Although she teaches elementary school, and she is in another state, Lisa Parisi sounds like me. Her last post is very insightful and I encourage you to go over and read about what she is going through and to realize this is happening all over the country. Veteran teachers, who really do know how to teach well, are being ignored for all the “programs” that are being sold to districts.
Although no money for teachers and classrooms, there is plenty of money for “training,” and so the districts are buying these canned programs with high hopes of increasing test scores. Good teaching is losing out because the teachers are told they MUST adhere to the program, lock-step, or else.
Next year there will be another new program, with all the bells and whistles, that will increase test scores. That much you can count on.
We all have them, those of us in education…those few days before the students return when we are held accountable in meeting after meeting, telling us how we did the year before and how we will do this next year. They are called inservice days, institute days, buy-back days, prep days. Ours began on Wednesday, but yesterday was the official day back. After getting our photos taken, the next step was to sign in and pick up, no, not just our folder of information, but SWAG!
We were each given a t-shirt with our new slogan for the year, a planner, and a book about assessment. This is the most I’ve ever gotten in my 21 back-to-school years. I’m so easily pleased!
My summer vacation is over. Although the kids don’t come back until the 18th, this next week is filled to the brim, and I have to set my alarm for 5 a.m. again.
Monday and Tuesday are Link Crew days when the new freshmen come for orientation. I’m always excited to see the new kids, and although I don’t teach freshmen, I will make sure to get lots of pictures of the fresh, new faces and their expressions as they get acquainted with the big campus.
Wednesday is our first inservice day when we hear the numbers, as in how our test scores line up with the rest of the district and the rest of the state. We’ll see the subgroups and progress of each and then we’ll see if we’re still in trouble. Makes my stomach churn every year.
Thursday is the first official day back for faculty and my yearbook photographer who does the professional pictures will be there to get a photo of each staff member. I love these pictures because everyone is well rested, optimistic, happy to be back with their friends and coworkers. We will hear introductions of all the new staff, and it’s a large number this year due to retirements and the new freshmen program.
Friday is when we rotate through workshops that will give us teaching tips and tell us how to use the new grading program the district is trying out on us this year. We seem to often be asked to demo these things. I guess if it works with our school, it will work anywhere else.
Somewhere in there teachers will be required to set up their classrooms, get their syllabus turned in, be ready for the first day. Since the freshmen classrooms aren’t quite ready, it may be the weekend before those teachers get to set up their rooms. Here’s an example:
No matter what, though, the kids are coming the 18th.