New Blog: Teacher Not Teaching

From time to time I spotlight blogs I like or find helpful. Teacher Not Teaching is a new blog that I already know I’ll like, but am sure also that it will be a helpful place to visit for any teacher suffering from current budget cuts, especially in California. Here’s the first post from:

Teacher Not Teaching (Thoughts on teaching in tough economic times and who we are in the classroom and out.)

Thirty-nine months. That’s how long I have until my district, the one I’ve devoted myself to for the past eight years, formally ends my layoff package and wishes me a sad farewell. That’s a long time, but it’s perhaps not long enough to recapture the students lost to the competing charter school (read: we’ll give your kids a laptop and not require that they read anything, so come on down!), not long enough to generate jobs in a local economy of fast food, retail, and…what the heck do people do for a living here? People certainly don’t open new businesses in the 65% of retail space currently unoccupied in our small town.

Therefore, those thirty-nine months may not be enough time for my superintendent to call me one fateful morning with those words I long to hear, “I have good news. We’d like to invite you back.” However, thirty-nine months is plenty long enough to watch Bank of America politely take back my house, and to see my family migrate like modern-day Joads in the opposite direction, in search of work and a new home. Ah, California schools. Livin’ the dream.

It’s probably obvious this is my first blog, but I have time on my hands, so I thought I’d give it a try. If you are an unemployed teacher, join in! Commiserate! If you are still holding onto your job, this blog will make you appreciate your sick leave and prep period, and envy the fact that I’m blogging and not grading poorly written essays about the symbolic significance of card games in Of Mice and Men. Yes, high school English teacher; you got me. You may be surprised to find that this California teacher has just as much frustration for my union as for my administration. The “Public School Question”, like “The Woman Question” in 19th Century England is complicated, and the answers won’t be simple. But, if you’re reading this, you already knew that.

I’m currently subbing in my own district, so after fourteen years of teaching, an M.A. in Education and endless hours of meaningful curriculum development and assessment, I am reduced to taking roll, pushing “Play” on the DVD, and passing out worksheets. You know we can’t be trusted. I understand. I was once you, but now I’m just a…

Teacher Not Teaching.

END OF POST

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