January 8, 2007

We’re having some issues at school that should probably be handled by the union, but we’re a young school with a staff of mostly new teachers and Teaching Fellows, who don’t know much about their rights. Our union rep is a 3rd year teacher, and our principal is spanking new himself. So things are going badly and the whole staff is upset or on edge, and we’re not sure what to do about it. Is it inappropriate for us to write a letter of support for a colleague who we feel is being picked on by the adminstration?

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I had a lesson go terribly, horribly badly today, and I can’t blame the students; I was unprepared and hadn’t scaffolded enough, and they were restless and uninterested. I’m a little bit fried by the end of the semester and grading coming up so quickly (!!), and the 10th graders are getting ready for the mock Regents, while the 9th graders are doing utterly uncritical topics and I’m not teaching them next semester. I haven’t been able to give the 9th graders my full attention all semester, and I’ve done them a huge disservice. I think I figured out why I don’t like them as much as I liked last year’s 9th graders; with those kids I was totally focused on them and their lessons. This year the 9th grade is by far my second priority, or maybe my third, behind being Team Leader (whatever that means).

I know I’m a better teacher than I was last year, but I look forward to the day when I feel confident teaching two curricula at the same time.