Saturday, September 15, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Too much to do. It's overwhelming.

For more Six Word Saturday participants, click here.

The students are needy. There is too much meaningless paperwork. Too many required meetings that get in the way of actually getting something done. (You cannot make students learn and you cannot make people work together to plan. You can however hinder the people who want to work by throwing these meaningless barricades in their way.) And Georgia once again has adopted programs that other states have already proved don't work.

I watch the Chicago teachers striking because they are having to work more hours and don't feel that the 16% raise is enough and I am ambivalent. My gross is going up but the school system is balancing their budget on my back - they will not be paying anything toward insurance and they cut supplies to the bone. The kids even think it is my job to provide paper towels for the bathrooms. They probably think I should be cleaning it too. And I don't know if by "they" I mean students or school officials.

At what point do you accept that some students fail a class because they want to fail and move them aside so you can teach the ones who want to learn?

I have griped in this blog. Sometimes a lot. But this year I am not enjoying teaching and am not sure how to get my mojo back. I know I offer value to some - the rest are vampires bleeding me dry.

I will probably go back to posting cartoons. Putting even some of what I am thinking here is too depressing.


Tami said...

Love your comment about some students failing because they choose to fail. The "No Child Left Behind" attitude at the high school my children attended only served to teach my children to be mediocre. There was no reward for excelling, only dumbing-down of the material and requirements to meet the standards of the kids who made no attempt to succeed. They had a rude awakening when they got to college. :)

I'll get off my soap box - and I hope you find the joy in teaching again! Hopefully the few who really want to learn will give that to you.

Mlissabeth said...

I understand a lot more than I can say. Here's to both of us getting mojo back.

My 6ws is here:

ChiTown Girl said...

Please, please, PLEASE do NOT believe what you read/hear from the media regarding this strike. I'd love to know where these numbers that keep getting thrown around are coming from.

First of all, we never received the 4% promised to us last year from the "old" contract. This year, they wanted to give us 2% (instead of the contracted 4%) but they are going to increase the length of our work day by 30%. People love to keep saying we're asking for a 30% raise, when all we want is to be compensated for the time we work. What other job in the world would ask you to increase your work time by 1/3, yet give you NO compensation for that time? I'll tell ya - NONE! Also, the proposed raise schedule now is 3% this year (STILL less than the 4% originally promised!) then 2% for the next three years. Hmmm, let's see...3+2+2+2= NINE!!! Not 16% like they keep throwing around in the media. And, that's spread over FOUR years!!!

The other figure that seems to keep getting thrown out there is that the average CPS teacher makes $71,000 a year. REALLY?!? Um, no, NOT really! They based that number on what a Lane 4, Step 14 teacher makes (Lane 4 = 2 masters degrees, Step 14 = 14+ years teaching) That is NOT what the average teacher is making, sorry!

ARGH!!! I can't believe how much this whole strike is making my blood boil, and technically, it doesn't have anything to do with me anymore! I've never been more sure of my decision to walk away.

Whew! Sorry about that. I should probably keep my rants to my OWN blog, huh?


Brenda Youngerman said...

love your series of words.... the life we choose and the career path we go on determines our state of mind

Ricochet said...

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets - 1993

I am not sure my students will graduate from high school, much less get into college. They are repeaters and if half pass my class, I would be amazed at this point. Since this is a low level math class (they are not special ed students and I hesitate to say lazy, but they make odd choices everyday and spend more time in my class paying attention to their phone than to me) - if they cannot pass this class their odds of receiving a high school diploma are slim.

Someone will put them in a computer based class, they will guess at the answers, and maybe that will work for them.

ChiTown, thank you for the update.

Mlissabeth - I will email you or email me at

McGuffy Ann said...

I am right there with you!
McGuffy's Reader

Ron. said...

I hear this, loudly & clearly. One major reason I gave it up is that (as a Special Educator) I was forced to teach less & become an IEP/Medicaid/paperwork jockey.
Pointless planning meetings to plan the pointless meetings to generate the pointless paperwork to document the whole pointless exercise that nobody pays any attention to anyway.

Ricochet said...

Ron, they are making us keep statistics. (Did I mention that the software they are using doesn't score correctly - and when some figured it out they were told not to tell the rest of us). A teacher said it is going to take forever to come up with these meaningless statistics. And I heard someone else say, oh, come on. We're creative. It shouldn't take long to make up meaningless statistics.

Vicki said...

Here's My Six Words

birdie55 said...

I relate to your comment especially in the university where I teach: At what point do you accept that some students fail a class because they want to fail and move them aside so you can teach the ones who want to learn?

I can't tell you how often I want to say, "If you don't want to be here, leave! Walk out the door right now!" I have no patience for students who don't want to bother working.... Excellent post!

joanne said...

it really stinks when what you do is not giving any satisfaction or joy anymore.....I am disabled, and can't work, but when I did, I often felt the same way....too bad most of us have to work to live....