Here’s Paul’s report from Utah and it will drop a few jaws:
I’ve been trolling the PLC with more rigor for the last few weeks since we have been back in school and I am so indebted to you and the PLC for all the ideas that I am taking and have taken from the group. This year I have 7 sections of high school Spanish 1, each class has an average of 38 students and the energy that it takes to work with CI is starting to take it toll. Yup, that’s about 300 students after I include my home room. I didn’t think that having the same course taught every hour without a break (I had to give up one of my prep periods) would be more difficult than having more courses to teach, but… I was just wondering if the PLC has any ideas on how to handle the lack of energy that I am feeling. I can’t seem to get the buy-in during class (mainly from myself) after doing the same brain breaks and structures for seven classes (each 75 minutes).
Since sending that email to you last year, and I was awarded outstanding educator of the year from the Utah chapter of the PTA for the 2015-2016 school year. After the year was over I was done. Burnout was real.I had hoped the summer would fix me up and get me ready to go back to the crazy.
When this year started I was averaging 40 students. I went to the administration and was told that being a good teacher means that you get big classes. I found that disheartening. Other teachers that taught the same classes as me were averaging smaller classes, and I started to look for other teaching positions. I was offered a job at a Waldorf charter school. The position seemed great except for the 500 students that I would be teaching. I decided to stay at my current school, after all 300 hundred students didn’t seem that bad compared to that.
While I could write you a lot more about all the reasons, I’ll cut to the chase, I have decided to leave the profession. I found a new job, and I will be finishing up my last 2 days at my school after the Holiday Break.
Thank you so much for your help over the past few years. I’ve learned so much from you and everyone on the PLC.