Don’t check my school email. Really. I mean, just don’t.
There are a number of changes coming down the pike for us. None of it is pretty. Once you hit year 4 of not making the desired scores in all your subgroups (special ed, economically disadvantaged, second language learners, etc.) it all goes downhill. Year 5 means we have an alternate governance board (AGB) which we not so lovingly refer to as the KGB.
I am not kidding.
My site will join the other schools in our small district the coming year, and we are feeling the pinch already.
Yesterday’s email was the agenda for an upcoming grade level meeting with my principal. Such a short phrase to strike fear into my heart: seat work for May.
Now, I’m willing to say that, yeah, kinders ought to be exposed to assigned seating at tables in preparation for first grade. Transitioning from the floor to tables might help if we started that earlier.
I also know that the other sites are getting flack about small group and rotations during worktime.
The bottom line is that we’re expected to provide two hours of language arts direct instruction, and that our group times take away from that.
But you want me to assess more? Where’s that time going to come from? There are skills that small children can practice in small groups, that need to be reinforced. Cutting isn’t on your agenda? Manipulatives aren’t part of the curriculum?
There’s a move from doing some stuff as individuals to everyone districtwide being on the same page. We’ve got pacing guides for LA and math, which we’ve always had, but now MORE, WITH EMPHASIS. We’ll be doing lesson plans next year which the other sites claim take upwards of 12 additional hours a week to complete. (And more time in the beginning. At least the first year will be the roughest, and it should get easier from then on.)
It takes a fair amount to stress me out. But after that email, I spent four hours online searching for ideas to incorporate into my class, that will also extend my LA instruction. I’m not sure how much my summer vacation is going to be vacation, because the more I can get done in advance, the easier it will be overall.
Six more years.
Surely I can survive six more years.
It’s not about the kids. It’s not about being asked to change. It’s about demands, and of courses, and you wills. It’s about people who have no idea what teaching kindergarten involves telling you how you will teach. Even if you’ve been highly successful doing it your way in the past.
It’s about stress. And frustration. And anger. And resentment. And trying to find a gleam of light buried in all the shit.
Let me tell you, I’m not finding much light at the moment.