How to make a teacher “love” their job

I would hope you can all sense the sarcasm in my voice as I write this post.

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?

Red flags when picking a sub

substitute-teachers_o_1464061I have recently come across a very frustrating, ridiculous dilemma at my school.

Our subs are technologically stupid challenged,make my kids hate their lives and overall make my life harder to miss a day than it should be.

Why would you sub now-a-days if you can’t work a Powerpoint? Or you don’t know how to turn on a smartboard? Or you clearly dislike children? This baffles me.

As a teacher, getting plans ready for a day absent is challenging enough, let alone getting a sub who won’t do a lesson because they can’t work a computer.

So, here are some red flags to know your sub kind of sucks…

1.If your really good students say the sub is mean, or that the sub is horrible, then it is probably true.

When I have my amazing ducklings getting in trouble or telling me how the sub let kids play on their phones all day, then I tend to believe them over the little rugrats who are always in trouble. Now, I do check up on my darlings’ story, but I do tend to listen if they say a sub was horrible.

2. You find out the sub can’t work everyday classroom technology. RUN!

This is my pet peeve when it comes to subs. If you can’t work a laptop, elmo, or powerpoint…go work somewhere else. Why are you subbing if you can’t do things that are necessary for a teacher’s lesson plans. Teachers don’t just make up lesson plans for a sub to throw them in the trash. Seriously. Perhaps it’s time to have a career change.

3. Kids skip your class when certain subs are there.

Now, I know some kids skip…all the time. However, if you have multiple children finding other classes to go to during that period and they will gladly make up or receive a zero for the work, then I would say there is something wrong with that sub.

4. They manage to get ZERO of your lesson plans done.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t spend a couple of hours creating sub plans for my sub to ignore it all and for the kids to learn nothing during that class period. That is more work for me when I come back because I am having to reteach what should have been taught by the sub. I really appreciate the extra work, thanks so much.

5. You come back to your classroom being a WRECK!

Why is it some subs leave your desks like a maze, paper and books all over the floor and desks, and somehow all the teacher supplies on your desk manage to disappear? When this happens I automatically don’t want that sub back again. This shows me the sub had ABSOLUTELY no sense of classroom management and my kids took full advantage.

substitute-teacher_o_758053Again, these are some things I see as red flags when it comes to picking a sub. Luckily for me, I have searched high and low to find an amazing sub for my classes (especially since I will be on maternity leave soon).

I love a sub that completes the lesson, leaves me emails/notes about how my kids did, and doesn’t leave my class a MESS.

Is it that much to ask for? *le sigh*