Friday, September 30, 2016

When Principals Become Dictators...

On the train ride in I thought about E--. I taught him my first two years of teaching. It made me sad and angry to remember how the school failed him. He was growing and the school couldn't see it, stifling his growth. And that's how it was there and still is. A principal so insecure of herself that she takes it out on everyone around her. All her actions, her decisions ultimately impact the students, ultimately hurt the students.

I ran into one of my former co-teachers, who is still at the school, and she told me that there's now a shout-out box at school. A student wrote that the principal "would make a great dictator." And the principal was so proud that she read it aloud to the entire school. And people were uncomfortable and surprised and thinking, "uh that's not a good thing." And I wonder if she knew that and was just using it as a way to flaunt her dominance, celebrate her dictatorship. Hearing stories like these just remind me how lucky I am to be somewhere else and make me sad that I was powerless to impact change at my first school.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September Toast

Before I check my email I'm going to read and then I'm going to write. Then I get to work and almost immediately check my email, but I catch myself as the icon bounces open and minimize the browser before I can see any of the new, unread messages and quickly turn my swivel chair to the right. I listen to the complaints, another meeting. Three hours of useless meetings a week for some of us. That's too many. M--- says he can't sleep at night and I'm surprised. So chill most of the time. This is alarming. But we keep on. A sigh of defeat. No solutions to the systematic problems that never get solved, rarely get addressed. I think maybe it's time to move on, go somewhere else, but what's out there might be worse. And maybe I'm too comfortable, the luxury of being lazy when I want to, or maybe that's a sign of being overwhelmed and depressed. I can't stop the worry. Two years in a row I'm hearing, I'm saying, "I'm burnt out and it's only September."