What she finds to be the most satisfying part of her job is when a parent is involved in their child’s education. This involvement and investment helps the student succeed. Unfortunately, there are many parents who don’t return calls or attend meetings, which really hinders the child’s ability to grow since they are not receiving the same support in the home as in the school. She also mentions how great of a staff she works with in her building. This ranges from speech therapy, hearing/ vision assistance, the counseling office, social workers, the career center, reading services and numerous teachers.
The staff has been meeting as a team for the entire ninth grade this school year because they have found that this class has many emotional needs. It is wonderful that there is a group of dedicated people who truly care for the students they work with. The most frustrating issue she and her team have faced this year is not only the common core curriculum and Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) mandated by New York State, but also the lack of attendance of many of the students. The staff calls Child Protective.
Services (CPS) or Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) program and takes students to court, but there are no concrete threats. The students know that there is no real consequence for not attending school besides failing. Unfortunately, Niagara County does not take the parents to court as Erie County does. It is unfortunate not to be able to hold the parents accountable for their own child’s education and essentially their well-being. Her advice to those starting out in the education field is to be prepared to work hard for less pay than most other fields. However if it is your passion, love it and live it.
The students are the pay, is what she said. There are students that truly appreciate the teacher and to see them enter ninth grade and grow to be successful twelfth graders makes her smile. She is still in contact with many of her students and some even ask her for help in college courses. Parents of past students remain in contact, also. It is nice to know that one person can make a difference in the lives of many students and families, alike. Her main advice would be enter the field and don’t get defeated by all the political issues. It will be hard work, but very rewarding work.