures on certain things. As teachers, we are here to help brighten the minds of our future. However, lately, all I feel is the collar around my neck being pulled tighter and tighter.
Thanks to that lovely feeling, here are some ways I have found that truly make teachers just love what they do…and never want a career change.
1.Have a horrible disciplinary system.
There is nothing worse than knowing that your students know that you hold no authority when it comes to discipline. At my current school, this is without a doubt the case. I can write a kid a referral and all they get is a slap on the wrist and a “you do better next time.”
What a joke.
And to make it even worse, the district has cut back DRASTICALLY on the amount of days per semester that we are allowed to suspend a kid out of school. Use to be, you punched a kid or got in a fight…automatic 10 day OSS (Out of school suspension). However, now, if Johnny punches Joey in the face, he only gets a day or two because suspending a child for more than 2 days at a time needs to be “approved” and we can only suspend kids out for 10 days total a semester.
Seems like the kids are really learning their lessons, right?
2.Walk-throughs at the beginning or end of a class period.
I recently had a district walk-through. My counterpart and I had a GREAT lesson, so I was feeling confident and knew they would be impressed. However, they decided to walk into my 2nd period class with less than 10 minutes till the bell rang. So, obviously my class was putting things away, collecting projects, talking to me about their grades…normal end of class stuff.
The lovely district ladies wanted to come back, but nope..our awesome Literacy Coach decided it would be a fantastic idea to stay for the class transition AND the first 20 minutes of my class. Freaking fantastic. Thanks so much.
Needless to say I was not thrilled. I pee in between classes so the kids have to wait outside the room, I did not have bellwork and I had to B.S. my way into my lesson so they would at least see something of use.
So, a round of applause for making a teacher’s life more stressful than it already is. Really appreciated!
3. Having everything you do questioned.
I won’t rant about this one because every teacher knows this too well.
Every little thing you do is questioned like we have no clue what we are doing. “So tell me how you plan on chunking your lessons to help students process”, “and what exactly will this look like in your room?”, “how do you plan on proving that the kids are accurately tracking their own process”, “why do you breathe?”.
Let us do our jobs without being critiqued and perhaps the kids would learn something. If the political side of education would get its big, hairy nose out of our business the school system might actually stand a chance.
4. Being indirectly told to “fix” the amount of failures you have every grading period.
My school has just finished up the first quarter. Meaning, grades are due and I am getting to see how awesome (or not) my students did.
Every year it is the same. 8th grade shows HUGE amounts of Ds and Fs for final grades, the teachers get talked to and questioned about why this is happening, our lesson plans get critiqued and we indirectly get told that we have too many low grades and we need to count our big assignments for less to fix the problem the next grading period.
I have a better idea. Why don’t we STOP lowering our expectations for students and make them step up their motivational level.
And the we wonder why we have so many kids today who think they automatically get an A for sitting in class everyday. Obviously teaching students that they barely need to try to pass a grade level will really help them in the future. I can’t wait to see what type of future we have based on the lazy, unmotivated students I have. Should be great!
At the end of the day, the turnaround for teachers in my county is awful. Most new teachers will change their career within 5 years due to the many problems we face in the education system.
Sometimes, loving the children is not enough to keep you happy doing your job…isn’t that something we should think about when looking at our education system.
Without good teachers, how do you ever expect students to improve and meet their full potential?