A Long Year

I was so excited to start this blog, and share my adventures in my classroom this year, and then life happened.

I have spent the last six years working under and administrator that openly despises me and works to make each day a struggle. I thought that blogging about the positives in my classroom would make this year easier for me, but I found that I was struggling each day to find a positive to talk about and just kept putting off my writing.

I have been a teacher for over twenty-three years. My admin was a teacher for six before going into administration at a charter school and then arriving here at my pubic school. What I have learned is that his army reserve training has led him to believe that he is the CO of the school and we are his lowly enlistees and we are to say “Yes sir” and move on. Having a dissenting opinion about anything only causes the target on my back to grow.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t look to be the dissenting opinion to all of his ideas, I did it once and my life has forever been changed. Six years ago I was co-ASB sponsor, co-CJSF sponsor, Yearbook advisor, teacher representative to the PTA, website co-ordinator, Union rep for my site, teacher speaker to incoming 6th grade parents (having been an incoming 6th grade parent twice), a member of the site Leadership team to guide our PLCs, and tech advisor to teachers. Today, I am the Middle School Representative to the Board of Directors for my union as that my admin removed me from all other activities without any conversation. I was added back to CJSF as that my co-sponsor went to our admin and said I needed to remain with CJSF.

This has broken me a bit. I spent the first fifteen years of my career working on my curriculum, supporting my students, being a mom, and then to have it all ripped away without being told why led me to question if all that I thought I was successful at was just a mirage.

I found solace working for my union, these are my people and I could work to better our working conditions and protect our contract. That was up until this year. Even now the Board of Directors for my union has become an episode of Mean Girls, and I am watching as dedicated teachers who want to give their time to support our union membership being shunned and talked about behind their backs. This is not what I signed up for, and it saddens me quite a bit that the group I thought was working for the whole is just a bunch of cliques just like high school. I didn’t fit into any of those groups in high school, and I don’t now.

So where does that leave me. I have considered going into administration because this would help my bottom line when retirement comes, but I don’t know if I want to leave my classroom. I thought about going into teaching at the college level, but that would require my return to higher education as well to get the right credential. So for now, I sit and I struggle.

I have lost the spark to teach. My district has implemented SolutionTree philosophies and is asking that all teachers give the same assessments and be on the same topic at the same time. Where does that allow any creativity to thrive or my being able to practice the art of teaching? They believe that all students can learn, as do I, but when you are only looking at the data (and not the students as a whole) how does that translate? I have lost the spark.

I am looking forward to a summer (36 teaching days) where I can relax and reflect and hopefully be able to find that little amount of pixie dust that will get me through next year. For now, I need to find those little positive moments in my classroom that can carry me through the day, but they are few and far between.

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