Saturday, October 22, 2016

I Can't Do This Anymore

When I became a teacher, I went into the job hoping to help students learn. I envisioned a class where I would share ideas, where I would help students build their skills and develop their own dreams. I was young. I was naive, but inside any good teacher is that kernel of altruism that resonates in ways I can't explain.

I can't do this anymore. For every student I have who really wants to learn, ten others (and their parents) are using intimidation and bogus special needs demands to game the system. I'm not talking about students who legitimately need assistance-that a whole different ball game. I'm talking about parents who make claims in order to get their kid more time on tests, more help on work, fewer questions, less homework. It would be one thing if they were in regular classes, but now we are encountering them in AP courses.

I teach an AP course. It is not easy because the test itself is one of the most difficult non-math tests AP offers. As such I have to teach 25,000 of art, teach students how to categorize and define artworks in terms of other artworks. We delve into every culture from Assyria to modern Africa and beyond. I spend around two hours a night making presentations. I post these presentations online for students to review. I spent three solid weeks eliminating unnecessary reading in the very intimidating AP Art History text. I spend evenings and weekends grading or writing assessments. I try to throw in things that are fun like Kahoot reviews and activities that can help students to internalize their learning.

But what do you do when a student lets a parent schedule appointments during a part of the exam and then refuses to show up during Block the next day to make it up? I waited all during lunch. I waited after school on the half day which is the end of the semester. The student didn't show up. The student tried to show up while I was conducting portfolio reviews with my studio class. I told the student to return after school was out but never showed up. What is galling is that another student-who is texting buddies with this one-is now claiming I didn't give additional time although he turned in his work well before the end of class and was given a chance the next day to do a different prompt-but left after ten minutes. I knew I should never look at my emails on the weekend.

I am so sick of this and what is more I HAVE NO OPTIONS. Thanks to the dreadful Obama induced economy and the additional burden of a husband who despite countless resumes and interviews cannot find a job I am really at the end of my rope. I hate this election. I hate this economy. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I'm working myself to death and then get snippy emails from young AP's who seem to do nothing to help teachers and always take the students and parents side. I can't do this anymore.

I just can't.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Toxic Election

Here's an email I sent to a local talk radio station. While the host is conservative, he's troubled by the same things that trouble me. How have we gotten to this position with two of the most despicable candidates imaginable? I believe the media set us up. At any rate, this is my email to him. I believe it resonates with what many middle class Americans are feeling.

PS. I predict one of the lowest voter turnouts ever. People are just simply disgusted.

"What you're talking about tonight is a topic my husband and I have discussed for over a year. It's truly ironic that Trump finds himself on the other side of a smear campaign after how he shoved Ted Cruz out of the race by using the friendship with National Inquirer's owner to allege a series of deliberate lies. It comes out as Trump being able to dish it out, but not take it. To be fair, my guy was always Ted Cruz due to his brilliance on policy. Also, my husband is a true gentleman who has protected women from predators at his former job and who despises men that act like cads. That the media tries to make all conservatives into Neanderthals is despicable. My husband supports Trump because the media has given us no options. I have opposed Trump and he's not making my husband's attempt to change my mind any easier.

Please don't get me wrong. I believe Hillary Clinton is a horrible person. She is a traitor, she is a thief, she is a liar and she will take this nation down the path to destruction. Any of the other 17 candidates could have taken her down handily because frankly the people in this nation see the damage done by unchecked far left policies. So ask yourself, how come Trump won? He won because the MEDIA lapped up and promoted him as the next new thing. They glossed over his history-which was tarnished long before he entered the race-and indeed attacked anyone who opposed him. What was the lead story in every newscast during the primary season? It was always Trump and his word was golden. So when he claimed that Ted Cruz set up other candidates, Trump's much louder voice drowned out the voices of reason. As a result the best conservative running was not just forced to step down for the safety of his family, but was reviled by the same party leadership that now are shunning Trump. What gives?

Here's how I see it. Trump was never going to win. He's big buddies with the Clintons and indeed has far more in common policy wise with them and their money man George Soros than average Americans. I believe the Clintons knew Hillary was in political trouble. They knew that without a cover story to hide behind, the Wikileaks stories would haunt her. The Clintons have always believed "it's her turn" and seem clueless on the fact that at 70, Hillary Clinton is not in any shape for the rigors of the position. So who will be calling the shots? I believe it's a consortium of those who have given the Clintons millions over the years. They will make decisions that benefit the Buffets (ex. the use of railway over pipeline for oil tar sands transport) and Gates and Soros' of the world at the expense of the rest of us. Her leak on desiring completely open borders should be a signal that this woman has no intent in helping American workers who are already at one of the lowest participation rates in 100 years. So they set up Trump to run against her knowing that he would behave in outrageous fashion to make Clinton appear a valid choice.

The truth is neither are valid choices. Both are toxic. Clinton has undisclosed medical issues and Trump is a walking ad for a stroke. No matter who wins I doubt either of them survive the four years. So we have to look to the VP candidates. Kaine is a wash. Nobody knows him outside the east coast that the few that do don't like him. He has a reputation of being a "difficult" person. Pence on the other hand has a reputation as a builder. He is someone I can support. So when I vote, as an American, as a woman, I will vote for the Republican ticket-but only because I believe ultimately Pence will be in charge.

Just my thoughts,
Please don't use my whole name as I'm a teacher and frankly I'm not too sure what kind of havoc my opinions would produce"