schools in crisis

I'm exhausted by budget talks. Budget talks. Budget talks end with lost jobs, lost pay, bigger classes, less supplies, more work and stress. So much stress. The cuts we must make will go so deep, will hurt so bad... I have trouble understanding how we come back to normal. Will there ever be normal again? Every time we cut, things don't come back in better times. We have rooms in our schools that were used for wood shop, home ec, photography... cut in hard times... and never back again. So when we lose media specialists, when classes go up to 38, 39, 40, 41... we will ever see a return to now? Or will this become the norm? I long for classes under 30. A classroom I can walk around easily in, the time to meet with each student, the energy to grade a set of tests in one evening. All I see ahead is exhaustion.
And with it all comes guilt. Guilt I can't be happy it's not worse. We're not losing 12 days like a near by district. We haven't all been fired like the teachers in New Jersey. We aren't left without a contract and about to strike like some other chapters in the state. We aren't wasting precious classroom time to fight for basic rights like the teachers in Wisconsin. But really-- if I'm supposed to be grateful because my district has managed to avoid falling that far into trouble-- we have depressingly low standards for what qualifies as job satisfaction for educators. 

I love my job so much. I love being a teacher. I love it. And I'm good at it. But after meeting with the principal, meeting with the union, and meeting with the staff... all to discuss... really depressing prospects... I'm tired.



The term slowly comes to an end. Deadlines students thought would never come...are finally here. For three weeks students have had the oppertunity to retake quizzes to prove they've learned a target. Today I had a line of kids during homeroom that waited until the last possible day to do anything about quizzes they needed to retake. Two kids were worried they couldn't retake ALL the quizzes they needed to, because there wouldn't be time. Sorry kid. Natural consequence of waiting until the last minute. Your grade will reflect accordingly.
Middle school is the ultimate learning ground for time management. Time still means nothing to a 13 year old, but deadlines have meaning in middle school. So every year it's the same. Watching the painful lesson as a 13 year old realizes that for the first time she can't do it all in one day, or that being absent for one day out of 12 is not a reason to be late on a project. And I get it, I've been that kid. It sucks. But it's life. 


lazy Saturday

Sunshine today. I thought it would create a super productive me. Instead I still feel exhausted from the week that just ended and I've crawled back into bed to watch movies and laze around. I keep thinking about the math tests I could be grading at this moment, but I think I need a couple more hours before my brain can even think school again. So those tests will wait and I'll continue to enjoy this lazy day.


my first chance

NBC nightly news came to school today. And I interviewed about... I don't even know what. It was nerve wracking and crazy and I'm sure I said all the wrong things. But at the same time, I hope I represented my profession fairly and honestly. Because I hope I find many more opportunities to be an advocate for this profession I hold so dear.
But then it was over and I got back to the business of teaching. Copies. Seating charts. Grading. Meeting with kids who need a behavior reality check. Planning a department meeting. Getting emails sent out.
And oh yeah. At some point I actually had to teach. Excuse the cliche but thank GOODNESS it's Friday.