Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No First Day of School for Me

The 2002-2003 school year was my first year as a classroom teacher.  I taught 6th grade English in an urban school and it was one tough year.  I came home many days with a horrible headache and just cried.

The 2010-2011 school year was hopefully my last year as a classroom teacher.  Today is the first day since 2002 where I haven't had a first day of school.

Let me just say it feels great.

I was run down and burnt out.  I left most days right at 3.... right when the kids left.  I didn't do any work at home.  I had lost my passion for teaching.   I had given all I had to give to the school I was at and I was just done.  I was done way before I resigned... which is terrible...and it is not something I am proud of.  

Working at my school had moved far from being children based.   I was sick of teaching to the test.  I was sick of not being backed up with behavior issues.  I was sick of a lack of parental support.  I was sick of rudeness from both students and parents.  I was sick of having kids sit in my class who I couldn't get to pass a test... no matter how hard I once tried.  Because really... if that child is reading on  3rd grade reading level... they probably aren't going to pass my 6th grade test.  I was sick of the dog and pony show when we had a bunch of kids who couldn't read and write... and an administration who didn't care about children... she just wanted things to look great and the kids to pass a test.  Who cares if you don't really have relationships with your students?  Can they pass the test? 

I got burnt out because I missed what teaching once was to me.  I missed designing fun and meaningful lessons.  I missed a time when everything did not have to be multiple choice.  I missed my relationships with my students and their families. 

Maybe one day I will return to teaching... hopefully in a school system that values students, families, and teachers. 

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