Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Square Peg in a Round Hole

The message could not be clearer that the tide is turning at my school. It was made official, plain and clear to me today. There is no discussion, no PD, no training, no variation. Everyone get on the bus.

I'm depressed about work in a way that I've never been before. My first year or two were rough, but everyone's are, and I was sustained by the thought that I was still learning, I was getting better, and no one really expected me to work miracles overnight. That's not to say I never felt stressed or pressured--I certainly did--but it all seemed to come with an air of this-too-shall-pass, gotta-crawl-before-you-walk to it. Now that I have my act together, now that I've worked very hard to be a halfway decent teacher, I'm being told that it isn't good enough. Not only is it not good enough, but it's entirely wrong and I have to tear it all down and start over again yesterday.

Now is not the time to tell me this. June was the time to tell me this. June was the time to tell me that the curriculum calendar I completed and submitted for this school year in June would not be acceptable. June was the time to hand me a pacing calendar or a binder or something and explain to me what to do with it, send me to some training, give me a book, something. June was the time to make it crystal-clear that there was one right way to do things and here is that way. I might not have liked it, I might not have agreed with it, and I might have looked for a new job over the summer, but at least I couldn't say I wasn't warned. At least I could have come into this school year with a curriculum calendar that was acceptable and not worry about planning something new in the middle of also trying to just grade papers, plan some new lessons, and keep my head above water in general.

This is not okay. I wouldn't do this to kids. "Get with the program" is not an acceptable thing to tell me or anyone right now, not me or my colleagues who are having their lessons interrupted (yes!) to be told more nonsense top-down directives in front of the children.

I can go on Open Market next year and find someplace that's more suited to my philosophy and methodology, or at least someplace that won't spring a brand-new curriculum and way of doing things on me the day before school starts. But I have to get through this year first. And if I don't stop doing all this bitching and start focusing on the kids, even that much won't happen.

Rant over.