Long time, no write folks!
So let’s hop right into it…
I’ve left the school system in my district. Technically I’m a teacher in the sense of the new position I’m in, but I no longer have to stress myself with the daily struggles of fighting for what’s right in the Early Childhood & Public School world. When I went to my beloved alma mater and declared that this was what I wanted to do, I assumed that Early Childhood was basic knowledge. I assumed the only people to disagree with it were older veteran teachers who were stuck in their ways. I thought that because I came to a school initially know at Teachers College and I did my due diligence as a a student to learn what I needed and showed that I was capable, I would be seen as an educator that knew her stuff.
I know I lived in a gullible world then…but stay with me (ha!)…
Of course I also knew that I would have to fight for what was right for my students and work with others in their attempts to make me “conform”. Fine, fine…whatever. I still went to school for this and know what’s right, right?!
What I wasn’t prepared for was the stress of stressing my own students out with constant assessing, forced curriculum on students who barely understood the language, and the time out of my life that I would have to dedicate to a system who persistently disrespects and gaslights as a hobby.
Can you tell how through I am?…
I was told once that I can just take my Sundays to catch up on work.
Do they not understand that Sundays I go to vineyards to talk junk about my job so I don’t carry that through the door with me on Monday?! Did I forget to send that memo?! Like we joke about literally have no lives outside of school because we take it home with us…but there are some people who don’t actually get the joke. They’re caught up on all their work because they get to school an hour before it starts, stay an hour and half or two later, take work home every day and maybe treat themselves to rest on Friday evening, and work through the weekend.
And that’s for Kindergarten. I can only image what a 4th grade teacher’s life is like.
But yet, I stayed for 7 years…until one day in a meeting I was annoyed with how “support” was dished out to a beginning teacher who tried something different in her room. I voiced my concerns about it (which I rarely do to keep a low radar of me not following the rules…) and was basically hit with the word “DATA” several times and told not to lose myself as a teacher.
When I tell you, I was physically, mentally, emotionally drained by 10:30a…everyday…just think of the person/thing I was to my child when we got home. There wasn’t anything left.
Something else teaching didn’t prepare me for: leaving enough of myself to be there for my own kid and for myself.
I haven’t read, wrote, painted in months [maybe over a year for somethings] because I want to do nothing but lay in the bed. Sundays were the worst; mostly me lashing out like a child dreading for all the fighting and script reading I had to do the coming week. I forgoed lesson planning because what was the point; everything I needed to say was in a book that was copied and pasted into a document and “checked” by admins to give some lack lustered feedback. The teacher that came in ready to take on fight, was gone. We can blame it on COVID but all COVID really did was expose education for what it’s always been about: Politics, Data.
I [read: we] went to school just to be told I can not be trusted to teach children.
So why continue?