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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why exactly do I need to spend time doing this??

Why exactly do I need to spend time trying to explain to students and parents why Child X has done a horrid job in my class? Because I work in a school where students are allowed to be lazy and blame the teacher because their parents pay tuition. It sounds cynical, I know, but in all my years of teaching, which is in the double digits, this is the only place I have had to spend almost as much time getting ready for what happens AFTER a test as I do before it.

If the students had it their way, we would do ONE chapter all year, they would all get As and feel some sense of superiority to their local public school counter parts. It gets worse every year. We cover less and less, the grades get lower and lower, and the parents get more and more abusive towards the teacher (that would be me) when their child does poorly. If I hear "my child has never made a C before" again I might just drop dead. And it isn't even true 85% of the time! Or "I heard no one did well on that test." Again, I can honestly say this is NEVER true. There are ALWAYS kids that do well, in fact, I don't have a Bell Curve, I have a "U curve". Those that do - do well. Those that don't - well, don't. There is rarely much in between.

I spend hours and hours planning for my classes. I am always prepared. I try and have an activity or lab or demo every week to keep it interesting. I work very hard to make everything accesible and fair. I give hours and hours of my time to help students outside of class, which I don't have to do. I have a web page I update every single day with what we did in class, what the HW is, and self help tuorials and online acitvities, links to handouts, and even links to the videos we watch in class. In return I ask that students do their HW - which is limited to less than 22 minutes a night by school policy, study a bit - which is counted in the 22 minutes a night limit, and take responsibilty for themselves. Is this unreasonable? Is it something that is simply out of the question?

I have made it past the typical 3 year burn out. I made it past the 10 year mark, which is pretty darn amazing. I don't see 20 in my future. I might not even see next year. I don't know what else I would do, but I think I am clearly not doing much where I am. Other than taking crap from kids, parents, and adminstrators - all with a smile and never making the 'customer' upset. I could work a consumer complaint line. I would still take abuse, but I wouldn't be spending 10+ hours a week at home working on top of the 40+ I work on campus doing my job.

I think it is time to start looking for Plan B.

1 comment:

Siggi said...

I feel for you. I really do.