The following is a submission from an educator as part of the Your Soapbox feature, which explores the experiences of educators in North Carolina through their own words. Check out more first person stories here, or if you are an educator, submit your own.
The recent change in computer programs to enter report-card grades has eaten up my time and the energy I would much prefer to be expending on lesson planning. I have spent hours trying to access the program. So often it is not functional.
When I am able to log in, the steps are far from intuitive. I have received support from my team members, who have helped me step by step when I was able to access the program. I appreciate their help tremendously, but at the same time, I am very conscious that I am pulling them away from their lesson planning.
We have very supportive and considerate administrators at our school, which makes the slowness of my attempts bearable. I am not in the habit of not meeting deadlines. The additional burden I have experienced with this has taken a toll on my family life.
It has kept me from exercising as I would like. I have spent Sundays at home, trying to grapple with the computer program and my assessments’ grades, when I would much prefer to be renewing my spirit in church. My garden lies neglected. On beautiful autumn days when the sun and colors cry out to be admired, you will find me instead stuck indoors with the computer, frustrated and ready to shriek!
I confessed to my first-grade team that I had broken down and cried in frustration. They responded, “Now every team member has cried!”
At our regular faculty meeting last on Early Release Friday, it was explained that we now need to write up for the children (and administrators) a description of what the children would learn and how they will show they have learned it, as well as the strand that it is linked to. (e.g IL1.1)
It seems that every time we have a workshop, a new piece of cumbersome trivia is added to our workload.
I love teaching. I view it as my calling, as well as my highest joy. I know I have made changes for the better in many lives. I am, however, considering early retirement. I cannot serve my students in the creative way I used to. So much is scripted and data-driven.
This year, particularly, we seem to have been assessing students more than we have taught them. How can they make progress if the teaching time is so drastically reduced? It is stressful for both teachers and students.
-Disappointed First grade Teacher