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Freefalling.

by captain on October 18th, 2011

I hate that public education has come to this point for me.  I really did go into public education system because I wanted to help.  I had good teachers growing up, I liked to teach, and I felt like it was a perfect place for me to have a career.  Now it has turned into my own private hell.   I know it’s bad to complain about a job in this current economic situation, but hey….it is what it is.

When you know you were sent here by your district in hopes that you would quit, it’s even harder to care.  I did for a while.  I did partly to prove the people who sent me here that I WOULDN’T quit, because that’s what they wanted.  I actually do, and always will care and put forth effort into those kids who try.  We have about 20% of our students who do care, and will try, and want to succeed at something in the future.   The rest are in a holding pattern until they have more free time to commit crimes and go to jail.  School totally screws up the amount of time they can go get their criminal on. 

When you have 70% of a class any given period that isn’t going to put forth effort, and doesn’t care, then it makes educating the 3 or 4 students who DO want to learn almost impossible.  I gave atest the other day.  AN OPEN NOTE test.  I had over half the class fail it.  I had half of the remainder get a D- on it.  I had 2 B’s…neither very high, those were the highest marks.

OPEN NOTE.

If you can’t get your shit together to pass an OPEN NOTE test, really life is ALWAYS going to be a struggle for you.

on these notes, I GAVE THEM ALL THE ANSWERS…they only had to copy them down off the board.  When this happens for several years in a row, you lose the motivation to give it much of a try.  You know what is going to be the result.  The admin. will swear it’s a lack of engagement on the teacher’s part that leads to this.  I’ll agree to a point, although it never starts out that way.  Teachers always try in the beginning….they can keep up the effort for some time before the lack of response and effort returned to them from th students wears them out and they lose the drive.   That point of wearing out comes earlier and earlier the longer you work here.

Throw in a few things like lack of discipline, lack of funding to do anything fun, more pressure by the top of the line to get test scores up, and you basically have a very unfun place to work.

I think the entire staff here feels the same way.  I’ve hit the end of my rope here.  I really don’t care at all.  If I could go do another gig full time for similar pay, I would in a heart beat.  If I had other meidcal insurance or somewhere to get that, I’d rather be a substitute. 

We just had a kid here who threatened to BLOW UP my car a year ago.  He got expelled, because, well, you just can’t threaten to blow up a teachers car.  It was me and another teacher.   Well his expulsion contract expired, so they let him back in.  AND they put him in my class.

That’s safe.  That makes me feel good.  That makes me want to care MORE.

What it does is make me second guess every decision that I make regarding his behavior.  If Imake him angry will he take offense and seek revenge?  I’ve had 11 flat tires since I worked here, I’m guessing 10 of them were out of some kind of revenge.

I caught a few kids smoking pot ON campus the other day. ON CAMPUS.  Within arms reach of the school.  I saw three of them doing it.  Only 2 got suspended.  I get leaving the one I didn’t see off, but still…he should be guilty by association right?!?!?  I mean he was WITH kids who were smoking a freaking DOOBIE. ON. CAMPUS.  One girl managed to sweet talk her way into a shorter punishment…not sure how, but it’s not my decision.  THe worst part about the whole bust is that while I felt GOOD to catch them, I wondered for a few minutes if I should say anything, out of fear of revenge by the students.  NOT a good feeling to have.

I really seriously try NOT to write any discipline referrals. Ever.  I just don’t know if the punishment (or lack there of) that they will get is worth the potential retribution that may be taken out on me or my car.

We have a principal who wants to come across as the good guy. No matter if it means throwing his teachers under the bus.  He’ll take away detention hours for no reason other than he likes the kid.

“Well…your teacher suggested you get 2 hours detention for this, but I’m going to let you off with 30 minutes…”  Or sometimes none at all.  He make it look like WE were the bad guy punishing the kid, and then he, by his wonderous grace let them go.

The kid leaves loving him, and hating us for trying to get them detention hours.

Rumor has it he’s leaving this year.  Everyone hopes so. Whether they verbalize it or not.  The only issue is that we’ve been l eft badly beaten here.  I’m not sure the person who takes over this job can help bring us back to where we were a few years ago.  I tried to think of how I would change this place, if someone asked….and I don’t know.

My lack of faith in this school, the way its been run, and the education system in general have left me really with no way to think of how to make it better.

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