As a CFF Coach, one of the things we are to encourage our teachers to do is reflect. Yet, here I am, not being able to find time to reflect. There is a lot that I feel I need to get out, but how? This week, I am proctoring PSSA's was out of the district most of the day Monday, we have an adjusted schedule on Friday, and I still have hundreds of emails to read and resources to assess. At the same time, I am looking for lesson plans for a special ed. teacher, creating some usable audio files for the same teacher, being asked to create blogs this week by an English teacher (after I let everyone know that due to PSSA proctoring I would not have time), I have teachers coming to me with questions during PSSA testing, notes and resources from PETE&C I still need to go over, grading for my three classes to finish up (including comments), continue adjusting/creating lessons for my classes (one of which is a new prep and the other two being completely redone to be completely online), leaving early to coach soccer, paying bills, cleaning, laundry, working a second job, and maybe sleeping.
Okay, I got that all out and off my chest, now I can do some reflecting.
Many of my students are explaining to me how helpful using my wiki has been for them. Good. I like the feedback, now tell me what else you need of me. I feel so bad for my students, as I am not even here for them over 10% of the school year due to coaching. And that kills me. How can I be there for my students when I'm not there as much as I should be? They have expressed their frustrations, and they know mine, so at least there is an understanding there.
A few of the teachers in my district are not happy that I am not available to them as a CFF coach because I am teaching during their prep periods. And this year, we have twice as many CFF teachers, and the rest of the staff (middle school, non-core curriculum areas) are anxious to delve into the world of EdTech. It's so great to see them wanting to do everything, yet they don't have the support they need.
I have told my administrators that I cannot continue trying to do both jobs half the time, as they require much more attention than I can currently afford them. I have expressed my desire (for my health and sanity) to become either a full-time coach or go back to a full-time math teacher. I cannot physically, mentally, or emotionally continue attempting to find a balance. There is no balance as there is so much overlap. Teachers calling while I'm teaching. Students in and out while I'm doing tech stuff. Piles of paperwork and miles of emails and lists of articles and blogs to catch up on! I've fallen behind and I don't know how I can catch up!
So, here's the dilemma. If I go back to being a full-time teacher, then our one math teacher goes back to half-time, which isn't very fair to her. Plus, we need to find a new CFF coach, who potentially could be someone from outside the district. How long will it take them to become familiar with our district and teachers? How much time and money is lost there? True, there is a $30,000 coaching stipend to help cover that, but it's not enough to cover a full-time coach, as well as benefits from the district. So, we're still left with only a half-time coach, which still only allows part of our staff to meet with them.
If I stay half-and-half, our other math teacher gets to remain full-time, but I go crazy. And, neither my students nor staff get 100% from me (which I cannot do to either group anymore).
What do I do? I have so many plans and ideas that I would love to work on as CFF Coach. But I need the time and support to do them, and our teachers need time and support from a coach, and my students need time and support and devotion from me.