This Year

We are in one of the area’s of the country hit the hardest by the economic down turn and things are recovering very slowly if at all yet.  Things seem to be more difficult at work, less money, more expectations, more kids,  more testing etc.  Most teachers at my school seem more harried, less happy in their work environment, more tired, there are fewer smiles, etc.   We are facing the 4th year of extensive cuts in education and there isn’t much else to cut.   The district is putting together its budget for next year and staffing projections come out soon.  Everyone is worried about that.  Rumors fly thick and fast, and that has everyone on their toes.  One of the rumors is that all full day kinder programs will be cut to half day.  This would eliminate half the kinder teachers in the full day programs.  It would also nearly double our work load.  My first 4 years teaching kindergarten (some 20 years ago) was half day and it burned me out.  That was before they pushed down all of the reading and math into kindergarten.  Before all the testing and assessments.  The at-risk kids I work with will not benefit nearly as well from a half day program.  At the very least we can expect larger class  sizes and less supplies, and if they can get the union to re-negotiate, cuts in pay and benefits.  For the last 4 years they have expected us to do more with less, and now no matter where the cuts come, it will get worse.  All of this and still do better with NCLB (No Child Left Behind).

This year kids seem  lower, and to be  struggling more. I feel frustrated that I don’t seem to be making much of a difference with some of them.  If you are in education, have you ever noticed how some years are so different from the others?  All across the grade level all the teachers are saying the same thing about this year’s crop.  Was it sun spots or something when their moms were pregnant?   I was looking at my blog and noticed that I have posted less lately and that’s just one of the symptoms as well. I seem to have less time and less energy.  If nothing else, I usually find more humor in the day-to-day goings on in my class.  It’s like the kids aren’t even as funny as usual.

4 thoughts on “This Year

  1. I DEFINITELY noticed that you’ve been posting less this year. 😦

    I feel pretty much just like you do. I’m giving SERIOUS thought to not going back next year. I have a VERY small window to make a decision, though, so I’d better figure out what the hell I could do instead.

  2. School Board meets soon, we should know the proposed cuts next week sometime. 31 kindergarteners is too many, 60 plus is insane.

  3. I want them to start using the same logic for sports: “Coach, we expect you to have a winning team again this year. We’re just going make a few changes. You’ll have twice as many kids to train, but they’ll be the smallest, weakest kids we can find. You’ll have to give up your assistant. You’ll have to practice only on even days and for twenty minutes less than usual. Oh, and we’re cutting your budget. Do you think you could make your own uniforms?”

    • lol, We are facing something like a 20% budget cut next year, on top of the cuts from the previous 3 years. The superintentant, assured the community, that they wouldn’t cut school sports…… We were in the bottom half of the nations for salaries and benefits, and we could be facing an 8% pay cut, along with paying a larger percentage of our health insurance. I don’t know where it will end. Ijust see more and more people leaving teaching, good people.

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