Teaching in Turbulent Times: Our Take on SNL’s ‘Y’all Won’

In this episode of the Empower Students Now podcast, Amanda and co-hosts Trina English and Jessica Martin react to the recent Saturday Night Live sketch “Y’all Won.” As the school year comes to a close, they dive into the humor and the harsh realities depicted in the skit, sharing their mixed feelings and personal experiences from the classroom. They explore the systemic issues plaguing K-12 education, from the increase in student trauma post-COVID to the inadequacies of administrative responses. Join them for a candid discussion on the state of public education, the urgent need for systemic change, and how teachers can band together to advocate for a better future.


[00:00:00] Amanda: It’s the end of the school year. My last day of school is May 31st. And it is May 18th today. Trina English, my co host informed me that last weekend, Saturday Night Live came out with a sketch called "Y’all Won". And she shared it with me. But, I hadn’t had time. It’s been very, very hectic, as you all know, if you’re still teaching and trying to survive till the end of the school year.

[00:00:38] Amanda: So I didn’t have time to watch it. And she also was wondering about what Jessica Martin had to say about this episode. Saturday Night Live sketch and you all should go check it out before you listen to this episode. But what we decided to do was record this morning because we’re friends and we’re teachers and we care and and Yeah, we’re, we’re in this together.

[00:01:05] Amanda: Teachers, we’re all in this together. And if you’re listening to this podcast, if you’ve been listening over the course of this school year, you have learned a lot about the realities that teachers face and also why we need to band together and start speaking up more. So, and if you want to be a guest on the podcast to talk about your school year, please go to amandawritenow.com. com and click contact and contact me and we’ll schedule a time this summer and sit down and hear your story. I invite any listener, especially listeners who have been listening all year and have listened to the teacher shortage series, which is basically the last 15 episodes of this podcast. But anyways Jessica Martin, The Whimsical Teacher , a very good friend of mine through Teachers Pay Teachers, actually, we have our own podcast and YouTube channel called The Wacky Teacherpreneur.

[00:02:09] Amanda: But our podcast is kind of on hi hiatus right now. She came on for this episode and we’re all reacting to this SNL skit. So, yeah, that’s what this episode is all about, but we really, really get into what’s happening right now in, in K 12 public education and probably other schools as well, charter schools, private schools, all different types of schools, all grade levels, I really hope that you listen and you share it with other people in your community. Parents, teachers, administrators classified staff, people who aren’t even in education. I think that these issues need to be addressed. Brought to the surface. And so I appreciate you listening and I’m gonna go ahead and Stop talking and let you go ahead and listen to Jessica Martin, Trina English, and myself discuss this latest Saturday Night Live sketch called “Y’all Won”.

[00:03:15] Amanda: Welcome to the Empower Students Now podcast, a podcast about equity, neurodiversity, mindfulness, and student engagement. There’s a lot that needs to change in our education system. The good news is teachers have the power to make these changes now. ,

[00:03:30] Trina: You just, you just watched it. So, Jess and I saw it before. So, you talk first, Amanda.

[00:03:36] Amanda: Yeah, I watched it with Erik. It was, it was hilarious. But I don’t know, I have mixed feelings about it.

[00:03:45] Trina: Okay. Tell us what, what are your mixed feelings?

[00:03:49] Amanda: Y’all won. I don’t know. Y’all won. Y’all won…

[00:03:53] Amanda: The pitting teachers against students part. I think I don’t like and I’m like who won really like y’all won like It’s not the students, it’s not the teachers. We’re, we’re all losing, you know? So who is winning? That’s, that’s, I guess that’s my first, because it was funny to see these different characters, these teacher characters, and the student characters, and names, and all, and just like the, just the crazy things that happen in classrooms, and that students do, and that teachers have to deal with.

[00:04:27] Amanda: Like, that was definitely Very it resonated, you know, like I have my own stories of like, that are examples of all of that. Like I definitely had to harness that part of me as a teacher this year, the sit down, sit down, like more just authoritative, really. I’ve had to yell louder than I ever have as a teacher this year.

[00:04:54] Trina: Every day I have to yell. Every day. Just to keep the kids safe. Forget learning.

[00:05:00] Amanda: Well, I think it’s because the high schoolers are bigger and they argue way more than I have ever. experience, you know, at the middle or elementary level, the arguing in the back talk, like I’ve had to enact this crazy, it’s kind of like sit down.

[00:05:23] Amanda: And I told them what I’m going to do when you start arguing is I’m going to put my hand up and I’m going to say, stop. And if you continue, It’s an automatic email to your parents. And so like I had to draw this like super firm line around arguing. Yeah.

[00:05:48] Trina: So, Jess, what are you, what is your reaction? Your initial, because Amanda is going to say more, but what’s your initial reaction?

[00:05:55] Trina: To the, to the

[00:05:56] Jess: video? Yeah. Oh, I mean, I, I did think it was funny because it was like my last week of teaching and so I was like, yeah, that’s kind of how I feel. But I thought it was, it was really tamed down. I mean, they’re talking about some of the behaviors and some of the things they see in their reactions.

[00:06:15] Jess: And I’m thinking these people have never been in a classroom before. I mean, just from what you were telling us earlier in our group chat, obviously, like, we’re not going to talk about that, but like some of the behaviors that we’re seeing, it’s straight out of an insane asylum. And I, I say that every day at school and there’s people wailing.

[00:06:37] Jess: Crying, having meltdowns. I mean, it’s a very serious like public school is actually a pretty serious place for extreme behaviors because people have been through a lot of trauma. I think the trauma has increased because of COVID staying at home that year. Everything they’ve been through, but like, and Amanda, you said something kind of interesting.

[00:07:04] Jess: You’re like, I just, it must be the high schoolers that are arguing. It’s like, no, they’re all arguing all grades. I have to break up fights between first graders more than anyone right now. Like, they cannot, kids cannot. Get along with each other. And I don’t remember it being this bad before COVID. Maybe I have rose colored glasses on, but I don’t remember having like arguing, being an issue in every single class.

[00:07:32] Jess: All the time and it has been, and I really think it’s because kids don’t know how to play together. They don’t know how to have conversations. They don’t know how to respectfully disagree. Something has changed and maybe it’s a little bit of the political climate with like these polarizing sides against each other and you know, parents having stronger opinions.

[00:07:53] Jess: Maybe it’s a little bit of COVID and not being around other types of people, but I’ve definitely like the arguing is huge. And I just, I felt personally, I was like, it’s kind of how I feel watching that show Abbott Elementary. I’m like, this is really cute. Like I know,

[00:08:09] Trina: you know, do you watch that Amanda Abbott?

[00:08:13] Jess: Yeah,

[00:08:14] Trina: it’s like a happy go lucky, just don’t you feel like, I feel like the people who made the all one sketch and the people who write for Abbott have a teacher parent. It’s based in reality, but it’s like a glossier version of it like if you’re going to sit down and make an accurate PSA it wouldn’t be funny.

[00:08:37] Trina: It would be a tragedy. It, it, it would be. But I also think that like when she says COVID broke something we don’t know how to fix that to me resonated so much because we are constantly like year over year over year, watching our leaders continue to try to do the same old thing. And the kids are just so different like this year for me was my hardest year of teaching.

[00:09:04] Trina: The kids are so different. And no one explanation I think covers it like I have heard one person in my leadership team say, well, you know, we have sixth graders. So they’re the generation that grew up on an iPad. That’s why. And then I’ve had people say, Oh, well, you know, the, the United States social safety net has broken and people are falling through it.

[00:09:26] Trina: And that’s why, Oh no, it’s because children don’t have enough outdoor time and don’t, and they don’t play and they have every other over-scheduled and that’s why, or I’ve heard you know The part the politics, the political bantering of the adult. I think it’s all of those things. But what, when I see the kids, I’m in a very privileged school acting like the kids I had in a very socioeconomic disenfranchised school where structural racism and traumatizing that the kids played out that trauma.

[00:10:03] Trina: It looks Identical. So it tells me that there is trauma going on, but I do think the one explanation is not like just the fact that they’ve had iPads that makes sense to me as well, is the harmful, disgusting things on social media. I just feel like the adults today are so irrelevant that we have no idea what is captivating and animating and shaping our kids.

[00:10:30] Trina: And we like to pretend that we’re protecting them from this, that, or the other by not talking about things. But when she talks about in the y’all one video how gross the kids are, dude, that’s the word. They are fucking gross. I cannot stress that enough. Amanda, what do you think?

[00:10:50] Amanda: Oh, I’m just taking in everything you’re saying and, and yeah, really thinking about what is causing this.

[00:10:56] Amanda: I actually wanted to tell you all, I, I met today this guy who is a former security officer. I’m not going to name the district, but it’s in the Bay area. And he said in 2017, like he couldn’t believe the number of elementary students That were 5150 like he was blown away by it, you know, so like, the pandemic is exacerbated everything, but I do think this has been going on for a long time, you know, and like it’s been covered up, like a lot is covered up by districts because.

[00:11:34] Amanda: They don’t want to look bad and they don’t, yeah, like this stuff isn’t in the news. I mean, it is when it, you know, is serious enough to be, but you know, they’re, they’re minors. And so a lot of this is just completely, the teachers know, you know, the parents of the students who were involved in all of these issues know, and we’re all just really helpless.

[00:11:59] Amanda: And the system is working against us. Okay. Yeah, but SNL’s job is to be funny and to make light of all of it. So I don’t think that, you know, they can really make, yeah, like an accurate PSA, but maybe we could.

[00:12:15] Trina: I, I think I liked laughing at it. It made me feel good, but I love SNL and I felt validating because my leaders are acting like everything’s fine.

[00:12:25] Trina: And that’s something that Jess and I were talking about too, Amanda, while you were watching it, that’s something that she is and I think it’s really important for us to be aware of that because we’re not supposed to be talking about behavior and if you’re having behavior problem, it’s your class.

[00:12:35] Trina: Yeah. So talk about that, Jess.

[00:12:39] Jess: Yeah, I went through this experience this last week. It was so frustrating where there’s some changes being made to the schedule for next year. And I feel like the changes are going to have a major impact on on behavior and the admin said, well, they don’t really care.

[00:12:59] Jess: Behavior is. You know, not tied to a schedule. It’s tied to classroom management. It’s 100 percent the teacher’s problem if there’s behaviors at a certain time with certain kids, right? And, and I was just like, how could behavior not be on the forefront of your mind as an administrator? Because if you don’t have behavior in check, then you don’t have.

[00:13:28] Jess: Good academics, you don’t have the academic growth. I think there’s a lot of studies that prove that and they were just so against like anything I said about behavior. They were just like, Nope, don’t even don’t even use behavior as an excuse. If you’re a good teacher, then you shouldn’t have behaviors.

[00:13:45] Jess: I’m just like, but what? Oh, my God. It’s a lot. I was so upset. I actually applied for new jobs after that, but I, I, I’m going to stay where I’m at. But that’s how upset I was. I was like, I got to get away from these monsters. What do you mean that behavior isn’t a big important part of the school day? It is the school day.

[00:14:08] Jess: The entire day. School day is behaviors. And I feel like as teachers now we’re less teachers and we’re more behavior managers. That’s what we are. We’re not actually teaching these standards. We’re not teaching these lifelong important lessons. We’re not teaching people how to read. We’re teaching people how to manage their behaviors to get through the end of the day.

[00:14:29] Jess: And we’re like juggling arguments and fights and disagreements and awkward behaviors that. Nobody really wants to talk about publicly, right? Like, it’s just, it’s like, how could you say, I mean, I feel like There was some presidential election back in the day. I think it was George, George W. Bush. He was saying something like it’s the economy dummy or something like the economy is always on people’s minds.

[00:14:57] Jess: Right. And, and how could you, but in school, it’s like behavior is the one thing on my mind. All the time. Like what’s going to happen today? Who’s going to do this today? Who’s going to make me miserable and everyone else miserable today? I mean, it’s, it’s become kind of bonkers. And it used to be 10, 12 years ago.

[00:15:19] Jess: I was like, Ooh, what am I going to teach today? How am I going to deliver it? How am I going to make this exciting? And now it’s like, how am I going to avoid X, Y, Z? Weirdo. Grosso. Nasty behavior today. Out of its own self.

[00:15:36] Trina: Exactly in the same place.

[00:15:37] Amanda: Oh god. I’m sorry. Can I just say what, well, go ahead Trina.

[00:15:42] Amanda: No, you go, you go. Well, cause you just told a story about something that happened this week and I have a story similar but from another person within, you know, a school system and I’m not going to name names. But it was a teacher a leader, a teacher in a leadership position. And I was talking to this teacher about sexual harassment and that it could happen in a classroom and that it is happening in classrooms.

[00:16:12] Amanda: And her response was, well, what’s the teacher doing? Like immediately, like that doesn’t happen. What are you talking about? So I do think there are teachers out there that are so blind, or they’ve developed a story around why kids are behaving the way that they are, and that. Yeah, and that it is a us against them situation.

[00:16:46] Amanda: Do you know what I mean? Like, that it is the kid’s fault. It is the kid’s problem. It is the parent’s fault. It is the parent’s problem. And that’s the only way that we’re Cause, right? They’re not seeing all of these other causes that we’re seeing these more like wider view or perspective. Maybe it’s a political, liberally leaning political view, you know, that there’s systemic problems and that they’re at play and all of these layers, you know, and the internet is definitely one of them.

[00:17:22] Amanda: Cause you said 10 years, you know, like, yeah, I mean, we’re all what are we millennials? I’m an old millennial. Are you a millennial Trina? No, no,

[00:17:32] Trina: no. I’m Gen X. I’m older than you guys.

[00:17:34] Amanda: Yeah. This is my second career. I’m an old millennial, like I’m the oldest, like I’m elderly, elderly millennials, the cutoff, but like the internet, you know, and like just the way that it’s evolved and changed over time and like the way that it’s taken over kids lives.

[00:17:52] Amanda: Some kids, not all of them, you know, and like we talk about title nine and like. We’ve been really delving deep, Trina and I and others into what Title IX is. And, like, there’s three criteria, right? That if an incident meets Title IX, like like, criteria, I guess? Like, to be what am I trying to say?

[00:18:14] Amanda: So one of them is a hostile environment. Like a, and so like these kids that you’re talking about that are doing all of these things, it’s not all of them. And I, that’s what really breaks my heart is there’s kids in the classroom ready to learn. There’s kids in the classroom that are, that are being impacted by all of this, that aren’t being attended to by their teacher.

[00:18:37] Amanda: You know what I mean?

[00:18:39] Trina: Yeah. And the other thing too, is the lack of like response. as a school system, as a school culture means that everyone’s civil rights are being violated every day.

[00:18:50] Amanda: Yeah.

[00:18:50] Trina: The teachers and the kids. And so kids who would have otherwise been say a low level offender escalate and everybody’s walking around with compounding trauma.

[00:19:01] Trina: Like they’re getting retraumatized and further traumatized at school. And so this idea that this is up to the teacher to manage all these behaviors is. That teacher is obviously teaching right now and is probably not sensitive and is oblivious to the things that are happening just under her radar.

[00:19:19] Trina: Like there’s a lot that’s going on whispering and then looks if, if she doesn’t have the outlandish kids, but she will because they’re coming. I promise you the kids I have this year are moving on up. You’ll get them. They’re not going to get any better on their own. You’re only going to get worse. The thing is, is we’re all oppressed in the system.

[00:19:37] Trina: And so a lot of us absorb these harmful ideas about us, that we, what we are responsible for and regurgitate it. So they adopt these oppressive ideas about what teachers responsibilities are and play them out again. Particularly in our district, Amanda, there’s super dutiful little soldiers, little foot soldiers who don’t rebel and push back enough, but not all of them.

[00:20:01] Trina: I’m not, I don’t want to generalize, but some. Okay. We have a conflict of interest when administrators are investigating this, this, this abuse, in particular, the abusive behaviors, whether it’s sexual abuse or not any abuse, the conflict of interest is they want to cover it up to make their climate and culture data look cool.

[00:20:18] Trina: And so they want to handle things hushed and rushed and not make global messaging to the school community. Oh, we’re having a, like a racism problem on our campus. Oh, we are, you know, Islamophobia is on the rise because of the war on Gaza. Like, let’s, let’s restate what our values are what our expectations, they don’t want to acknowledge it.

[00:20:39] Trina: And so they cover it all up, and then it compounds and gets worse and worse and worse. And you know, the other thing too, is the people who are running our districts right now, never have never taught during this moment. They have no idea what we’re dealing with. And we don’t use our voice and our tenure collectively to tell them because we’re scared shitless to do so.

[00:21:02] Trina: And because we’re so oppressed and traumatized, we’re barely getting through the So this podcast is us telling the leaders right now, shit is nuts. And we’re not going to be able to teach the way you want us to teach. Watch our SPAC scores fall. Watch our literacy rates drop even more than they are because this and because teachers are going to leave the profession.

[00:21:26] Trina: You blame us for the shit that you can’t manage because you lack the vision and creativity and tenacity to come up with something that is authentic and helpful for the kids. We’re going to leave in droves.

[00:21:37] Amanda: We already are.

[00:21:39] Trina: I know.

[00:21:40] Amanda: That’s, it’s a crisis.

[00:21:44] Amanda: I mean, but at the same time, it’s, I know teachers that have been in it for a long time. We’re kind of stuck.

[00:21:54] Trina: Yeah. Jess was talking about like this idea of, Oh, I’m going to move to a new school. You know, I’ve done that. I’ve changed schools. I’ve changed districts. This is the same shit in a different place.

[00:22:04] Trina: And there are a lot of people who are doing that right now that I know of in my local area. Cause everyone’s doing that nationwide. You are never going to find something better. Right. We have to make it better where we are. We have to dig our heels in, use our tenure and fight back. And when we get into the solutions episode, you know, I was talking to you, Amanda, about really, it’s going to take an act of Congress, but we do need to create a.

[00:22:33] Trina: National standards for teacher preparation, free education for teacher preparation, a national pay scale that’s adjusted for COLA in every area. So we’re all getting paid the same, we all have the same requirements, and those requirements are paid for. And where local control comes in is around, and I’m talking micro local control, around curriculum and instruction decisions that can be based on standards, but we’re allowed to pivot and shift, and that we create a brand new tier of professionals.

[00:23:01] Trina: In K 12 called teacher leaders, because we have the tenure, we stay teaching a little bit, part of the day, and the other part of the day, we lead in whatever ways. We want to,

[00:23:13] Amanda: you know, and in, in sharing all of the knowledge and experience that we have in, in like the success that we’ve had. I’m so proud.

[00:23:23] Amanda: I’m like going to cry some of my students, like just their, the progress that they’ve made. I don’t know how. Yeah, I actually was so proud. I emailed the kids like a screenshot of it. And then also their parents. You know, and it’s like, why isn’t, and I didn’t use our fucking program.

[00:23:43] Trina: I know.

[00:23:45] Amanda: I don’t know.

[00:23:46] Amanda: I don’t know if it was me, but I don’t think it was me. But maybe it was because I was, I real talked them constantly. And I think it motivated some of them because I think a lot of the kids that are in these like, you know, situations, it’s not that they’re not bright. They’re actually very bright. You know, I feel like some of the kids that are have the biggest behavior problems are highly intelligent.

[00:24:13] Amanda: I mean, not all of them, but you know, they’re acting out for a reason that like, have you ever heard the saying all behavior is communication, you know, and like, and the way that they’re acting out is a call for help, you know, like a call for like, I need help. These grownups, you know, like do something.

[00:24:35] Amanda: Sorry, I keep getting emotional. It’s been a hard week. It’s been a hard year. Like this, this is not the worst year I’ve ever had, but it’s second in 15 years. Maybe it’s tied. I don’t know. What about you, Jess? You’re, what are you doing here anyways? This is like your summer break. You’re off. Are you done, Jess?

[00:25:00] Amanda: Yes.

[00:25:01] Jess: No, I well, I’m done teaching kids. I do have to go to work next week. Kids, our, our kids last day is Monday, which I just think is so absurd to end the school year on a Monday and it’s a half day. So they canceled specials. I’m a specials teacher. So I am going to work on Monday, but I don’t have any classes, which is fine.

[00:25:24] Jess: I have a lot of library work to do as I run the library. And then Tuesday’s like teacher work day and then I work extra days. So I’m just working at school the rest of the week. But so I do kind of consider it. Yes. This is the beginning of my break, even though I’m working next week because I’m not teaching anymore.

[00:25:43] Jess: Like my last teaching day was yesterday. You know how that feels. Yeah. You know,

[00:25:49] Amanda: it’s a way off. Yeah.

[00:25:54] Trina: I just, I think it’s going to take. More than a y’all one video for me to make sense of things and to contextualize everything and to understand the ways in which we’re all like, you were told, you said a minute, we all buy into a story about our culpability in this system, like, we are not responsible, but I also don’t think the parents are either.

[00:26:20] Trina: I just think there’s a, there’s something very, like she said in y’all one, something broken, we don’t know how to fix. And it’s going to take all of us talking and looking and having difficult conversations and being so brave and so smart to fix this. And I worry when I watch our leaders. not read their own policies, don’t know, aren’t able to synthesize information, aren’t critical thinkers.

[00:26:46] Trina: I worry about like how our K 12 system really rewards dumbasses. Like if you’re complacent and a dumbass, you can, you can rise to the top. We just don’t have the level of intellectualism and tenacity that we need. At our highest levels of K 12. I swear to God, I think that’s a big part of the problem.

[00:27:09] Trina: Is that shitty of me to say,

[00:27:12] Amanda: Jess? I think that complacency is rewarded in our society, you know, and compliance. Especially among girls, right? And our teaching, our profession is mostly female. And so how do we stop, you know, because I think that that is the root of the problem is that we’re not in leadership roles.

[00:27:37] Amanda: We’re not listened to. We’re just kind of what are we appeased or placated placated. Yeah, that’s a better word. And we’re, yeah, like, Like, you always have such good vocabulary. Yeah, there

[00:27:53] Trina: is a paternal attitude around teachers. Yes, paternalized. Yes, so if we get an opportunity to even talk, they listen to us, pat us on the head, and send us on their way.

[00:28:04] Trina: Yeah, like they’re little girls. Yeah, and they don’t understand that that, where that’s coming from is very old structural sexism in our profession. Like, our whole idea about what a teacher is, what they can lead, what they deserve, What they’re able to do comes from this old fucked up idea that we can pay teachers a third of the salary of men because that’s how we’re going to fund public education.

[00:28:28] Trina: When this whole shit got shit show got devised by Horace Mann in the 1830s. Right. So we have to go back and revisit all of those old ideas because not only Do we belong in leadership? We’re the only ones that can fix this shit show. And so we have to figure out how to wait to elevate our voices into real professional careers.

[00:28:48] Trina: That’s what I’m saying is. Teacher leaders should be a job. ’cause we have tenure. We’re able to do the things that are sometimes hard and let administrators administrate, they implement. Teacher leaders with tenure can innovate. That’s what we’re, where we’re needed. And that’s like if you wanna get an admin credential and stay teaching, you can do leadership things.

[00:29:09] Trina: If you wanna get a curriculum, a design master’s degree, you get to be the one that to, to lead the curriculum design on your campus like. You want to be an expert on on classroom management and behavioral management strategy strategies you get to leave that work on your campus like we have to have our hands and all of that for for neuro

[00:29:28] Amanda: divergence like SDC classrooms.

[00:29:32] Amanda: I have so many ideas for how those places can be more humanizing and kind and I don’t, like, it just, we’re, we’re so backwards in the way that we’re helping kids we’re trying to support kids and just like, yeah, tapping into teacher’s wisdom and experience. I mean, I really do feel like that is the answer, but, but also how do teachers learn how to be different, you know, how to speak up and and share opinions that might not be popular, you know, or, or dissent when we are, we’ve been conditioned to be complacent, you know, like how, to me, it’s banding together, you know, finding other teachers that can support you and like, help you feel like valid and like, What you’re saying, you know because doing it by yourself, you, you become a pariah in your School, right?

[00:30:40] Amanda: Like me,

[00:30:45] Trina: just react to that. All that stuff we just said.

[00:30:49] Jess: I mean, it’s a lot to take in. I, it made me sad thinking about the teacher career as a whole, how, you know, there aren’t, there aren’t any leadership. Opportunities for teachers, except if you want to go into administration. And then, like, in my district, you can’t even get a master’s degree in administration and become an administrator.

[00:31:10] Jess: You have to go to their special 1 year leadership Academy. In addition to having a master’s degree, and it’s all run by the district, right? Yep. You have to go to a leadership academy for one year to even get in the hiring pool. And in that leadership academy, I mean, that’s where all these bonkers come out of.

[00:31:32] Jess: And they’re like brainwashing, like they’ve learned really cool things in their master’s degree programs. But then when they go through leadership training, it’s all what the district wants. And it’s really Really messed up. I mean, the way they handle problems with not only staff but students. It’s so bonkers.

[00:31:56] Jess: It’s really, it’s very dysfunctional compared to what I’ve seen at like really small rural districts where people actually care about each other. They’re trying to figure out problems. You guys, you’re living in the same small town. You see these people at the grocery store, but here it’s just like this blanketed approach And it’s just, it is sad.

[00:32:16] Jess: It’s sad. There’s not more opportunities for teachers to like, you know, why can’t teachers teach part of the day and then do a leadership role the other part of the day? I think we’d be keeping a lot more people in the, in the system. In the broken system, if we gave them opportunities to shine or become leaders or do something other than, I mean, sorry, but like a lot of people feel like they’re just babysitting all day because of the can curriculum and the lack of autonomy and not being able to do what we know is best for kids.

[00:32:51] Jess: I mean, it feels when you’re doing that seven, eight hours a day, it is stifling to your Your character and your soul, right? And it’s just, it’s really sad that like teachers don’t have that. We don’t have that option to, because in other careers and other professions, they do have options like that.

[00:33:12] Jess: There’s so many different advancements you can do in other careers and they happen quick too. Like technology within a year, you get, you get to the next level and the next level and the next level. And we just, we don’t have that. All we have is like, you know, Three years of trying to become tenured and then that’s it.

[00:33:31] Jess: And then hopefully they just leave us alone after that. Right? Like that’s all we’re all hoping for, but it’s a sad career. Like it’s such a sad career path. And so that’s what I was kind of thinking about when you guys were talking, I was just like it’s just, it’s really too bad. It’s set up the way that it is to make us all feel like one, all the problems that happen in our room.

[00:33:53] Jess: We just have to kind of deal with them. Like we’re our own little Island, right? We’re an Island and it’s all up to us to figure that problem out. We’re not only the Island, but the savior of the room. And there’s so many other problems happening that are out of our control, but because we don’t have autonomy, because we don’t have freedom to do what’s best for kids, and we have this oppressive system over us, we can’t, we can’t find that sort of joy.

[00:34:24] Jess: In furthering our career, it doesn’t exist. Right. We don’t have necessarily like goals to, to reach that make any sense anyway. You know, like we, we have goals we’re supposed to put out and they mean nothing. One of my buddies outside of education, I was telling her about the evaluation system and she’s like, so you have to.

[00:34:45] Jess: You have to do all this paperwork and set all these goals and the kids have to make certain test scores. So do you get a raise if that happens? I’m like, no, no, I just, I just don’t get a nasty comment from the principal on my evaluation. That’s right. Why would you do any of that?

[00:35:02] Amanda: That’s fatherly, right? Or you’ll get, you’re going to get a spanking or you better do it or.

[00:35:08] Trina: Yeah. Once we’re tenured, it’s a dog and pony show. You have to do something totally egregious to be, to wind up in PAR. Do you guys call it PAR in Vegas too? Okay. Yeah.

[00:35:17] Jess: Well, we, we call it efficient or something. It’s like three stars out of four because they don’t believe in giving anyone fours. So nobody’s a four star teacher.

[00:35:28] Jess: Everyone tries to be a three star teacher. It’s like 57 hoops to jump through to get your three

[00:35:34] Trina: stars. I don’t know how it is in your state, but in ours, we are rated on a five point scale under like the CDEs. Is it, what do they call it? Decay? Now I’m getting them all mixed up. The California teacher performance expectations.

[00:35:52] Trina: Okay. So there’s like all these domains and I’ll, to get a five is, Okay. What you do in an ink domain is you’re innovating. How do you innovate? You invent you, you push the envelope, you do something new, but nothing we’re told allows us to develop that. If you literally if you’re in there teaching a can curriculum lesson which you are told you have to do, you are, there’s no way you’re going to get a five on your evaluation.

[00:36:19] Trina: How can both of these things be true at the same time? It’s infuriating and dizzying. Right. So I got all fives on my last evaluation because I didn’t teach the content. I didn’t teach. I did my own thing. So I got all fives on my evaluation. But when I’m in my department meeting, I’m being told I’m not a team player and I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

[00:36:40] Trina: How can both of these things be true at the same time? This isn’t this is insane, right? So our profession does not does not curate the right kind of people to be able to think outside of the box to fix these problems. And so we don’t have the right personality profiles and people like Amanda said have been conditioned to be complacent.

[00:37:00] Trina: But think about the leadership path the first step up. This is why I didn’t, I have not activated my admin credential is site based leadership. Thank you for that. That’s a specific set of skills that you may or may not be good at. Why do we, and then, then you get to graduate onto district office. Why is that a graduation?

[00:37:18] Trina: Site based leadership is, I think, harder than a lot of the district office work we’re doing, but we kind of reward the further away you get from a classroom, right? The further away you get from woman’s work, the more you’re paid. That’s what it is.

[00:37:34] Amanda: Wow. You’re on fire. I

[00:37:38] Jess: just found it out. I was surprised you didn’t burst into flames with that because that was hot.

[00:37:47] Amanda: Whoa. We’re writing a book here.

[00:37:53] Jess: Is that the end for today? I think so. I think that was actually a really perfect note to end on. Okay.

[00:38:02] Jess: I think that was really good. But y’all won.

[00:38:06] Trina: Yeah, y’all won was of course no one’s winning when the kids win.

[00:38:10] Jess: The oppressive system is winning. That’s who I saw is y’all. The oppressive system that overshadows all of us.

[00:38:22] Trina: And just these teachers just completely giving up and feeling like so defeated. And that’s what I was saying to Jess too. I think I was saying it in a box, but I just want everybody who’s a teacher is listening to this to know that like, Hey, you’re not alone. We love you so much. Thanks. We see you, other people see you, and we’re trying to form something here.

[00:38:47] Trina: We’re trying to create a place for us all to get together and be a formidable voice against this system. And your voice matters, so hit us up. We want to hear from you.

[00:39:04] Trina: That’s no, your website, Amanda, right now. com or what’s your website deleted it.

[00:39:13] Jess: I deleted my website. I don’t want to deal with it anymore. I deleted the whole thing. Wow. Good for you. Yeah. I mean, it’s not like I ever made much money off of it, so it’s like, and it was just, it takes up so much time as you know.

[00:39:28] Jess: You know, it was, and it wasn’t as grandiose as Amanda’s website, but I just was so tired, but I gave it up last Christmas. I was just like, you know what? This isn’t serving me. It isn’t serving my goals. What I want out of life. So I deleted it. It felt really freeing.

[00:39:50] Amanda: Yeah, I donated my membership. I remember.

[00:39:54] Trina: The ssasd. org has no business plan. So that’s why it’s, it’s just, it’s really just me, like, pontificating. Is this

[00:40:04] Jess: your

[00:40:04] Amanda: website? Yes. Oh, I’ll have to check it out. No, you should be a part of it. Jess. I was actually thinking about that the other day. I was like, was it

[00:40:13] Trina: called again?

[00:40:13] Amanda: S

[00:40:14] Trina: This is for school staff who wanna fight against sexual violence on our campuses.

[00:40:18] Trina: But I mean, I, I’m interested in a lot more than just this Jess, like this is just is s ass v.org a SB school staff against sexual violence.

[00:40:31] Amanda: But it’s a coalition. It’s a group of teachers that want to change, you know, systems in our schools. Wow, it looks really good.

[00:40:41] Trina: It needs a lot of work. I keep changing the way it looks.

[00:40:44] Trina: I’m learning Squarespace. This looks really good. It’s through Squarespace.

[00:40:51] Trina: That’s an original logo that one of our members designed. Yeah. Because the logo I

[00:40:58] Amanda: Okay, we’re gonna, I’m gonna stop the recording. Yeah, we’ll stop here.

[00:41:03] But I’m just gonna click stop. Stop! Okay, bye.


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