Sunday, April 29, 2012

thoughts on a rainy Sunday....

I've been delaying to talk about some things that are happening in our building because there has been so much drama...good and bad.  I just want to post my views, but not for any specific reason other than to post my views and give my thoughts....

So, we've gotten a kind of fruit basket upset as it were for next year.  One of the 6th grade teachers is moving up to the 7th grade and one of the 7th grade teachers is moving to 6th grade.  I can't say that I am unhappy about this fact, I'm joyous.  I don't say this with any kind of's just that the teacher that is moving down has...well...been difficult to teach with.  While I believe that he has a lot of knowledge...I'm not sure he was willing to share it.  He could've made our literacy team pretty strong, but chose to do the opposite...he made it much it much harder to do our job.  I really wish it could've been different.  There's a lot that I would like to say - but I'll just leave it with that.

The woman that is moving up from the 6th grade, I believe, will finally make our literacy team cohesive.  She has a personality that is much more compatible with me and the other two teachers that will remain in the 7th grade....actually, anyone could've been moved up from the 6th grade team and we would be fine, but I believe a change will be good for all of us.  What I'm really excited about is getting on top of playing to our strengths and helping our students out.  I'm looking forward to see what we can really accomplish.  We all have ideas that we've been starting to bounce off of each other and each time we do, I get a little more excited and positive about next year. 

For the past few years, I've been struggling and unhappy.  It hasn't been just one particular thing...each year it's different and the more frustrated I get, the more I am looking at what else I can do.  Frustratingly, I really don't know what I else I would do.  One of the things that has kept me in the profession as long as I have, has been the relationships I've forged within the staff at my school, but this year - even those seem to be a point of contention.  I've been somewhat unhappy to learn how difficult friendships can be when aspects of people's lives change.  How one thing can change opinions of colleagues that we've known and been closely associated with for many years.  How one thing can make us forget that we are not perfect.  How we know that we don't have to agree with everything that everyone does, but that NO ONE is perfect. 

I'm hoping things can get better....that a summer can refresh and let us forget a bit.  I'm hoping that my situation will help renew me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

why can't we all get along....

What do you do with that staff member or members that just can't seem to get along with others? The one that constantly has to have drama or be drama? And no, the answer I found out is not to threaten to run them over and then back up to see if you got them....even if you want to. :-)

Last week was full of stress...I found ways to help myself reduce it a bit - exercise, spontaneous dancing in the hallway, pranking other staff who are ok with pranking - DANCE DARES!

But I'm still having issues with one member that I can't figure out. Just when I thought everything was good and perfect this person goes and literally yells at another member of our team. His treatment of her was nothing short of unprofessional...talking to her like she's not important and has no value.

This person, by his actions, deems himself to be all powerful and knowing - like he's the wizard himself! What's sad is that he continually alienates himself from the rest of us. And while - as he states constantly, only has so much time before he retires - makes it hard for us to be a cohesive team. When we have the opportunity to work together and do what's best for students - he chooses to do what he would like to do. It's hard for me to confront this sort of behavior because it's easier when he's not around - at least personally...but it does hurt our team because he does have experience.

I hope that eventually we work things out because we need him and whether he wants to admit it....he needs us.

thoughts on a Tuesday after a bad week....

Well, it's's not quite as close to the end, but the kids are starting to act like it is. This is the time of year I struggle with...not the beginning or middle, but the end. It's the time where you're hoping what you've been doing all year will not get lost as they finish up their year. It's the time where you are constantly giving them the "evil eye" as they act like we've taught them nothing all year. The weather is nicer - not that this winter was bad - and the days are brighter.

Last week was ITBS or what we've now named the Iowa Assessement. Last week was also my week to "hate" people. We put sooooo much emphasis on these tests that not only do we make the kids nuts about them, we make ourselves nuts too. Nothing is ever smooth during these and it doesn't help when communication isn't high on our priority list. We just want OUR test to go perfect and everyone else be hanged.

To me...this is one of the greatest examples of how these tests make our profession a dog-eat-dog world. At a time where we should be collaborating and sharing information to work together for our students - ITBS is the time where everyone just wants their scores to be the ones that shine. Soon new legislation will make our willingness to work together impossible as we compete for our salaries with our peers. I'm afraid of this...I like working with some of my peers...I like having conversations to help each of us think outside the box or build on skills that the others have taught.

Teaching used to be a profession where you just closed the door and did your own thing...thankfully, it's moved away from that. We talk to each other more, work together, build on each others' strengths....etc. We work as a team. I don't like to see where education is going if we lose this.

I hope that we will recover soon from the fallout of the testing that we did last week....I'm ready to move on to something more positive.