Because of the crazy weather this winter in the Pacific Northwest, I spent my Saturday in the classroom grading essays and finals. The fine people of our union voted to turn teacher work days into student days by making a number of Saturdays teacher work days. If we hadn't done this, we would have been in school until the last possible day in June. That wouldn't have bothered me--at least not until June!
There is something demoralizing about being forced to work on a Saturday. Maybe it is because of the movie Office Space. It feels like the Superintendant is going to ask, "Ahh, I'm going to go ahead and have to ask you to come in on Sunday, too..." And the thing of it is that I would have gone in anyway today because I am far behind in grading and the semester ended on Friday.
Then, as I graded the finals and came to the conclusion that maybe one person studied, I became mildly depressed--thinking that it is only my students who avoid even the appearance of caring. However, Dennis, from In the Trenches, made my day. I am not the only one who has students who don't come to class, don't turn in assignments, and don't seem to be phased by the 52% on their progress report.
Like Dennis, I love what I have chosen to do. On my best days, there is nothing that could come my way to make me stop teaching. But days like the past few.... Those days make me want to forget about AYP, underachieving and apathetic students, and unconcerned parents. Those days make me want to stop teaching. To run away to a less emotionally draining career like sports photography, sports journalism, or sports radio show.
Then my biggest concern would be whether or not picture 101 or 102 is the better shot, or whether or not my column made deadline, or whether or not we get to break on time. Rough.