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Thursday, October 13, 2016

A teacher laments about the problems in DCPS

From a teacher and reader:

Teachers are lambasted for not being on pace, for deviating from the curriculum, for trying to make the lessons more meaningful. 

Called out for trying to reteach. 

It's happening and it's happening at all levels despite what upper management would have you believe. 

Teacher morale is at an all time low and it's the kids who suffer the most. 

Three years ago, on the Wednesday of preplanning, high school government teachers were told that we were going to implement an online component in our classes. We were not involved in the process and we received about 4 hours of "training". Then, the district decided to change the rules on how this program would be utilized. It was and still is a cluster. 

The program changes and we don't find out about it until the school year starts. 

We make suggestions that fall on deaf ears. 

The kids are bullied into completing this program that is not a state requirement for graduation but a district requirement to boost numbers. 

Do I have the autonomy to modify this program? Absolutely not. I could go on but it's late, my fingers hurt, and a hurricane is bearing down. Be safe.


  1. The district sends in its many clones of Delores Umbridge to inspect teachers and call them out. "You are NOT on the Curriculum Guide. Why are you behind?" Um, maybe because we are trying to do RtI in our classrooms as you demand? "WE (the royal we, as in I can't distinguish where Vitti stops and I begin) are not amused. You think your job is to teach students? Your job is to produce TEST SCORES!!!!!!"

  2. So, I am thinking this site has been shut down or silenced. Too bad. However, once again Vitti and the board show how little they care about teachers. We don't get 30+ days of sick and vacation time, we have to take our trips when the rest of the US is off which means we have to plan them far in advance. We can't "work from home" and not be charged for a day. So what do you do? You take the little time we have off to be with family and friends and without a thought to how it might impact us, you take that time away. Seriously, how do you sleep at night knowing you are destroying morale. When Vitti stopped the extended hour for the 50 schools in our district he told the state he did not need to follow that law by providing an extra hour, we already had that time built into our yearly calendar. So by my calculations that means all children go an extra 189 hours on a normal school year. And teachers work that extra 189 in all schools not just the lowest 300. So why not give a back 18 of the 189 extra we work? You don't think we deserve that? What about the children who also need the time with their families? What no New York trip this year? I am normally a very positive I'll do whatever it takes person, but this kind of disregard for us is beyond hateful and just mean! Way to go DTU thanks for nothing!

  3. I am looking at other options outside Duval after nine years of working as a teacher. Every bit of the curriculum in ELA is "canned" and although I like the curriculum and find it useful. It lacks depth and does not teach all CORE, which I READY is supposed to do . Even centers are micro managed (something we were told we could save our "creativity for" , last year. Duval Math works, it works well, but has holes , where again, I am supposed to have small group , use a canned program. There is no time for Science, Writing and to read LITERATURE. I have the opportunity to teach elsewhere where my growth scores are appreciated, time is given for teachers to "plan" , not just attend an extended meeting on Early Dismissal Days. No longer will I work under a District which has determined that my planning days should be spent either tearing out homework pages from a Duval Program book or sorting papers. I went for a week three weeks in a row with 45 mins of planning FOR THE WEEK due to poor scheduling. With only 90 mins allowed to plan and refine . A 100% canned program only requires a warm body that can read and has arms, perhaps walk children to the bathroom. Intelligent teachers who love literature, the excitement of the discoveries of math and are critical thinkers do not mix with 100% scripted and directed curriculum . It is not the spirit of Core Curriculum, or NEA . Every child is being left behind in Duval and the assumption is clear that the kids are not being respected or taught as individuals as it is a one size fits all curriculum. The boxed up, regimented, we call going to the bathroom- directed play on the master calendar is just another sad indicator of how low Duval has stooped to insult every child and every teacher and para's intelligence. I am focusing on happier places to be. I'm hoping other teachers are too . It is -So very sad for the children. So many very good teachers are leaving this year from the District- it was just the straw that broke the camels back , with the new mandates that are so contrary to best practice. . It's the kids who lose the most, everywhere. I have a masters, good gains good work history and I know I can find a better job elsewhere--if I decide to stay in the teaching field.
    I do like those I work for and with in my immediate school but I shall to teach , and teach and reach or I won't do it at all.