Monday, June 18, 2007

Sometimes I really wonder...

... how administrators can get away with some of the things they do.

Summer school, with about a week and a half left to go, has been a fiasco. I am teaching the class of bilingual 3rd graders who are about to enter an transitional, almost all-English 4th grade in which they will have to pass their standardized tests (Reading, Writing, and Math) all in English. The group I had last year were pretty strong in their English ability, but for some reason this group has maybe four kids who are anywhere close to ready for this transition. I am also, in the afternoon, teaching 4th grade reading for a group that includes a couple of enrichment students, a whole bunch of special ed. students, and a hell of a lot of kids who will fail the 4th grade if they don't do well in summer school.

It isn't going so well.

Because of this school's high turnover rate (I'm not the only teacher finding a new campus next year), they are having to interview to fill several positions. But apparently they are completely unable to conduct any interview that isn't being done by committee. In other words, for the first two weeks of summer school (which is a 20 day session), teachers were being pulled out of their classes every day, for hours at a time, to sit in on interviews. I had to watch other peoples' classes as well as attempt to teach my own, and my class is already at maximum capacity. They were scrambling so hard to cover the classes during these interviews that at one point, they had a staff member's fifteen year old daughter doing it. This week, without any warning, one of our teachers was pulled for a week-long conference in another city. They haven't found a substitute. I was given his class today. As well as my own. If I were a parent of a child who, if they don't pass the test at the end of the session, will be retained, I'd be raising hell.

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