Saturday, February 21, 2015

Uninspired

This is going to be more of a rant than anything else, sooooo, I'm warning you before you get too into this post. Get out while you still can ....

Teaching. Teachers. This is (in my opinion) not rocket science. I'm built this way. I enjoy showing people new things. I love watching a kid have that "aha" moment. I am thrilled to be creative. I've been told time and again, "you're a great teacher! I want to be a teacher too ... what do you think?" I try to smile and encourage all of my young teens/adults who are trying to make that decision in college about where they want their life to go. Granted, a ton of people change their majors or get a job TOTALLY outside of their degree. Good for you! But teaching ....

Had you asked me 12 years ago what I wanted to do, I would have told you, "something easy." In fact, having been home schooled K-12 with a 3.89GPA and above average ACT scores, I would have said that teaching WAS easy! It had to be. My mom had done it ... with 4 kids ranging 9 years apart. Besides, kids could get to work at 8 in the morning and be done with all of their work by lunch. I mean, I was ... Wasn't everyone else?  

First of all, that was my first misconception ... Moms had easy jobs. I'm so sorry Mahi for EVER thinking that. I can only HOPE to live up to the mother I had.

Secondly, I thought my family was normal ... Dad at work, mom at home. I didn't really know the reality of the family and its gradual breakdown. 

Third, I mistook the teaching profession as being a place to teach. Now, don't get me wrong, I love teaching. I loved my precious school! I loved my team, administration, students, and families. I had NOTHING to complain about when it came to the basics of teaching... But, I didn't really teach the way that teachers should. The teaching profession isn't really teaching anymore. I thought that I would be the one who taught. I didn't know I would be micromanaged with new programs where I became the parent and fed these little ones, protected them from life, shielded them from their sense of "normal" when really it was wrong. I didn't know that I would be on a first name basis with DCS and ache every time a kid showed up with no coat in 30 degree weather. I thought I would go in and teach. But, that was the last thing on the list I was bullied into taking.

I was bullied, you see. Bullied by impossible tests that measure very little of a person/child's intellect and/or ability. I was bullied by people thinking that my job was easy and then felt guilty when I actually believed them. I was bullied by worry about losing my job over scores than losing scores of children's ambition. I was bullied by papers, articles, and research that said their method was the ONLY way to get a kid to learn. I was bullied by a cookie cutter theology of students' learning when I know that each child is different in more than just learning. 

My daily list was a long one - make sure my kids eat, make sure they are warm, make sure they have slept and if not... allow them to curl up somewhere safe, make sure they respected each other, make sure they respected themselves, make sure that they weren't hurt-and if they were ... fix it, make sure they had supplies, make sure I "observed and recorded" behavior problems that a school has no ability really to correct nowadays, create different behavior programs to hold my class together in one piece, teach that school is a right - not a waste, hold my kids hands when they are asked to do things academically that I know isn't age-appropriate, hug them when they cry, be a consistent listening ear to struggles and fears, mediate problems and help them learn to find solutions rather than hateful words or actions ... the list goes on. 

This doesn't even scratch the surface of the extra paperwork and time that is required by the Board. I'm sure at one point, the Board was full of people who cared about kids and their education. The problem is ... well, micromanaging. If I could just teach and take grades and make report cards, that would be plenty. Now, I have to have standards listed in my room, on posters, in plans, and on report cards. I have to write EVERYTHING down because few people have faith in the teachers anymore. I have to turn in money for field trips ASAP DURING the day because I can't be trusted. I have to be given a limit of copies because we don't have enough money in schools and thus my kids suffer from lack of practice. I mean, the state says we do ... but obviously we are not budgeting the funds properly, because scores are not increasing quickly. I'm told my schedule and required to drop essential concepts because reading scores are too low. Since when did removing science and social studies become okay? Don't you learn and practice critical reading skills? 

So, this is what it is ... I'm tired. I'm a new mom who doesn't sleep, barely showers regularly, has that new spit-up/poop/pee "perfume," and eats with one hand. However, I teach. I will teach my son that education is a right, not a waste. He will learn to respect himself and others, follow rules, wear a coat when it is cold, go to bed early, eat a good breakfast, be on time, to do his best to glorify God,  tie his shoes before he can read, come to me when he is sad or hurt. He will know that Daddy and Mommy will NEVER break up our family and that promises DO matter. He will be a problem solver and hold hands of others who need help. He will know that his family will listen to his worries. He will know that school is important and will help him be able to thrive in life. He will also know that tests do NOT determine his ability. Why will he know all of this? Because I am a parent. Leave the parenting to me .... teachers have enough to do already. They have to teach...


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