What I’ll miss

My public school career has ended rather abruptly–but that’s a story for another time.  I’ve been home for two weeks now, and there are things I’m not missing

1 Meetings.  Pointless meetings.  I remember, in another school long ago, a discussion about how we could reduce the number of meetings to become more productive.  That was before e-mail, mind, and we figured out how to sometimes avoid that one, single, solitary faculty meeting a month.  No meeting if we didn’t need it was the promise.  Now?  If there is time for a meeting, there will be a meeting.

2. Grading.   I always enjoyed creating lessons and projects to help the children learn.  But grading them?  I rather liked looking things over and seeing how they did, but the hours sitting and grading, recording grades, taking notes….and because of the endless meetings, there was no time in the school day to do it.  So…six to eight hours every weekend catching up. Oh, and I’ll lump in sending out a Remind text, uploading the assignment to the website, etc.

3. The Big Standardized Test. Oh, and the meetings about the BST.  The convoluted schedule to get every child to a computer. This year?  Three weeks of testing, one grade level a week, a different schedule every week.  Would we see our students in language class?  Would we have longer classes or short ones?  Oh, and reading the test to the English Language Learners after I signed my life away saying I would not look at the test.  Always a fun trick.

4. Proving I teach.  I generally put that off until the end of the year, so this year I didn’t do it.  So I guess I didn’t teach.  Look at the multi-page teacher evaluation rubric and provide lesson plans the length of term papers,  upload samples of student work, reflections, update the website where we write our units,  submit logs of parent contacts, proof that I figured out something to lead a team meeting when it was my turn…another six to eight hours on a weekend.  Oh and a couple of days administering the ‘primary and secondary measures’, then grading and uploading the results to prove that I taught something.  Regular assessments just wouldn’t do.  At least I didn’t have to use the BST for my evaluation.

5. Unjamming the copier.  Standing in line at the copier. Buying my own supplies so I don’t have to do paperwork and then wait. Buying notebook paper, notebooks and pencils to give to the kids who didn’t have them. Hiding the stapler from the kids so that they don’t throw staples.  Hiding the tape dispenser so there is tape when I need it.  Switching out the materials and changing the screen between classes, all while standing in the hall. Another fun trick.

6. Inhaling lunch while grading a stack of papers.  I learned early not to eat at my desk.  The 20 or so minutes I had without kids was the only time all day I wasn’t ‘on.’

7. Whack a mole…the constant monitoring of classroom behavior, checking the clock, time to do what I’d planned, did the kids get it, change plan in midstream, they need to get up and move, they’re lethargic, no..now they’re hyper, let’s do something calming…my brain was on overtime for six hours a day.

8. Being ‘on’.  Being professional, kind, upbeat, pleasant.  Watching my words.  Holding my neutral face through the whole day.  Emotionally exhausting.

I could go on.  Our state legislature.  New initiatives.  Just one more thing–it’ll only take five minutes…but I’ll stop.

What I do miss? What is the reason teachers continue to endure all the ridiculous micro-management ? The kids. The exhausting, demanding, frustrating, irritating, wonderful kids.  I really miss my kids.

No Comment

Comments are closed.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.