Saturday, November 3, 2018

Help is there but you have to want it

My favorite joke goes like this:

A flood is imminent. The officials go on the radio and tv and warn everyone to leave.

One man refuses and says “I believe God will save me.”

One of his friends drives out of his way during the evacuation to save the man and says “Jump in – come on!” and the man says “No, thank you. My God will save me.” So the friend drove away, shaking his head.

The water starts rising. The man goes to the top floor of his house. A neighbor in a boat comes along and says “Jump in – come on!” and the man says “No, thank you. My God will save me.” So the neighbor putters off, shaking his head.

The water continues to rise. The man moves to the roof. The authorities send a helicopter and the pilot says “Jump in – come on!” and the man says “No, thank you. My God will save me.” So the pilot flies away, shaking his head.

The water continues to rise. The house is engulfed and the man dies.

He goes to heaven and asks God “Why didn’t you save me?”

And God says “I sent a car, a boat and a helicopter.”

Help is there. You have to recognize it.

Help fell into our laps this week. A teacher with the subject knowledge who actively wants to teach in our school. Rather than call him, the principal is choosing to cover the class with Skype and a parapro.

Don’t think this will work.

Friday, October 26, 2018

How do we get away with this?

We are missing teachers this year.

Two in each of the main subjects: math, science, English, social studies.

Kids have to have 4 courses in each of these subjects, so there aren't a lot of extra classes - they are all required.

Because of the missing teachers - missing for a variety of reasons - some classes have been collapsed, pushing the student numbers higher. And some classes are being taught with subs. And some classes are being taught with teachers with interim or waived certificates. Roughly 10% do not have clear, renewable certificates.

I know they have had the option of rehiring retired teachers, but they wanted these as subs not teachers and the people chose not to do that.

How is this in the students' interests?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Document document document

Had a student today try to get in and kill a program on the school server.

I spent more than 30 minutes trying to get someone (IT) to come to my room, taking screen shots the entire time of what he was doing.

This whole thing is percolating through the ranks (up 2 levels above the principal) while they try to decide what to do with him.

He tried to tell me yeah, he looked up how to kill it but he was doing his own coding. Nope - I took screenshots of your code.

Document everything. Same thing I told a fellow teacher who is in an untenable situation.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Females lie, when it suits

Two of my students accused a male teacher of touching them inappropriately.

Then they changed it to he touched their legs.

Then they changed it to he bumped into them, walking between the desks, because their legs were out in the middle.

Not one girl, but two.

Reason: he is new to them this year and he is expecting them to work and they don't want to, so they thought they would get rid of him.

I am so disappointed in them.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Frustration

I don't believe anyone in my school reads my blog. Guess I will find out.

I co-teach in a class where they have hired a long term sub. Who has never taught. Who has had minimal math and education courses. Who hasn't even subbed that many times. And who thinks he knows everything. (And, by extension, I know nothing that could possibly be of value.

We'll call him Mortimer Snerd.

Mortimer also thinks other people can't possibly know more than he does. Like the head custodian who told him he couldn't let students eat in the room and that they had to pick up after themselves.

Mortimer pushed hard the first week to get into the grade book. He doesn't try to teach or make lessons or find worksheets (we have no books) or make the tests (or study guides) or make copies or return work. But he keeps wanting to grade the tests.

Without an answer key, he has taken it upon himself to grade all of the tests the kids took last week. Ones I was holding on to until people finished taking it. Ones I had asked him not to grade because of what I learn grading it. But his vast experience of not teaching apparently outweighs my math education degree and years of teaching. And he must be related to someone, because the Highly Ineffective Administrators are backing him up.

This year cannot end soon enough.

You know this when you run the numbers how much you get if you retire today. Next month. After Christmas. The end of this year. Hold off another year. Or a year after that.

(Actually wrote this last year. It only got worse. I didn't retire. This year is very very different, better)

The culture of the school

A parent called a kid, during class, today to tell her that an uncle had died. The kid started wailing. The parent told the teacher to deal with it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Why I teach

I am a little OCD. Just a little.

I check transcripts of seniors whenever I can, knowing the counselors do as well. Last week I determined a boy should have graduated this year but somehow they missed it. This year I did not have time to do it, well, in time. But it is the results (diploma) that matters.