Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm Frustrated

It's midnight on a school night. I should be sleeping, not writing a blog post. But I feel frustrated and need to get off my chest what's bothering me so I can sleep.

I have been at my new school for a month now. The kids are starting to warm up to the idea of me being in their classroom (except the kiddo who tried repeatedly hitting me today). I am beginning to understand how the school works and the expectations from my admin.  Those are my positives. 

What is really bothering me is how I spend hours lesson planning only to have the plans not followed. I mean, really. There are two teachers in the class...

Me: (On a Tuesday) What should we focus on next week? Are we continuing with family?
CT (Co teacher): I think they understand family. Let's blah blah blah..... (Quick dictation of all center activities and what needs to change and stay the same for the next week). 
Me: (on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at home) fleshing out the plans, typing the lesson plans, creating groups and center activities

CT also asked me to make a new five senses center for each day of the week. So being the obedient girl I am, I went out and bought cups and food flavorings to make scent jars. The day before I stayed up late putting items into socks and numbering them with nice laminated tags only to not be given the time to explain the activity to students.  So it is currently sitting on a shelf not being used.  She also said the activity was too hard after telling me to use the science book and this was taken right out of the teaching manual! The day I brought in my scent cups she pulls out cotton balls, jars, and food flavorings. "But I already created these!" I told her.  "But these are better," she said. So I threw away my hard work and she spent twenty minutes telling kids how to open a jar and guess the scent. Twenty minutes?

I came in the next week after the plans were done by yours truly and translated by CT.  
CT: Every day I have invited parents to come for an hour to work with their child and a small group to teach them about family.
Me: O-kaaay  (thinking to self where this will fit with the already laid out plans)
CT: what do you think about doing blah blah instead of blah. (I must have given her my your f' n crazy face because she said as you like and the plans were not rewritten.)

Reality: One parent is coming each day and spending at least two hours on a whole class "activity"
Translation: Students have received only one math lesson this week and no literacy lessons or small groups. Internally I am panicking. I started the school year late since I was on maternity leave. I do not have nearly the volume of observation notes my co teacher has. Or any other English teacher in the school. Parent conferences are coming up and my evaluation is in less than a week. They will ask for my notes. Eek!

Then she asked me today why I did not translate in English what yesterday's parent was saying. Um, how about I am not a translator? Better yet, I do not speak Arabic. How can I know what she was saying? So I was taking observation notes on the kiddos. I tell you I just can't win. She said she would tell me what today's parent was saying so I could tell the kids in English. She didn't. So I made it up and said a word here and there. Ha! Take that!

Okay I feel a little better. Thanks for letting me rant. I hope you'll continue to check out my blog after this.

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