For the past two year, I have co-taught a yr 7 digitech module. The first year we (wrongly) based it around the progress outcomes for the new New Zealand digitech curriculum. Last we were ‘encouraged’ to teach the technology standards (posts HERE and HERE) during the module. When it came time for the 2020 timetabling, I found I was timetabled into the yr 7 module, which meant I couldn’t teach junior (yr 9 or 10) science. Which I was gutted about. So I set off to talk to both my HoD and the Tech HoD, and said very politely I did NOT want to be teaching technology please, I struggled to get my head around the technology standards, and I really LOVE teaching science.
So then it was a real downer when I found myself in the yr 9 digitech module instead. With a second year teacher who has also not taught digitech (or any technology for that matter) teaching the other module. So not only was I not trained, had said I didn’t want to, I had received no PLD funded by my school for teaching technology and my self funded PLD around incorporating digitech into the science curric was not designed nor meant to have me teaching a technology course, I found myself in charge of a course, and supposedly supporting a beginning teacher to also teach it. With an expectation that I would rejig the course to be more inline with the new standards.
Which is really where my post about aiming for not bad comes from. Because even with this mindset, I have already sacrificed MANY more hours than this course than I ought to have, which is 15% of my working week when you break it down. I feel my other course, which not only should take more of my time, but I am infinitely more passionate about, have suffered because I simply have not had the time to put in to them. I had to throw my toys to get meetings I needed. I have had to use the systems in place with the specialist classroom teacher and the SLT. I have not had another meeting scheduled by the people that get paid more than me to check in. I am not able to attend meetings because I am mostly based in the Science curric area and need to be at those meetings. I got sent screen shots rather than documents from people unwilling to share. Because I was placed in this course, others were moved out, and there did not seem to be any process around this. Which was hard and created conflict. Which was not of my making and I was stuck in the middle. And now, I have essentially handed another teacher an entire course built from scratch by me despite the unwillingness of others to do the same to help me.
Which makes me cross, because it is not my course. It should be collaborative, and equitable. But this whole process has been the exact opposite. And I feel like it has really impacted my levels of happiness in a profession and how I am choosing to work. Past Rachel NEVER would have said I handed some-one a course of mine.
So how do I fix this?
Because in this job, it seems that you give and you give and you give, and it is never enough. There is always something more that could be done, something more to tweak, another student who needs help.
I am watching people, and not just in my school, crack and sometimes break under pressure. I have watched so many teachers fly away from the job over a number of years. I am seriously pondering a move myself, a friend is a teacher in Melbourne were she is paid more and the houses are cheaper (in the burbs to be fair).
I’m trying desperately to remember I need to work to my own standards, not that of those around me. I need to remember that money and units is not always an indication of peoples worth. That I work for me, not what others opinions of me is.
I am trying desperately to remember that I do enjoy my job. I enjoy young people, their energy, enthusiasm, their courage, and their sometimes blatant daft behaviour as they grow into interesting and diverse people.
I am trying desperately to enjoy teaching kids about the world around them, to be curious and critical, to challenge and to understand the building blocks of the world around us.
I am trying desperately hard to remember I like setting things on fire! And seeing students faces when they make a connection, or are in awe of a practical.
I am saying practical things like it will be better next term once I’ve done the module through once. It will keep getting better. I can critique and improve. The kids don’t know any better.
I am trying desperately to avoid going in all guns blazing, because I want to do this well. I am trying to remember the cost to other things I value more. Trying to avoid the well bugger them, I’ll just smash it attitude. Because, in the end, the only person that smashes is me.
Teach me to care and not to care
Teach me to be still