Phew, a few days into the holidays, and I think I've finally caught up on sleep. It's lovely to nap when you want and to sleep past 5am. My mind keeps returning to how down and sour and stressed out I've been for this past semester. Most of it comes from policies "from up above" that are not sitting well with me.
For example, we have a huge tardy issue at school. They've tried various things with no great success, and "they" have to get the numbers lower. What do they do now? Let's ring the 6 minute warning bell as usual, but then let's start school and ring the "late" bell 1 to 1.5 minutes AFTER it should ring. Voila! Number of tardies has magically decreased (for now). And in response to teachers' indignation and concern about this bad precedent? "Teachers should trust the administration".
Another example, not-too-newish teacher is at her wits end with disruptive students and goes to administration for some extra suggestions on what to do. Response? Let's put the teacher on a "growth plan", which I think is akin to warning the teacher about possible teacher consequences, ultimately.
Another (biggest) example, let's make all the math teachers implement a disruptive TAKS remediation/pre-emptive teach-to-the-test strategy where students practice the 1st part of class and the last part of class and get taught the regular class material in between. Let's not test this process out for bugs or to see if the timing is appropriate. Let's not be open to any suggestions.
Arghhhh. In the past I've strongly believed in the public school system since it seemed most democratic (sorry I know that sounds judgmental about private and charter schools). But lately I can see the draw to teach at non public schools. I'm wondering if policies are implemented more sanely there and administration and teachers are not as badgered by the NCLB mandates.
Anyway, bla bla bla. Grumperina must go out now and spread her cheer on the human race during this last-minute-shopping time of year.