Friday, September 16, 2005

No. Really. 130. The school year has started, of course, so it’s no surprise that I’m too busy to futz around with hobbies like blogging. But this year is different.
This year, I have 5 sections of English. Each section has 26 students for a grand total of 130. That’s thirty more than the good for nothing superintendent promised when he first got the job here. Ha. Some promise.
I don’t have any earthly idea how I’m going to manage that paper load, or the helicopter parents of honors and college prep kids. I’ve already put on weight by stress-eating and I don’t have time for exercise or weight watchers.
I love teaching and I want to be a good teacher – and I think I even could be a good teacher if I had enough time to actually think about what I’m doing. I want my students to learn something about themselves through the literature we read in my class. I want them to have fun with language and learn to think about how language works in the process. I really really really want to teach them how to write, but there’s no way I can help 130 kids do any of that well.
The reason so many people leave the teaching profession is that it’s a job that demands too much. Yeah, the pay isn’t comparable to the amount of work any of us do, and it would be great to be paid more – but honestly, it’s not the pay (or lack thereof) that really makes me want to leave. It’s the overwhelming demands. In addition to teaching kids to be literate and thoughtful, I’m supposed to earn recertification points, collaborate in “learning communities” during one of my planning periods, and cover study hall during the second of my two planning periods. I’m supposed to meet with struggling students during the lunch break, except when I have to walk the halls for lunch duty, or meet with the special ed department for a lunch time child study meeting.


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