Teachin' Spanish For America

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 14 2012

La Srta.: Also a recess coach

So I came here to vent my frustrations and when I went to look at the list of draft posts I haven’t yet posted, I found one with the above title.  I thought that was pretty funny, considering it’s also the reason I am currently frustrated.

To make a long story short, sorry I haven’t been posting.  Things are manageable here.  I have managed to reign in my classes to some modicum of regular and consistent learning.  The only real drama in my school life has been organizational issues at my school, and the fact that I feel my curriculum to be severely lacking (more on that in a different post).

Tuesday night I got back to my car after my teaching certification classes only to find a brick through my window.  It was, of course, pouring rain, and I of course freaked out.  The people who were with me were nothing short of amazing in helping me clean out my car and get it ready to drive home.  When I got home, my significant other was nothing short of amazing in helping me to further clean up the damage.  I took the following day off (I was not driving a windowless car into Newark!) and everything was straightened out during Wednesday.

I set my alarm for 7:30 am Wednesday morning even though I went to bed around 2 am.  I did this because I knew I wanted to text everyone who my absence would effect before the day started.  A big problem at my school is that teachers are absent QUITE often, and no one is notified and since for some completely inexplicable reason we don’t have substitutes, it makes everyone’s life miserable.  I wanted to avoid as much of that as possible.

Others are unable to perform the same courtesy, however.  More than once I have ended up running kindergarten recess, myself and 60 kids, by myself as no one notices that the recess coach has not shown up or didn’t think it was important to tell me.  I understand that the “I am the SPANISH TEACHER PEOPLE” argument has not been valid for a long time, and this is a “all hands on deck” kind of environment to work in.  That’s cool.  Except why on earth do I get shafted with such regularity in this regard?  It sincerely infuriates me.

I was talking to some teachers and former teachers Tuesday night (before finding my car).  The ones who not work in the education field but in different capacities assured me that my ability to handle stress will be infinitely higher than my peers at any non-teaching job I may ever have.  I tend to agree.  I have nothing to really compare this job to, but the dysfunctional systems and situations with which we deal at this school and others like it are mindboggling.

I’m lucky there are some great kids to remind me that I am here for a reason, and they are here because they need a choice.

This job sure is something.

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