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Friday, February 29, 2008



What if we can't be the teachers they need us to be... They all have all these needs and I'm only one person... I teach 150 students a day. Some are academically high, some low. Some are organized, some ADD. Some write well, some can't string two sentences together. Some learn better with seat work, some can't sit in their seats to save their lives. The boys are wild, the girs contemplative. Some are asian, some white, some latino, some black. Some rich, some poor. Some are nice, some are mean. Some auditory, some visual, some T-k. Then some are spatial, some interpersonal, some musical, some intrapersonal, some mathmatical. Some listen, some don't. Some have parents who care about grades, some don't. Some are motivated, some aren't. Some will go to college, some will work at 7-11. I have fifty minutes/day to teach them all to read, write, think and be good people. I wish with my whole heart that I can be the teacher they need me to be... I never stop being a teacher. I never stop thinking about what they need me to be. I work 12+ hours a day. I eat, dream and sleep this JOB... But I'm one person and I just can't be the teacher they all need me to be. It's not that I don't want to, it's not that I don't do everything I can... It's just not possible. And I think we need to get away from the idea that when students don't succeed the first person to blame is the teacher. Let me reiterate: I have ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SEVENTH GRADERS! THis was today: One prep period. 10 parent emails to answer. 1 IEP meeting to attend. 1 team meeting w/ student, 7 teachers and two parents. 150 2 page papers to grade and provide meaningful feeback on. One state tests to prepare for and spend SEVEN DAYS administering... just wrapped that up today. No one has a clue how much administrative work went into that. I have mountains of daily assignments to track. Progress reports were supposed to go out today... that didn't happen. I am supposed to keep up on the current 7th grade literature so I can recommend books... my daily required SSR class is a joke. I haven't even mentioned how I need to plan meaningful, differentiated units. Did I mention I have ONE PREP PERIOD. The rest of the day I teach and MANAGE seventh graders who clearly weren't designed for the traditional classroom. The problem does not begin and end with me. The sooner our society realizes this and starts to provide realistic support (read "money" and "people") to education the better off our children and their future will be.

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