30 August 2005

Nothing Stays The Same

I am still not sure if it is the place where I work, or it is just the way of life here, but it seems there is no such thing as a constant. Just when I had decided that teaching at the high school would be fun; and just when I had my students all under control; and just when I had gotten used to the change from a bad text book, to a worse book, to the belief that there would be a third, better book; it’s been turned upside down, once again.

Yesterday, I found out that I would not be getting back at least half of my students when school resumes next week. I would be teaching at least one other grade, if not two more. And that tantalizing, new text does not exist. Added to this is the mandate that teachers are to give oral exams to 420 students once a month, give grades, give and correct homework, and follow some strange curriculum that is nothing more than a list of items to teach. (Spelling/pronunciation/vocabulary/the alphabet).

The scheduling would change, I was told, and the teachers were to pick the classes they wanted to teach. I was given the list of classes, and asked to choose. This seemed to be neither a prudent nor fair way of handling matters. I sat down with the schedule and divided it so that no one teacher had more than two grades. (Previously, teachers had up to 4 different grades.) Happily, the others involved approved of my scheme. But I have been forewarned: the classes, times, days, will most likely be changed every few weeks, with no prior warning. I am seriously re-thinking my contentment with this job.

Having said that, I’ve only got 5 months to go on this contract, which is a piece of cake. Hopefully, it will be a Virginia Bakery, butter cream frosting, raspberry filling, cake!