As we start the Back to School frenzy, I am seeing more and more posts on Facebook and in blogs about the frustrations this time of year brings - from parents and teachers alike. But two topics were especially, well, let's say..... agitating.
Let's start with school supplies. Yes, I work in public education, which is free for your child. But here's the thing - I don't know if you've heard, but there is a MAJOR budget crisis. And by major, I mean your kids are losing days off of their education. They are losing learning opportunities. And yeah, guess what? Your kid's school cannot afford all of the supplies like it used to. And if you live in California there is more doom and gloom to come. If the governor's bill doesn't pass, public education will be raped and pillaged like never before. Knowing how ridiculous and short-sighted voters can be, I am getting ready for the worst. So yeah, we teachers are asking for donations. DONATIONS. You are not required to send in anything. So quit complaining already. I am sick of it. (PS - If it doesn't get donated, guess who buys it? THE TEACHER!!!!!)
Moving on to teachers requesting volunteers..... This one is odd for me. I will be starting my 24th year at a Title I school this week. I have rarely had volunteers to help me with anything. It's not their fault - they are usually working at least one full time job if not more and do not have the time. I totally get that. When I do get volunteers, they usually start off strong, but have to quit for one reason or another. So I have stopped asking. But guess what? That means I do not have time to do a lot of the wonderful engaging and enriching activities that should occur in school. You know why? Because I HAVE A FAMILY TOO. I have a life. I spent the first ten-plus years of my career not having a life - it was all about other people's kids. And even now, I still spend WAY too much of my own time on other people's kids. Now don't get me wrong. I love my job, and I love teaching. But most people have NO CLUE how much time and energy it takes to run a classroom effectively. All of the planning and prep happens before and after school, when your children are gone. We cannot plan or prepare while your kids are in class. We are busy teaching them. So again, if a teacher asks for your help, you are not required to do so. But don't get pissed off when your child's education isn't all you hoped it would be. Your child's teacher has her own family to take care of. Her students are NOT her children. They are yours.