This year has been a challenge and a half. It’s so close to done but there are so many tasks to cross off the list still. I’m typing with a huge stack of papers to work through under my wrists as a reminder that I can’t get too caught up in posting today because I have a long night ahead, and more to come.
What makes this school year even more challenging, tiring, and frustrating is finding out some upsetting news. Come to find out, the previous teacher, the one I replaced, left behind comprehensive units that I was to inherit. When I arrived the first day, I was told to go speak to one of the other English teachers to get these units. I got three vocabulary packets and three vocabulary quizzes to go with one of the four courses I took on. I figured that was all there was so I didn’t say anything and began working to create the units that brought me to the present day. It was hard, I worked nearly, if not over, seventy hours a week all winter and spring.
For a while I couldn’t figure out what was wrong: if I was a bad teacher or if I was working too hard, because the other teacher that I was to get the units from, another new teacher who had been there the year before as a half-time and was promoted to a three-quarter time when I arrived, didn’t seem to be working nearly as hard. We were teaching nearly identical courses. I couldn’t figure out what my problem was. He kept churning out these amazing reading guides, quizzes, prompts, etc all year long. I thought I must be a poor excuse for a teacher if I hadn’t been able to manage the same all this time; me with a master’s degree in teaching and this other guy not even certified.
Today after school, a mentor and good friend of mine stopped by to talk. He is good friends with the teacher I replaced and stopped by to see how I was doing with my inherited units. I said that I had been working hard all year long to create everything from scratch because I only had vague outlines left me and a few quizzes. This teacher looked concerned and said, “what happened to the comprehensive units left for you?”
“What units?” I replied.
I went from there to my department chair. The rumor was true. There were comprehensive units left behind and all the other teacher gave me, the keeper of the units, were a few measly vocab sheets!
All year long he had been given accolades for an amazing job done. He was given a plaque on behalf of the school in front of the entire school for service to the school at the senior reception. He has been talked up while I get cut down and he’s been using every scrap of the units left for us without sharing them with me.
I feel like I’ve been asked to draw a sharp and true-to-life image from a fuzzy, indiscernible photograph held 10 feet away freehand while someone else was given tracing paper and a bold lined image and we’ve been compared.
I feel angry. I feel used. I feel tired.
I feel like this guy will be lucky if I don’t break his nose when I see him tomorrow.
Oh, and we share a classroom. How nice.