Thursday, May 26, 2011
Posted by Mike Rush
We lost four days due to a tornado here in Vilonia; on top of the five snow days.
The tornado days were waived by the state.
For the students.
Recently, the district rolled out the plan devised so that faculty and staff could be paid our entire contract.
We have to come two more days after students leave. From 7:30 to 4:00. That will make up 16 hours. We'll write a one page essay about something, anything, we've done at school. For that we get 2 more hours. Then we'll pick up 6 hours of PD on our own, which won't count toward the 60 required for next year. Then the district can pay us our entire contract.
It's professional hoop jumping, at best.
And as anyone can imagine, it's made the natives just a little restless.
And some of us, as you can also imagine, have decided to quit.
And you might think I mean to say that some teachers have decided not to return next year. But that's not what I'm saying at all. I mean some of them have quit this year. And I'm not saying they are no longer coming to school; they are.
But they've quit.
It's videos and video games. It's basketball and softball games between classes. Walks in the nature trail.
And I don't want to be a hard ass about this. I'm 54 years old and this is my 30th year in the classroom. I know tired. I know burned out. Some days I want to quit too.
But we're a 90-90 school. We get 90 minutes a day for 90 days with our students. Of course, we lose a few class periods to pep rallies, student council speeches, and, well, tornadoes.
Do we have more concepts and curricular activities in which to engage our students than we have time for, or do we have more time with students than we know what to do with?
A few years ago, a lady in our district, whose son was my student, shared with me one of my greatest compliments. "Mom," he said to her, "every day I go to school Mr. Rush has something he wants to teach me."
Thank God for summer breaks.
Let us teach until it comes.
This work by Mike Rush is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.