When I first started this blog it was a cold snowy day in South Carolina. There were a few inches of snow on the ground and of course schools were closed! I wanted to document my adventures as a new teacher and share my experiences with my friends and family. Last year was an awesome year! I don't think I could have asked for a better first year of teaching. This year has been a bit different. I have had a lot more obstacles to overcome and have felt discouraged many times. I haven't blogged much this year because we don't do the awesome activities we did last year. My kids are younger and we tend to do the same activities over and over. Sometimes I get bored with the routine! The purpose if this entry is to express some of my frustrations. Even though this year has been full of frustrations, yesterday's seemed to hit me harder than others.
It really bothers me when the needs of students do not come first. Some people come to work for the paycheck and never really stop and think about what's best for the children. Working with children is hard work. It really doesn't matter if you are a teacher, an assistant, a therapist, or a lunch lady. Everyone who works with should have an understanding that the kids come first. Since this is a public blog I cannot go into exact details about what happened yesterday. I am going to do my best to tell my story without mentioning names or positions.
When I got to work yesterday I was in a pleasant mood. I picked my kids up from the cafeteria at 7:30 and walked them to class. A co-worker brought the rest of my class to my room at 8:00 and then informed me that she had to leave my room to do something else. Her job at 8:00 is to help my kids get unpacked and settled so that I can begin instruction. Even though what she had to do was valid, I was upset because it seems like there is ALWAYS some reason why she can't interact with the kids and do her job. Not only does that make my job harder, it also makes the day harder for the kids. My students are only four years old and they need constant supervision. If I am the only one supervising and interacting with them, they tend to get into trouble. A good example of this happened yesterday. While I was administering our district mid-year math assessment this co-worker was supposed to monitor students while they working in centers. Instead of interacting with them and walking around the room, she stood in one spot with her back to the kids and had students writing their names. My students took advantage of the situation and dumped all my toys all over the room! They got in big trouble and it took a long time to clean up!
Another thing that really makes me mad is when students do not get the services they need. This also happened yesterday. I probably didn't handle the situation as professionally as I should have, but I was very angry. As some people here say, my NY attitude came out. One of my students needed to be screened for services but the person who provides the screening refused to come pick him up from my classroom. Keep in mind that I have twenty students and she has one. Also keep in mind that I am not ever supposed to be alone with all twenty students (although it happens) and neither is my assistant. Without going into the ugly details I can say that the principal had to get involved, I had to clear up some misleading information that was given to the principal about my part in this conflict, and I ended up having to walk the child to the screening. I was not told to walk him by the principal, I had to do it because my student needed the screening and the screener is a bully. Yes, many teachers and school staff are bullies. This probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but this happens all the time and the children aren't getting the services they need because teachers are not always available to walk their students to their needed appointments.
To top it all off I had about five students step in dog poop during recess. This wouldn't have been such a big deal if they had told me about, but they didn't. When we came inside and layed down I smelled poop. I couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from, so I asked my kids if they had to use the bathroom, or if someone had an accident. After a few minutes student after student let me know that they had stepped in poop. So, not only was there poop on their shoes, it was also on their clothes, on their mats, and in my carpet. It was great fun cleaning that all up and calling parents to get changes of clothes.
This has nothing to do with school, but I had an appointment after work. When I go to the office there was a notice on the door that they had relocated! Don't you think they would have told me that when I called to make the appointment!? I managed to laugh about it instead of adding to my frustration from the day, but geez! What a day!
I promise my next blog will not be a venting session. In fact, it will probably be about my duck eggs or my new playground equipment! Our eggs are due to be delivered in early February and most of our playground equipment came yesterday!!