I always intended this blog to be mostly informative and supportive for parents and other teachers that do what I do. In the earliest days, it was also a place to vent my spleen mostly about NCLB and the GAA. Those things are still vent worthy and I’m overdue for a vent. But today I’m throwing up yet another lament.
The “Whining”‘ post resonated with many readers, probably because there is an epidemic of this sort of pain running through the field. To be honest, I hated that post, which is why I tried to bury it immediately behind a more informative (and longer) post. But I needed to write it and needed to post it. Just this one needs to be written and posted.
Perhaps I have a “fan” at the central office or in administration who read my post and decided that perhaps I needed to have something to really whine about. Perhaps the Almighty, in His great wisdom is making sure I don’t miss the signs. I’ve been known to be a bit slow on the uptake. Before relating the present woes, indulge me in a story from my past…
I was teaching science at a private boarding school in the early ’90’s, teaching science. I lived at the school, which was handy since I went over a year without a car. The hours were long, as we had duties at night and on some weekends in addition to teaching. And the pay was less than what paras make in public schools. But it was a good place to start out. But during my 3rd year, as I was working on my Master’s I was deciding whether or not I should leave and look for something else. That summer, we had torrential rains which flooded the apartments where I was staying. Natural disaster, right? 4 months later, in a totally different dorm, a pipe broke and the place flooded again. A few months later, lightening struck and destroyed a bunch of my electronics. It, along with deteriorating politics there, was a neon sing to me that read “GET OUT!”
So now, I begin to tally the score for this year. Three years ago, I aksed to move into co-teaching. I was denied. Two years ago, I asked again, even taking and passing the science test to be certified and HQ so I could coteach. Again denied. Last year, I asked to transfer within the district. Denied AGAIN. Apparently I’m meant to stay. Right? As we began the year, one of my best paras was moved off and replaced against both of our wishes. That cost me as well as the students she bonded with. Then I was hit by the numbers while being understaffed, hence the “whining” post.
Today, I learned that there was a reduction in force, a RIF. Our school lost two para positions. Two paras were transferred to a middle school. And they took one of mine to replace one of those that were transferred. They picked one of my best, and put her in with less disabled kids and informed me I would be doing what I was struggling to do before with substantially less help. We are now an accident or an incident waiting to happen.
Now I have to finish letters drafted a few months ago and at least document the peril we now face so whenever whatever happens, does, no one can say they were not warned. Meanwhile, me and my ever-decreasing brave band of paras will hunker down and attempt to hold an ever-expanding line.