Sunday, February 04, 2007

Anne Frank, Socratic Seminars and an Observation

As a tenured teacher, I'm observed every other year. I've always had good reviews, but I still get nervous. I always feel like I'm going to get found out. About what, I don't know, but the nerves shake me up.

It doesn't help that Ms. Vice Principal who is observing me this year has a reputation for ripping new assholes for people. I've not heard of a single good observation review by her, ever.

That doesn't make me feel too comfortable. She and I are okay with each other, but have a hard time communicating. We just don't... you know... mesh. I don't get her, she doesn't get me.

She comes from an elementary background and refers back to it quite often. I don't believe she's gotten the hang just yet of developing junior high curriculum. Or discipline.

I like to take care of my own problems, know what I mean? I don't send kids to the office unless they've come to blows, and I don't write referrals unless it's the last option. Mr. Principal and Mr. Vice Principal both know this, and respect this fact. If I do send a kid up, it's serious.

Ms. Principal doesn't quite get it. She will have a "talk" with a boy who has thrown a lemon at a girl's head in the middle of my class. She will give one day of trash-pick-up (a lunchtime consequence; it comes before detention) for a student's seventh time of taking another's pencil/backpack/eraser... you get it.


So, tonight, in the next few hours, I need to have the next two weeks of The Diary of Anne Frank planned out, set up the Socratic Seminar for the day of observation, write up a lesson plan (what the hell is that any more?) listing each California State English Standard I'm addressing, and how it will be measured for assessment, and oh yeah, finish grading about 30 essays.