Sheedding light on education: WORK HOURS!

oh it must be nice to work 7 to 3 and get summers off and all the other breaks. Every single time I hear this I piece of me dies inside and a teacher loses her shit in real life.

So let me tell you what I do 7am to 3pm

Check it. First off I have to arrive before the students to ensure the classroom is ready to recieve them. Second I stay after the students leave to clean up from the day and prepare for the next day. I AM NOT PAID OVERTIME!!! Let’s add in those hours I take work home. Oh wait there a meeting! Upset parent gotta deal with that. Observations and walkthroughs. Data walls. Assessments on top of assessments. IEP meeting. Behavior problem meeting. Staff meeting. Team meeting. A meeting about a meeting. Lunch break? what is that. Bathroom break? man please. Want to know about all those cute crafts, worksheets, homework, centers…yep I paid for it out of my pocket because the paper supply at work is limited and my lesson plan is 17 pages for one subject for one day. Kids don’t perform well on assessments…I might not have a job next year and I am labeled ineffective. Kids come to school hungry, yep got snacks so they can focus. Kids come to school tired, go lay down for a moment. Kids some to school speaking no English, yep they gotta perform at the same level as the rest of the class. Professional development, not paid for but I gotta take them. Fight breaks out paperwork and now I gotta calm the class down like nothing happened. Little so and so and such and such comes in mad and tears up the whole room, yep gotta deal with that and document that.

I don’t sit and play all day. My five year olds are expected to read fluently and no just The cat sat on a mat. Nope try I must have grown over summer. My old shirt is too small.

They are expected to write a full paragraph that makes sense. With 4 sentences.

Reports cards due gotta sit and figure that mess out and write out nice comments about how little man is not the brightest in the class or how little girl is hitting and biting.

Wanna call home? Better pray that number works and they pick up and haven’t blocked the school number.

So those breaks I get, I earned EVERY last single one of them. Guess what nine times out of ten I’m still doing some kind of work while on break.

Shoot the kids start getting on each other nerves after a while and need a break to reset.

Those snow days yep I earned those too. You try having inside recess with 36 kids 2 weeks in a row because it’s too cold to go outside. You as parent may have one, two maybe even 3 kids at your house. I have 36 in a small room with desks and chairs. Emotions run high. Personality clashes.

Yep I earned early single second if my breaks.

So the next time you see a teacher don’t blame them for ALL the problems in education. Sit down and ask them how can you help thier classroom. Buy some school supplies. Don’t complain about the school supply list. We fund 90% of our classroom. We know there are kids who will not have NOT ONE SUPPLY because their family cannot afford it. Their family had to choose between food or school supplies.

Shedding light on education: WORK LOAD

So you think anyone can walk into a classroom and teach a group of kids jsut because they passed that grade and/or subject ions ago…..NOT

Lesson planning: I sit everyday, every week, every month, every quarter, every school year and lesson plan. I have to consider ALL my students and how best to reach them. I do not look at that Teacher Edition book and say yes this will work….NOT. How? That teacher edition book looks at the average child who is on grade level. That TE does not take into consider that child who speaks no English. That TE does not take into consider that child who is below grade level or even above grade level. That TE does take into consider that child who did not get any sleep last night because mama and daddy got into a fight and cops were at the house sorting through the drama, or there was gun fire down the street or they got put out their house, or the child went to bed hungry because there is no food in the house. The TE does not take into consider the child who comes into the school building hungry and looks forward to school because it’s a warm building with food. The TE does not take into consider that child with the learning disabilities. We are told to differentiate instruction with limited to no resources. We rely on each other to survive. I have legit typed up a lesson plan for one day for ELA and it was 17 pages. That did not include the 7 pages of small group instruction. Yep now I have to assessment my babies and group them according to ability and work with them in small groups to pull them up to grade level and beyond. Now the other students I am not meeting with I have create centers for them to be involved in independently. I cannot begin to tell you how much of my own limited personal money I spend on supplies creating centers that are engaging and appropriate. What works one year might not work the next. What the kids like one year they won’t like next year. There no such thing as lesson planning time. You find the time. You make time. You may come in early. You may stay late. You may even take that work home…..remember there is NO OVERTIME PAY so all this is free work.

Meetings: what little time I do have I get the joy of attending meetings. Grade level meetings. Parent meetings. Staff meetings. IEP meetings. 504 plan meetings. Admin meetings. I need to vent meeting. Professional development meeting. A meeting about a meeting. These aren’t short meetings either at best it’s 30 minutes. At worst it’s longer.

Parent concerns: this is mixed bags of nuts. You will get overly invovled parents. Parents you have to hunt down all school year. Parents you never see but see another representative. Parents in denial. Parents ready to pounce and fight at the drop of hat.

Students: they cuss you. They fight you. They pay attention. They don’t pay attention. They walk out. They spend all lesson in the bathroom or the nurse or the front office. They lie on you. They lie to you. They steal from you.

But you are to come to everyday with a smile on your face ready to face whatever life throws at you that day. Somes days are good. Some days are bad. Some days you are ready to throw in the towel. Some days you cry. Those tears can be tears of frustration, sadness, anixety, stress, or even joy. You cannot leave your work at work. You take those kids with you everywhere you go. How can I reach them? How can I teach them? Are they safe? Will I see them on the news tonight? Will they pass my class? You are constantly thinking about your students. Teaching is calling. Teaching is a passion.

Teachers should be the most respected profession on this planet because not everyone can be a teacher. Not everyone wants to be a teacher. If you ever get a chance talk to a teacher. Pray for a teacher. Help a teacher. Don’t critize and blame teachers for everything wrong in education or schools. How hands are tied. We can only do so much. Encourage a teacher. Stand with us when we demand more pay and better work conditions. Stand with us when we strike. We are tired and we want our jsut due. We want what is right and what is fair. Shadow a teacher just one day. Got time shadow a teacher for a week. Go volunteer at a school. Listen and observe. Half you are ready to kick your kids out the house during breaks and weather days. Imagine a classroom full with no teacher assistant.

Please stop and listen to educators. We are tired. We are discouraged. We love our job but something has got to give. We love our kids but enough is enough.

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