I keep hearing about budget cuts for next year, and the possibility of further financial crisis. Its going around, still. It affects many, many, many people, and yes, I know I'm one.
The school I work in, like others in my district, my county, my state, struggles with the mandates of No Child Left Behind and meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. Now, believe me, I am a believer in education standards. I believe that all students CAN learn, and I would sure like them to. Sometimes, frankly, it just isn't in my control.
There are things that can help me do my job, like having adequate supplies (I get a limited amount from my employer, and as many as I want to buy - and students who feel I should buy theirs as well.) and a class that is not overcrowded. Studies have shown that a lower student to teacher ratio is helpful in both class management, and learning. English classes are supposed to have a maximum of 25 students. With more budget cuts, I'm sure that will be further from true than it is now. Especially in 9th grade, which traditionally is the largest class, and is usually my assignment.
On top of budget constraints, the pressure to perform better, to meet AYP, and to increase graduation rates mounts. I get less of the things that usually help, and I am supposed to do more with what I get, and with more students.Teachers are being put in an increasingly untenable spot, and pretty soon the responsibilities and pressures won't be worth the salary. The salary certainly won't be adequate for the hoops one must negotiate before one even becomes employed. They are nearly that now. I would have serious second thoughts if I were entering the profession now, that's for sure. The equation doesn't add up. Something is going to break, and it won't be pretty.