Saturday, October 15, 2005

A week of meetings

I think I hit a new record this week:

During my prep period - a meeting with Mrs. R., a parent concerned about her daughter not liking to read. She then shot down every suggestion I had. This girl has an "A" in my Honors English class.

8:00am - before school started, a SDAIE meeting. I had to point out that the scripted program mandated by the district for my reading classes, uses absolutely no Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in English strategies, and there was no place to fit them in to the class (being that it is scripted).

3:30pm - Faculty meeting. We all had to get into groups by department, and write lesson plans for the 35 "character education" topics our school has. In an hour and a half. Total bullshit. Each week we are supposed to take one of these topics, such as "honesty" or "tolerance" and teach a 10-minute lesson on it in our homeroom. That's except for last week and this week, which was used to promote the selling of entertainment books by our students to raise money for our school.

5:15pm - meeting with Ms. Assistant Principal, and Ms. Department Chair. We have a Holt textbook training next week, but can't afford enough subs for all the English teachers. The solution is to have six teachers attend half of it in the morning and five attend in the afternoon. That way, we only have to get seven subs instead of eleven. Except...
The morning people were going to be trained for three hours, get an hour break, and then teach two classes. The afternoon people (of which I was one) were going to teach four classes, get no break, and go to three hours of training. Training that would go a half hour over our regular school day. Training that would go over the time I have my afterschool tutorial class (and for which I get paid extra to teach).
When I pointed out these discrepancies, Ms. English Chair said, "Well, you know, you can always eat your lunch during the training." and Ms. Assistant Principal asked, "Can't you get someone to cover your afterschool class?"
I left angry.

8:00am - meeting for co-operating teachers. I have a new student teacher coming in Monday, about whom I know nothing, but her name. I thought the meeting was to be introduced to each other, and all that, but no. I was handed a list of my responsibilities, and a pretty green folder which was supposed to have a letter in it from the student teacher, but "we don't have all of the letters yet." This year, the second quarter student teachers will only be at school Monday through Wednesday, but will need to complete an 8-day takeover at the end. Good god. How?

8:00am - English Department meeting. We don't have any money, so we are on our own for supplies this year. Make sure your kids sell lots of those entertainment books so we can afford overhead transparencies. We have to give common assessments. Ms. English Chair suggests we all just us her rubric for all writing assignments. We then decide to perhaps ALL bring our rubrics to try and come up with a basic one for the department. She leaves out that we all already use the California State Standards Rubric for writing assignments. I try to point that out, and I am ignored.

8:30 - Late start Thursday faculty meeting. After being berated by Mr. Vice Principal for not all being in our seats at 8:30, we are given the breakdown of test scores for each individual student. We then cluster into department/grade level groups to look at the scores, and figure out what we are doing wrong... I mean, what our focus should be to improve our scores. Mrs. B, a teacher in our department has a bug up her butt the whole time we are talking. Rolling her eyes, huffing and sighing, starting to say things, but not finishing her sentences. She teaches both history and English, and is being pressured because she's not "following the English Curriculum" in a way the administration would like to see (she actually is teaching English alongside the history curriculum... in a very creative way, but that's not allowed).

4:00-7:00pm - Another fascinating BTSA meeting. One in which all the information I received at the all-day training last Tuesday was repackaged and redelivered. There was a veggie platter and bottled water though.

2:35 pm - meeting with a parent of a mainstreamed special Ed student, his case manager, and his school counselor. The father was concerned that I wasn't being sympathetic to his child's special needs. I told him that I understood, but that making farting noises, standing up and actually farting in the middle of class, and calling out curse words when he didn't like the directions given, wasn't working very well for the other 31 students in his son's class. It's an Honors class for goodness sake. This boy has Asberger's or Tourette's or something, but the parents refuse to have a diagnosis made. He's been suspended already for threatening another student's life. Love these situations.

4:00 -6:00 - meet with my BTSA participating teacher and Ms. Second year to plan out the second quarter of eighth grade English. We met at a coffee shop, so it counted as socializing too. Didn't it?

1 comment:

The Mad Teacher said...


I feel your pain...