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This is most definitely a blah day!  So many things have gotten to me today.

  1.  The violence against people in this country!  I am horrified over the events of the last week.  I have been frustrated over it all, but for some reason this week got to me.  I haven’t watched any of the videos of the men being shot or the aftermath of them being shot.  I didn’t need to.  They were shot!  That’s what is crazy.  They weren’t having a shootout with the police.  They were shot.  I wasn’t horrified over Sandra Bland.  I took my cue on how to feel then from my black coworkers in Prairie View/Waller where the Sandra Bland event happened.  I took my cue from a friend who is black police officer from the area.  They all felt for Sandra and her family, but they didn’t believe that it was a case of police brutality.  They didn’t speak up on social media about the racial unfairness of it all.  But this is different.  This is scary for my friends.  They are all talking and that makes me stand up and take notice and accept responsibility for my whiteness.  And then the snipers in Dallas shooting at police.  OMG people, get yourselves together.  It makes me want to run away to a deserted island which is the exact wrong thing to do.
  2. FACEBOOK!  I mostly hate it.  I love being able to catch up with people, but I absolutely hate everything on it that blames Obama, Bush, Trump, Clinton, Cheney for the wrong in this country.  And so many stupid people sharing these ideas.  I just read one that said, “Someone kill this waste of fucking flesh.  He’s breathing in American air.  He doesn’t deserve that right.  #fuckObama #fuckliberals #fuckisis #fuckHillary.”  Come on people!  We need to stand together!  #thatdesertedislandlooksevenbetternow!
  3. The results of the state assessment STAAR test came in and my kids did terrible!  And I feel terrible!  I wasn’t given exact numbers on any group other than my own, but I was told that only 57% of my third graders passed the reading test.  I was told that the other schools in the district all passed with 80% or more.  The 4th and 5th graders at my school had a higher passing rate as well.  I can’t actually look at the scores since I’ve resigned from the district and have been removed from the system so I don’t know if all those numbers are accurate.  I just hate that I left with a crap year on my record.  It won’t affect my new job, but I KNOW that it was a bad year.  It was my hardest year and I was overwhelmed so much of the time.  I felt like I was being picked on which was so different from how I had been treated the previous 5 years.  I can’t decide if I my teaching got worse so the scores were low because of all that was going on in 3rd grade or if their treatment of me was justified.  I didn’t want to teach 3rd grade and had been begging for a Kindergarten position since the year before so I wonder if I subconsciously sabotaged myself.  I’ll never know.  (I am thankful for my new job teaching kindergarten in another district so all I can do is move forward and embrace new beginnings…but UGH!) #desertedislandsdontneedschools!
  4. Candied Jansen’s job is on the line again.  This is the third round of layoffs at her place of employment since we started dating in Feb. of 2014.  She made it through the first two rounds with flying colors, but this one feels different somehow.  The way they are going about it is different this time around so we are both feeling the fear of the unknown.  We really need oil and gas prices to go up!  #noneedformoneyorjobsonadesertedisland
  5. I haven’t had a Diet Coke in a whole day and I have a slight headache.  While that’s not a huge big deal in the grand scheme of life, I really want one!  Alas, we have none in the house and I’m trying to quit/cut back.  Sigh. #desertedislandsdonthavedietcoke  #buttheyalsodonthavestupidpeoplesoitsworthit

The fact that I cried about these things today doesn’t help the lack of caffeine headache I have.  Sigh.


One response »

  1. From one teacher to another, albeit all the way over in Australia, let me just reassure you that your worth as an educator is never defined by a bunch of stupid standardized tests. More than that, you are allowed to be human. I had a terrible couple of years about a decade ago, where I floundered in an non-supportive environment, left on my own in a system I was unfamiliar with and without enough experience to pave my own way. This is a situation I placed myself in, and then being so overwhelmed, could not even formulate the questions I had to ask in order to seek the help I needed. My self-esteem suffered, I was taking wild stabs in the dark and I, quite frankly, I did not teach content well. On a purely professional level, there’s no doubt I deserved the criticism I received. Some of it was overly harsh, once or twice to the point of bullying, but the point was still valid. I wasn’t doing that part of my job very well.

    But you know what? So what. It took me a long time to comes to terms with the fact that I was not a bad person because I didn’t succeed. I made choices about my career that I was not ready for, (teaching in another country having just graduated), and I did not ask for help often enough. These were mistakes and I have learned from them. But while I may not have delivered all content in a way that best prepared all my students to move onto their next point of learning, I have been in the profession long enough now to know that they still learned valuable lessons. Time invested in helping them to negotiate social relationships, communicate effectively, show empathy, develop resilience… And I did teach SOME things! We are so much more than the sum-total of a bunch of test figures and no matter what, you have had an impact on their journey. There is more than enough intentional harm done in this world without us beating ourselves up for struggling under duress. I was not okay and it sounds like you were not either, and yet we still taught. We still taught.

    I was employed in my current position on the recommendation of numerous colleagues and have since grown into an educator I can be proud of. Still not perfect, but failing held me accountable when I needed to be and I learned, the hard way perhaps, what the keys to success are. Nobody learns without making mistakes; I tell my kids that every day. I also tell them that experiences are like a series of stepping stones; some are smooth and make it easy to go forward, but some are sharp and slippery and will land you in the cold water. If that happens, choose to swim! (Especially if there are leeches. They added that bit themselves.)

    I wish you every success in your new position; I’m not sure I could teach kindergarten myself!


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