This is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning.
Summer is over, which means kids are back to school (and parents are rejoicing).
I’m still at home.
I’ve completed paperwork in several districts. I’ve applied for teaching positions. I’ve emailed principals and called them on the phone. I’ve reached out to friends who have suggested jobs and let me know of openings in their orbit.
I filed for unemployment the other day. I’m going to try to get a teaching job for another few weeks and then…
I’m trying not to think about the rest of that sentence.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching as I’ve contemplated if I’m a good teacher and if I even want to continue teaching. And along the way–as schools continue to ignore me, as my friends go back to school without me–I’ve made a list.
47 Reasons I Can’t Find A Teaching Job
I haven’t been hired because…
My classroom has never been Pinterest-worthy.
I don’t fit the prototype of size 2 perky blonde girl that some principals want for their schools (the kind where everyone on their website looks the same).
My years of experience mean I’m more costly than other (coughyoungercough) teachers.
My multiple degrees mean the same thing. Double whammy.
I consider data to be a four letter word. Figuratively as well as literally.
So are words like grit and rigor. I don’t think a word that is normally used in conjunction with the word “mortis” should be used to describe lively, inquisitive children.
I don’t hang up a data wall.
I think it’s wrong to stress kids out about what reading level they’re not on or how many letters they don’t know yet.
I consider growth of any kind to be important, even if the benchmark isn’t reached.
I know the stages of language acquisition for my ELL kids, and I know that what they need most of all is time.
I know they all need time, regardless of artificial testing deadlines.
I have yet to see the importance of littering my walls or white boards with “I can” statements–especially when young students can’t even read them.
Because I don’t see the value, I’ve been known to leave the same “I can” statements up for days at a time. (And by “days” I mean “weeks.”)
I think that time putting on coats and gloves and time walking in the hallway should not count as recess time.
And bathroom breaks should not be called a loss of instructional time. (Last time I checked, adults get bathroom breaks. Why can’t kids?)