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.