Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why I haven't posted

It has been way too long since the last time I posted. I spent this past week of vacation doing a lot of thinking, reading, working, and general organizing of my life and future. I would click on my blog every day, but I had nothing to write. I would read other bloggers posts to get some inspiration, but still I felt nothing. I think this is a reflection on how I am feeling professionally: like nothing. All of the problems at my school have gotten worse this year. Last year was bad and I remember telling myself that if this year was like that I would leave my school. I wish it were as easy as that... I wish I could just leave. Last year I tried to leave. I posted my resume on the open market website and decided I would go for it. When I started getting phone calls, I freaked out. At first I just didn't call the principals back and then finally at one point I told a principal that I had decided to stay at my school another year... and that was when I realized that I would stay another year. So I stayed and everything got worse and children continued to be under/mis-served by a disgusting and criminal system and now I feel totally helpless like nothing will ever change. Part the reasoning behind my decision to stay was that I was afraid of what other schools might be like. I figured it could be worse somewhere else. At least at my school I have great colleagues. Now I'm in a situation where I don't feel that I can leave. Personal situations have come up for some of my colleagues and I feel that I must stay to support them for at least one more year. Plus, if I stay another year, I am eligible for loan forgiveness which I desperately need and I will be vested in the pension so I won't lose it if I leave. I keep telling myself I can do it for one more year and then I'm in the clear and I can go somewhere else.

Part of this is also due to the fact that I have had to revisit a lot of recent publications and research in the area of TESOL and bilingual education recently and I just get depressed at how much we used to do and how little we do now at my school. The problem of siblings being denied registration has continued and has now affected one of our most loyal and vulnerable families in our program. I realized that we have not had ONE parent workshop this entire school year and no one seems to care. No one has even asked the teachers to choose a topic or anything. Why are we paying a parent coordinator? In one reading, a suggestion to help issues of low literacy was to have open library time before school for parents to come and read with their children. This just reminded me that my school got rid of its library last year when we used to have that resource.

Everyone asks me if it's because of budget cuts and I always immediately answer with NO! It's absolutely NOT about budget cuts, its about having caring and capable administrators with a vision for a school who actually make people DO THEIR JOBS!!! The sad part is that my administrators have probably never even read the publications and research that I am reading now and revisiting from my masters and they have NO IDEA nor do they even care to learn.


Anonymous said...

I read often. I've been silent until now. This post really hits hard. I'm am in EXACTLY the same situation. It's bad everywhere, and part of me (most of me) believes that this is the plan. I'm not into conspiracy or anything. It is REAL. We KNOW what we should be doing, yet we're forced to do the very opposite. I feel panicked in my teaching. Our curriculum is a mile wide and an inch thick. We're teaching to goddamned standardized tests. My third graders have to take quarterly benchmarks each year. One of the regular passages they're assualted with on these shitty assessments is a paraphrased excerpt from Oscar Wilde's the importance of being earnest! no. joke. Then we get the results back and I'm told the 8 yr. olds in my classroom don't know how to "analyze text"! The system is most definitely broken, but I stay because I love the kids and their families. I have some kickass colleagues too. But I, like you, am feeling pushed out by the insanity of it all. We're no longer allowed to do what we need with our students. So much has become developmentally inappropriate and spirit killing. School's just not fun anymore, and it really should be. Kids are naturally curious and kind. The system is standardized and mean-spirited. And most days, I don't want to take part.

Launa Hall said...

I'm a post and the comment from anonymous are sobering. Thanks for sharing your feelings. What should we, collectly, do? If it's this bad, and I believe you that it is, what's our next step?