One of my close friends works at a school where the environment is simply stated, toxic. At any moment, I can begin to explain my complaints about my current place of employment, as I am sure everyone can. When I am on the listening end of her opening up, I am quickly reminded that I have it pretty darn good.
I found myself saddened this weekend, because my dear friend was entertaining the thought of taking Monday off. Not for a much needed mental health day, that I would celebrate, but because she was ahead of her “plans”. Her lesson plans indicate that Monday her students should finish writing their essays. However (shameless prop-giving) due to her amazing skill sets and her students being awesomely engaged in their writing last week, they finished a day early. This happens. We give more time than we expect, our students work faster, sometimes they work slower, but our lesson plans change with the needs of our students.
The problem comes in when as teachers, you aren’t granted the flexibility needed to adjust. Many times before this year she has been observed not being lock-step with her team. When this happens, she is essentially berated as an educator. IT is disheartening to hear about more so to experience it.
Even worse, it is terrible for students. It reinforces the debunked idea that students learn at the same pace.
What would she like to do Monday? She would like to review the upcoming assessment with her students. Totally reasonable…except the test isn’t made yet. I can hear another friend saying “Ay Dios Mio”.
There has to be flexibility in the things we do. It is balance that keeps up sane and able to do the work we are meant to do.
Please, just let us do our work.