This past week has been quite the adventure. On my path to becoming "master teacher," I have realized how many frustrating issues develop throughout the year...and how little we as teachers can do about it.
You can't help what kind of home your students come from. You can't change the way parents are. You can't have a real teacher work day. You can't make kids do their homework or come to class. You can't emphasize enough the importance of school. Of life. You can't always anticipate what will happen during your day.
This week we were told all the other things we CAN'T do.
And now...you can't make copies. You can't print. You can't use your budget. You can't be in the classroom with all the lights on. You can't make any handouts. You can't laminate. You can't buy any basic supplies. You can't print out progress reports. You can't go on field trips. You can't get a fork from the lunchroom without paying 20 cents. Really.
This week I have learned that as much as education is emphasized and seems like a concern in this country, there is certainly no hesitation to take away any funds from education before any other place. Why do we punish the education system, our students - our future, with the budget cuts or decreases when things start to go sour in the economy? It doesn't make sense. We already lost our salary increase for next year and we are already losing teachers at probably every Cobb school at the end of this year. Now we are taking away the things that make education fun. That make it work. That allow teachers to teach.
On my path to mastering teaching, I have found that my class is 100% performance based. My students thrive on building bigger and better projects. We have built bridges, clocks, buildings, airplanes, rockets, go-karts, pinewood derby cars, mini golf courses, and whatever else it takes to enhance student learning and keep interest going. We do stuff. And....that costs money.
So, for the rest of the semester I am going to have to pull out all my cards to figure out how to keep my kids motivated and to keep all the supplies I have last until the end the spring. i guess this is the true test of a teacher on the way to mastery.
Cobb County - I want my poker chips back. :)