If you have been a reader of my blog in the past, you have noticed a sharp decline in the number of blog posts this year.....I believe 2 in the past 3 months. Some would attribute to my new found love for FaceBook...but simply, it has been exhaustion, depression, and downright lack of time.
I stated teaching in the School District of Palm Beach County a little over 16 1/2 years ago...17 1/2 if you count the year I had to substitute because there was a year-long hiring freeze -- but I'm not bitter. I can say without a doubt that this has been the ABSOLUTE worst year of my career. It has made me doubt my ability to be effective as a teacher, found me sitting through meetings where it is reinforced that I (and other colleagues) have no ability to teach -- and really made me question whether I would be happier going back to the late 80s and early 90s when I spent a nine year stint as a Cashier Supervisor at Target -- which I assure you....I was NEVER yelled at.
At the center of the storm that is this year are two men (pictured above). To your left, you see Dr. Art Johnson (Superintendent of Schools) and, to your right (former) Chief Academic Officer Jeffrey Hernandez. Dr. Johnson has a long history with this district -- serving in various capacities for as long as I can remember. Until this year (even with some minor "dust kick ups") he had a favorable rating among many.
Mr. Hernandez, on the other hand is new to this district. For that matter, he is rather "young" as an educator. Having spent less than a 5 years in the classroom before his "meteoric rise". His inability to communicate plans and inability to listen to teachers and parents caused him problems from the start. Between his mandates that extend teacher days beyond our contractual hours (since it is impossible to get things done within the time we are payed) and his "my way or the highway" approach, I am glad that Dr. Johnson *may* have started listening to teachers and parents.
I hope, as he has stated, that Dr. Johnson will take the holiday break to re-work some of the crazy, insane programs that were forced upon teachers. I also hope that Mr Hernandez chooses another job with another entity and allows me to reclaim my joy of teaching.
THIS is what it looked like when we came to protest a second month in a row.....teachers have now realized that SOCIAL NETWORKING: Facebook, Twitter, etc. allow us to be a force to be reckoned with. Let's hear it for the orange shirts!
VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
See also: Related Article / Timeline