Well I’m back, my kids are back, and so are my worries.
I’m tired, that hasn’t changed. How do you get an entire week off and not feel rested and rejuvenated? Spring Break is a funny thing. Everyone needs some time off because it’s usually a long stretch from Christmas until Easter (for the Catholic schools). A week off is welcome, but those five or six days off are squeezed thin. The break comes at an inconvenient time by teaching standards because state testing comes very fast and the end of the school year is looming. Is there any way to fit in the entire curriculum by the beginning of June? I know that once the testing is completed many students are done in their own minds although the teachers need to complete some state standards. Rush, rush, rush.
I need to focus on the areas of instruction that I feel the students need most in order to have a strong foundation for next year. I try to make things interesting and fun for the kids, but it’s hard when I know there are a few more complex concepts that must be taught. Amy said it best when she compared some of our days to “Groundhog Day”. Meaning that we seem to have to reteach the same concepts over and over again. The retention level is low especially this time of year. The focus seems to be on the weather, spring sports, summer vacation, and getting to go to the pool soon. I like to hold on to my children until the very end of the year. I maintain a strong academic focus so students will continue to work and put forth as much effort as humanly possible. But these remaining days are a struggle. I need to keep going. I have to be strong and relentless in order to finish out the year strong and on a positive note. I can do it.

I’ve made two great finds in teacher resources:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ – I found two fantastic literature studies on The Hunger Games and Freak the Mighty. I highly recommend all educators of middle school literature take a look at these guides for purchase.


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I thought about a scenario that maybe the outside world can identify with to make a point about the teaching profession. If I chose 26-30 people, who do not want to work for you, who have reading disabilities therefore are 2-3 grade levels behind their peers, are in the midst of a life crisis of some sort, (divorce, deportation, drugs, violence, dying parent, etc) and told you that you had to perform at the same top level as a manager of this group of individuals, in one year competing with a manager across town, with all top performing college graduates who earned degrees with honors, could you do it?
Sure you would work ten times harder than the other manager, you would give incentives to your crew, maybe from your own money, you would lie awake in bed at night thinking of ways to improve accountability, attendance, motivation, teamwork, and their overall performance. You would go in to work early and read everything you could to gain the knowledge to help your crew succeed.
At the end of the year the other manager and his crew have set the world on fire, they exceeded their goals and their manager has been promoted with a substantial raise. They celebrate because they are so much better, and their manager obviously was so much better at his job than you were, right? They get noticed for their excellence, everyone wants to be them.
You actually turned your group around. Their daily attendance rose 98%, they stayed after hours working together on projects, and they worked through lunches, they forgot about the tragedies of their outside lives, and researched, brainstormed, and developed their work ethic, gaining self-esteem and confidence that they never knew existed before. But, you didn’t make superior or excellent status like your counterpart down the street. He did meet all the goals that were established up front, oh, he must be much better than you! He should be promoted. You my dear are now on “academic” oops, I mean “performance watch” for not doing a good job. You will have to prove yourself over the next year, or you will lose your job. Did you do a poor job? Does this motivate you to start all over again?
That my friend is education in America today! So maybe we should all take a minute to realize the complexities of teaching. There are millions of teachers fighting to save children, change the world, and create some kind of future for ALL students. It is a crisis and attacking teachers is not the answer.


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Many of my fellow staff members and I were celebrating the start of spring break. We were obviously teachers, by our loud guffaws and avid conversations about our triumphs, frustrations, and concerns. This man decided to buy us a whole round of drinks when he noticed we were all about to leave. He comes over and introduces himself. He then precedes to tell me that he has a problem with teachers even though many of his family members are educators. He feels that we are over educated and make way too much of the “challenges” we experience each and every day. That we complain constantly and if there is more than one teacher in the room, talk reverts back to our schools. I tell him this is because we live our jobs. That our students, our lessons, and our fellow staff members are always in our thoughts.

Hey, it was his idea to come over. Who is he to tell me my chosen life work is overrated and ridiculous. Because after all, “How hard can it be? What’s so different about today’s education then education of the past?” I go on to explain the breakdown of the family unit, the spread of poverty, and the constant raising of standards and ridiculous evaluation process. Nothing…. Then he says, “The problem with education is the number of women in the field.”

I never took a sip of the drink he bought me.


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I’m tired and done. Does that make me a bad person, a bad parent, or a bad person? I don’t think so. Teaching is draining. Even the most dedicated educator needs a break.
My kids are done, which makes my job all the tougher. Just like me, they need to breathe, sleep in, calm themselves, and rejuvenate. I am so tired as a parent of students. My girls are tired. My third grader has had all the pressure she can take from this STUPID Common Core. I’m tired of three tier word problems and one week math units. When will this go away????? Parents stand up and take charge of your children’s education. No one listens to teachers. Make them (the politicians) listen to you.
UGH!!!! I need to take a deep breath and take a nap. I need warm sunshine to kiss my face (personification) and I need to STOP thinking all the time.

Let me hear from you. Do you feel the same way?


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