Monday, September 18, 2006

I keep promising myself...

... that I'll post something positive, but clearly that's not happening this week.

I had to go to the administration about our special education teacher. There are a lot of exhausting issues, but a discussion between her and one of my team teachers today led to her threatening the other teacher with so-called policy in an attempt to bully the woman into doing what should be her own job. It sucks. It also sucks that she's not supervising this kids to the point where they are disrupting other classes. I tattled about that as well.

Our instructional coordinator reamed me once again. She's the one who said to throw out the novels. She asked for writing samples from our students. I gave her some compare and contrast essays. She came back and told me in a very hostile tone that she didn't know what I was doing, but that we are supposed to be teaching the standardized test writing and that those essays were not that sort of writing and were therefore useless. The only writing she wants us to be doing with them is based off a writing prompt such as, for example, "Write about your favorite place to visit in the whole world." I am to forget teaching them expository writing, reports, reviews, etc. and to focus solely on writing off a prompt like the one above. Period.

Sometimes my job makes me cry a little.


Blogger Venha Futuro said...

My first impulse is to use a word that you hate to describe that policy, so I'll fight it back. That's profoundly stupid that the compare and contrast essays would be considered unacceptable. How can teaching your students to do better than the test requires hurt them come test time?

When was the last time that coordinator spent significant time in the classroom? It sounds like she doesn't have any idea how capable kids are.

I hope you get through all this okay.

9/19/2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger lily of the valley said...

The problem is, we are stuck. We are a completely poverty-stricken school in what is a historically poverty-stricken region of this city. Our school, for a long time, was classified in that terrible "Underperforming" category. Last year, we finally achieved not just the "Acceptable" rating, but the much coveted "Recognized" status. This means that the school gets more (desperately needed) funds. It means that the community can take pride in having a "Recognized" school, as something positive in a place full of hard living.

The instructional coordinator is trying to preserve that status. It's her job. I wish she would be kinder in how she states things and that she wouldn't berate me in front of a class full of my students. That sucks. But, that aside, I understand where she is coming from. It's not her, it's the system that is so tied up in these standardized tests that things like music, art, and, hell, RECESS, are distant memories.

9/20/2006 9:51 PM  

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