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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How Duval County made me hate my job this week

From a reader

I am an ESE teacher at a center school all my kids have IEPs and between 5 and 8 goals that I am supposed to work on over the course of the year. Now I am being told I must create a caseload in Desk Top and keep progress daily on each of the goals which I conservatively estimate will add about an hour’s worth of work a day.  Twenty-two children sixty-five or so goals to daily update.

I asked why we’re being made to do this and the facilitator (just a messenger for the district) said, well some people weren’t keeping data. I replied, well when one of my students makes a mistake, I explain to them what they did wrong and the expectations going forward, I don’t make the whole class do an hour’s worth of busy work from here to eternity.  I received a shrug for a response.

Next we were being given yet another lesson plan template, you know because the last few didn’t cause us to do enough busy work. I said, you know, I write lesson plans for me and was told, no I should write them so anybody who comes in could pick up with little effort what I was doing.
I thought about saying, well nobody could pick up with little effort what I was doing, because nobody knows my kids or have built relationships with them like me. But you know, teaching has become less and less about relationships and more and more about paper work admins can look at.

Remember that I earlier said I was an ESE teacher at a center school. Center schools used to be difficult to get placed into because they were a last resort. Well not anymore as I have received three new students in the last week, one after just three works at their school and the other after five days. One of the students legitimately should be put in my room, the other two not so much. They lean more towards emotionally disabled than intellectually disabled. Their problems lean more towards physical and emotional outbursts than not being able to do academics.

According to the information given they are a danger not just to me but the babies I have in my classroom who can’t defend themselves against aggressive attacks. The district is dumping kids who have no business being at my school let alone my classroom because they don’t want to do the work and put plans in place and it’s both a shame and unethical.

To give you some scale, I have a completely xxxxx child who I thought could benefit from a student focused para. I collected data for six weeks where we attempted multiple interventions and then I filled out the paperwork to get them a para.

I should have just said, they go on rampages I guess, because if a kid does that they can now be staffed out quick. I plan to write a letter to my principal and the ESE department outlining my concerns and then like every day roll up my sleeves and do the best I can despite the deck being increasingly stacked against me and my students but if they hurt one of my babies, I hope their parents sue the *&$% out of the district and they use the letter as exhibit one. It’s reckless on the part of the district and it has a good chance of getting someone hurt.

Things should be better than this in Duval County.

Note: I did some minor edits that did not affect the points made because I didn't want the district to come after the teacher, likwise I share many of their concerns. -CG


  1. Not sure I understand why you were given another lesson plan template. We have a contract and our union agreed with DCPS on what we would use. If someone is trying to go outside the contract, contact your building rep. I also don't understand Desk Top because the district has provided SEAS and there has been a push for all teachers to use it, including gen ed teachers for RtI when the only training is what the SEAS people have been emailing. Shoot, last spring gen ed teachers couldn't even access the system but they fixed that over the summer. Communicate your concerns, yes, but watch your back.

  2. Neither administrators nor DTU care about the contract. It's just for show.