Thunderdome

I think probably there is a point.

Where educators maybe just won’t be able to keep pushing through.

Maybe.

I mean. Teachers are a pretty hardy stock. Generally.

But this year.

I’m not sure I can…

I just…

I worked in juvenile detention. And prison, y’all.

Prison.

I used to work overnights in fucking prison.

And never. Felt this level of…

I don’t even know what this is. Exhaustion? Hopelessness? Trepidation?

What’s a word for all of those?

And I’m not even trapped in a classroom with the children all day.

I’m just sitting in my office. All damn day. Writing truancy letters. And scheduling meetings. And calling non-working phone numbers.

I probably have the easiest job in the school. And I’m drowning.

You know who has the hardest job?

The person in charge of finding coverage for the teachers who call out.

There are no substitute teachers. To cover.

So the teachers have to cover for each other.

And the person in charge of a scheduling that? And having to ask teachers. Every damn day. To please give up their one tiny break. To go into someone else’s classroom. And try to teach their children.

That’s the worst feeling in the world.

And then you’re just hoping that those teachers you’re planning to ask even show up.

It’s just the highest level of stress and anxiety. Every. Fucking. Morning.

Because that call out board stays filled.

And you can’t even blame them. The teachers who are calling out. Because they’re working in Thunderdome.

The teachers are not ok.

The children are not ok.

They’re just not.

I have heard the words blood. Fight. Runner. Destroyed. Knife. More times. In this first half of the school year. Than I did in three years in prison.

Three years of working in prison.

Education is Thunderdome.

And I’m not sure who’s going to be left standing at the end of today. Let alone at the end of May.

I kinda hope it’s me.

Because I’m trying to buy a house.

(Don’t tell Invisible Roommate. He doesn’t know yet.)

So I could use the continued income.

But I’m not real confident that it will be.

Went to a meeting yesterday. Where. As they were lulling us into a false sense of comfort with biscuits and gravy. And mocktails. We found out that the state has decided we need to test the children more…

The high needs children.

They need to be taking standardized tests…

Why am I drinking plain tomato juice with a funyun in it while you’re telling me this?

Where Is My Vodka???

*sigh*

We shouldn’t be giving any of the children standardized tests this year.

None of them.

They aren’t even passing their classes.

Because Thunderdome.

We don’t need standardized tests to see that they’re not making it.

Even the ones that seem to be ok. Can in no way actually be ok.

Because they’re going to school in fucking Thunderdome.

And I’m over here throwing them all into truancy.

But damn. I can’t even blame them.

I don’t want to be there either.

And the only reason I’m not calling out. Weekly. Is because I’m not a teacher.

If teachers can keep showing up. For Thunderdome. Then dammit I can, too.

Except…

I kinda just wanna go back to prison.

Back to working in prison.

Where it’s calmer. And safer. And way less exhausting.

And I don’t know what the answer is.

I’m pretty sure it’s not, let’s make more kids take more tests.

But I know that I’m not even fully excited about winter break.

Because I know what’s coming behind it.

And it ain’t pretty.

What’s worse than Thunderdome?

Whatever that is. The second half of the year is gonna be that.

So the next drink they offer to me. Better have some damn vodka in it.

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