For anyone who doesn't already know, I'm 61. Since 1980, I've either been a teacher or a hospital chaplain for 39 years now. After this school year 2019-2020 and then just one more year 2020-2021, I'm planning to retire to Mexico, where I grew up as a kid. At my community college I have tenure. I teach Spanish from my growing up as a missionary kid in Mexico half time, while from my hospital chaplaincy I went into from being raised a missionary kid I teach nursing students half time.
I've let my boss at my workplace know my 2021 retirement plans, even as I've worked hard to make sure she doesn't think I'm coasting lazily to the finish line. I still work hard at teaching, even with my PTSD diagnosis since 1995 and my kidney disease diagnosis since 2011 (I lost 60% kidney function and only have 40% kidney function left). Nonetheless, I don't just teach old lesson plans over and over. I always try to update my lesson plans every day with new Youtube videos and Powerpoints that appeal by computer in class to today's students.
However, this year my community college adopted a new "Learning Management System" called "Brightspace." It replaced "Blackboard," the "Learning Management System" we had for my 8 years with the college. Others go by names like "Canvass" or "Moodle," so if you haven't heard of either Blackboard nor Brightspace, perhaps you've heard of one of those.
For the past 8 years, using "Blackboard" was optional, whereas now using "Brightspace" is mandatory. I'm friends with one of the computer techs at my community college, so through him I've been trying to stay current. Today my boss came to me face to face to tell me, though, that I'm not keeping up with putting my Spanish and nursing class items up on "Brightspace." She's really frustrated with me. I've been giving handouts, syllabi, and exercises to my students directly in class face to face or via emails from me to them instead, like I've always done since I started teaching back before the Internet in 1980.
Giving my class materials out to my students face to face in class or via email is not acceptable this year. Course materials like handouts and so forth must now be supplied to students only via this new "Brightspace" web site. My boss just told me that if I give my student their course syllabus or a handout directly in class or via email, I'm "non-compliant" with "Brightspace." My boss told me that therefore I am not "compliant" with the new requirements for my job.
I feel really bad about being told I'm not compliant with doing my job. Since 1980 I've always done whatever it takes to be what I consider to be a good worker. Now I find out that the goalposts at work have been moved on me, so to speak, and here in the very next to last year of my career.
My boss told me today that she's going to have a meeting with me on Monday to set things straight. The meeting on Monday will be attended by her, by our community college's head of computer technology, our community college's deputy head of computer technology, and by the community college's technical support staffer who has been trying to help me this semester.
It seems to me that I'll outnumbered in this Monday meeting. My community college has no union that could represent me, either. Apparently, I'll be on my own. I found today's meeting one on one with my boss stressful. Monday's meeting looks like it will be four on one, so anticipating it is becoming even more stressful for me.
My "fight or flight" PTSD response to this conflict is "flight." I wish I could choose "flight" and retire now. However, I have to work at least until July of 2021 in order to complete the 10 years of service required to be "vested" in my state pension plan. So July of 2021 is the earliest retirement date possible for me.
How do I manage my PTSD with this stress today and stress upcoming Monday? Suggestions and support welcome.
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