I'm relieved to have arrived at Thursday evening, eating some unhealthy nachos and drinking a Cascade Ice, probably also not very good for me. I've spent several days figuring out how to write this post WITHOUT RANTING and there just isn't a way. However, it's difficult to explain why I'm so frustrated to non-teachers. Some of you are thinking, "If it's spring, it must be time for school venting" because that's when we do our testing, when staffing numbers come in(and sections allotted by admin) and when I have to harass beg my department for numbers of books and workbooks in order to prepare the book order for next year. Of course the ones who are the least responsible about it are also the colleagues who bitch whine the loudest when they don't have their materials.*@#%$! So, what's set me off this week?
- Testing schedules of 2 hour blocks, which I planned out carefully with a mix of activities, both written and oral, games, individual and group activities--busy and productive, although painfully long periods. Some other teachers? Films. A 1 hour plan with "free" time afterward. Unsupervised students outside jumping over the deck rails and playing on their cell phones. It gets tiresome to try to do the right thing;is this a message to me to retire soon?
- On a related note, I am so sick of the constant (and losing) battle against cell phones when students are supposed to be learning, practicing, or doing WORK. Several of the younger teachers at lunch are just as bad; they are always playing on their phones. Why not just stay in their rooms and not bother to come to lunch, where the purpose has always been to socialize and share ideas? The same two swear a blue streak about not much of anything; I'm no prude, but I'm uncomfortable hearing the f-bomb constantly and even the hideous "mf." Definitely another vote for retirement.
- The final straw came when I got the raw student numbers for each level of each language since I need them to order workbooks. 86 in French 1 and 2 sections, 60 in Japanese 1 and 3 sections(a buy out of his planning period at way more money) so that he can have 9th graders, while I'm allowed NONE, since I appear to be the victim of my own success. 96 in ASL 1 and 4 SECTIONS? A buy out for that teacher also, so that she can have 9th graders, but she's still staffed very low. 24 per class, while I'll have as many as I allow them to put in. (43, I think not!) There is absolutely no equity in this as far as I can see. ASL gets vocational money since they are occupational, thus they are favored to start with, yet Spanish is the language that should be considered occupational. *sigh* Even French is spoken in 30+ countries by many millions of people. ASL is ONLY "spoken" by American deaf people, for crying out loud! Our attitude toward languages and culture is SO short sighted in this country. Yes, I'm angry, but I'm also sad. I was thinking that I might stay in a bit longer, a year or so, but now...I very much doubt it.