Tuesday, June 15, 2010

50 years

This is just so true.

And in reading some of the comments that followed, I was appalled to see some of the following, "It's about time teachers were accountable" and "Time to get rid of these teachers that are in it for the easy money" Wow.

Easy, are not the kids that come from one-or-none family homes. Those who have a heap load of problems even before my 8:15am shift begins. Teaching them consists of daily deodorant routines and counseling sessions prior to the pledge. Easy does not describe the dealings of parents who refuse to sign off on weekly progress reports of their child's needs of improvement. Or their neglect to meet me for conferences about their child's academic success. Perhaps easy is the feeling I get when they at least agree to have me 'babysit' their kid for an hour and half after school while I push and prod to get in all the skills not attained that school day. Hey, at least I know they will have their homework done, even if it isn't done at home.
Easy can not begin to describe the volcanic mounds of paperwork that needs to be completed every four weeks which involves data charts, graphs, tables, and diagnostics. Easy can't be the districts tightly locked handcuffs directing me with pacing guides, implementation rubics, and focus calendars. The scheduling nightmare continues to twist and turn me in all directions forcing me to be in four places at once. A rollercoaster of objectives that bring the students though loops of multiplication and division before they have mastered simple number sense. Ghosts and goblins reveal themselves through former teachers with scary stories of students they have had and now, "Oh, you have him" The fun house continues with ogre-sized third graders held back to many times to believe. Thanks to No Child Left Behind. Reality is distorted when they've transformed me into the leader of a three ring circus of centers, interventions groups, and mandated software that must be utilized daily by every single child.

With ten years under my belt, I can definitely say there is nothing easy about teaching, that is, of course if you only count the summers. In which, you finally have the chance to break away from the day to day rigor of pushing a cheat-code generation of children to care about... anything.