Wednesday, November 18, 2009

not enough to go around

I love my job. I do. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child "get it". Or make unbelievable eye contact. Or manage to contain their behavior to do just one more thing.

And I know I'm going out on a limb here when I write about my job in a public forum. I don't write about it often. But I'm finding myself keeping a lid on things so much that sometimes I feel like this:

And I have a feeling that this is what the kids I work with feel like a good deal of the time. I know it's what they've been feeling lately, because it feels like we spend a good part of our day just putting out fires.

There is a simple reason for this: we do not have enough people to deal with the students in our room. Most of our kids qualify for a one on one staff. But very few have them. Budget cuts, don't you know.

Add to this the absentee rate in the room, and dealing with one new sub after another, and it's gotten to the point where a good day is just a day that isn't horrible. Or a day where someone doesn't get hurt.

Don't get me wrong: the staff we have? ROCKSTARS. But there just aren't enough of us. There just aren't.

And most of today I felt completely on edge and helpless. Like when I saw one (LARGE) student at one end of the playground and another (LARGE) student at the other, both doing something they shouldn't and I'm supposed to be dealing with both of them at the same time. My fear, my deep gut fear is that someone is going to get hurt. Someone that just might be in the way, or a student, or a staff member, or a volunteer. And then it's going to go sideways and I'm going to lose my job, or worse have to live with the fact that I was responsible for the rest of my life.


Donna said...

I hear you. I don't work in the Learning Center anymore, but I have several of their kids during one hour. We often have more than one who are flight risks, so we really have to shuffle people around when paras are out sick. I am constantly amazed that we pay the people who deal with the toughest kids the smallest amount of money. I'm pretty sure the custodians make more than the paras, and I know the food service staff do.

Lisa L said...

thinking of you annie...your job sounds so unbelievably stressful..

Robin Amos Kahn said...

I'm thinking of you too, Annie. It's so frustrating to think that if they would just hire more well trained staff and spend money on our schools, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Each soldier in Afghanistan costs us one million dollars a year.

bernthis said...

It makes me cringe when I think about how much money they put into the military, how much fraud and waste there is and then they cut teacher's salaries and screw the schools. Thank you for what you do Thank you