I’m a teacher. You’re a teacher. I say this to you from the bottom of my heart.
Stop what you are doing!
For the sake of your physical and mental health.
Stop what you are doing!
I want to say this at every faculty meeting but I don’t.
I bite my tongue and hope that the union steward will speak up.
But he doesn’t.
All he has to say is, “Teachers, stop what you are doing!”
Stop taking work home!
Use your time wisely in the classroom. Too many teachers take work home. In Miami Dade County Public Schools, we have one of the highest paid superintendents in the country yet a teacher like myself with 17 plus years of experience earns $43,000 with no raise in years. Why? According to our leaders, there’s no money.
Yet, teachers take work home. Why? Why would you do that to yourself? Why would you devalue yourself?
Enjoy your time after work. Exercise. Have a healthy meal with family or friends. Relax. Start your own business.
Do something for yourself.
Taking work home won’t earn you a raise. Taking work home won’t make you healthy. Taking work home won’t help you develop stronger bonds with others.
Taking work home only causes you to do more work for free.
Stop what you are doing! Start doing something else. Something for you. You deserve it.
Stop Spending Your Own Money
Maybe this might not be pertinent in other school systems but in Miami Dade County Public Schools teachers spend their own money to get the classroom ready for the beginning of the year. Why?
Let’s get real. What will happen if you don’t have cute things on your walls? Will the parents circle around you with pitchforks?
I have never spent a dime to get my classroom ready. I use free things. If there are no free things, there are no cute things on the wall.
I’m a teacher. Not an interior decorator.
When you get your LEAD money which is state money given to teachers to purchase material then you go buy cute things to put on the walls.
I’m always baffled when I hear teachers complain that they don’t have paper because they spent it printing data reports and other unnecessary documents. Do you want these print outs or does the district want them? If the district wants them, they can print them out or give you the material to print them out. If you want to print them out, ask yourself why. You can save these reports on your computer. Why print them out?
So you can take them home?
Remember, stop taking work home!
I use my state money to purchase things that I need in the classroom. I might find a particular book that I can read to help my teaching methods. I might find a work book that I can use in the classroom. I buy material that I deem important for my particular subject or grade level.
Use that money wisely.
Don’t spend your own money and then complain about it.
Has buying all of those cute things on the walls made you a better teacher, earned you a raise, given you anything other than debt? If it has been something great, keep at it just don’t complain because it’s a choice you’re making.
The minute that a school leader tells you that you have to buy your own ink, toilet paper, and other items which they should provide for you, go to your union steward. If you have a weak one, go find a strong one.
Stop Acting Like A Chicken Without A Head
In Miami Dade County Public Schools, common core is disguised as LAFS. I don’t know the exact acronym for it nor do I care because LAFS is pretty self explanatory. It makes me LAF (Laugh).
Teachers are literally freaking out and taking it out on the students.
You don’t need to inundate students with one thousand writing assignments in one week. Focus on one writing assignment and spend time on editing, revising and critiquing. The student will gain more knowledge If you give them one thousand writing assignments, they won’t know what they did wrong because they are so busy on the next assignment.
Breathe in and out.
It’s like eating an elephant. One bite at a time.
So many teachers are freaking out over pacing guides. Good grief. It’s a guide. Not the bible.
The idea is that students know certain benchmarks by the end of the year. You’re the teacher. You’re the one in the classroom. You know when to go slower or faster.
Don’t allow others to take away from your professional judgement.
I recommend you read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss. It’s a book I read to my middle school students the week before those crazy inane state tests.
They agree, I’m Ms Bonkers! Ha ha.
But the point of the story is simple. If you, the teacher, do your job correctly then the majority of your students will be able to pass the test.
Stop the madness.
Many of you might not like what I said, that’s ok.
There might be a reason that makes you do those things mentioned above.
One of my co workers thinks that many teachers spend their own money, take work home or stay late or go to work early, and complain all the time because they like playing the martyr role. Maybe. Maybe not.
I think it’s because we are conditioned the minute we enter the classroom as newbies to live a life of poverty. We are conditioned to expect little and do much. We are brainwashed into thinking that this is the way it’s always going to be.
We must stop that thinking.
We must stop devaluing ourselves.
We must stop being martyrs.
We must stop doing too much for too little.
So what must we start doing?
We must start speaking up. If we need something, we ask for it. If we are being asked to do more than what is within our contract, we must say no.
We must start investing in ourselves. Nurture our mind, our body, our soul.
We must start working in ways that suits the needs of our students not the needs of educational experts who left the classroom or worse, they were never educators.
When you get back into the classroom, start with a new mentality. You can do this.
What else do you think we, as teachers, should start doing and stop doing?
Leave your comment in the comment section.
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