For real and true, this post will be long.
It’s no secret I’m a teacher. Since before the first day of school I’ve asked my principal for help because our class size is out of control. I have 32 students in a smallish classroom and it sets off my anxiety. It’s too crowded and I can’t move around the room. Also my kids this year have some serious challenges. Normally those are my kinds of kids – there are just SO many. One of my students is currently awaiting a trial date for his FELONY SEXUAL ASSAULT charge. (He is in an alternative school, but he’s on my roll.) I have another with gang ties who’s been seen driving (this is 6th grade) around the neighborhood. I am responsible for teaching 96 students the joys of reading and grammar. AND I am not too shy to say this is a job I have rocked the shit out of for 14 years. On Wednesday things changed for me.
The student with gang time is pissed off in the hallway. He’s yelling and throwing a fit because some boys in my class told him that I said he was stupid. And then he says he’s going to tell him mom on me. Totally lost it. I have never seen nor spoken to the women who never returns my calls. So I’m just as loud as him. “YEAH? I’ve got some stuff I want to tell your mom too. Let’s call her! Right now!!” And everything said after that blurs a little because I started seeing stars.
I head down to the school nurse and she take my blood pressure. It’s so high she won’t tell me what it is and has me sit there. I’m cussing up a blue streak and having a general meltdown. I decided I was done for the day (at like 9am) and put in for sub. The nurse took my blood pressure again before I left and wrote it down for me.
This is the email I sent to my AP and my principal:
I just left the doctor’s office. Nurse (XXXXX – the school nurse) took my blood pressure this morning and it was 187/122 – so high that she didn’t even want to tell me what it was. An hour later she took it and it was still 168/99 which is still too high. The doctor put me on medication, so I won’t be in tomorrow because we need to see how I react to it.
This is not a blood pressure issue. This is an anxiety issue.
I need help.
I have asked for:
another teacher – can’t afford it
move classrooms – they’re all the same size
get smaller desks – no
I am not trying to assign blame. I am still asking for help. Help that isn’t another person in my room. That isn’t me trying to teach someone else how to do their job. I’ve loved (XXXX) so much that I’ve given 14 years of myself to it.
I don’t want to stop now. I just don’t know what else to ask for or what can be done.
“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”
–George Bernard Shaw
Their reposes was LITERALLY thoughts and prayers:
I hope that you are feeling better today. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
AND THIS ONE from the woman I’ve known and worked with for 14 years:
I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I hope the medication helps with your blood pressure. I have experienced that personally and I know how dangerous it can be to your health.
When you return on Friday, let’s set a time to talk.
No here’s what we’re going to do. No I’M SORRY I couldn’t be bothered to read your entire email or revise the things I’ve said NO to in the past. Just.. hey I have high blood pressure so let’s make this about ME. Ugh and fuck you.
My team, the infamous crybaby math teacher and the Are dinosaurs real since they’re not in the bible science teacher, is about 0 help. I texted them on Friday (when I was still out because dying on the floor in my classroom doesn’t sound like a good idea) and this is the text I got in return:
It’s been a nightmare of a day, be thankful you’re out! There have been 4 different fight threats. OE and ER yelling and cursing at each other across the cafeteria, CW disrespectful, IP tried to trip the sub. I printed progress reports for my class and said something to B about there not being any math grades in, she just put it off, so I asked XX the best way to handle it, and she took it to XXXX (the principal). Apparently B (The crybaby teacher) is bad mouthing everyone and telling people she’s done acting professional and doing favors for us. I don’t think she’s done favors for you and I.. oh and we are going to be self contained after the winter break.
Sent from my iPhone
Self contained means I will be in the classroom with the same kids all day and be responsible for teaching all subjects at a mastery level. I will be planning every subject. Grading every subject. Which will be 6 subjects 6 assignments daily = 192 a day. As opposed to 1 or 2 assignments a day = 96 to 192. The difference being I know these assignments and would be grading 96 of the same thing. Make grading easy-peasy.
Since then I’ve seen a doctor and received a prescription – but I cannot DRIVE when I’m taking it. When I think about going back to school – dying on the floor is my first concern. And then I work myself back up.
Today I went to the ER. The nurses, PAs, and doctor were amazing. Now I have a note that says I can’t go to work until the AT LEAST the 14th of December because I’ll see the psychiatrist on the 13th.
Now I have to figure out the best way to tell my team and admins. They’re going to be pissed off.
TLDR: Don’t trust anyone else to do the right thing for you. Corporations and school districts consider themselves more important than any individual or class. Believing anything is definitely a Rook mistake.