I love what I do and I want to keep doing it but “stuff” keeps getting in the way. I really dislike the assumption that what I do, I do because it’s what I have to do, that it’s part of my job. I hang around at lunch and after school to help kids, to plan lessons, to connect with colleagues, to organize field trips because it’s what makes me tick, not because someone tells me to do it. My choices are part of my professional autonomy, part of what makes me a good teacher, something that appears to not be valued by my employer. And by valued I mean compensated for. My compensation comes from my knowledge of a job well done.
What I need is to be able to do my job with the support of parents, students, colleagues and administrators. Anything that takes energy away from that is going to have a negative impact on both me and my students. I don’t see a resolution to the current conflict any time soon, especially not one that meets the needs of students and teachers nor one that places the value of excellence in education at the top of the platform. There is only one area where I still see an opportunity to make change and that’s by trying to replace the party in power with one that values public education and the people who devote so much of their time trying to make a difference.