School Administrators + The Real World = Have They Ever Really Met?
It’s a tough job, I know it must be. But do they really have to be so out of touch with reality? I mean, seriously. Have they ever dwelt on the planet Earth?
What is it about most (not all, but most) of the people who move over the administrative side of education that they seem to come up with ridiculous and contradictory rules with such incredible ease and frequency? A couple of cases in point:
1. My band recently had a fundraiser. The school district has us type up the deposit slips (on typewriters, no less), and turn in all money to the office by 1:00pm. Never mind that I have a good portion of my students who have class after 1:00. No worries, any money that we aren’t going to deposit that day can be picked up by the security guard at 2:00. What! You mean some students come into the band hall after 2:00? So I’m stuck either not accepting money from the students after 2:00 and most of them forgetting to come by before 2, or else keeping the money locked away in a filing cabinet until the next day when I can work on it again. Oh yeah, did I mention that I actually teach some classes from time to time also?
2. For the past two years that I have been at the middle school, the band directors have parked in the parking lot that is outside the band hall area. Other coaches and teachers have parked in the area as well. As a result, many people were parking in the fire lane that extends over 200 feet away from the building. This year, all of the teachers have been instructed to use the teacher parking lot on the other side of the school. Before the school year started, we asked if we could be allowed to park in the parking lot and were told that all of the spaces are reserved and so we couldn’t. Throughout the day, nearly 1/3 of the parking spots remain empty. And yet we still must park downstairs over 750 feet away from the band hall. Did I mention that we often take heavy instruments or sound equipment to or from school?
Such seems to be the case with M.D. who wrote:
I’m looking for some practical job options.
I just got home from school and I’m ready to hand in my resignation. I’ve been doing some serious soul searching about whether or not I want to continue, since before school even started.
My school is exceptional in so many ways, so it really isn’t the school. I get to do so many things that I enjoy. I’m just tired of the hassle.
I’m tired of being undercut by people who haven’t been in a classroom in 15 years telling me to do what I know to be wrong. We went to block scheduling without any preparation (oh yeah, we got three books to read over the summer and another 3 at the first meeting. Yep, that’ll do it). We added an elective and lost a planning, so that means another class to plan – without a text or the time. We now have three professional sites we are required to keep up with (in our spare time of course). We’ve been put on paper restrictions and are not allowed to use worksheets as grades (unless of course you’re out sick, then you’re suppose to have a whole file of papers you’re not suppose to use ready for a sub!?). And I missed 3 days of school due to infection caused by stress and parents sending sick kids to school because they don’t want them at home.
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There is no time during the day to do everything that has to be done, so the middle school teachers end up being the last to leave the school, with homework.
Last year I worked so hard to set up a curriculum that would allow me some time for me. Instead, I’m working harder than ever just to get caught up. And that is on a low salary frozen indefinitely. More work, same pay.
Got a degree that seemed like a good idea at the time with no intention of ever setting foot in a classroom (not my first job), and now I am stuck.
I can’t quit; I need the money and the insurance. I live in a beautiful area that is an employment nightmare. I can’t change schools because no one is hiring. I don’t want to leave my home, because I have friends. I’ve got 20 years experience in my field and I love working with middle school kids, but I am extremely unhappy and discouraged.
At a retirement party one of my coworkers asked me if I saw myself retiring from the school. I told him honestly that I didn’t think I had a choice anymore. I just stayed too long.
So, does anyone have a suggestion?