{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Why do you feel like this year is so much harder than previous years? This year was supposed to be easier than last year and it’s not 😭 The only reason I can think of is we didn’t have enough time to rest after last year. The only solution I can come up with is giving teachers more time to get things done. What do you think the solutions are to fix this or what has your school already done? My school/district/admin is amazing and they’re wracking their brains to figure it out.", "post_id": "61664be4bb965f003a8b6532", "reply_count": 61, "vote_count": 11, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Why do you feel like this year is so much harder than previous years? This year was supposed to be easier than last year and it’s not 😭 The only reason I can think of is we didn’t have enough time to rest after last year. The only solution I can come up with is giving teachers more time to get things done. What do you think the solutions are to fix this or what has your school already done? My school/district/admin is amazing and they’re wracking their brains to figure it out.

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I can definitely tell that my own morale has been affected because there is several days a week that we just don’t have subs for teachers that are out. We don’t have enough paras either. Some of the ones we have are too busy sticking their noses into business rather than helping the students they are supposed to be there for. We have students who are writing in appropriate things in the bathroom (4th grade). I tried to keep in mind their last “normal” year was first grade but with some of what they are doing, seems they are not acting like first graders anymore. Because first graders don’t usually call people the b-word, write “f——- you” on bathroom walls amazing other things. They were in person most of last year so they had rules and school structure. Not sure what’s the issue but fourth year in fourth grade and this is definitely not like any year prior.

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The sub shortage is one problem. The fact that every classroom is over crowded, we have 3-4 preps and some of us are forced to teach a curriculum to struggling students that is not beneficial and takes every planning every day to prepare for. Agile Minds is a wonderful curriculum for students who have some independence, but teaching it in inclusion classes and ESOL classes and for students who have never been successful in math before and have no ability to think for themselves after a year and a half of relying on photo math and who actively fight against the work is frustrating.

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To me it’s been harder because our district is asking for A LOT! Data this, lesson plan this, testing this, assessment this, I could go ON AND ON. Aside from all the busy work they are giving us, the children are so far behind. I teach first grade and it’s like my children are in kindergarten. They don’t know the basics, they don’t how to write their names, ect but the district expects us to teach like they basically didn’t miss a year of school 🙄. I could write a book of the many reasons why things are harder this year and it’s a shame because it’s only October, only at week 5 and I am DRAINED. 🙃🙂

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Similar around the nation, it seems… district PD and paperwork requirements etc., in addition to similar site requirements and all with conflicting deadlines! 😏

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I advocated for 4 day student week. 1 day for teachers to collaborate , plan, meetings, etc. We just had a statewide PD last week and sorry but we used most of the time to catch up, plan, grade, and collaborate.

likesmartupliftinghelpful

We did it last year, why not now? Our county reset to the pre-pandemic model of education. The inability of education to live outside the box with novel ideas 💡 runs contra to the tenets of education. Let’s lead by example instead of settling for status quo.

likeuplifting

Figure out what really matters and what is absolutely necessary and scrap the rest.

likehelpful

The demands are overwhelming & ridiculous; as if we’re not dealing with enough. I’ve had it with more being added to our plates by those who are trying to justify their meaningless positions. Additionally, we’re expected to act as if everything is “normal”, when clearly it’s not. Some weeks we have close to 20 staff out. But hey….everything’s normal! The whole thing is emotionally & physically exhausting. We all must develop our own coping strategies and support one another as best we can.

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As some have said, there seem to be significantly more demands being made by the schools and districts. There is also a classroom component. Many of the students are returning from almost two years of low accountability. Some have forgotten how to behave in a classroom. Others have just gotten used to the low expectations of the past few years. It is going to take a couple of years for this to get worked out of the system.

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Mine is because at the end of last year our building was under a summer long renovation… we had to pack EVERYTHING. As construction goes, they fell behind schedule. I wasn’t allowed into my room until the day before our open house. I am the kind of person who gets the back to school itch as soon as the school supplies starts showing up in the stores. When I get the email that floors are done, I’m in the next day getting things done (just 2 hours at most). I felt rushed to throw my room together. Also, our grade level has the most kids per class this year. My students are either well below grade level or above - there’s no in between. Last year we got out an hour early each day. We don’t have that this year. We’re ALSO revamping our math curriculum and SBG. I just feel rushed on a daily bases and I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere.

likefunnyhelpful

Your experience is almost exactly my experience except we packed up end of June 2020, moved into the Elementary school with middle school students in closed Covid groups of 12-15 students. Then we packed up again in two days to move into new school and had a few days to unpack.

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The non-relenting covid crisis has caused burn out and exhaustion — negatively impacting work & home life - the stress continues without reprieve

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Well said.

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Way more demands! Last year the state test did not count. If they did our school would have been an F. Admin wants us to be an A school this year. Kids are way behind, meetings, meetings, meetings! No more planning time, that 45 minutes a day is for meetings and interventions.

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For us the BIGGEST issue is BEHAVIOR. Academic behaviors as well as social behaviors. We are having more fights...physical as well as verbal. Threats, name calling, drama, drama, drama, and then more drama. Parents dropping the F bomb on teachers (we are told to take it with a grain of salt) and more of the usual blame game than normal (its the teachers fault its the schools fault its the other kids fault, etc). In general a very big jump in LACK OF personal responsibility for words and actions and of course for NOT getting the work done. A LOT of that. Students simply aren't motivated in working hard...droves of them, sure some are great but the behavior issues make it harder for them than it should be. For the first time ever there are learning objectives I haven't been able to teach due to SO MUCH TIME spent on dealing with behavior!!!

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Toughest year of my 24 year career! Always struggled but can't find work/ home balance at all this year! Lots of new teachers who didn't have in person student teaching are struggling with classroom management!

likehelpful

We have reset to the 19th century pre-pandemic school model. None of the innovations of last year were kept. As educators, we are now in a hybrid model of real-time teaching AND maintaining all of our digital presence online. Nothing has been taken off our plate. I teach 141 students a day, five classes. Meanwhile, I see my vaccinated peers working from home because they are concerned to Covid. Really?

likehelpful

Are teachers allowed choice with regard to working from home?  How does this happen in your district?

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This year is more difficult for a variety of reasons. The changing Covid restrictions and expectations just before school started did not help administration plan. Like others have said: the lack of staff, lack of planning time, testing, changing curriculum this year and dealing with behaviors have teachers feeling frazzled. Add to that the fact that student's have forgotten the basics of "How to be a student!" They are out of practice for how to be a student, student expectations and parent's did not gear their kids up for a successful year by getting a sleep pattern down before school started. I think this year should have involved lots of practice and discussion on these issues and it just did not happen. That and increased workloads has everyone feeling burned out and stressed. I suspect that by the end of this year, MANY teachers are going to retire.

likehelpful

Perhaps a reason for those teacher bonus checks across the nation last Spring: Retention.

Mask mandates Vaccine mandates

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Those are some of the few reassuring parts of this year, for those places lucky enough to have them in place. Though their absence in other places certainly makes things harder.

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Of y’all are facing shortages now, like every district I know is… just wait until the mandates kick in! Y’all gonna say bye bye to those prep periods…

likesmartfunny

This year is equally as hard as last (we were F2F), possibly hard bc it’s only October. Kids are just freakin losing it left and right, they’re out of control. Teachers are so stressed and I get it. No subs! No paras! I was asked to sub fir ‘only 20 min’, I just laughed as I walked by. He__no! I’m so busy I can’t see straight. I never get a lunch (esp last 2 yrs). Ppl ask me to see all these kids and I have 3 schools and a Cross-hat 5-6 Center, come on! So ….I really complained last yr, every meeting, to every ear I could find- I was annoying as hell, they weren’t happy with me. I didn’t care! They hired lots of support for staff 21/22 -yay! Nope- most are 1st yr or, we’re supervising to get to their 1st yr. This is SO much work! I supervise 2 ppl- UGH!!!! I know in the future we’ll have an awesome Dept that’s finally well staffed. It’s just another rough yr. I feel for all you teachers. Hang in there!

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I do not believe that giving teachers more time to continue traditional practices (19th-20thC) is the solution. The world has been in a digital transformation for at least the last 30 years , and in my opinion PublicEd has been slow to transform. Amidst the pandemic, the world tech evolution is speeding up. The effect on us is as time is now compressed. Using the traditional model, we are required to do increasingly more, at a faster rate, to keep up. This is not sustainable, IMHO. ComputerScience and coding are required content in the 21stC. Our systems and infrastructures also require updates and transformations.

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HigherEdPublicEd

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I am having an easier time. Just focus on the near term goals and each day as it comes. When it's done move on. Take time for yourself and them you can help others.

likehelpful

Because of all that has been said, many of our veteran teachers are retiring and some of our newly hired are leaving the district next year. This makes me sad. The turnover the past few years has been high and I am not looking forward to staying and dealing with the outcomes next year.

likehelpful

An additional question... Why is it the US cannot adopt some of the methods that other countries do that are successful in helping students and teachers? Why are we so dead set on sticking to these archaic practices?

likesmart

#HigherEdPublicEd

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