Wednesday, January 9, 2008

can i vent?

I know that it might not be politically correct to vent about one's job - especially on a blog - but this is also a journal of sorts. You've been warned...

I love working with middle school students. They are entertaining, outgoing, sweet, crazy, fun, silly, loving, unpredictable, passionate, anxious, friendly, eager, out-of-control, refreshing, and pleasant.

The staff I work alongside is also one to be admired. I can count on my team for absolutely anything. They push me to challenge myself. And dang, they're super smart! With great foundations like this, it is often easy to over look the downside(s) to teaching.

At this point though, I feel the politics are simply too high in number. As a result, I feel it is a bit difficult to put on a smile and continue to look at the bright side. Let me give you some insight as to what life is like right now for me and perhaps that will help to shed some light on the whole subject.

As a teacher, I am called to continue my education. I can understand that and I see this as a good thing. Education is always changing and there is so much out there that is being uncovered and discovered. This piece should remain. However, it needs some work. At this time in my career, I am shelling out money - left and right - for classes that I have to take in order to get my Professional Certification. In today's world, a teacher cannot simply have a teaching certificate. Now we must make it a point to take a Professional Certification course (2 classes) with 9 credits in between. Thankfully, I have had some help ($) with the master's classes I am taking (that's where I'm getting the 9 credits).

The money isn't the only issue. My time is also worth something, isn't it? I spent most of this afternoon on the phone with secretaries at Western Washington University. Hello, I left that place more than 5 years ago. But, I need to make sure that I met certain requirements, while going to school up in Bellingham, in order to continue teaching in the state of Washington. In my mind, I think these things should have been ironed out before I was even hired...or given my teaching certificate. Seriously, I am simultaneously trying to have a master's class waived, search old records, write a paper, post a discussion, seek approval of classes taken, and continue my daily job as a teacher.

I just feel as though my current role as a leader in the classroom is not at all valued. Instead, it's about giving up two weeknights each month, setting aside Sunday afternoons in order to pursue a master's degree, double-checking requirements, writing papers, researching, and tying up lose ends. When do you suppose I am going to TEACH? I wish someone would have told me about all of these hoops ahead of time. I feel mislead. Teaching is the smallest part of my job - by far! Honestly, it's also my favorite.

All of these factors have push me to believe a few things...
There are a plethora of people in this world who could potentially revolutionize the world of education (I daydream that I too am included in that bunch). Unfortunately, the endless hoops, constant fees and unending interruptions keep these teachers from pursuing a career in education.

I have cried about this a lot lately - and I've also done more praying than I thought possible. I keep asking God to show me what my role is in all of this. Right now, I am simply doing what is asked of me. I am meeting the requirements, taking the classes, writing the checks, and trying to love on kids in the meantime. It's tiring and I don't know that I'm doing it well.

Pray for teachers everywhere...

(Please do not let my words lead you astray. I am emotional about this and I'm having a difficult time examining it from all sides. Consider this an informal "spew-age" of mine. I also think it is important to note that I am blessed beyond measure. I have a great job, a loving family, a super-duper husband, and more than I could possibly ask for. I think I'm simply trying to figure out my place in this world of politics and education.)


Bridget Beth said...

Blah! I will pray for you, Anne!

Doreen T. said...

I too will pray for you (and other teachers).

You have passionately expressed the frustration felt by many in your profession and in other professions requiring continuing education while working. Hang in there, my friend; teachers like you are NEEDED!

My parents were both teachers; my son-in-law is a teacher. In my estimation, there is no higher calling and no more important work than that of a Christian teacher in the public schools. You are my hero!

Patty said...

I second what Doreen said! After working in the public schools for almost 19 years, I can vouch first hand that you are desperately needed! Especially someone who has such a love and a passion for teaching Jr. Highers. So hang in there, even though you are way under paid and under appreciated, your jewels on your crown are being added daily.