Education · Life of a Teacher

Teaching: Do you appreciate my struggles?

I sat in a meeting recently and the word “expert” came into the conversation. Someone with much less experience yet, holds a “title” was referred to as “expert” frankly, it made my blood boil.
In the field of education; I consider myself an expert. I have more than 18 years of classroom experience, please don’t minimize the value of my experience. Throughout, my experience: I’ve learned to read students, parents, colleagues, in a way that words can’t completely describe.

experinced teacher

Thanks to: Badass Teacher’s Associate for the pictures.  https://twitter.com/BadassTeachersA

I know what the look of concern means on a parent’s face. I tell them their child may or may not know from Day 1 but, with each day — it gets better and better. I can anticipate the questions that the new teacher may have; I make it my business to speak to her — letting her know my door is always open.

I know when my students are frustrated or insecure — I inspire them with words of encouragement because I know it begins with someone believing in them.

I like many of my fellow teachers around the world add value that can’t be measured on a simple observation form. During the evaluation, I didn’t get to tell you about little Jessica who hated coming to school. I told Jessica everyday that she was just as smart, as anyone else. I paired her with another child who I knew would encourage her also. Now, she has more self- confidence & her attendance is regular, as opposed to sporadic.

Many of us feel we work with a set of objectives that are not developmentally appropriate. Unlike, the ones who are paid to write the objectives, teachers were required to study child development. We also serve on the front line, we put theory into practice year after year. I spend my own money if my class needs ingredients for play dough, items for the class treasure box, stickers, or an in class science project. Many times it just isn’t worth the hassle  to request to be reimbursed. I’m asked to give enjoyable engaging lessons, but to do that I need time and a shopping list. But, none of this is mentioned on that evaluation form that is used to “judge” me.

Note the the person in charge: allow teachers to sit in on policy making also select them randomly so the principal can’t send their favorites.

Dear Superintendent

I seek to build relationships between parent and teacher. I feel this can best be done if parents know the reality of my daily challenges. I don’t get to share this information during a standard parent-teacher conference.

My professional is a calling. I’ve never wanted an administrative position. I simple enjoy the time spent in the classroom with my students; where my skill set is best utilized.

Many days I feel inspired at the end of the day. Yet occasionally, I get frustrated with the politics.

 

 

Thanks For Reading,

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