Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Teacher Talk Tuesday

So, we will be a High School That Works next year. It was just announced last week. We could go to Nashville this summer if we want to learn more about it at the national conference. We've been assured that all of our PLC work will not be for naught, that it will just be repackaged under a different name.
The thing that I hate about all of this is that we have shelves full of binders that contain reams of handouts outlining all kinds of cure-alls for what ails our schools. What ails our schools is societal. We can't fix it all. I hate that we are going to some "canned" program that won't necessarily be administered the way in which it was intended. This year we've had a lot of changes that have sucked time away from us. We've been forced to use a different grading program that allows parents access to their kids' grades, which is fine, but the program is horrible. We've been given a 30 minute duty (mostly hall monitoring) during our prep, which isn't so horrible because we are on block scheduling, so our prep is 90 minutes. We can correct papers during that time, but gathering up our gear to get there is a pain. We've got new office staff- in the main office and guidance. The women they replaced retired, and let me tell you, they don't make secretaries like they used to. Those women were amazing- I can't help but wonder if they would have been born at a different time, would they have gone to college, worked in a different field- one other than being a secretary for the public schools and earning $12/hour? We also have a new Athletic Director, Activities Director, both are "Assistant Principals" and earn an admistrator's salary. One is all of about 28 years old. We also have a new Associate Principal. I never knew there was a difference between "assistant" and "associate", but at my school, I guess there is.
Other changes- they want us to work toward having common assessments and basically being on the same page on the same day. We have "literacy initiatives" that are pretty much what we all do any way, but we have to write up little forms that prove we are doing them. Luckily we have a principal who knows this is bullshit, so he lets us jump through the hoop without much intervention from him. Oh, and they are doing a major construction project as well.
Is it June yet?



Blogger Adeline said...

Wow, it sounds like my old school and my new school combined!

I hate to say it, but I am reassured that no school is perfect, and that teachers are put through the same stuff everywhere.

I can ditto right through this whole post. Especially that one thing that never gets mentioned about what ails are school is the fact that it is not the teacher alone that teaches a kid-- the parents are the first teacher, and if they don't care, neither will the kid generally speaking.

Principal woes, yeesh, "associate principal"?, that smells funny.

I have recently discovered that the woman that hired me is one of those "binder" people. Like as in "there is no problem that making a binder can't fix". huh.

1/16/2008 12:25 AM  
Blogger Professor J said...

EEK. I guess I won't complain so much about my developmental class.

1/16/2008 10:26 AM  
Blogger MsAbcMom said...

I am at a binder school too. In my 12 years at this school we have been through so many different programs and binders. One program, Dataworks, filled up 2 complete bookshelves! When we moved to the next program, I tossed the guts from the binders and had enough for each kid in my class to take one home. The amount of money that we have flushed away for these "band-aid" fixes is just obscene. When I was in the credential program we were told that the pendulum in education swings back and forth. I was on the tail end of one end of the swing and have watched it go to the opposite side. I don't think that it is going to swing to the other side anytime soon though!

1/16/2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger HappyChyck said...

We go through the programs, too. Your post gave me a revelation, though. Our new vice principal, who is in charge of the physical building, told us in a meeting today that when we move to our new school next year we can't take it all with us. Hmmm...if I haven't used it in a few years, it's suppose to be donated or trashed. I can think of some binders...

1/17/2008 7:11 PM  

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