Summer vacation is supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation for teachers.. or at least that’s what people THINK. The truth of the matter is that you are always working, always planning, always looking forward to the next “first day of school… Even though I am not working this summer for the first time since I started teaching this year is no different… except that it is 100 million times more stressful.
Remember the last post? Yeah, me too. And for a short time I thought things were getting better, and then they weren’t.. and then they were again, and now we are back at weren’t. Granted, I will say this outright and up front, the issues I had with my last job, these are polar opposites. Where my last job was an existence in a micro-managed and totalitarian routine of daily bureaucracy and politics, this is just straight up passive aggressiveness, mismanagement (OK, so that parts kinda the same…), and a place where friendships and personal feelings run the show. I can not exist in an environment such as this.
One day I am told that my bosses are going to do one thing and the next week they are not sure if they can or will because they do not know if they are legally allowed to do it, or if it will affect someone else’s feelings, finances, or friendships.. I wonder sometimes how this has managed to go on for so long and not implode..
But then there is the other part of things where my bosses have brought me in to add structure and transparency, and support, and a base curriculum… so I have done that… but no one knows how to run it. They *think* they do, they SAY they can, but the truth of the matter is when you are working with and for people who have little to no ACTUAL experience teaching authentic Montessori what the hell are we doing here?
So I do all of this work to make things more workable in so many areas… and then that’s it. No one asks for help, no one asks HOW this is supposed to work.. we even have people who have decided that EVEN THOUGH I have created a curriculum that is guaranteed to work, they are just going to do their own thing with no regard for anyone or anything.
The best part is: Remember the “passive aggressive” thing from before? Well, when people do their own thing there is NO ONE to call them to the carpet because people have created an environment of fear rather than one of support and positivity. What the hell man!
So, even though I was TOLD several times that things are going to go in a direction that guarantees stability and progression, authentic Montessori, cohesion and administrative functionality.. things are back up in the air because we d not want to affect people’s finances, friendships, or whatever else they can toss into the mix to affect the decision in their favour. What no one (well, with rare exception of two), seems to understand or want to see is that this is not about the teachers, this is not about the high school attitudes, the drama, and the pettiness, in the end the ones it has the most negative affect on is the students and in the end this affects how we are best able to educate children. This is what kills me. When do we stop and think about them? What’s best for them? Do we even care? And if we do not, then what the hell are we doing with our time, effort, money and lives? (This is the point where I just want to scream…, so I do that in my head, and then there’s this gem of a thought:
For all my issues I have/had with my last job thesis what matters: they gave me a foundation, a useable, workable, PROVEN successful foundation on how to educate towards growth and results. I just feel as if that is just not understood, valued, appreciated, understood.. I don’t know. My boss’s favourite phrase “Nothing is set in stone.” got tossed out again today in a conversation regarding next year.. Really? Because as far as I was concerned, I’ve been waiting for 2 months for things to be “set in stone”. I had NO REASON, other than the repeat knowledge of people’s inability to follow through on what they themselves have said is the best thing to do for students and school, to think that things were not progressing in this direction.
And then add this ti the mix:
On the more personal side of things it worries me that if these changes are not enacted it is going to affect T in the long run. She is not being challenged. She is being taught that drawing ponies, (as cool as her drawing are I grant you), are more beneficial than learning basic mathematics. I could write another entire blog post in the inadequacies (as I see them from my experience) of the “end result of what MY kid is getting). I KNOW I can give her what she needs. My bosses have SAID in no uncertain terms that the thing that is lacking in the LE program is academics.. HELLO!? I can fix that. This is not about me, although that is the way it must seem at this point. I see it like this: I have tools. Proven effective tools. A foundation that holds true and allows for growth and a love of learning. I WANT to be able to GIVE that to the kids in this program, but neither of the current lead teachers are prepared nor are they equipped to do this the right way. As far as I am concerned they don’t WANT to because it is a lot of change and a lot of work.
Change is the big issue here. It is a HUGE struggle and roadblock for this school. Staff, administration.. the only people who seem on board with it are the parents, and they have NO IDEA what it even looks like, they just know they want it. Well, that’s not true, my students going into 4th grade and THEIR parents know what it looks like and that was another fear voiced about my moving: “What about those kids and those parents?”
For me the choice is simple. I gave them the same thing I’d give the new students. They now have that as a growth point. If I can set this as the foundation for the 1st thru 3rd graders across the board then we can keep the growth going. Right now there are parents wanting to run for the hills because plays and ponies are just not cutting it.. and I don’t blame them. However, we can build on this, we just have to start somewhere.
My boss is supposed to call me at some point. Could be tomorrow, could be August, who knows. When he does I’ll know more. I just do not know what things look like long term. I want stick it out and SAY that I took this job knowing what I was getting into and that I was willing to take this on.. but the support I thought I had in this is gone. I have what I believe to be a better, stronger, more focused support, but with all of the behind the scenes conversations (because no one wants to take responsibility and be the adult here and say THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING!”) The whole ordeal is just draining me of energy.
All I can do is take things one day at a time and see what the end result is… but at this point I do not know how much faith I have in that result being actual results..