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My Fat Mouth

I’ve been selected to be one of about a dozen teachers from our school to meet with the district superintendent about the new plan to improve our school.

I don’t know who thought this would be a good idea.

I’ve got a laundry list of why our school is failing, and it doesn’t start with either the kids or their home life.

It starts with misplaced expectations by the district, implemented by an administration that is out of touch with what’s actually happening at the school, and finishes up with a large number of teachers that are inept either because they’ve burned out and fallen to the bottom, or have all the wrong training and no support and are going to drop out of the profession in about a year. There are a large number of teachers who are awesome, who not only care, but who can be effective in their caring as well. Those teachers, however, work in isolation, their only support a fancy new computer provided by a tech happy administration.

I know how these things go.

I’ll be quiet, and listen, for about a half hour.

Then someone will say something completely idiotic, and I’ll end up dragging the conversation into a debate that doesn’t allow for platitudes or silver bullet solutions. It’ll finish up without resolution, and steps taken behind the scenes to keep the poor superintendent from ever having to interact with me again.

I wish I could change the outcome, but I am weak.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. dkzody | May 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    so, how did the meeting turn out?

    >>Those teachers, however, work in isolation, their only support a fancy new computer provided by a tech happy administration.<<

    Your district sounded much like mine until this sentence. Whoa, you actually have tech happy admins? Please ship them to Fresno. We still believe all essays should be written by hand, and research should be done from the card catalog in the library that no longer has a librarian.

  2. Mr. K | May 5, 2008 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    I actually managed to keep my mouth shut reasonably well. I had a chance to present my opinion (which was that if we wanted our school to succeed we had to treat the whole school as a learning environment, rather than the individual classrooms).

    Most of the debate, for some odd reason, had to do with how much autonomy each teacher would have to define their curriculum. I’m not sure where it came from – I think parts of the english dept are being micromanaged, but that the backlash was looking to be pure chaos.