As promised, here is my big news. I am retiring from teaching. Yep. I am hanging up my dry erase markers and my bathroom key. After 35 years + of teaching special education, this hipknitta is calling it quits. Part of the reason is due to the fact that special education is turning into a lose-lose situation for both the students and the teachers. The self-contained classroom is being eliminated. Students who can barely read are going to be placed in a general education class with two teachers. The curriculum is to be differentiated so that all students can understand it. This year I had self-contained students whose reading abilities ranged from kindergarten up to sixth grade. They will all be placed in a team teaching earth science class next semester. You cannot find this work on such a low level. This really upsets me. These students would do so well if they were kept in a self-contained class for earth science. I'm teaching them living environment (biology) and I wish it was three semesters instead of two. I don't expect the lowest students to pass the New York State Regents but I want to give the others a fighting chance. We gave a measure of student learning exam in October and then a follow-up in May. It broke my heart to see these kids take a 9th grade exam when they can barely read or write past a 4th grade level.
Those are just a few of the reasons that I decided to leave. Obviously, financial aspects play a big part in my decision. I'll be bringing home a paycheck similar to the one I am bringing home now. Why should I continue to commute everyday for the same pay?
Here is the list of reasons why I am retiring:
1. Special ed kids are being fucked royally and the blame will be placed on the teachers who have absolutely no say in their education.
2. Parents are so fucking disrespectful to teachers that it's become scary. Their students are never wrong. It's always the teacher.
3. I work for assholes. I nicknamed one administrator "The Pedophile". Yes. You read that right. Yes. Reports have been made. Yes. She's still working in my school. I absolutely hate her. If I saw her touch my sons the way I observed her touch the boys, I would be on her like white on rice.
4. I work for an asshole who is a bully. He has no idea what he is doing but he takes the side of the students no matter what. However, if you question him, he can't handle it.
5. I was told by another administrator once, after a parent harassed me to the point where she was no longer allowed to contact me, "You don't feel safe anymore, do you?" Bitch, please. I'll never forget you saying that to me. You have major issues especially when you stop me in the hallway and ask me how are you doing as an administrator. It's like Ed Koch was reincarnated.
6. Thugs are coming into the once highly rated school. See #4. He takes their side. These are nasty, disturbed kids. They say to the teachers, "I can get you fired!" (See #3. She protects these shits)
7. Danielson. Charlotte Danielson did not want her rubric to become a tool for teacher evaluations but guess what? It did. When I am observed with my self-contained class, I am constantly told that I am not asking higher level questions. Excuse me! Did any of you assholes read their IEPs? My principal looked at my students' notebooks and told me that they were a mess. He was worried about what their parents would think? I told him that I give the kids pre-printed notes and that their parents probably know that the kids can't write. (See the paragraph about the students who can barely read)
8. It's time. Let the newer teachers help these children. I still have energy. I still have great ideas but I am tired of being denigrated by those who know nothing about my subject area.
9. The MOSL-total bullshit. A lot of our schools are doing away with it. Why are we still doing it? Is it because this is what the asshole in #3 does? We never see her doing anything.
10. The winters. I hate waking up on a snowy/icy day and worry whether or not I should drive in to work. It really messes me up.
11. I'm still waiting for someone with a teaching degree and experience to be involved in making policy that actually makes sense and is relevant.
12. I'm still happy. I'm not bitter. I still like my job. I want to be like Derek Jeter and go out on top with whatever reputation I have still intact.
That about sums it up. I am sure I can think of a few other reasons but I want to leave when I am still "young" and healthy.
Hipknitta as teacher-out. (drop mike)