Thursday, October 23, 2014

Think of the children!

On the plus side, I’ve lost four pounds.  On the minus side, I’m also losing my will to live.
Stress seems to have stomped on my appetite, because I find I’m either in too much of a hurry, too busy or too stressed to eat much.  Food doesn’t taste that appetizing lately.  Is that a sign of depression?  If so, there’s certainly an upside to it – my pants aren’t tight!  They’re just too loose.

I think my school is moving towards an Animal Farm type of business model.  Put the “smartest” people in charge, even if (or especially if) they have no idea how to teach a class, manage people or run their personal lives.  But put them in charge, and then turn around and dump everything onto the teachers.  Give them more students, less time, less power but require more documentation for every interaction they have with a student.  They’ll work harder for less, because it’s AAAALLLLLL about the kids.

Strange how all the districts are trying to boost salaries.  Come over here, there’s a signing bonus and you’ll start at $70K a year!  I tend to be a money-grubber myself, so I definitely see the appeal.  But believe me, most teachers would happily take less money if they were treated with respect and dignity.  Make the class sizes smaller, hire more teachers and get the hell out of their way or support them – guess what?  Your school starts improving.  Parents are happier.  Students perform better, you know, those kids we’re doing all of this for?  

My school tries the opposite tack.  Cram students into classrooms to the point that there aren’t enough seats for them.  Nitpick at the teachers over how they write their lesson plan, over what they write on the board, and act offended if they ask to take a day off.  Worse, make them clock in and out to see if they’re REALLY putting in their 10-12 hours a day.  Then tell them they have to “volunteer” for certain after school activities, because it’s AAAALLLLL about the kids.

This morning I received an email which informed the staff that more teacher “volunteers” are needed to help out during the school's movie night. “We need seven more volunteers, or else we'll have to cancel it because we won’t have enough supervision!  Come enjoy the evening with your students – we don’t want them to miss out on this fun event.”

No, we really don’t want them to miss out on Saw IV.  Where else could they see that?  So maybe I’ll volunteer so I can enjoy my evening supervising students in my free time.  I NEVER get to do that.  Besides, it's AAAAALLLLLL about the kids.