I am a little frazzled today...between a hectic day, a bit less patience than usual on my side, a rushed lunch, an assembly at the end of the day that got us back to the room just minutes before the afternoon bell (rushing to get hw passed out, backpacks packed, etc...), staff development after school, and immediately rushing to my autism therapy job, I haven't had a moment to breathe.
Luckily, my after school kiddo's mom had a latte waiting for me when I came over. I swear it saved my life.
Here's what has me stressed out today:
1. Math. My current chapter in the math series is on fractions, but I really dislike the way it is laid out. We do Everyday Mathematics and while there are many positive things about the series, it is WAY too abstract most of the time for my group. I tend to favor simple concepts taught in very basic ways, with real-life connections peppered in when appropriate. Everyday Math attempts to put in WAY too many real-life connections, and tends to confuse the kids more often than not. My team has been talking about meeting to go through the chapter and decide what to teach and what to toss, but the meeting keeps getting postponed because of other pressing issues. Meanwhile, I'm starting the chapter and feeling like I'm treading water. Actually, picture me treading water while at the same time trying to hold the hands of the 20 kids in my math class and keep them afloat too. Needless to say, if someone doesn't throw me a life preserver/jacket/whole freakin raft soon, someone's going down...
2. RTI. I have two kiddos who I am SO concerned about, and I feel like NOTHING is happening with them. Due to a lack of communication, a change in policies regarding RTI, and me just not knowing what I'm supposed to be doing, I feel like these kids are drowning with no help in sight. I get really emotional when it comes to things like this...I love my kids, and it kills me when I just don't know what to do next to help them. Also, it makes me livid when I feel like they are not getting the services they are entitled to because of logistics. I've recontacted the special services teacher and will hopefully be able to set up a meeting within the next couple days to start filling out the brand NEW RTI paperwork...I guess the form I filled out back in AUGUST (that is collecting dust in some system somewhere) wasn't gonna cut it?? There are many things that frustrate me about the education system in America, but nothing makes me as frustrated/upset/outraged/emotional as when I see kids drowning who NEED and DESERVE help, but because of the system it isn't coming to them...watch out, this is one teacher who is ready to jump through some serious hoops...
3. At staff development today, Mister Principal announced that he is being moved to a new building next year. I have to say, I was pretty startled by this news and am really upset. Let me explain:
When I interviewed for my job in April 2009, I bombed both the lesson I was asked to teach and the interview itself. (I guess bombed is a relative term...I am a perfectionist, so it probably wasn't the WORST EVER, but in this competative market, any slip in an interview can be fatal...) I left thinking there was no chance in hell I would be getting that job, especially since in the last week I had been passed up for 2 that had gone flawlessly. Well, I did get the job as you know. Both my teammates who had been at the interview and my principal had seen something in me that they liked, and believed enough in me to hire me in spite of the less than stellar showing at the interview. He actually told me after that he hired me because of the way I talked about loving students, forming relationships, and appreciating diversity--all things that are at the heart of who I am as a teacher. I know that he hired me for me, because he believed in the same things I do in the classroom.
Fast forward--last year was ROUGH. Seriously. Even though things were really tough for me, and I had a tough group of trouble makers, both the principal and the assistant principal really supported me through it all. Now by no means is my principal perfect, and there are things that drive me crazy as I'm sure there are in every school for every teacher. But through it all, I really feel like he cares about me, like he has my back, and like he understands and appreciates both how hard I work and how far I've come. And now, I'll have to get used to someone new? I know this is completely normal and that administration changes happen all the time. But...it's tough as a non-tenured teacher to know that your job is not secure and that this administrator who trusted you enough to take a leap of faith and offer you a job fresh out of college, and THEN to offer it back to you again is not going to be there anymore. I just...idk. I'm not sure what to think, and on top of everything else that was stressing me out today, wondering about my job security was just the cherry on top.
Oh that, and we started pulling out the ISAT review books--hello Coach, Buckle Down, Ladders to Succes, Workouts, and all of the other nonsense practice we get to start shoving down these poor kids' throats...Kill me. Now, please.
I'm sure tomorrow will be calmer...but my alarm will definitely be set for 5am tomorrow. I refuse to have another frantic day!