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Another School Year Begins

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Another School Year Begins

The 2013/2014 school year has begun. For teachers and students everywhere a new set of trials and tribulations, victories and successes starts anew. As a teacher and coach the start of a new school year is always chaotic and extremely stressful; throw in a few Masters classes, a wife, 2 kids, a dog, & 2 cats and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Every year new challenges must be met, new standards introduced and incorporated, hundreds of new students brought in, hundreds of dollars on supplies purchased out of my pocket, and more bureaucratic nonsense to deal with. New bell schedules are made, then remade, then changed again, students shuffled back and forth as classroom resources dwindle to a level of nonexistence. The red tape that keeps teachers bound with their hands behind their backs is affixed anew like shackles in a jail cell even stronger than the year before. Oh how I long for those summer days of freedom. Free from the authority figures standing over my shoulder as they make sure I have taken role in the correct manner. At this point we are left with no time to teach as paperwork in triplicate takes up 90% of our day. No longer do we have planning periods to work on lesson plans or create new strategies to engage the students. This time is now spent in meetings on how we need to make our students pass statewide testing or teaming students with discipline problems. Maybe there would be less problems with discipline if the students weren’t so bored. They do not have access to adequate technology to engage them in learning and get tired of sitting there watching their teachers go through a mandatory checklist of utter nonsense. When will the higher-ups take a step back, realize this isn’t working, and leave teachers alone to teach. I for one long for the day when I can actually teach my students, immerse them in cultures and nations across the globe, place them in the boat as Washington crosses the Delaware, hold their hands as they grasp the gravity of the terror that has shaken our nation to its core. Until that time, here I shall stand in the corner, with the red tape threatening to choke the life out of me and destroying any hope of students meaningful learning.