Shaddup Already!


Warning--Bitchfest Ahead

For the first time in my teaching career, I'm seriously thinking about getting out. I'm sure it's just stress, but I keep thinking about different jobs I could do. I could make more money, have less stress. Heck, there's a tire factory just down the road from me. I bet they pay more.

I'm having a hard time adjusting to my coteacher. She's a "gifted facilitator" who admittedly doesn't want to be treated like a mere faculty member. The consensus is pretty much the same, she has a good heart, but has no idea how snobbish she is. Nor does she realize how harsh she is with the students. I truly don't believe that she wants to hurt people, but she does.

In addition to that, she and I have markedly different teaching styles. I recognize this, I don't think she does. I can repeat things over and over and she just hears what she wants to hear, not what I'm saying. She kind of came in with the attitude that this was my class and she is more of an assistant teacher than a coteacher. That would be fine with me, if she would back off while I was teaching. The worst thing is, she most likely believes she's helping me.

I have one class that she is in for only half the time. When she leaves, there's this weight that is just lifted from the whole room. I don't know how to make this a more positive experience for all involved. She will continually look down on students who aren't gifted (2/3 of this particular class). She will continue to belittle kids in an effort to "discipline." And regardless of what I say, she won't see the problem.

I have my regular English class that is all my own. I relish this time of day. I didn't realize how much I missed teaching on my own. Just me and my kids. I don't have to worry about what someone else wants to teach or how they want to teach it. I don't have to worry that if I give students permission to talk during seatwork, someone else will yell at them for "unnecessary talking." I don't have to worry about my kids turning into virtual robots for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.

That leads to another area of contention I have with teaching lately--100% inclusion. This doesn't serve students effectively. I'm sure we could mainstream more students than we would in a non-inclusive system, but not every child benefits from being in a class with every other child. There are some kids who simply need a small room with few people whom they know very well.

This year the only special ed kids I have are the gifted ones. I could ask to not teach them next year, but I would still be in a situation with a coteacher because my district is 100% inclusion. I have seen some kids absolutely flourish under this system, but I've also seen kids who have been failed by the system. In a regular setting, some children are simply being babysat.

Then completely selfishly, I don't want a coteacher.

Today I was reminded of another lovely thing shoved down our collective throats--Pearson. This is a means for collaboration. It is a complete waste of time and consists solely of jumping through hoops. It is mandated by the district, so it's not going to change any time soon.

Back to the beginning, I don't want to teach in this environment any longer. Unfortunately, I believe this is the environment that will continue to exist because politicians are morons.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm under contract for this school year. I don't know that I really want to give up teaching. I do love the actual teaching of it. I don't know what else I would do for a living. Maybe I'll feel slightly better if we get a decent raise. That is probably not going to happen, but I wouldn't know because the goddamned-fucking-union here has no sense of communication with it's members.

We've already been shafted--going from board paid insurance to us having to pay some. That, to me, spells a salary cut. See, when districts publish their salaries, they've included the fringe benefits in that figure. When they cut back on what they're paying for insurance, they've cut my salary and I'm PISSED about it.

I think I may pull out of the union. I know it's good to have the legal protection, but I'm having more and more trouble justifying that $600 a year for this shitty union that can't find their way out their asses in order to do what's right for those they represent.

I think I really need to quit my second job, but I can't afford to. I'm just so frickin' stressed right now. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

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