So in four days of conferences, I've finished fourteen. This includes two SST conferences and two 504s. So the week was a little exhausting even before you figure in that this tends to be a hard part of the year for kids and teachers. This is the longest part of the year without either a significant vacation or a series of four-day weeks; everyone is a little tired.
I really like my class, but this year for whatever reason the little systemic issues are really getting on my nerves. Getting interpreters for conferences is almost impossible. So far, the District has provided either employee or volunteer translators for one conference; all the rest have required relying on friends and/or family. Given that we are supposed to have a core value of access, especially for our historically underserved populations, this is really offensive. It doesn't increase access if parents and teachers make an effort to meet and communicate but can't. Rather the opposite, really.
I'm also involved in a tiresome battle with Special Education which is doing nothing but confirming that "inclusion" is a synonym for "cost-cutting". At this point, more effort has been put into finding reasons to disregard the strong recommendation of the child's teacher, family, and school support professionals than it would have taken to provide the simple service we requested in the first place.
It bothers me that most of the outlets in my room have been non-functional for two weeks and two work orders, but no repairs have been made. It bothers me that we have no safe, clean drinking water available for students despite it being a legal requirement and despite the fact we know we have leaded pipes. And much like Special Education, this stuff costs more in the long run than fixing it immediately would have - although I guess it's my money buying bottled water and a new pencil sharpener for the one that blew out, so the hit isn't accruing to the District.
And this stuff has an actual impact on student performance. If you want involved families, you need interpreters. Sharpened pencils are pretty necessary for a functional classroom (and hand sharpeners waste a lot of time). Water is critical for bodily function, let alone learning. But when the District reflects on its own performance, they seem far too willing to blame teachers and school sites for not somehow overcoming the obstacles 555 Franklin places in their way.
Learning should really not be a Tough Mudder, you know?