I know it has been a long time since I blogged, probably no one is reading this anymore. But that's ok. I am just writing for myself now.
I am feeling discouraged. About a lot of things. This is a hard time of year to be a teacher-all the standardized testing makes students and teachers feel yucky. So much rides on these tests that everyone feels stressed and irritated for most of the time. So that's one thing.
Then there's the fact of the pregnant 8th grader in my school. Who basically thinks it's a big joke. This bothers me on so many levels I can't even begin to talk about it. Maybe another time.
Then there's the fact that I had to have a "group therapy session" with my students this morning because they are embarrassed that I take them out of their regular class for testing. The irony is other non special ed kids ask me to take them! I thought I was doing a good job of inclusion, helping all students feel accepted and know that they are getting what they need to be successful and apparently I'm not. Even though I am in a small school and have so much involvement with ALL the students, it doesn't seem to matter. I guess middle schoolers are just insecure by nature but I am bothered by these comments. They think they are treated so differently, when the reality is that the modifications I make for them are so minor and they are even given to other students without IEP's very often! Now I need to figure out how to address this issue.
Then there's the fact that after all these work headaches and issues, we teachers are getting based right and left in the media! That just adds to the discouraging feelings because it doesn't seem like we are valued for what we do. The way society views education definitely filters down to the students and kids and we lose a lot of respect both in and out of the classroom. It feels like we are fighting an uphill battle every day!
Then there's the fact that the world revolves around money. My husband and I work hard for our money and don't lead extravagant lifestyles by any means. We use coupons and look for the best deals on things before we buy them. We don't take vacations or even go to movies. And yet, every year it is a struggle to figure out school tuition. When people might hear how much our salaries are they might have a misperception of how much money we actually have. When you pay a mortgage, property tax, tuition/babysitting for 4 kids, utilities, car payments, food, copays for medicine/dr. appts-2 of my kids are on VERY expensive medication that runs a few hundred a month (and I am sure there are things I am forgetting) it really adds up. Now, I know we are better off than most and am very grateful for what I have. But when you live in a community that has certain requirements (and I use that word on purpose-I am not even talking about fancy sheitels/jewelry, or those kinds of things) like making Pesach, tuition, every other Yom Tov, modest clothing, etc. it becomes very hard to support a larger family on what seems to be a large salary. Especially when you do not get help from anywhere. For example, when I have a baby in less than 2 months, I will only get 1 paycheck when I take maternity leave. Because that's the amount of sick days I have. We are trying to prepare now for that time but we NEED my paycheck. So it makes me wonder what other people do. Not for comparing's sake but it makes me wonder if other people find it hard. If we need help for something does that make us bad people for having jobs and still needing it? We don't take advantage of chesed or help but maybe that makes it look like we don't ever need it. And sometimes we do.
Anyway, that's my rant for now. Maybe it will help me feel better. Because I would like to feel better about all of these things. Maybe if I start sleeping it will help too. I have just been so uncomfortable lately, but that goes with the territory. I'm not even sure this whole post made sense in my sleep deprived state.
If you're reading this, hopefully you're less discouraged than me!