Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Did you miss me?

I seem to have caught a nasty head cold at the best of times, because work seems to have temporarily dried up for the moment. I suspect it has something to do with all that high-stakes testing going on in the district this week. Fortunately, the work picks up again tomorrow, so perhaps it's just as well that I don't have anything going on right now, and can rest and get over this thing.

So, yes, I'm ashamed to say that this is my first entry of 2012. But what can I say, I've been busy. That two and a half week job at the start of January didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd hoped — lots of issues of students not quite getting the connection between "teacher talking" and "I should listen" — and I never did get that observation. Oh, well.

While you're here, do you mind if I vent a bit? Thanks. First off, what is up with all of these teachers who can't give me a letter of reference? Back in November, I lined up several teachers I've worked for before and who know my work to write letters of reference to help in my job hunt. All were enthusiastic and said they would, but now that the job hunt is on and I've asked for those letters — repeatedly — they're not available. I've had some personal run-ins with some of them who then say, "Oh, yeah, I'll write that for you soon," and then silence again. It's pretty frustrating!

The other gripe is the lack of subs at the high school. This results in me having to fill in subbing for other teachers during what should be my prep period, or even during another period where I'm scheduled to be somewhere else but can be covered by someone else. I understand that this can happen once in a while, and I don't mind doing that, but it happens just about every day now. What's even worse, however, is that the regular teachers have to fill in, too, even though they really need that period off for grading, planning, and such. From what I gather, the problem starts when some substitute teachers come in, have to fill in during their planning, decide they don't want to do that, and therefore don't accept another job at the high school. The trouble is, that just makes it more likely that the rest of us who are there will have to fill in somewhere because there's one less substitute teacher to take up the slack. I also think that the teachers at the high school need to do a better job of coordinating days off and accommodating sports, field trips, and the like. This does not appear to be an issue, I will add, at the middle or elementary schools, although I've had to fill in once in a while at the middle schools. I don't mind doing my part, and the extra money helps, but there's got to be a better way.

The job hunt has started, and there are a few openings so far, but things are going slow. To be honest, after not even getting an interview all last summer, I'm not terribly hopeful. But I'm not sure what else to do at this stage.

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