Where I’m at

So, we’re a week and a half into the new school year and I am still getting my ass handed to me every day at work. If it doesn’t get better, or I guess if I don’t get better at this, it will absolutely be my worst year of teaching ever. And there have been some bad years.

Every day I am racing from one place to the next. Every evening I get home and it feels like I’ve run a marathon. My house is a shit show. My car is even worse. I have to work every evening until after midnight to be even a little bit ready for the next day, and even then I’m not ready enough. My life absolutely feels untenable right now.

And it’s supposed to be 104 tomorrow. Did I mention none of my classrooms have air conditioning?

I am so looking forward to a three day weekend, so I can spend one full day at work hoping to get in front of the next four days. There is no winging it when you have to load everything you need into a wagon and haul it to every class.

Part of the problem is our schedule has changed. We only have 34 minutes, from bell to bell, for lunch! By the time I’ve packed up one classroom and stored my stuff in the science hall, there are only 25 minutes to eat, and I need five of those minutes to pee! How am I supposed to make that work?! I also get out a full 45 minutes later than I used to, which means the traffic is a lot worse, and I’m not getting my kids most days until 5:30pm. Part of the reason I wanted to be a teacher is so I could pick up my kids early! Of course it doesn’t work out that way. I didn’t think those 45 minutes would make such a huge difference, but they do.

I’ve cried every day since school started, some days multiple times. It’s been a really rough start.

Every one tells me I’ll get the hang of it, and find a rhythm. Maybe that’s true, but if I do, it will have to be at a fast tempo because there is just no other way to make it work. At this point I just hope I’ll stop leaving important shit in every classroom, so I can stop sending kids to interrupt other teachers while they get my stuff.

I wanted to wait until I had better news to share here, until I could come to this space and say: It was so hard but it got better. It might be months before I’m ready to say that, so here it is. This is where I’m at right now, and it’s not pretty.

But I also know it’s a first world problem, to be potentially miserable at a decent paying job. I know people are losing everything in Texas right now, some are losing their lives. I know people are mired in deep, inconsolable grief. I know this. Writing this post is a petty thing, but right now it’s all I got.

Hopefully things will get better.

 

5 Comments

  1. I am so sorry. That sounds really unfair. I know I wouldn’t even dream of cleaning or doing any chores that weren’t absolutely necessary if I had that kind of work schedule. I wouldn’t even say this is a first world problem because it’s obvious that you’re required to do much more than is possible in the time you have. I see “first world problem” as some minor inconvenience, not something that you describe.
    Really, that you’re able to teach full time and take care of your kids while under such pressure amazes me. I hope things change for the better soon.

  2. This is bullshit. Is there anyone be you can talk to such as a union rep to get this changed? It’s not workable. I mean unless they’re paying you double how can they fo this?

  3. Projected 110 today where I am, 111 tomorrow (Saturday). Not normal.
    Not Normal also applies to what you are dealing with at your job.
    No answers, lots of support and hope that something eases up for you.

    ?Has your school always had ‘roaming teachers’ or is this special for you? Do you know the term ‘constructive discharge’ ~~ does it apply?

  4. I agree, this is completely unreasonable. I thought so all summer, but now that you’re describing it, there is no way. Given the rush and chaos that goes on at the end of a class period, I can’t see how you would ever not forget something, especially if you have materials passed out to students. Even if you could figure out the perfect balance, no one can be on 100% of the time. The pace you’re talking about just to get through your work day, working so hard at home to prepare (largely because of the scenario they’ve put you in)… I can’t imagine the toll this will take on your health if something doesn’t change.

    I agree with talking to a union rep. Is there any way you would risk your job by doing so? Is there such a thing as tenor in public schools to protect you? Is this school planning on phasing out Spanish? I only ask, because the support they are giving your program is abysmal. At a minimum, who can you meet with to give feedback to about how this first couple weeks has gone with the changes.

    I also don’t think this is a first world problem. I am really angry on your behalf. It is not selfish to say you have a right to a decent quality of life.

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