A new year ushers in the desire to resolve to multiply or divide things in our lives. My new year has ushered in more of a realization than a resolution: I dread facing my job each day. This is my second year teaching, but I must add a qualifier. This is my second year as a teacher who has started 2 months late because of an inability to find a job in the summer time. Because of this I have had additional challenges. However, this is not the primary cause of my dread.
I dread my teaching job because it seems impossible to accomplish. What is expected of me is not aligned to the resources, tools, and time to accomplish it. On the one hand teachers are viewed as tireless,sacrificing saints who labor selflessly because of their deep love for children and teaching. On the other hand, in the last decade, teachers have been portrayed as incompetent, lazy individuals who have too much vacation. These two opposing views have set up the conditions for an impossible profession. Politicians, corporations, and school districts continue to pile on the new standards, evaluation systems, data collection, etc. Teachers are hemmed in because the one perception says teachers are supposed to be selfless heroes and sheros that can do the impossible, and the other overlooks complaints because teachers are lazy and incompetent.
I respect teaching and teachers. I love learning and the teaching moment. I don’t like all the other stuff.
My desire for the new year is to shake this dread I feel every Sunday night and week night when I know that I have to enter that world.