It’s been two months at Rolling Hills Middle School, and already I’m in sadly familiar territory. It’s all about resources really. You know - too many people and not enough supplies. Let me explain.
The school is bursting at the seams. Rooms, chairs, space as well as time are scarce. I used to think teachers in general were mean and controlling. Actually, I still think so, but now I’m understanding why. By the way, as a career educator, I have not removed myself from the fray.
The scarcity of resources in the teaching profession creates a dog eat dog situation. For instance, one student may have to meet with several specialists in a week. Who ever gets there first snatches the student and lays claim to that time slot. In addition, new teachers are prime targets for being taken advantage of. They are given the scraps, and left to fend for themselves with the fewest resources. Supplies, desks, computers and scheduling needs are devoured before the newbie knew what hit them. Rather than negotiating the fairness of divvying up the bounty, it is consumed in a cruel and righteous gulp.
It’s criminal we have teachers who work with our children reduced to behaving like starving animals defending their place on the food chain. The obvious solution is to provide the right amount of resources. I’m talking about providing tools for us to simply perform our job successfully and humanely. That gesture alone would go a long way in promoting civility among educators. Still, public educators remain at the bottom of the career food chain with regards to proper resources (and may I add, pay and respect).
Of course, as in any profession, there will always be sharks and guppies. However, the remainder of civilized teachers will transcend survival status and perform their duties without turning into hungry animals.