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Monday, November 8, 2010

I can’t make this sh*t up

I arrived to school today and discovered my books were missing. I teach a couple ESE science classes and I have found using older editions of science books is better or my kids. I had assembled a class set of biology and general science books that I thought were pretty appropriate. They are more sergeant Friday, that’s just the facts mamn, where the new books want you to go on a yellow brick road style journey to get to the same facts. I get it though; the reason behind the fancy new way is to develop more critical thinking skills. Though at the same time if a kid can’t read or process information at a reasonable rate then nobody short of the lady who taught Helen Keller how to talk is going to be successful.

While teaching the same standards, just with tools I felt were better suited for my students, I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do and that’s differentiating my instruction and meeting the kids where they are; by the way these are things I have been told over and over to do. However it turns out that isn’t good enough; they want me to do it with the books they choose. Another decision made by people not in the classroom that affects the classroom.

Next we have this thing called RtI, (response to intervention) a program teachers are supposed to refer kids to for extra help, kids that are failing or in danger of failing. The first nine weeks being over I checked my kid’s grades and found I had several who had failed. About half failed because of attendance, the other half either a combination of attendance and lack of effort or just plain old lack of effort. These last kids I thought would be perfect candidates for RtI. But before I did so I also pulled their report cards to see how they were doing in their other classes. Maybe as great as I sometimes think I am, it’s “a me” problem as to why they are ailing. Well it turns out the kids who were failing my class because of a lack of effort were likewise failing their other classes for the same reason too (whoa, thank goodness I am as great as I thought I was).

Perfect candidates for RtI right, it seemed logical to me that kids failing all or most of their classes would be right up the RtI alley. However since the title above is, I can’t make this sh*t up and not Reasonable things that happened at school today, it wouldn’t be unreasonable if you guessed differently and if you did then award yourself a prize. That’s right friends, failing all of one’s classes isn’t enough to refer someone to RtI. I am too disheartened to print the convoluted list of teacher tasks required to do so here.

Finally the superintendent came today to talk to our staff about concerns we have. He came at 8:00 when only 1/8th of the staff had planning and was off. I know, why not come after school when the whole staff would be free to talk to him? Probably because that would make too much sense and maybe just maybe give him an accurate picture of what is going on. The sad thing is I bet on the way back to his Ivory Tower he is probably going to pat himself on the back and think; you see, I do listen to teachers. Well one of the sad things anyways.

Friends, welcome to Monday or what I like to call, I can’t make this sh*t up.

1 comment:

  1. Hit the spell check button before posting....