I've been complaining a lot on Facebook about BTSA. It's a program for new teachers that is supposed to support new teachers. Sounds good huh?
Well, it's not. It is, in fact, the one thing that is stressing me out to the point of tears. Mostly because it is incredibly time consuming... your first year of teaching is time consuming anyway - what with all the planning, grading, adjusting, evaluations, working on things like classroom management and effective lesson planning, trainings, and that little thing called a family (and this is the short list). Add in mounds of paperwork (the relevance of which is not entirely clear) and mandatory meetings and seminars, and you have one time-sucking program.
I have an "assignment" due on the 7th. In addition to some collaborative logs which were due Friday that I didn't complete. The logs are apparently due every month, but that was not made clear at the beginning of this whole process. In fact, little was actually made clear at the beginning, which is why I find the whole thing so stressful and supremely annoying.
Here's my daily weekday schedule. Let's see if we can find some time in it where I should have worked on BTSA instead of something else.
5:30am - wake up, shower, eat, dress, make lunch
6:30am - leave for work
6:45am - arrive at work, grade, respond to e-mail, make copies, write objectives on the boards of my multiple classrooms
8am - school starts
10am - prep period: make copies, grade papers, input grades, respond to e-mails
12:05pm - lunch: eat, grade, respond to e-mails, attend the occasional meeting (at least two a week), give make-up tests, pee
2:50pm - school ends: meet with students, meet with teachers, check mailbox, respond to e-mails, organize my rolling cart for the next day, pack work into my satchel to take home.
3:30pm - go home (or supervise a Freshman flower party), pick up the kids
4pm - spend time with the kids, play outside, run errands
5pm - start dinner, do dishes
5:45 or 6pm - eat dinner
6:30pm - bath time
7pm - winding down with Kipper
7:30pm - reading time with Penelope, Bryan rocks Griffin
8pm - kids in bed, grading, responding to e-mail, updating grades, lesson planning, having a conversation with my husband
9:30pm - go to bed
So what do I do? Not grade? Not plan? Not spend time with my kids? Stay up until midnight and wake up at 4?
This month I have TWO seminars. Plus I'm supposed to use prep time to observe classes, have weekly meetings with my support teacher, and work on the next "module" which is an assessment of teaching. THE SAME THING I DID IN MY TEACHER CREDENTIALING PROGRAM.
I do not have any TIME.
Notice how no-where in that schedule is there time just for me. I check Facebook/Proboards/my personal e-mail in the morning while I shovel down my toast or in between grading essays. I do not exercise. I do not read for pleasure. This is why I haven't updated consistently since I started working. We recently joined the YMCA and I will be fitting in some exercise time at least once a week. We do have our weekends for family time - and I REFUSE to give that up for BTSA. Refuse.
My schedule is balanced for my job as a teacher. It will get better as I get further into teaching - there will be slightly less lesson planning and I'll become more efficient with my grading. But adding the paperwork for this "support" program into the mix throws it all off kilter. It means I give up my precious weekend time. It means I spend less time with my children. And I am not ok with this.
5 weeks ago