Saturday, March 2, 2013

Giving up

Here's a man who did what I desperately wish I had the guts to do.  This man had a typed resignation that he intended to read before what I would presume to be a school board.  Resignation letters, at least in this state, are public documents (e.g. open to future employers should they so desire to read them when vetting a candidate for a position that they need to fill).  This man in this video epitomizes, in my estimation, the very essence of the hurricane of discontent consuming today's educators.  I, for one, empathize with his frustrations and feel that I can share his I've-had-it-ness.  Fundamentally, teachers want to be allowed to teach, to do the job for which they have been trained and not be second guessed and dictated to by those who have not.  What boggles my mind is how "they" don't believe that, whether you want to point fingers at lawmakers or the general public, it doesn't often seem to matter.  In education, unfortunately, it's something of an escalation of emotional warfare that neither side seems to be doing much to mitigate.

When I was an undergrad, I was told at some point, perhaps in an education class?, that 50% of newly minted teachers were out of the profession after 2 years.

My first year teaching, fresh out of college and less than a decade ago, was nothing like my last year teaching.  Not even remotely.  Technology has exploded and is now the dominant factor in every classroom, in every school.  In this state, a property tax law went into effect which subsequently opened district restrictions, allowing students to essentially go to whatever school they want to so long as the school will accept them.  This, by default, has turned schools into something resembling for profit entities, advertising their services and working the "one up" factor against local competitors.  I've been in faculty meetings, multiple times, where we (teachers) have been directed to "sell" our school, to be the best in hospitality so that parents will want to send their children to our school--to be the five star hotel (not my analogy).  I have not been in faculty meetings where we have been told to be the best educators so that parents want to send their children to our school. 

Whether this man has a true grievance with those in his school who wouldn't listen to him is for the sake of this post beside the point.  From my vantage point, I hear frustration, hurt and a true desire to be an educator.  I hear the voice of an individual who wants to teach in a world that seemingly doesn't want teachers so much anymore in favor of those who are willing to be directors. 

In the last few weeks, I've come to my own realization that I just flat out miss interacting with students.  They're quirky, interesting, and decidedly vulnerable.  I just miss them.

Serious part of the post over with, here's a story.  My three-year old has those days where she's really three years old.  We had both the squeezing toothpaste into the sink episode and pouring nail polish on the tan carpet and shredder episode, all in one day.  Nail polish does not readily come out of either cloth or carpet.  That was said too nicely...nail polish essentially does not come out of cloth or carpet, especially when it was about an entire bottle's worth.  There are only so many places in this house that things can be locked up.  Kids lull you into a false sense of security and then they do THIS kind of junk.  Now I have these Pollock-esque spatters to fume over along with the crayon scribbles on the walls.  To quote my (literally) red-handed daughter, "Oh, fiddlesticks..."


1 comment:

Crystal said...

Fiddlesticks, indeed! Thank you for sharing this video. And thank you for being a good teacher.