I’m So Tired………..

I’m not just tired……….I AM EXHAUSTED!

  • It’s observation time for me and that means aligning a lesson to the Common BORE Standards, completing all the required paperwork, preparing the lesson, and using a prep period for my Pre-Observation Conference. Let me make this very clear: I am NOT opposed to observations at all! In fact, I wish that my Principal had the TIME to stop in my classroom on a regular basis and get to know my students, me, and see us all in action – even on my worst days. I am opposed to a contrived “dog and pony show” simply for the purpose of getting a “good” score.
  • I’m TIRED of hearing that teachers will NOT live in “Highly Effective” – only visit there once in a while, and on the other hand being told that EVERY SINGLE ONE of my students should be a pre-determined level if there is any hope of them doing “well” in school and on state tests.
  • I’m TIRED of watching GREAT teachers retire at their first chance because they just can’t take the beatings any more. Teachers with 20, 30 years of experience who still have plenty of “good years” in them and who WANT to teach are kissing it good-bye because of constant demoralization.
  • I’m TIRED of watching NYSUT play catch-up with their “Listening Tours” and “Member Action Center” begging members to inform them of the problems with CCSS, APPR and excessive testing. You know, if they had LISTENED to begin with – they would have heard us screaming to NOT give in to King Andy’s ridiculous demands.
  • I’m TIRED of the stories of parents being intimidated by NYSED and School Administrators when they decide to OPT their children OUT of unnecessary high stakes tests!
  • I’m TIRED of the outright THREATS coming from Albany, Commissioner King, and Governor Cuomo to hold back funding increases for schools that don’t just jump on their bandwagon.
  • I’m TIRED of engageny.org being touted as the “go to” place for CCSS aligned lessons, learning modules, and information, only to find that ONE UNIT of MATH for second grade is a scripted 300 page mess. There are NO ELA modules for PRE-K – 2 yet, and those trainings are set for AUGUST! Way to go NYSED – leave us hanging and then use your incompetence to somehow prove that teachers of young children aren’t “up to the challenge” of implementing CCSS.
  • I’m TIRED of school budget battles where programs for students and teachers are the ONLY things cut.
  • I’m TIRED of being encouraged to present material to my students that is developmentally inappropriate – for crying out loud – LET THEM BE KIDS!!
  • I’m TIRED of Response to Intervention – a process that has, in effect, withheld services from a student that I KNEW in October needed services – because we had to have DATA to prove what I KNEW about 6 weeks into the school year.
  • I’m TIRED of my years of experience and my Master’s Degree counting for NOTHING!
  • I’m TIRED of watching another district – this time Buffalo, NY – inviting TFA in while qualified and properly trained teachers sit waiting for the chance to TEACH!

UPDATED MAY 18

  • I sat at the Commencement Ceremonies of American University last Saturday and watched a young graduate with 2 degrees (in Political Science and Environmental Studies) win “The President’s Award” – the most prestigious award given at Commencement be applauded for “continuing a committment to public service” by signing up with TFA. I am tired of watching qualified EDUCATION MAJORS march across the stage wondering if they will get a chance to teach.
  • I am sick and tired of school district leaders who say “if one more teacher retires, we’ll be in really great shape financially.” WHAT THE HELL? Since there is no plan to replace the teacher, apparently financial concerns trump educational concerns.
  • Our district has a plan to move teachers into different classrooms. This wouldn’t be the end of the world, and I’m quite certain that it happens to lots of teachers every year, but in our little school – this is rare. This proposal – which was sort of dumped on us – is now up for debate and modification, but that means one more after school meeting where we will be asked to “leave our emotions at the door”. Sorry, but we aren’t robots – we have valid, developmentally appropriate concerns that have, so far, been brushed aside because they don’t fit with the “PLAN”.
  • As it always goes in our PreK – 12 school, I’m tired of the students in grades 7-12 being released from school on June 10, while the elementary kids come for full days until June 20. That, in itself, isn’t a horrible idea. However, we elementary teachers have the same amount of “work” to do – which could now include packing up our entire classroom to be moved while having students in those rooms all day. I’m tired of giving my time away for free – like somehow because I teach first grade, I don’t need time to complete grades and reports and folders and portfolios and pack without students in my room.
  • I’m tired of hearing that “PreK – 2” modules MIGHT be done by September, and being told that is what we’ll be using next year – and having no training (except training that I could volunteer to attend in August).

 

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13 thoughts on “I’m So Tired………..

  1. Cheryl Lussier

    I’m the parent of a third grader who is fighting this fight right along side all of you amazing teachers. My heart truly goes out to you all-I can’t even begin to imagine going through this in your shoes. Please know that you are not alone. As parents, we know that teachers are suffering right along with our children. We won’t stop fighting until you are once again able to teach in the way that you were meant to teach!

    Reply
  2. cheryl

    Thank you for sharing. I would so like that all of us in EVERY STATE could do something together on that day or choose a day that EVERY one of us who work tirelessly daily to meet the needs of our students could do something together. EVERY STATE’s teachers are in a battle for the soul of education. We have to do something but we need to be united. We can do it.

    Reply
  3. tskware

    I know it’s exhausting. As a parent, I’m worn out watching my 3rd grader struggle to measure up to a system that could never qualify the inherent beauty of any child or teacher. Thank you for your steadfastness. It’s heartening to know there are teachers who haven’t lost their souls. Bless you.

    Reply
  4. Southpaw

    I, too, am a teacher. I am in my 18th year of teaching, and I have NEVER been so exhausted in my life. Not just physically, but mentally, and emotionally as well. I feel your pain. I am living it day after day. I am ALSO a parent of a 3rd grader, who is, for the first time in his healthy life, complaining of daily headaches and stomachaches during the week. Sounds like me. Sounds like stress. I am deeply frustrated and saddened by what is happening in education today. Let me be clear about something: I AM ACCOUNTABLE. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ACCOUNTABLE for each and EVERY STUDENT WHO I HAVE HAD THE HONOR OF TEACHING. The phenomenon that is happening in education is not because teachers do not want to be observed or held accountable!!! We have ALWAYS had to do this!!! Decisions are being made by people who have NO experience IN a classroom, for us, who practically LIVE IN OUR CLASSROOMS. Decisions are being made for our students and our profession that WE KNOW are NOT in the best interest of our students!!! Many are NOT developmentally appropriate; yet we are expected to teach this to our children, when we, AS PROFESSIONALS, know that this is NOT SOUND EDUCATIONAL PRACTICE! Why is our professional expertise being ignored? Now, don’t get me wrong…some of the ideas that are trying to be implemented in our district ARE GREAT IDEAS and models for teaching! HOWEVER, they are being thrown at us at break-neck speed, with NO TRAINING FIRST! Rather, we have to implement, and THEN get OFFERED “training” that happens in AUGUST. I say “training” because, for the most part, when I leave the “training” or inservice sessions, I usually leave with not much more than I came with. So, what happens next? Some of my colleagues, who are extremely talented, seasoned teachers, take on the awesome task of becoming our “coaches” to these “new” models, in ADDITION to sharing TWO CLASSROOMS OF STUDENTS. Personally, I don’t know how they do it. I am having a hard enough time with all that I have to do, and I’VE BEEN TEACHING FOR 18 YEARS!! I can’t IMAGINE how they keep it all together. As always, I bring work home EVERY NIGHT, and on weekends, too. My ENTIRE Sunday is spent preparing as much as I can for the following week. My 3rd grader tells me I never spend any time with him because I am always “doing work.” The human has been taken out of my profession, and it is very sad. Teachers are more stressed than I have ever seen them in all my years of teaching. I have seen more teachers crying, drained, and exhausted from all that they have to take on…but they DO IT because THEY LOVE THEIR STUDENTS, AND THEY LOVE BEING A TEACHER…well, at least they USED TO LOVE BEING A TEACHER…I could go on and on, but I HAVE SCHOOL WORK TO DO – AND IT IS SATURDAY. Thanks for letting me get this out.

    Reply
    1. antiqueteacher60 Post author

      Thank YOU for validating what I’m feeling! I’m in my 25th year of teaching and like you, have NEVER felt this exhausted!
      Fortunately, my children are in college and high school, and while they lived through NYS exams in ELA and MATH, I always found the score reports to be meaningless to me. I sometimes WISH they were younger just so I could OPT THEM OUT!!
      I hear you ………. I’ve spent the last 3 hours preparing the materials for my observation lesson…..now it’s on to the paperwork…………
      Good luck – I hope you don’t become one of the experienced great teachers who walks away. Our kids need the PASSION for what’s best for them that you have shown in your comment!!

      Reply
  5. mherlMary Herl

    My heart goes out to you. I am a recently retired kindergarten teacher from PA and can sooooooo relate to your exhaustion. I feel my job now is to pray and continue to advocate for respect for teachers as professionals and common sense to come back into our educational system. “The system” couldn’t wait to get rid of me as I questioned how developmentally appropriate this direction by legislated-scripted curriculum was for our students. I still have so much to offer, but could no longer physically function with the stress and demands to write lessons in more detail than I did as a student teacher in 1970! For my last three years, I learned to voice my opinion once and then “shut my mouth and shut my door” and do what was right by kids.
    My hat’s off to you as you continue persevere! You have my support as you continue to fight the good fight.

    Reply
  6. Betsy Marshall

    I am in my 25th year of teaching as well. I have recently agreed to take on the role of being a “teacher leader” for elementary school math in my district. I have for many years taken a leadership role in advocating for the rights of teachers to teach their students and not succumb to the pressures of test prep mania and scripted lessons. I agree with southpaw that some of the ideas that are being implemented under the Common Core are good ideas, but the breakneck speed at which they are being implemented have caused so much stress and exhaustion for students and teachers alike that school communities are struggling and often failing to maintain a healthy learning environment for children. I also agree with Mary Herl that some of the standards being pushed down into the early grades are developmentally inappropriate for many children. I have taught every age group from preschool through 7th grade in my 25 years of teaching. I have taught children with varying degrees of developmental and emotional disabilities. I will continue to teach because it is my life’s work and I will also continue to push back against the tidal wave of destructive forces that are threatening to destroy our public schools and privatize education for profit. The real fight has just begun. Our cause is our children and their future. They are depending on us to prevail.

    Reply
  7. stephaniedi

    This is what every teacher I know has been feeling all year. Administrators must be sharing the same stock phrases–like not living in highly effective–because we have heard that over and over again. And I don’t buy that. When an administrator tells one her teachers this, I think it is encouraging mediocrity. Don’t expect to be great; good enough is good enough. Imagine if we told this to our students?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Kristina

    I am a first year teacher in Louisiana, and I honestly had no idea what I was getting into! Today, I was sent an e-mail outlining the list of tests my students are expected to take within the next nine weeks, and my heart broke for them. This is just the list of tests for my class, and they have seven other classes! I am newbie, and even I know these practices will prove to be ineffective while causing massive student burnout.

    Reply

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