What’s Really Bothering Me

Thank you all for your kind words on my last three posts. I’m sorry I’ve been such a little drama queen. First I’m all, MY KID WON’T EAT! (except that he still wants to drink 36 ounces of formula a day and is clearly thriving) and then I’m all, I WANT TO EAT A BAG OF CHEEZ-ITS! (but of course, well duh, doesn’t everyone?!) and to top it off I’m all, BUT YOU GUYS! I HAVE TO WEAR GLASSES! (you know, like (evidently) 75% of the adult population does at least some of the time). You all must be thinking, Hey E, it’s cool. These are first world problems. Actually, these aren’t even first world problems, these are crazy-postpartum-women-on-a-diet problems. So yeah, chill the fuck out.

And you know what? Fair enough.

I don’t really know what my problem is. If I don’t get my period in the next day or so I’ll chalk it up to a lot of stress at work. Morale is really low at my school because we’re getting a lot of top down pressure to make really big changes in what, and the way, we teach (Common core? 21st century learning? Project based learning? Anyone? Bueller?) and there is tremendous pressure and very little support and it’s starting to wear. We also spend A LOT of time talking about how we want to implement these changes, only to have our input ignored while parent input is implemented. It’s incredibly frustrating and makes us feel like no one, not even our administration, views us as professionals with valuable experience and opinions.

I spent a great deal of time this year changing my child care coverage–calling in favors, making extra commutes and getting home really late to meet with our superintendent and other district officials about some exciting possible developments in our district, only to realize at the end of the year that all the discussion led absolutely no where. I suppose I should have know that it wasn’t worth putting in all that effort, but I really did feel blindsided by the abruptness of the whole thing. In the beginning we were talking about making sweeping changes to the foreign language program in our district in the next few years, but in the end it was clear that we would do absolutely nothing new next year. Changes cost money and of course they don’t have it. That’s fine, but they knew that when we started talking… why ask me to dedicate so much time when they couldn’t make any of the changes they were thinking about anyway (and no, this wasn’t a case of funding falling through, there was evidently never any funding to begin with).

Anyway, I’m just so sick of the higher ups blowing wind up our skirts with grandiose plans that never come to fruition. I can’t tell you how many times they’ve asked us as a staff to come up with propositions on how to change things, only to concede that they don’t have the money to make any of the changes. It’s fine if you don’t have the money to do things differently, but please don’t waste our time asking us how we’d want them done if they were to change.

So that is where I have been, just feeling frustrated and annoyed by work. I’ve already felt so stagnant there, for so long, and I guess the possibility of trying something new, challenging myself and learning new skills was intoxicating. It sucks to have it dangled in front of me and then just ripped away, without a justifiable explanation.

I know I need to leave my district, there is absolutely no room to grow there anymore. I’ve been there ten years and I need a new position, a new age group, just something NEW. I have to stay a few more years, until we find out where Osita is going to Kindergarten. Once I know where she will be in school, I can figure out where my new job needs to be, and I can start looking. In the meantime I can wait, I can even wait patiently, but I sure as hell don’t plan on expending a lot of energy giving my district a lot of great, innovative new ideas that they won’t do a damn thing with.

I guess that really was what was bothering me because after writing this post–and a letter to our superintendent–I feel like a veil of frustration has been lifted from my eyes. Suddenly I can see everything much more clearly, and instead of feeling stymied by minor annoyances, I jubilant about all the exciting events that will happen after school is over.

Man, writing really can be a cathartic release.

What is the biggest frustration at your job (be that away from home, or at home)? Is there anything you can do to make it better?

4 responses

  1. My Uncle is a teacher. The stories he tells me about his school is just, unbeliveable. I say this to him, all teachers…you guys are seriously underpaid, overworked and money needs to be distributed fairly. {I’ll get off my soapbox now} I am happy that you wrote your Superintendent. Perhaps he/she doesn’t know the many frustrations out there. Maybe he/she does…but the more people tell him, the better.

    Frustration currently at my job? Management decided to not furnish the mother’s room with supplies AND a breat pump. Instead, they’re allocating the money to “other” things. Way to support Mom and the Breastfeeding community guys.

  2. The work issues do sound very frustrating. I have huge admiration for anyone who teaches currently due to the curriculum changes, parental pushback, etc. I’d feel defeated too if all of the energy I had expended on an exciting project had been for nothing. I wish you could leave sooner, but at least it is only a couple more years.

    My biggest frustration is the challenge of implementing meaningful processes. And also, meetings.

  3. Yeah, no wonder you are frustrated. I hate little more than spending time and energy on something that makes no difference. I’ve been out of education for 4 years now but the changes I’ve seen with my husband’s job make me never want to go back. It’s insane.

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