As a general rule, I try not to post much about school here. As I use this page professionally for photography (though check out my new page here), video, and hopefully one day my novels (currently about two thirds of the way through the rough draft of my “first”), I don’t like to link it back to my teaching career. Ya know, just in case the school or a student decides to search me. Lately, however, some of the other teachers have been irking me.
There’s this big hoopla about possibly teaching 6 of 8 classes next year. Currently, we teach 5 of 7, with one of those classes every day. To help decrease the amount of teachers they have to cut due to budget concerns, and to allow for more classes for students, the county is proposing this new plan. Supposedly, class sizes should decrease and the sixth class would be a prep you already have. Okay, so what’s the problem? Well, we know that while these small class sizes sound amazing, they will probably only last the first year or so, meaning English teachers will have 25 or so MORE five-page essays to grade than they already do. Oh, and no extra money for the extra work.
Big deal. We got into teaching because we love it, not because of the money (or lack thereof). While we do work incredibly hard while we’re teaching, with planning, grading, monitoring, remediating, etc… we only have to do it 9 months out of the year. AND we get off at 3:30 each day. So what’s the big deal about having to stay an extra hour every so often to finish the grading? I know that some teachers stay super late EVERY DAY even now (which I don’t really get, to be honest… maybe they just have a crap ton more grading than I do, holla collaborative classes!).
So many are threatening to quit. I say: QUIT. I just got my “you were hired on a temporary basis, so your job may not be available next year” (aka you’re fired) letter that every new teacher gets their first 3 years (I’m year 2, fyi)… I’ll be GLAD to take over your position.
On another note, and I apologize for the rant, teachers who refuse to attend IEP meetings are ridiculous. For the record, at the moment I am ALREADY teaching 6 classes, with only ONE planning block (not two, like they propose for next year), and because one of those classes is a regular education class (Intro to Mass Communications), I have been often pulled as a regular ed teacher in IEP meetings (despite my official label as a Special Ed teacher and the fact that I have these students in my collaborative classes). Next week alone I’ve been invited to two. Which means that because I have my own caseload to manage, I do double-duty on IEP meetings. Now, no one can EVER complain to me about having to attend them.
The thing is, if I’m asked to go, no matter how much of an inconvenience it is to me and my one planning block, I will go. I actually care about these students and want them to succeed, and if that means I need to sit in on an hour-long meeting where my presence is relegated to a signature on a document, then I’ll be there. I was asked to sit in on a meeting for a student next week simply because I am the only teacher the student has that says nice things about him. So do I want to be there as the ONE teacher on his side? Definitely.
Basically, I’m just sick of the attitudes. However, I’ll just keep my head down, my mouth shut, and keep on keeping on. I’ve never had a job I love as much as I do teaching, and I’m not planning on taking it for granted. Bring on the 6 of 8.