Instruction & Curriculum

Are You a Broke-Down Teacher?

This year, I’ll be teaching at a brand new school, in a brand new county, in a brand new state, and in a brand new country. 
I’m full of anxiety, excitement, and the usual question of “Can I really do this?” 
When I interviewed for the position, I asked the normal questions to find out more about what I would be doing and what I had to work with. My now-principal responded, “Every child gets a laptop.”
If you’re a broke-down teacher like me, your response was the same; wide-eyed, shock, and one-word “Wow.” 
What’s a broke-down teacher? Keep reading. It will be revealed in time. 
I went to the new teacher training like all new hires do. I met my new administration team the first day, who were personable, informative, and laid back. They brought comfort and reassurance to the new school year and training. After sitting with my future colleagues and discussing what we researched about our school, we found out that not only do our students get laptops, but we do as well…and an iPad.
My response was “What?” Yup. Broke-down teacher moment.
As we all entered the auditorium, the new superintendent came on stage to greet us. She told us that she was a former teacher herself (which is a miracle) and that every teacher would receive a library for their classrooms with over 300 books.
“That’s amazing!” was my response. Broke-down teacher moment.
Broke-down teacher moment. Click To TweetAs the week progressed, I found myself close to tears a number of times because of all the items I was supplied. But to my surprise, it wasn’t just me. My colleagues and I stood baffled at times with the amount of support and resources we were given. 
Then, we went to my school. This was the moment my new colleagues and I realized we were Broke-down teachers. 
We had a parent resource room for parents to take home manipulative, books, and strategies to help their students grow. We had a SEPARATE resource room for teachers that covered every subject. There was a designated room for STEAM experiments, including cooking equipment, and some tall, white scientific-looking contraption that you could put water in and it would water plants and help them to grow. Projectors in each room. Books for each class BEFORE the district-wide collection came in. 
I might have shed a tear once or twice on the school tour. Broke-down teacher moment.
Now by this moment, you may know what a broke-down teacher is. But if not, I’m here to help you. 
A broke-down teacher is someone who has been pulling out of their own pockets for years to come up with little things to create for students because their school has nothing. A broke-down teacher is someone who has a burning passion for teaching kids but works in a place that could care less about students and their growth. A broke-down teacher knows what it’s like to have NOTHING in place to support their kids in class unless it comes out of their already low pockets. They know what having no technology feels like. They’ve had to work in places where administration, school-wide and district-wide cared more about the budget and looking good on paper than assisting students with being able to access an even playing field when it came to other students in more affluent districts. 
A broke-down teacher is one who’s surprised when a district cares about their kids enough to buy resources for kids. They’re shocked when a principal says, “Let me know what you need and I’ll order it.” 
A broke-down teacher sits in an empty classroom, pockets on empty, and still wonders what they could buy or create to help their students master a standard or concept, without a computer, notebooks, projectors, or books. 
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being a broke-down teacher. I think it’s time for districts to stop creating them. 
Don’t you?

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