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COMMITMENT by Anonymous

I recently received the email below from a colleague and friend. It caused me much sadness and not a little anger.

Debbie Franks, Editor


Hi There,

This whole morning thing just ick. Our instructional coach has delusions of grandeur and a superiority complex.

Ugh. To sum up the morning our instructional coach had the audacity to ask me about my commitment. I let her have it in no uncertain terms. She was basically angry because I asked her if she could reschedule the meeting that we had for today until tomorrow because I was not here yesterday and I needed more time to gather information. I was incensed to say the least but I kept my cool until the end. There is all this stuff that she has been asking me to do for which she says I have been unprepared. She was angry because I told her that I had other priorities. She was really put out about it. I told her that what she was asking me to do was to take time to give physical (written) account of what I am doing everyday anyway. She shouldn’t assume that it is not being done or that the first I’ve heard of any type of procedures or techniques was her mention. At the end of the conversation I ended with saying that I was hoping it wouldn’t have to come to this but contractually I was not obligated to do anything that she was asking me to do because I only get one hour of planning period per day and there are other things that I have to do as well. She was pissed. She kept trying to phrase things in the manner that she is trying to help me and could she do. I told her that I felt like I was repeating myself over and over because I have been.

I told her that the majority of our student scores are low because students are not spending time on task and that is the crux of the problem. I told her that I was not sitting in my room having a siesta. I cannot do stuff that they apparently think I should be able to do in the course of a class period because I am teaching or otherwise instructing. The kids don’t operate by themselves. I may turn this into a union issue because I feel like I am being harassed and I don’t want to take it anymore. We are trying to get our students ready for the EOC. I feel like I am trying to get kids ready for life. At the end of the day I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror, and my students and their parents in their eyes. We also take a ton of unnecessary tests. I am not even talking about the state mandated tests. We take all these mock and predictor tests. It is so foolish.

If I didn’t have the time beforehand to debrief and get over being angry it would have been explosive.

I should also point out that all of this is basically data gathering for my 10th grade students. This is as if we gather the right amount of data some great mystery will be solved. I work really hard teaching. I am not even counting the hard work of triaging all of the social emotional issues of the students: the hour long conversation with the Gay kid that thinks he is unlovable and unattractive, taking class time to have students write to their classmate whose Mom died, delivering said notes on my own time after work, the three reference letters in a week that were given to me at the last minute that I didn’t have time to write but wrote anyway because these kids (any kid) needs a chance, sitting with a crying teacher, sitting with a crying teacher, sitting with a crying kid, sitting with a crying kid…

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