I wrote the blog post Dear teacher who was just involuntarily transferred a couple weeks ago. It went live last week, along with the news that one of my teammates was being involuntarily transferred due to a reduction to our FTE. Everything I shared in that post was true… but I realized, at least for our special education students, how inequitable reducing our FTE and this particular involuntary transfer is.
Equality vs. equity is a huge topic swirling around public schools. As we embark on the journey of being more equitable vs. everything should be equal, our systems and expectations do not align with the ideals that are guiding much of our practice. This week I have really struggled with why does our education system roll out with innovative initiatives for children, yet fail to support AND fund them? I know this is common in education but how do we change it?
I think about when I’m writing a behavior intervention plan. A student is exhibiting a challenge behavior that is often impeding their learning and the learning of others. We take data to try to figure out why and once we have a hypothesis, we create a plan to address the behavior. Before implementing, we make sure all the pieces are together, all the parties involved know their role, and we have the support.
During implementation, we look at the data and make adjustments as needed. Sometimes we scrap the majority of the plan and start over. Other times we start reducing support. We don’t start until all pieces are in place.
How is this idea not replicated at a larger level? Why are we constantly being asked to try new things, do things different, yet at the very core, where all the power lies, nothing is being done differently, thus good things continue to fall apart.
How do we change this?
As I was emotionally pouring my heart out to my principal on Friday, I shared a deep truth of mine that often makes me question if I can make it in public education. I said, “I don’t get it. Kids can throw chairs at me, say all the nasty things in the world about me, destroy all my things, and ignore all my words for days in a row… I have never had a bad day at work because of kids. Never. My hard days have always been because of adults and systems and structures.” I know I’ve said before that I’ve never had a hard day because of kids, but I think pouring it out and naming what the issue was aloud, helped… but has also made me feel really helpless.
I spent a lot of time reflecting this weekend and decided I can’t lose hope yet. If we walk away when it gets hard and when things are unfair, nothing will ever change. Even though I am angry, emotional, and want to quit… to embark in change, we can’t quit. And that idea is painfully hard.
I was reminded this weekend that my strength has a harder shell, then any hard situation… and so does yours. Whatever you’re struggling with and making you feel like you want to throw your hands in the air and quit… don’t quit, at least not yet, and hopefully never. Our students and our communities need us.
Even when it feels alone, we are all in this together. We got this 🙂
Ah, well back to our scheduled blog post sharing this weeks teacher outfit sizes and details!
Dress: size 2 | Shoes: size 7.5
Dress: size 2 | Shoes: size 7.5
Top: size x-small | Jeans: size 24 | Shoes: size 7.5
Top: H&M old | Jeans: size 24 | Shoes: size 7