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My School Just Keeps Screwing Up

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posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 02:06 PM
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Okay, ATS. Another rant from me.

At my school, which is in a very poor area with a high number of non-English speakers, our reading scores were down for the last couple of years. There are a lot of factors involved in this, but it is a problem we are working hard to correct.

So two years ago we get a new principal..who formerly taught eighth grade. He is a nice and sincere person, I believe, but also something of an idiot. He doesn't understand that kindergarten-fifth grade students are fundamentally different than eighth grade students. For ex., he is flabbergasted that first graders can't sit still for hours on end, or at kindergarten students have limited attention spans. All of which makes working for him very frustrating...especially as I can't seem to keep my mouth shut about the more asinine decisions. I always address my concerns to him in private, with research in hand....and so far I've been summarily dismissed time and again. I felt vindicated when the state department came in to observe out school and basically made us change everything to what I'd originally suggested, but hey. It's a learning experience.

Last year we hired an "intervention specialist" who's job was to work with small groups of students in reading. This was her only job.

She started her small groups in MARCH. I kid you not...and only then after we'd complained multiple times to the principal. Eventually the state had to get involved with this, too.

We retained a lot of students in first grade this year...a LOT. We had to fight to keep these students back, even thou they cannot read, b/c he was afraid "it would look bad" to retain that many. What looks worse....retaining these kids now, or sending them on to second grade when they cannot read?

Now, I just got an email stating that the county is going to extend the school day by one full hour next year. This is only for my school, not for any other school in the county. AND they've hired an additional intervention specialist to help.

I'm so mad right now I could spit nails. Apparently no one seems to understand the Law of Diminishing Returns. These children are literally at the end of their rope by the time school lets out....going an extra hour isn't going to help! What we should be doing instead is using our resources, like our intervention specialist, correctly. But no...

So my work load just increased by two hours every day (for every hour spent teaching, I spend roughly one hour planning and preparing). Two extra hours a day, for 185 days. Compensation? $1000. Before taxes.

Sorry to add another rant, but I needed to get that off my chest.





posted on Jun, 13 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Hey smylee,

As I read your post I was reminded of a Ted Talk I had seen not too long ago.
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Stop Learning and Start Thinking
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What this kid is talking about, I felt, makes quite a bit of sense. Taking in information is pretty basic. But being able to retain and make sense of the info which one had just acquired is a different story. I believe this takes practice. But in class if all you are given are assignments, lectures, reading exercised and no time to reflect on what you just did it would be all for not, IMHO.

As for you predicament. Oh! Do I ever understand how that feels. When I first started working for the company which I'm currently employed with, I had a couple of brain storming sessions with the owners on how to expand the customer base and how we could innovated with new products that would attract higher end customers. All my ideas were rejected. Now, here we are 8 years later and all those ideas are what they are working on right now. So I empathize.
edit on 13-6-2013 by XLR8R because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 11:44 AM
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Get your union involved.



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by 00018GE
Get your union involved.


I have.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 02:15 PM
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We are raising a generation of ignorant people (that is different from idiots)...and it isn't their fault. It isn't that they aren't smart. They simply aren't being taught right at some point (or many points).

Take my stepson for example. He's a bright kid. I can tell. But, it is like they never learned how to properly do math.

He couldn't do 20 x 24 in his head to save his life. Huh?

2 x 24 = 48, put the 0 on the end = 480. How hard is that?

It is just that they were never taught that WAY to do it. I think they called it "new math" when we were kids....when my grandfather just called it common sense. Maybe it is because we all walk around with a calculator? (cell phone). Still, I can do a lot in my head before they even go to the app on their phone. Why shouldn't they learn this stuff?

Again though, smart kids....they simply aren't shown these kinds of things that all of us learned. I'm teaching him on it now though, even though he's 18 and out of school. Still no excuse not to know this stuff. I mean, ask a kid to tell you how much a $50 jacket is if it is 10% off. We'll tell you $45 without even batting an eye. Kids now would still be figuring it out (if they weren't allowed to use their cell phones)



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
We are raising a generation of ignorant people (that is different from idiots)...and it isn't their fault. It isn't that they aren't smart. They simply aren't being taught right at some point (or many points).

Take my stepson for example. He's a bright kid. I can tell. But, it is like they never learned how to properly do math.

He couldn't do 20 x 24 in his head to save his life. Huh?

2 x 24 = 48, put the 0 on the end = 480. How hard is that?

It is just that they were never taught that WAY to do it. I think they called it "new math" when we were kids....when my grandfather just called it common sense. Maybe it is because we all walk around with a calculator? (cell phone). Still, I can do a lot in my head before they even go to the app on their phone. Why shouldn't they learn this stuff?

Again though, smart kids....they simply aren't shown these kinds of things that all of us learned. I'm teaching him on it now though, even though he's 18 and out of school. Still no excuse not to know this stuff. I mean, ask a kid to tell you how much a $50 jacket is if it is 10% off. We'll tell you $45 without even batting an eye. Kids now would still be figuring it out (if they weren't allowed to use their cell phones)


Well, they must be teaching it at my daughter's school. I just asked her 20 x 24, and she got it in exactly 1 second. Whew, that's a relief, because I'm terrible at math. She's 11.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by kaylaluv
 


Good to know it isn't everywhere!


I think another big part of it is that kids these days seem to all have ADD. They can't focus on something. We're watching a movie the other night, one they requested, and at one point, they're on their frickin' phones.....

Really?



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


smyleegrl, my 2c, straight up advice. If you can, move to another area school with higher test scores and effective leadership. If someone asks why, just smile and say you want the challenge of increasing their scores.

If you cannot move, then you're going to have to draw a circle around yourself and choose who and what problems to let in. You need to laser-like focus your passion and knowledge onto your students. Always remember who owns the problem; teachers shouldn't be expected to correct and/or can't be held accountable for district/principal bad decisions.

Teaching is considered a "helping" profession, but too many times teachers enable districts/the system to continue being messed up. They take up the slack rather than let the chips fall where they may/the feces hit the fan. You are not responsible for the administration of the school.

Decompress this summer. Before you even start thinking of the next school year, rest up and enjoy your family and Life. Return with new energy, and guard that precious energy. Don't waste it on other people's screw ups; focus on yourself and what you need to do. You need the energy to get it done.

If colleagues notice you're not the same, something is different, you're not volunteering for this or that, then so be it. You and your students will be better off.
edit on 18-6-2013 by desert because: clarity



posted on Jun, 18 2013 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by desert
 


Thank you. This is excellent advice, and I'm trying to transfer. Leaving for vacation soon...yippee!



posted on Jun, 20 2013 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Woohoo!
Vacation time!

Best wishes on your transfer.


I've been following the test scores of my county schools for a few years now. All the test scores have risen (yay!), but I've noticed that the schools are still in the same relative positions. The schools in the poorest communities are still at the bottom.

What was surprising ..well, not really .... was one particular school whose test scores became public this year. That school opened about three years ago, is considered a magnet/charter public school, and attracts and retains students who are required to take Calculus or, at the minimum, Algebra II. If a student is not capable or willing to work hard, out they go, back to a regular high school.

Out the gate, that school's test scores were way above the score everyone else is chasing after. It left all the other schools in the dust. No, duh!

Besides that school's scores, it is a fact that children of professionals score much higher than other students. That was brought out only one time in all the years my local newspaper has been reporting test scores.

When an acquaintance told me her daughter was wondering what school to teach at, the public one above or the public one in the city center, I told her to go for the one above. She is a brilliant young teacher, but if her career is to be based on test scores, than she should teach at the one that will make her look good. Sad but true.

Three young teachers at the city school won't return next year. One is also a great teacher, but because two of her five 25-page papers required to get her permanent credential did not pass, she decided to get out of the profession rather than put in any more time on the paperwork. She was burned out.

The other young teacher is going to a private school; substantial cut in pay but smaller class sizes and only working with one-third the number of students. She, too, is burned out.

The last young teacher left the profession to work in his family's business. He will make in income in one summer what he made one year as a teacher. And without all the stress.

reply to post by Gazrok
 


One young man I know was telling me that the military won't take him because he had been diagnosed with ADD (for nine years), so he was going to find a doctor who would say he DIDN'T have ADD.



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