Fizzling Out

It becomes difficult to take myself seriously as a professional when I do not fully believe that I am teaching my students anything lasting or worthwhile.

It becomes nearly impossible to generate enthusiasm in my students when I have lost my own.

I am beaten every day by the volume of new expectations shoved upon me by people who have not set foot in a classroom since they were students themselves.

I exhaust myself in my search for new strategies, new resources, new methodologies, only to be told that I am not going to be allowed to use them because THEY'RE NOT ON THE TEST.

I am saddened by the knowledge that my students will graduate from high school knowing ... how to graduate from high school; I fail them every day that I sacrifice their minds to the testing gods just so I can keep my job.

I am already questioning whether or not I will teach next year, either at this school or at any other.

Today is the third day of school.


The Science Goddess said...

Hang in there. Yes, more easily said than done, I know. I am about to embark on Year 18...and I have had more than my share of times where I have been ready to walk away and never look back.

Remember that you DO make a difference in the lives of children. It's delayed gratification. We don't always know where our efforts will lead---but at least you're trying to make something happen.

arianna said...

Yes and definitely some of best lessons I learned and some of the things I remember most from school were NOT what I was explicitly taught - they were things like side comments the teacher made, which have always stuck with me. :) I think you most certainly underestimate the amount of REAL teaching that you are actually squeezing in around all that NCLB bullshit, I am sure.

Best of luck, though. I can see how discouraging it can be. Let's just hope the educational standards testing can only go UP from here....

But we definitely need teachers like you, who actually still CARE enough about teaching students. I hope you do stick with it, but again I wouldn't blame you if you did decide to move on, with things the way they are...

I hope this year goes really well for you, though! :)

PaPoo said...

Don't let the "testing gods" steal your joy!

love 'ya,


angela said...

I don't have anything to offer you other than this: reading your blog is an inspiration to me-- whenever I doubt that I will be able to accomplish my goal of becoming a teacher, whenever I doubt my drive and ambition do become a teacher, something you post always makes me think that yes, I can.
You are a teacher-- your readers can tell this, just by reading your blog (even with posts just about teaching removed). Because who else besides a teacher would include such wonderful visual aids on stuff like how and why you will never attempt plumbing repair on your own again?

marmee said...

I have to agree with the other posters: you are a born teacher. It shows in your disbelief when your students don't want to learn, your excitement when you find a new method of teaching, and your joy when they are enjoying your classes. (You really can be a fun teacher!) Since I work for the government, I truly understand your frustrations with the bureaucracy. Tie that red tape up in a pretty bow when you hand it back. It's just another challenge tossed your way. If anyone can overcome it, I know it's you! I've watched you all these many years and know that when you put your mind to something, no one can stop you. Not even your mama! You go, girl! Show 'em how it's done! (Is that a grammatically correct?)

Mei said...

Thanks, everyone, for the supportive and sympathetic comments. I'm working on my attitude, which is always the biggest obstacle. I hope to report an improvement soon!


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