Somehow it crept into my mind that Spring Break is almost over, and I can't seem to shake it. I never thought in a million years that I would be filled with such a sense of dread about going to my school.
I am a kindergarten teacher at a Title 1 school, meaning the majority of my students receive free or reduced lunch. I have always felt a tremendous sense of personal fulfillment by working with these particular kids. I felt like they needed me much more than kids that come into kindergarten already reading and writing. Many of my kids have no clue what a letter is and have never held a pencil and *I* am the one that in one short year gets them READING and WRITING! It is such a wonderful feeling when they start to get it.
To get these kids caught up takes a MASSIVE amount of work. At other schools they get to do more "fun" things. We get no art, music, puppets or even centers or work stations in the traditional way they are usually done. My principal would have a heart attack right in my classroom if she came in and found us coloring.
I spend A LOT of time going to extra trainings, reading online, collaborating with other teachers from other schools, planning and worrying about these kids- all on my own time. I've stayed many, many days well after my contract hours end to tutor my own kids, other people's kids- anyone that needs it.
God only knows how much money I have spent on shoes, clothes, breakfasts, lunches, field trips and things to make the classroom seem safe and homey. Oh dear, and probably thousands on school supplies. All in addition to the things I need for my daily teaching.
I'm wasting your time telling you all of this because about a month ago, the assistant principal called me into her office and told me (among other things) that I "blame the parents because I don't want to take the time to get to know my kids", that I'm not positive, that my parents don't like me, that I don't put in enough effort- this all went WAY past constructive criticism. It went on for 30 minutes and only stopped because I was crying hysterically and asked to be excused. And then she called me back the very next day to do it all over again. I must have told her 3 dozen times I didn't know what she wanted me to say and it just went ON and ON.
So now when I think about going to school, I feel like none of it is worth it. I bust my ass every day, only to be belittled, degraded, and quite frankly- verbally abused. When someone is hysterically crying and you keep ON and ON telling them what a terrible teacher they are- its harmful to a person.
And there are many other things that I feel are meant to further the harm. For example- for yearly evaluations- other teachers were allowed to put down their preferred day and time and she told them when she was coming so they could put on a dog and pony show and get "exceeds expectations" on their evaluations. I put down my 3 times (just like everyone else) and she just popped in at another day and time. I feel as if this was to "catch" me doing something wrong.
I have alluded to this a few times in other blogs, but finally decided that she would never see it. She denied my frien request on facebook, so somehow I doubt she would take the time to read my blog. Even as I type this, I feel better. Blogging is much cheaper than therapy :-). Thanks for listening!
I have had a WONDERFUL time at home with my sweet Maverick. NO ONE could EVER accuse me of not putting effort in with him. Only 55 school days until I'm a stay at home mom!!!
Oh, and I did this blog from my phone, so it hasn't been proof-read. Sorry :-)