Saturday, August 26, 2006

Birth of an Ulcer

The last 2 days of inservice were pretty worthwhile. Thursday morning we all attended an anti bullying seminar which was actually very good. We got the afternoon to ourselves and Friday was "teacher time". This constituted a lot of copying, waiting for the copy machine, waiting for the copy machine to be unjammed. Good times. We even got lunch catered on Friday, courtesy of Wells Fargo.

Life was not all good, however, and I won't bore you all with the details, mostly for fear of being dooced. The short version involves a colleague who has some "issues" and me not having access to materials I need. I know that as teachers, we tend to get a bit territorial with our things, our desks, our rooms, but in reality, none of them belong to us, the exception being our own personal items, of course. I was mostly just absolutely astounded that an adult would treat another adult, a colleague, so crappy. The material issue was in fact resolved, but not without a lot of phone calls and emails that were TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.

Now, I'm freaking out because our AP classes are 'too small', according to the big-wigs. In our district we use a Block Schedule. Classes that are traditionally one year long are taught in half a year, or 2 terms. Classes meet for 90 minutes, we have 4 terms in a year. Recently, the people who get to make the decisions that earn them the title of the proverbial "they" have made the decision to make all AP classes 3 terms. AP teachers are happy because they needed that additional time to cover material adequately. The problem is that in any given year, there is usually only one section of an AP class, with the exception of maybe English. Some of the classes overlap, meaning that kids have tough decisions to make, since it's generally the same crop of kids who want AP classes. "They" have also made the decision to create a 'no-drop' policy, so that kids have to stay in a class all year. So, kids who are in AP have to commit to all 3 terms from the get go, or risk getting an F on their report card if they drop.

Our district is trying to sell itself to the community, calling itself the "district of choice". It looks very good on paper to see that we offer AP courses. It sounds good to say that we have an emphasis on "rigor" and "relevance". But, if we play this numbers game and don't offer the classes we say we do, and make it seem like an impossibility for students to take those classes before they even register for them, it is going to kill our upper level programs.

I'm sure you are wondering HOW this affects me. Here's the deal, I'm worried that they will pull our AP Spanish class, leaving that teacher who has more seniority than I without a class, meaning that I will have to give him one of my classes, and so on. Would our district really do something so drastic at this late date? Will I get to teach the classes that I was scheduled to teach? Or will I have to shift gears on the first day of school and have my schedule and about 5 other teachers' changed? Not to mention the students scheduled for AP Spanish. (*flowery soap opera music*)
Tune in Monday for the conclusion. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed, because I am stressing out.


Blogger happychyck said...

Holy Cow! I had to go take some Tums after reading that. Everything crossed that it all turns out okay.

8/26/2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

It seems strange that the kids would get an F if they dropped the no-drop class, versus an I (for incomplete - if that's still a grade that's given). And I'm surprised that they would have AP classes overlapping, creating an either-or situation.

Regardless, I hope that your teaching schedule doesn't change at the last minute, and I hope the school can keep its AP offerings.

8/27/2006 9:47 AM  

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