Wednesday, August 29, 2007
You Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself
I was talking to a neighbor today about teaching, retirement, what the future holds for us. She can leave any time she wants (tier 1 and over 55) but she is not ready to go yet. She spent the last two days getting her classroom ready for next week. I told her that there was no way I would set one foot in the building until tomorrow. She answered, "We have one of those new, young principals. She is always writing everyone up. I don't want to get written up."
I don't know what a tenured teacher, one year from retirement is worried about. It is teachers like this one that permit the system to keep abusing us and to force us to work all these extra days. I don't have a classroom to set up, but if I did, it would get set up on school time, not my vacation time. If an administrator expects me to get something done, they better give me free time during the day to do it. (Of course this does not apply to doing extra for my kids--I am always around to tutor or to talk to them.)
Last year, College Board started requiring teachers of advanced placement courses to submit curriculum. This took hours and hours of work. When we were first told about this, I asked, "When will we be given time to get this done?" After hemming and hawing, we were relieved of regents proctoring to write the curriculum. (I am proud to say that mine was one of the few approved on its first submission.)
The abuse of teachers will continue as long as teachers allow it to continue. I understand the newbies--they have no tenure and must go in extra and work extra. I did the same when I first started out. I don't understand how the old timers, like me, can still be intimidated. Two years ago I had a disagreement with my Principal. He told me that since I don't "share his vision", I should transfer. I told him "Good school, near home, easy to park, I'm not going anywhere. Learn to deal with it." I haven't spoken more than a few words to him since (except when he handed me my Heart Award in June).
TEACHERS--STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS! NO ONE ELSE WILL DO THAT FOR YOU.