Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Out of touch

A student was talking about a highly respected teacher at our school. I know the kids really like this teacher - but I don't see that she adds to the profession. By that. I mean I do not see her offering information that helps people new to the profession or even new to the school.

This sounds petty - and I really don't mean it that way. She is in another department and in the 10 years we have worked in the same school, we have had little contact. We haven't had the same duty, we don't work on the same committees, we haven't had the same planning periods. We have shared the same lunch, but she is loud and I prefer quieter conversation.

I have heard rumors from special ed teachers and other teachers who work in that department, just an undercurrent that things aren't perceived the same way by adults that I respect as they are by the teenagers in her class.

A student was talking today (thinking it was riotously funny) that she requires a password to return from the bathroom. The password this year is Dripping Anus. Ok, it something else, equally classy.

I am not appalled. But I would not be "thrilled" to have a child in her room. It seems so completely unprofessional. When you add that in the twelve years of her teaching AP classes she has never had anything above a 2.

Results speak. I think she is fun - that doesn't translate as a GOOD teacher. And the teenagers in the school will probably never see that.

In another conversation this week, another math teacher was lamenting that her students (seniors) cannot skips steps in their head. If you are doing the Pythagorean theorem. a squared plus b squared equals c squared. So you know a = 6 and b = 8, you get c = 10. Her students screamed at her "You can't skip the steps. a squared is 36, b squared is 64. 36 + 64 = 100. The square root of 100 is 10."

And the teacher's comment was to shake her head and say the kids have no idea how behind they really are.

We are a needs improvement school. The culture needs to change. When you have teachers like the first one - a teacher held up as a paragon, how do you fix it?

Yeah, I am out of touch. (Thank you, I take it as a complement.) I would not have a child I love in this class - and yet I know I am working to change things.

No comments: