I have been at my job for seven long years. As much as I enjoy the actual teaching part, lately I’ve been having a hard time thriving in my abysmal workplace.
As a student I never realized how political teaching is. There is so much red tape involved in every minute decision. Nothing is done in the best interest of the children. No child is left behind because they were never “there” to begin with. Most schools are not designed with the learner in mind. The administration seems to have no idea what it takes to be a classroom teacher. Of course, everything is our fault from student truancy to them failing to comply with the dress code.
I am tired. It is an exhausting mind-grinding job. At the end of most days I have nothing left. The life has been virtually squeezed out of me. The students are the opposite. They are energized and peppy, pumped up on making things hard for the staff. They have been enabled every step along the way and are highly resentful to anyone who tries to change the status quo.
And I am what many consider a “good” teacher. I have even been described as “excellent.” I have earned my fair share of accolades early in my career and continue to garner positive attention. I am often “dumped” on because I manage my classes well. I can only imagine how struggling teachers feel.
But with this being said, the students essentially are not the problem. You can train a child how to behave, teach and model good work and study habits, and provide a comfortable environment conducive to learning. Now the adults I work with are another story. It’s too late to train them.
The thought of empowering students is a foreign concept to many of them. They allow the students to get away with murder to avoid really dealing with them. They don’t care that they can’t read or write; they only want them pushed out of the school system in order to avoid public scutiny. They can’t possibly begin to fathom how this laissez-faire mentality helps perpuate the cycle of dsyfunction, low expectations, and poverty.
I have created a wonderful world in my classroom. But I hate being confined to one such place. I’m sure the students feel the claustrophobia as well. I want to be able to utilize the entire school and all of its resources–both people and things.
I am at a croosroads in my life. Do I stay or do I go? I interviewd at my alma mater (my husband’s, too) last Wednesday. Maybe a change will do me good. My husband urged me year after year to leave my building. He often referred to it as a mockery of education. I agree. But what about the kids that I am leaving behind? Perhaps I need a whole new career.