August 13, 2010
Well, that's all, folks! Whatever shred of summer vacation that I may have had to hang on to is gone. It's Friday. School starts on Monday. Due to budget cuts, we've been told that we have to come in on Saturday and Sunday if we want time to prepare our classrooms and make copies for Monday's first day of school. REALLY. We will have spent 4, count them, 4 days in staff development workshops and meetings. I, for one, am ready for No Child Left Behind to get left behind--either that or a pay raise. I haven't had a paycheck this small since 2000. That's like a ten-year cut in pay. And for those of us who didn't lose their jobs, it seems like the "be happy you still have a job" statement is being used to abuse us as we start the school year. We won't have money for classroom supplies until MAYBE January. We won't get new textbooks until they are 12 years old, if we are lucky. I'm starting the semester on Monday with no materials AT ALL--no textbook, no workbook, no worksheets, no nothin' except a comment from the board office that, "we wish we had enough band width for you to work online with your students, but you have to understand that we can't make it happen". I'm a veteran teacher, but this class and I may be spending the new 102-minute class period just staring at each other on Monday. There aren't even state standards for this class. Its the SAT prep. class. Kind of an important class, I think. Apparently there are only a few other people with that same opinion. ANYWAY, I'll be coming in on SUNDAY to make my copies and put my room in order. We're short on desks, too, so I gave my desks to the drama teacher, who had none and is still 8 short with my 25, and took round tables with chairs. Not sure how I'm going to fit 7 round tables in my room, might have to knock out a wall, but I will do it, and with a smile on my face. Right? I'll just be all grumbly on the inside.
On the flip side, come Monday morning at 7:20, when the bell rings and my students come in, it'll be exciting all over again and, for that day. I'll forget all about how much it sucks to be a teacher right now, because
EVERYBODY, even if they hide it on the inside, LOVES the first day of school!