Monday, August 15, 2011

Preplanning Stress Out!

Today was the first day of preplanning for my district. We began at 8:30 this morning and I have had a stress headache since about 9:30 this morning. I am just feeling so overwhelmed and stressed out by all the new mandates that are coming down the pipe. I just feel like it is all assess, progress monitor, assess, progress monitor, throw in some intervention, lather, rinse, repeat. Well if I am spending all my time assessing, progress monitoring, and intervening, when do I have time to actually teach them what I am assessing them on??

I feel this way at the beginning of every year, and this focus on assessment, progress monitoring, and intervention isn't anything new I just find myself wanting to scream "I HAVE TO TEACH THEM BEFORE I CAN TEST THEM!!!!"

Then on top of all that I am worried I am going to end up being the "bad guy" on my team because several of my team members want us to switch kids around during our school wide intervention/enrichment time. Sort of like ability group them for intervention/enrichment. I am not a fan of this idea. I have never liked sending my students to other teachers. I feel like my name is on their learning and therefore it needs to come from me. Now that my state has instituted a Merit Pay system that mandates that 50% of my evaluation rests on my students' test scores, I really don't agree with sending my kids to other teachers and them sending theirs to me. I am accountable for the students on my roster, not them. I know that we have awesome teachers on my team, I'm not saying they aren't great, I am saying that it is not their responsibility to teach my students, and it is not my responsibility to teach theirs. That may sound harsh or selfish but when it comes down to it I don't want my evaluation to be based on someone else's teaching and I certainly don't want someone else's evaluation based on MY teaching. It is a big enough responsibility making sure my students do well, but now I have to worry about other teachers' students doing well too? I don't want to do this but I also don't want my team to think of me as the outsider or the "trouble maker" I have no problem speaking my mind and saying no I'm not going to participate but I don't want to look bad :-( I feel stuck. Do I do what don't believe in and what I am not comfortable with just to make other people happy? OR Do I stand up for what I believe in and stand my ground no matter what other people may think? Ughhh why does this school year have to start out so stressful...


  1. I am so glad our district hasn't done the merit pay thing yet! I would feel the same way you do-well, I feel that way anyway! I just want to be left alone to teach my 6th graders! :)

    Good luck with this year-everything will get better!


  2. Thanks Shannon, I just felt like whining LOL I am glad to know that my line of thinking isn't off target from others. I feel a little better knowing that someone else would feel the same way.

  3. You do not sound selfish at all. AT ALL. I am canoeing in the same boat as you. What I am thinking is that I am going to focus on the 10-minute minilesson daily and make it as hands-on/interesting as possible at the peak at the week. Post-testing will occur every Friday- one week math, the next week reading, and then back and forth. Science will happen every two weeks as well- with math.

    It is hard not to be caught up in the world of stress and exhaustion, especially hearing about mandates, but don't worry. You seem like a great teacher- and I know I'll be checking up on you over the course of the year. :)

  4. Ms. J. Thanks for your comment. I was having a very bad day yesterday and I was feeling a bit whiney LOL. thank you for your kind words.

  5. I'm so with you on this. I have fought to keep my own kids this year, and so far I have won! I think that once you explain your viewpoint, the other teachers will have to understand! I'm surprised they are willing to let their kids go under the merit pay system!
    And don't even get me started on progress monitoring!

  6. At my school we do switch kids for enrichment, but we don't have merit based pay either. I would definitely say voice your opinion! I completely understand your basis for not wanting to!