Archive for the ‘Administrative Idiocy’ Category

I Was a Shittier Teacher This Week

Every so often I will get a little concerned that I may run out of things to write on this blog. I mean, how much could there be to say about the ludicrousness of teaching? But every time I think that, God sends me to a meeting, or sends me a memo, or sends one of my administrator-muses into my room. I had my first evaluations and debriefs in the last several days. The outside evaluator was quite friendly and more or less thought I was doing a pretty good job. She rated me an “effective” teacher. The Read more [...]

Don’t Worry…We Have a Protocol For That

My school is very big on routines and protocols and has a general soul-crushing fetish with doing everything, and then more things, in the prescribed manner and documenting these things on the necessary forms to be logged in their proper places at the required times. (Don’t worry. It’s all for the children.) They appear to be doing nothing if not their best to squeeze any bit of joy and play there might still be lurking around the profession of teaching. The five meetings per week that I attend Read more [...]

It’s All About Communication

At my school, as I have noted before, there is a razor-sharp, iron-clad, diamond-tipped division between the teachers and the administrative class. Most of the VPs are young and relatively inexperienced at being a VP and at teaching. They are thus insecure and do not wish to appear or become vulnerable/ignorant around their charges. So they sort of hide out. They walk fast and look busy. They slip into your room, take some notes, and email you about what you did wrong. They are sort of comfortable Read more [...]

Re-acclimation

I feel like a space shuttle about ready to burst into flames on reentry. Or like I’m trying to hold a handful of water. Or like I’m driving a car and just woke up on the wrong side of the interstate. I feel like the 19th mile of a marathon. Why am I here? Frustrated. Exhausted. The process of getting one’s self back into this program continues to be difficult. I don’t know about you, but my schedule and all of my habits and patterns are drastically different in the summer. I stay up way late in Read more [...]

Differentiate This

So, how’s everybody feeling? Some of us just finished our first Wednesday of class. The Wednesday…that’s a classic feeling. Others are doing their PD now. Things for them can’t be going well. We’re sorry. But at least you were still on vacation last week. And at least it’s Wednesday. Still others don’t have anything to do yet. I think I speak for the rest of us when I say, “That must be nice.” If you are over 30 or so, you might remember when “summer vacation” meant that you were “on vacation Read more [...]

The Fear In Their Eyes

At my school there is a bewildering array of requirements for teachers. There is an extraordinarily complex and subjective evaluation system. There is a meticulously detailed, inflexible and absolutely unrealistic discipline system. There are hall pass, tardy, locker and dress code policies that administrators must have rehearsed over and over in order to describe with a straight face. “But if everybody does it”, the line goes, “then the kids will just go along and get used to it. No problem.” Then Read more [...]

Oh, Crap

That was fast, wasn’t it? (If you start after Labor Day, piss off.) I’ve been in a literal and figurative fetal position most of the day. I’ve been receiving condolences from former colleagues. Tomorrow we begin. One week of 75-85% bullshit coming right up, sir. Then the kids come. I don’t know what you do at your school, but we have one full week with all the teachers there for a combination of touchy-feely, get to know each other, team-building bullshit and indoctrination. The other 15-25% Read more [...]

Evaluate Me!! May I Have Another??!!

The Master Teacher She will tell me what to do Quiet in the back Taking notes on her laptop Jedi Teacher, make me whole We’ve got this teacher evaluation thing at our school. We get observed for a total of 2.5 hours and then we get a number. That number determines if we are good teachers or bad teachers. Now wait…I know what you’re thinking. “How could they really figure that out in 2.5 hours and just give a dude a number”? I knew you would ask, and I’m ready. They have a Rubric. If you have Read more [...]

AP Tests and a GREAT Movie

As you know if you teach high school, this week and next are AP exams. These are kind of a pain in the ass and lots of kids who are taking them should probably be practicing writing their names in cursive or learning to read instead. As a dear friend remarked, “If you need help filling out the personal information section of the bubble sheet, maybe you shouldn’t be taking the AP exam.” Indeed. To be honest, it makes me sad and a little angry that we are forcing so many kids to go through what is Read more [...]

College?…That’s What SHE Said

You are in twelfth grade You read like a third grader So, where should we start? Earlier this week at an assembly, the principal of my school announced that every graduating senior would be going to college!! Yeah! But every man, woman and child in the room knew this to be false. So why say it? You see, I work in something that brands itself as a “college preparatory school”. That means when you leave, you will go to college. This is the second school of this type I have worked at. I think college Read more [...]