Saturday, August 16, 2008


I haven't written about my job as a teacher yet. I don't know if I had planned on writing about it, but after this week, I need to vent!

Tuesday was my first day back to work with kids. I've been working on-and-off all summer, but Tuesday was my first official day. Before the school year started, I was told that I would have a 2nd/3rd grade combo. That's a tough one for a teacher because, even though we make "it" work all the time, I have not yet figured out how to be two teachers at the same time in order to teach two separate grade levels. I resigned myself to the fact that I would have it and tried to just shrug it off as one more thing. As the end of the school year approached, it seemed to me like the combo wouldn't happen because of the numbers, but I still remained a combo teacher.

Over the summer, I didn't do too much planning because I didn't want to waste the time on something that was bound to change. The first day of school got closer and closer without word one way or another. Then on Friday of last week, I got my class list and I had a combo. I spent the weekend doing some planning and started school on Tuesday, ready to go!!!

This entire week was spent on assessing and teaching classroom procedures. I had a nice little group, albeit two different grade levels, but it was ok. I still wasn't convinced that this combo should be happening. The numbers weren't right, but as the week went on, I started some curriculum and we were moving forward. Then Friday morning I was told that I wouldn't be having a combo anymore. My 3rd graders were to go to another 3rd grade room and I would get additional 2nd graders to fill my class. Ugh! Here we go again.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to have a straight 2nd grade, but the first week of school is so, so very important and now it's come and gone, but I've got to do it all over again. I started school on Tuesday with 18 students and now I will start school on Monday with 17 students 8 of which are new to my classroom. Not to mention that among those new students are a borderline autistic child and two selective mutes. It's almost comical, and all I can do is laugh.

This is my ninth year of teaching and not one of those years has started off "normal". I work for a principal (yah, the one who grabs his neck) who likes to change things and move people around a lot. Here is a quick glance at my 9 school years...

Year 1 - Hired in October. Two second grade classrooms were too full so those teachers picked students to go into my classroom. I started that year with 18 boys, two girls, and 5 students who didn't speak any English, 2 of which had never ever been to school.

Year 2 - Given a 2/3 combo and moved out of Year 1's classroom into a classroom that was pretty much condemned a year later. My kids and I were sick all year, so sick that my principal wouldn't even come observe me because we were hacking, and coughing, and sneezing like a doctor's office.

Year 3 - Back to 2nd grade, but made into a roving teacher. I had to move, yet again, out of the sick classroom and into one rolling cabinet. That rolling cabinet made it "easier" to pick up and move from classroom to classroom each month...that's right, EACH MONTH!

Year 4 - Still in 2nd grade, but this time had to pack up that rolling cabinet and all my storage and move to a new school, literally a brand new school. We got to move in about 4 days before school started. That year I had the class from hell.

Year 5 - Still in 2nd grade and the same classroom, but I don't remember too much about it, so it must have been pretty normal.

Year 6 - Still in 2nd grade. The year started off pretty normal. Then a month into the school year another teacher was mad that she had lower kids and to appease her my principal moved 7 of my kids out to her room and 7 of her kids to my room. Did I mention how important that first week of school is? After a month had gone by it was very difficult to reteach all the classroom procedures AND keep up with curriculum. That was the worst year I have had.

Year 7 - Still in the same classroom, but back to a 2/3 combo. Plus I had back-to-back student teachers starting with day 1. They were WONDERFUL, but it's hard to get your classroom running smoothly when you have to hand it over to another person a week or two into the year.

Year 8 - Started off the year job-sharing with another teacher and doing additional tasks for my principal. Let's just say that last year is neck-in-neck with year 6 as the worst year ever.

Year 9 - See above

I know I'm just being a whiny baby, but it's my blog and I'm allowed too. I'd really like to have a normal beginning to the school year more than one out of nine times. I'm just saying.


  1. You know Pumpkin, that's what I love about blogging, I can complain and vent and all that stuff (and bug Grandma J)....because, hello...MY BLOG!

    So, you go girl!

    After all that, all I can say, is Pooper would be lucky to have you. He is going into 2nd grade, and with all of your expertise, I know he would be in good hands!!

    Do you work at Jason's school? Maybe he can bring you jello shots at recess.

  2. I can't believe after all that mess you are still teaching! I would bet the system has lost a lot of good teachers that just didn't want to put up with the administrative crap.

    It's your blog and you can whine if you want to.
    And then we'll all sympathize with you in your comments.

    I hope your year gets better! You deserve a great one!

  3. Jello shots at recess! I hadn't thought of that.

    Just to clarify...HSH commented on my blog, saying that maybe some of this was MY fault. Just to clarify: None of it was my fault. :)

    Shall I tell my teaching history? It'll put your tail between your legs and make you stop whining. Just for a minute.

  4. Oh, I know, but that's because you've been teaching lilke 100 years or something "gramps". As I said, I know I'm whining, but it's my party so I can cry if I want to. :)
    Jello Shots would be PERFECT.
    And, none of this is Jason's fault. He just gets to listen to me complain about it.

  5. I have a flask in my bottom left hand know the one with the lock?
    I kid.
    Anyway, if I were you I would quit or move back t o WC. AY doesn't mess with us like that!!! :)

  6. 22 years and yep, pretty much the same as yours... except I can add being involuntarily transfered from 7/8th grade to a 1-2. Can I borrow your shirt?

  7. Poor friend. Vent all you want. Makes our lives seem better. :)

    We make Jello shots in syringes, that would be PERFECT for the playground. Shoot it in your mouth and go!

  8. I'm starting my 8th (?) year teaching. I taught 3rd grade in TX for 3 yrs, 7th grade in VA for 2 years and now in my 3rd yr of 8th grade. I've only had to move rooms 5 times in 8 years though. =)

    Vent all you like. Mostly I just vent to my husband, who's a teacher also. Makes for fun conversation at night. =)

  9. Wow, it was enlightening to hear a teacher's side of how things go. My best friend is a teacher but I haven't heard stories like this from her. As a parent, I would be very concerned if my son was in a combo grade. I think the jello shots are your only shot! I kid, but really, good luck with it all!!!!! It's you our kids really need in their life so vent here & then get back to sanity.

  10. Your post made me so excited. I am starting my student teaching on Monday and while I know I will be going through craziness I'm still completely excited that I will be a teacher someday.