Where Do I Go From Here?

I haven’t blogged for a while. I haven’t blogged because I’m confused. I work hard to be a good teacher. I do all the things I’m supposed to: I read professional articles, look to other teachers for ideas, reflect on my practice, plan lessons that encourage kid to think deeply, tie what I do to essential questions and real-life applications, and differentiate my instruction as best I can to meet every kid where they are regardless of how or why they are there. So what am I confused about?

I don’t know when I became the enemy.

Look at Wisconson. Sure it’s easy to criticize those lazy teachers for wanting all that money when we in a recession (teachers being paid so well and all), but here we also bargain for planning time and the amount of extra duty we are required to do  in order the give us enough time to build solid lessons and to give adequate feedback to students on their work. We bargain to limit the amount of preparations teacher need so that no teacher is stuck planning superficial lessons because they have to plan four or five different lessons for each day. Part of our bargaining is so we can be better teacher. Affordable health care and a living wage is only part of it. I’m not gung-ho about unions, but I’m frustrated by the way I’m being portrayed by people who are supposed to respect what I do. I’m tired of education reform being about cutting salaries and firing teachers.

But it isn’t about education; it’s about money.

States need to cut funds and teacher make easy targets becasue the rhetoric politicians use is so easy to buy into. Tell me one teacher you respect that doesn’t want what’s best for students? One teacher that thinks believes teacher’s needs trump student needs? We believe in everything they are saying…but what they are saying isn’t what they are doing.

And I have become the target.

Perhaps I’m taking it too personally, but I’m not used to being the enemy. I’m not sure what I did to get there…or how I’m supposed to stay here and still be good at what I do. I’m starting to think the answer lies in the test prep workbooks in my closet.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Where Do I Go From Here?

  1. CBob

    I too am confused. I am a DAMN good teacher– this year alone, I have taken on two jobs (for the price of one). I have raised my students scores from 17% to well over 50%. I teach all of the SPED students, ESL (that speak a hint of English) and the lowest performing students. And yet, I am searching for a job for the FALL.
    I am so hurt! As the year is coming to an end–the workload is HUGE– and I am expected to smile day to day and teach.

    • Simon

      I’m currently in special measures at my school and I’ve just started teaching properly again after being reinstated from a PPA role for 2 years. It’s been very tough and I have struggled. Apart from putting my children to bed, it seems as though I’ve done nothing else but work since September. I feel extremely narked that I am unable to do anything outside of work, as there are not enough hours in the day to have a life and meet the minimum expectations. I would like to be involved in the ‘Big Society’ and serve my church. However, at the moment I only pay lip service because work is impacting everything and draining my hopes.

      Despite this though, I know that there is someone else I am doing this for, and he alone is the reason why I am and can continue in this.

  2. cim joh

    I feel everyone pain. I am there with you. Why am I the consider an enemy. I do suggest becoming an educational consultant. You make as must money as you want, you have the freedom, and the freedom to say no.
    We already do power points presentations, we already have thousands of lessons we have put together from tones of research that we do regularly.
    Let’s go on the ROAD!!! You set you own salary. What do we have to lose but to gain. We are still teaching but in a different way for those of you who still have the passion to teach and move beyond the consider enemy.

  3. wanda

    I left public school and am now teaching in private church run school. I am a member of the denomination. In public school you have a union and labor laws to protect you. Working for the church, you have the belief that everyone will do the right thing. You believe that the students are being trained at home to be respectful, obedient, disciplined, and self-controlled; you’re wrong. The students don’t use the same bad language, as in some public schools and they are not as physical but they do bully, lie, and intimidate. The parents stand behind their little demons because they are misunderstood little darlings. One girl’s foot slipped and kicked me. The same girl’s parent is on the school board; the kick was an accident. This girl told her parents that I kicked her papers. She gave the class a discourse on how the school board gets rid of a teacher. If you leave the public school classroom be aware that private only looks better. A multitude of stuff is being hidden under those uniforms. The students at my school give academy award winning performances when someone is watching.

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