Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Teachers, do you ever hate your job and it has nothing to do with the kids? (rough draft)

I hear that all the time, and where I think we would all agree we would like to make more, what I never hear about is our salaries either, most times it's the actions of other adults that make teachers feel that way. In my case it's district staff and the administration, who are telling me to do things they never had to nor will ever have to do, greatly increasing my work load and they are doing so with a smile and without an explanation . 

Let me tell you what is going on with me.

I work at a center school just for profoundly intellectually disabled children, well except for the few violent kids they sprinkle in because they don’t know what to do with them.

Well they want us to start using this new software to collect daily data on the students IEP goals. ESE students have what are called individual education plans that have goals students are supposed to be working on.

Now we have been collecting data on goals for I guess forever, but they want us to use this new system, Dsctop.

It seems like a nightmare, which is only backed up by the service providers (speech pathologists, Occupational therapists, etc) who I have spoken to who have been required to use it for the last few years, which have said it ranges from, nightmare to soul crushing.

Now I went to the union which has been very attentive and after they talked to the district they seemed very confused. Chris, they said, the district reports it being very easy to do, after the initial set up, which they admit can be a lengthy process, it should only take five minutes a day.

Oh, did I mention when I asked the service providers how long it took them to daily input their data, they invariably said, an hour. Now we will have different goals to enter, but I have eleven kids on my caseload all of which have at least 5 goals.

Here is the thing too, this is the beginning of the year. What am I going to do when IEP writing season starts, or testing season starts (my kids are give their tests individual and learning literally grinds to a halt for weeks, or addendum ESY season starts because the district can't tell us when ESY is. Times when I barely have enough time in the day to think let alone teach.

I pointed out that I believe ordering teachers through fiat violates the teacher contract in many ways. It adds new paper work, it forces us to create a data notebook, it wasn’t brought to the union, and I must say I think the district was straight up lying about how long it’s going to take (I could be wrong) which greatly increases my workload. One service provider said to me when I asked about the difference between what they did (an hour a day on dsktop) and what the district said we would be doing (5-10 minutes) and  they said, well they don’t have to do it, so they probably don't have a clue.

Isn’t that always how it is too? People who don’t have to do it, telling those that do how easy it is?
So yesterday I was told by my administration I wasn’t a team player, when it got back to them that I told the union teachers (I am the union rep at my school), I had no plans to do Dsktop, until the union got back to me. I pointed out that in this instance the teachers needed a zealous advocate more than a team player. 

Then today on the way out the door, the staff received an email saying, we are undoubtedly going to do Dsktop, and to hell with my and others concerns, okay that last part was just implied not said.

So, I came home with tears in my eyes feeling overwhelmed and its not even the end of week three, and not because of anything my kids did, but because of what adults, adults who are telling me to do things they won’t have to do, did.

When will the powers that be realize that if they continue to violate the contract, put yokes on the backs of teachers and make them hate their jobs, there will be significant repercussions, when will they care?

It certainly wasn't today.


  1. At least the union inquired for you. You do know that if you didn't write a blog, you would be ignored, as I was when inquiring about new paperwork that takes 30-40 minutes of every 90 minute planning. But of course, they agreed with the system because they are DAU (Duval Administrators United).

  2. DTU is a paper tiger. But at the end of the day there are no atheists in the foxhole so I keep giving them their pound of flesh more out of a sense of duty than anything else. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

  3. DTU is beyond reproach when it comes to contract issues. Unlike other school districts in the state, when the Great Recession hit, they maintained our salary schedule and non-contribution health insurance. Yea, DTU!

    However, when it comes to other issues, DTU is absent. They will not take a stand on many of the issues that affect teachers' lives. For example, look last week when the Broward Union's leadership went to a school with mold issues to demand that affected teachers and classes be moved to available non-moldy classrooms. Can anyone imagine Terry Brady and company doing that? Nope, didn't think so.