- spending 3 hours data mining and determining students' specific reading skill needs, only to be told exactly what skills I will teach and exactly when I will teach those skills during the school year
- spending a year learning how to make a research based, developmentally appropriate word study program work for my students, only to be told that we need to "get them through" a certain number of sorts each marking period so they can be considered proficient. Oh - we were also told that if we want the kids to meet those goals we might have to cut out or skip parts of the program.
- focusing on having a growth mindset, but then forcing students with disabilities to take grade level common assessments rather than allowing them the opportunity to take assessments on their level to demonstrate learning and growth because we're required to show grade level growth
- trying to reconcile my personal beliefs and understanding of "standards based reporting" with the district's definition / model of a standards based report card
- dealing with teachers who call kids "clueless" and believe that they are not as capable as other students
- working with people who make it their business to undermine every attempt that is made to do what's right for kids
- trying to develop a professional working dialogue with individuals who are not interesting in considering or putting any ideas into practice if they aren't their own
- understanding how we refuse outside support services for students who desperately need them
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was seven years old. I set my stuffed animals in a row of one room schoolhouse desks my great-uncle got for me, and I taught them using my little fold up chalkboard. Teaching is all I have ever wanted to do.
But as my personal beliefs about meeting the needs of the whole child, about seeing a child not just as a test-taker but as a social, emotional human being, have grown, I find myself growing farther and farther away from what we are doing in my building and in public education here in the US. It becomes harder and harder for me to just say it is what it is and do these things to kids, and it has made me very unhappy. And my heart is feeling like it is impossible for me to make any meaningful changes where I am right now.
I'm not sure where I would go or what I would do, but I'm just not sure public education is the place for me any more.