Thursday, October 08, 2009

Debbie Downer

I wasn't going to post this. I sent a more detailed version to some friends last night but since it seems so big in my life right now and my blog is about everything I thought I would post this abbreviated version. I found that just sharing with some folks last night really did make me feel better.

I feel down. It has nothing to do with Nick. We’re doing great. I’m very happy at home. I know most of my problem is my job. I used to love it so much. I still love teaching. I enjoy my students. I miss teaching the way it used to be. Back when I could teach, back when teachers could use ‘teachable moments’ for thing other than The Standard Course of Study, back when I was respected and valued as a professional. It’s all gone now.

I wrote a post at the beginning of the school year saying I was not going to let it get to me this year the way it did last year. And I’m trying so hard to fight it off. But it’s like working in the ocean and promising you won’t let it get you wet. I guess every profession is seeing something like this, more regulation and documentation than productive work. I sometimes wonder how well my students might do, how much progress they could make if all my time and energy could go into teaching them.

I feel like most of my energy is going into attending meetings – meetings where teachers (who no longer want to be in the classroom teaching) are telling me how to teach. They are telling me how I’m going to be evaluated. They are telling me that I have to document everything I do or say. And they are making me feel as if I am incapable of doing the job I’ve done for 20 years. You can’t see a career you love completely change without feeling very, very sad.

I try to leave all this at school. I really do and I resent it crowding over into my real life. My real life is the best it’s ever been and that’s what I want to think about at home. I’m trying – I’m going to keep trying but when I do seem out of it and quiet, you’ll know where my mind is.

Written by PK at 12:01 AM

9 comments

9 Comments:

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Paul said...

PK, a lot of my teacher friends over here feel the same.
Bureaucracy gone mad, I call it.
I don't have an answer short of shooting the bureaucrats, which would thin out the population quite nicely.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Theresa said...

PK you are anything but a downer. Sometimes our professional life interferes with our trying to just live a good life. We've all been there. We all feel for you! And love you!

Huggs!
Theresa

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Florida Dom said...

PK: Now that you shared this, I'm sure you'll get a raft of comments from your cyber friends letting you know how much you're loved and valued by all of us.

I think what you're going through falls into the category of Bad Things Happening to Good People. And you're certainly good people.

Many, many cyber hugs from all of us.

And there'll be a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep thinking that way.


And don't feel you're Debbie Downer. You're just sharing your life. And we appreciate the fact that you want to share it with us.

FD

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger mthc said...

You're a great person and a great friend. I'm sure that you're an equally good teacher. I just wish the powers that be would leave things alone!

 
At 10:06 PM, Blogger Not My Original Vows said...

It is sad that they just can't let the great teachers teach, and leave all the politics to the Superintendent.

Hope all goes better for you!

Hugs,
Katia

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger PK said...

Paul,
'Bureaucracy gone mad' is a good way of putting it. And your solution sounds pretty good to me at times. But short of that I just trudge on.

Theresa,
I have a feeling that nursing is probably one step worses than teaching for the bureaucracy problems so I know you understand.

FD,
Honestly everyone has been great and I do feel better. The cyber hugs help. There is a light at the end of the tunnel - retirement!

Mthc,
I think I am a good teacher. I wish my boss thought so. But no matter what he thinks, I am good!

Katia,
I don't think things are going to be fixed - not ever. I'll get out eventually but now Mollie says she wants to teach. Sigh... I don't know what to say. I love the profession until recently. I just want her to be happy.

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger Michelle Carlyle said...

PK,

You poor little thing. That sucks. I've heard this from a bunch of my teacher friends, most of whom have left the profession because they can no longer do their job due to the restrictions. The powers that be don't seem to understand that kids are now falling through the cracks more than ever. Test taking does not relate to real-life skills. The government is totally hosing this next generation of students and hog-tying the teachers. It's criminal.

I'm so sorry you're a victim of these new stupid rules. Have you considered teaching at a Montessori school or something like that?

It would be hard to change and you'd lose your seniority which would suck. But I hope there's a solution for you. Things will change. They have to. Because the students are the ones who suffer the most. The ones who slip through the cracks, the ones who don't do well on tests. Like me.

Many hugs your way,
Michelle

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi PK
sorry you are having such difficulty. I concur with the others that is the children who suffer. I think this is why we are seeing so many more kids home schooled. I have many friends who are teachers and have pursued jobs with Charter schools, or private schools where the emphasis does seem to be more on teaching. I wish you well. It would be a shame for our youth to lose such a caring and dedicated individual.

C

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger PK said...

Michelle and C,
I think it all began with 'no child left behind'. To hear any teacher go off on a rant just let them hear this phrase. No one meant for it to destroy the education system in this country but they couldn't have done a better job of it if they had tried.

 

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