Students- A teacher’s rant

I wish I could tell you all that this post will be some intellectual gem. That after spending your time reading my words you will walk away feeling like you have won the lottery, read the most ground breaking revelation that will just change how you see the world. Unfortunately, this is not that work.

This. This is a rant. I need one. I’ve had a terrible day and I need to find a way to release these feeling without hurting anyone. Because at the the end of the day, I know one thing about myself. When I’m hurt or when I don’t feel good. I’m mean and my temper is non existent.

So today started out sucky. I could feel a cold coming on, my throat had been scratchy and my nose was stuffed up. I could barely breath. I had hoped that by taking some medicine the night before I could combat it. It didn’t work. Now I’m sure some of you might wonder, why did I call in sick. Well I should have. But frankly, I can’t get anymore behind then where I’m currently at. Between now and spring break, I can’t miss a day and I’m already scheduled to miss two. I’m playing catch up for days I haven’t even missed yet. How on earth is that fair?

Regardless, I knew today was not going to be a great day, but for my students I’d suffer through. It wasn’t as if we were doing much. It was a documentary for US History. A review for Sociology. The kicker came with AP Psychology. I had new material we needed to go over. Their test is coming up and I can’t stop if I want to make the deadline.

So off to school I go. I stop by CVS pharmacy and buy more pills since I had KonMarie my old ones. To be fair, they were from 2014 (I did this last month). So I bought some and have been taking them semi-regularly all day with a mixed dose of cough drops. Still all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and sleep. I had plenty of students who stopped and asked. “Hey Ms. You all right?” So I knew I looked bad.

I told them it was just a cold and waved it off. No use getting them worried. I even had one kid ask me if I was pregnant. That was a definite no. Honestly, sometimes I think our students want us to be pregnant so that they can have a party. Anyway, I was making my way through it.

So I should probably add that we’ve been having some problems with another one of the organizations I’m involved with. I’m not saying which since I do not want to deal with breaking any type of confidentiality or what not. However, we have some students who are acting entitled and are using loopholes to make themselves look better and not doing any of the work that is required of them. So that came to a head yesterday which did not help matters in the least.

With lunch, came a student who wanted to turn in her glued in graphic organizers undone and had the gall to look at me like I was crazy when I said she had to complete the work. The assignment was not just to glue paper down. This is High School after all. I went to lunch, where I work a backroom black market snack selling operation to raise money for prom since, well we aren’t getting it anywhere else. Then I made it to Tutorials.

Tutorials. The idea was sound. But it was the most stupidest plan put together. I have students who need to past an End of Year exam because they failed it the last three times they’ve tried mixed with kids, who could take the exam today and pass it. I have until May to get them ready. I had one of the aforementioned kid who just pushed me in all the wrong ways. I mean, just everywhere. Refusal to do work, blatant disrespect before finally I broke and told him to “get the hell out of my class.” I was done. Plus to make matters worse, I used foul language at a student. Don’t laugh. I keep my language clean around the students. Away from them, I’m a fucking sailor.

The first time in five years a student broke me. I’m ashamed to admit it. I’ve had other events, administrators, teachers, etc. But never a student. This kid did me in. I give kudos to my neighbouring teachers who stepped in to watch my class so I could compose myself. My other students who knew what to do, and made sure the paper and the assignments were turned in accordingly. However, I’m ashamed of my behavior. I broke. I don’t know what it ultimately was. If it was this one event. This one student. Who in all honesty is an asshole. I wish I could say otherwise, but it’s true.

If it was the fact that I felt awful because of the cold. Stressed out because of the organization issue mixed with getting ready for District UIL. Getting only one day off a week because I’m taking students to meets or organizing auctions to raise money for said students. The stress of a tested subjected subject mixed with tutorials which I already hate. I don’t know. Maybe it was one of them, maybe it was a mixture. I just. Sometimes wonder if teaching, in the end is worth it.

I know it is. I do. I love my job. This one kid does not make it any less satisfying to see them walk the stage in May as their names are read aloud. Or the simple conversation former students might have with me simply because they heard some news in something that they knew I like. These are the kids I do all this for. It just sometimes those bad apples can get to you. Make you question if it’s all worth it.

I know I’ll still get up early tomorrow and repeat the cycle. Maybe I need to scale it back a bit. Maybe this was just my body and my mind telling me that I’m doing too much. That I need to take a break and I will. In about two weeks during spring break. I definitely will take my break. However, as most teachers might know. When the going gets tough, you got to pull your boots straps on and get to work.

I make light, but the truth is that we work on a deadline. I have a dozen different assignments that I need to get done by the end of this school year and I will get them done. If I don’t. Who will? Even as I’m writing this, I can see my cell phone blow up from text messages from other teachers asking me about this or that. Making plans for not if I go into school tomorrow. But when.

That’s just the life, I guess.

Any teachers out there who would like to share their story. Please feel free to leave me a comment below. It something like this has happened to you, please note, you are not alone and I’d love to hear how you handled it.

Teacher Pay Teacher

I’ve mentioned once or twice before that I’m a teacher. I’m proud of that fact. I love what I do and I love being someone who can impact the minds of the future. Everyday, my students surprise me more and more with just how brilliant they are.

What I don’t love. The pay. Yes, we get summers off. However, that term is very relative as many of us conduct summer school and then have to attend multi-day professional developments, however, I do like the fact that I know when my vacation days are going to occur. What hurts is the sheer number of extra hours we put in for little or no monetary results.

To be fair, if any of us truly did it for the money, we’d never have gone into teaching. However, when dealing with student loans, car payments and the raising cost of living, not to mention having to buy supplies for students, a little extra can go a long way.

Let it never be said that Teachers are not the creative sorts. We are. I wish that I can say I have it bad. I really don’t. Texas is not terrible when it comes to teacher pay. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. I know other states have it worse. You hear about all these teachers who put in 12-14 hour days at their schools only to turn around and go to their second or third jobs.

I’ve been lucky that I do not need to have a second job to make ends meat, but that’s not to say that I don’t know many others who do. Knowing this, I’ve made it my mission to get rid of as much debt as soon as possible. Teaching, thankfully, is a pretty stable job. Lots of flexibility in how you can use your certifications, and if you don’t think that your school districts won’t find away to use it, you’ve got another things coming.

For instance, I’m a History teacher but I also teach English during the summer. I got a tested subject this year, however last year I worked in the English tutorials. Why? Simple. I have an ESL (English as a Second Language) Certification.  It’s supplemental (additional) but is quickly becoming require across all disciplines, and a key reason why I got to teach outside of my content area. I’m not the only one and I’m not even the worst of the stories that I’ve heard.  Yet, we as teachers still get it done. Why? Because we love the kids and we love what we do.

Anyways, back to the money. I’ve told you that we’ve gotten creative. One website that many of us Teachers use is TeacherPayTeacher (TPT). We are all constantly coming up with new material for us to use in the classroom. With as many teachers around the world who all teach the same if not similar subject it’s great to have a community in which people can ban together and share their knowledge.

Now, it’s not free. Not even close. Think of this site as a Flee market for teachers and what is being sold is content for our class. Think of the class, and there is probably something already created for it. If not, then you might have found a niche that needed to be filled. There are some free material on the site, but it’s usually just a taste of some of the items teachers have to sell.

I love it. It helps when you have multiple preps for subjects you’ve never taught and suddenly found yourself needing material. I created my store last May after using it for several months.

Yes, part of this post is to promote my store. If you are a teacher and you teach either AP Psychology or Sociology and need some material, stop on by and see if there is anything that you might need for your classroom.  If not, or if there is another subject you teach, feel free to look around at some of the other stores, there might be something for you.

Regardless, I don’t make a lot of money at it (I totaled about $32 in annual sales in 2018 and I started in May!). Last month I was over the moon as I made just over $25 in profit! I know, laugh it up. I was still doing the little dance when the month ended. I’d like to challenge any of you to sell your first product and not do a little dance of excitement over it. I joke, but it is an amazing form of passive money making. Most, if not all, of the products I have listed on TPT I use in the classroom. Not only did my materials make life just a little bit easier for other teachers, but I made a little bit of money for it. Most, with the exceptions of my PowerPoint, because by golly I worked hard on those, are no more than $3.00.

Why?

Because if you are looking on TPT, it means you either lost track of time and need something to fill in a lesson or you are so lost that you are looking for just that little bit of guidance to help you survive just one more week, or even one more class period. Plus, I know, rarely does $3.00 break the bank. I want my materials to be used. I worked hard on them and they are good and therefore others can benefit from what I created.

My experience with TPT has been a good one. I enjoy it. I don’t have to do much beyond setting up the store and uploading a number of different products to sell. TPT does take a commission price. which is a bit high, around 60%, however considering I wasn’t making anything on these items as they were just sitting on my flash drive, any money I make off of them is money well earned. There is not much work that needs to be put on it. The one issue is that all work must be your original intellectual property. You are selling for a profit. You also need a PayPal account however that’s so that they can transfer your monthly sales. There might be a way to make even more money off of TPT, but I’m not nearly invested enough to focus on that. I’m fine making my $15-20 (if I’m lucky) a month. Would I like to make more? Yes. Do I absolutely need it? Thankfully no.

It was not the first, nor I doubt the last, time I’ve shared material. Good teaching communities, and to a point good schools, have teachers who are more than willing to share everything that they have with one another. Especially the young teachers.

Why?

Because each year this field is becoming just that bit more difficult and the quitting rate of teachers have hit an all time high. I wish I could say that it was going down, but it’s not. I’ve been in the field for 5 years and I’am considered a veteran. Most teachers don’t make it to 5 years because they tend to burn out and enter the private sector.  I’m exhausted. I work 12-14 hour days and then go home to grade or find new resources for my students to use. I’m even learning accounting on the side. Not because I want to become a CPA, but because I have students who want to compete against other High School students in the field and we don’t have the class or a teacher who would be willing to help. The same goes for Copy editing, and a number of other fields.

Yet, at the end of the day. I love my job. TPT makes it a little easier. I managed to bring my debt down by $25 dollars last month. I know it’s funny to get excited about that. I do. However, I am proud that I manage to accomplish that. I’m hoping that February will be a bit better. Honestly, I doubt it with how it’s been going so far. (I’ve made $6.00 so far).  In the end, that’s not the point. It’s a little bit extra that helps me manage my debt and brings me one step closer.  What more can a person ask for?

If you all have tried TPT and know of any good stores or if you have never heard of it and want to give it a try as either a buyer or a seller. I’d love to hear about your experience with the site. Please leave me a comment below.

Bye!

10 Things About Me

In attempting to be more open about myself and in this blog, I’ve decided to come up with 10 Things you need to know about me.

One: I have a Cat

Merlin is the name of my Pet master. He runs the household and I do his bidding. Any of you who have ever owned a pet will know that this is true. Although, when you see this face, it’s hard not to bend to his will.

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Two: I love most things Japanese

About ten years ago, I studied abroad in Japan. Since them, I’ve developed a love of the Japanese culture.  From Traditional Japanese culture to Anime I like it all. I’ve been in the process of learning the language. It’s been slow going, but not impossible.

Three: Cooking is a Passion

I love cooking. I really do. The problem is that I’m single and when I cook, primarily bake, it makes more than I can eat. That is unless I want to grow wider. Which I don’t. So there might not be many recipes that get posted, but I will definitely put the few up there that I do enjoy.

Four: Reading is my life

A few years ago I stumbled upon Goodreads. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s basically a small community for people to showcase, or show off, what books they are reading. The one factor that I really like about it is the reading challenges they place into motion each year. They ask people to write down their literary goal for the year.

Mine is 53 books.

Another great aspect is that it allows you to review your books an rate them out of 5 stars.

Five: I love Movies

So I watch about 4-6 movies a week. Considering I have little time to do anything else. I used to go more often, however I am making a priority to try to watch more movies in theaters and I’ll try to review a few of them as I go.

Six: I’m a Teacher

I’m a teacher. I work at a high school. I will more likely than not post at least one or two posts about being a teacher.

Seven: I’m into Arts & Crafts

I’m a huge fan of Arts and Crafts. I will write about some of my projects and let you know how they all turn out. I have a Pinterest account where I get most, if not all, of my ideas. Some work out. Some don’t. I’ll be letting ya’ll know about them as I progress.

Eight: I’m a Tea Snob

I hate coffee! Sorry if that offends you, but I do. I love Tea though. I’m very peculiar about it. I prefer loose leaf to bag, but bag is better than nothing. I’ve been experimenting with different leaves to produce different flavors.

Also, those of you who drink your tea with the tea bag still in it, that has to be one of the grossest things I’ve ever heard. That’s just disgusting!

Nine: I’m in debt

Not going to lie here. I’m in debt. My goal is to shrink it all by the end of the year. I will be posting over some of the different ways I try to decrease my debt using a number of side hustles and what worked and what didn’t.

Ten: I’m a in declutter-mode

So like most of the world, I watched Tidying up with Marie Kondo. I had already been in a decluttering mode prior to this, however this really helped push me in getting rid of even more of my things that frankly I didn’t need nor want.

So I’ll share some of the things I’ve done and how I’ve gone about getting rid of a large number of things that I don’t use or even want anymore in my apartment.

 

So that’s a bit about me. I’ll be posting again soon! Please let me know a little bit more about yourselves.