Dear Governor Christie,
I want to thank you for all your changes in education. I now have a better understanding of my role as a teacher. Planning has never been easier. I now can plan, write my instructional outcomes, link my standards, define my assessments, note my differentiation, cite the essential question…for each lesson… and oh yeah, then actually write the lesson!
My students have gone through several assessments and I’m almost done grading each one so I have my baseline data to analyze and I may continue to write my two six page Student Growth Objectives, complete with analyzed data, and a rubric for my evaluation. After hours of preparation, I’m halfway done.
Speaking of evaluations, I’ve already had my first one! I’ve completed all the pre-observation paperwork and submitted my artifacts and met with my principal for our pre-observation meeting.
My principal has come in for the 45 minute period, and now I must finish up with my post-observation paperwork and have my post-observation meeting to discuss her write-up. Fortunately, I only have 3 more observations to go. I’m definitely more fortunate than my principal who has at the very least 150 more to go!
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing what I’ve always done in the past; attending professional development courses, looking for new ideas, preparing for the newest state testing, setting up lessons, managing my 21 students, caring for my 21 students, creating bulletin boards, conferencing with students, individually assisting them, individually testing them, meeting with groups, contacting parents, assessing, conferencing with parents, creating and implementing intervention plans, spending hours grading, completing all relevant district paperwork and handling emergencies. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, teaching! But now I do this all while trying to continue to encourage my students and promote positive self esteem as I push them into a task they need to know for testing but is beyond their developmental ability at this time.
I work through lunch and preps, after school and at night after I do homework with my kids, feed them and get them in bed. And in between I work my second job that I had to take to make up for my pay decrease each year from the recent legislature that was passed. Now I am awaiting the additional decrease from the tax for our federal government’s new health care too. Although I’m not sleeping much, I’ve been feeling mostly successful. That was until this morning when I was looking at homework and test grades. It was then I realized that I am actually failing. You see Governor, while I attend to what needs to be done for my students, and then add this entire overwhelming amount of work required by the state (to justify that I’m teaching), there are two students who are feeling the biggest impact. And those two students…… are my own children.
A puzzled educator who just wants to do her job and be able to inspire and teach children.
My job as an educator is to set my students up for success. How can that be done when the government is setting teachers and students up for failure?