This year alone, I’ve dealt with the following issues in my school:
– Rampant programming issues, running from way oversized classrooms, double-booked classrooms, kids getting multiple program changes, teachers getting multiple program changes, and a constant stream of new students walking through my door.
– Multiple (and some very important) classes being taught by subs while these programming issues were worked out (they’re finally worked out so that this is not happening anymore, but some of the above issues are still happening).
– A 7-day strike which began 4 days into the school year.
– A new evaluation system that no one can really explain to me very well.
– The use of performance tasks to be included in my evaluation, again, which no one can explain to me very well. Neither can they answer my questions. I received no training on how to administer or grade these tasks. I received a color PDF file via my email telling me how to enter the data into all new software that I’ve neither used before nor had any training on previously.
– Constant interruptions to my instructional time. In previous years, they built in five minutes to one of my class periods for announcements. This year, they did not. This means that every day one of my classes is simply interrupted five minutes early for announcements.
– No set in stone curriculum. Because we did not have a previous curriculum, we are still creating one, so while, overall, it will be a good year, it’s still getting off to a scary start.
– Thousands of books for our department strewn about the school because the book room was not handled properly in the past. None are inventoried and I have no idea where things are. As the Dept. Chair, I’m responsible for distributing these books and have given up multiple preps and time after school trying to get these things all solved.
– Lack of a working projection screen, media cart for my overhead projector (I had to steal one from another teacher while I asked repeatedly for my own), and a LCD projector (again, running back and forth from my classroom to a friend’s to borrow his) even though many of my lessons have called for these resources.
– Limited copy machines (only 2 that I have available, 1 that’s easily accessible) to make copies. For those of you who don’t know, making copies is a huge part of teaching. Handouts, tests, etc. are often photocopied. I try to limit my copies, but I still need easy access to a machine.
– Multiple days when the copiers were broken, out of toner, or there was no paper.
– Loud construction right outside my window that sometimes interrupts my class.
I’m sure there are other problems, but for now, those are the glaringly obvious ones. How in the world do I manage to even teach in these working conditions?