Friday, May 26, 2006

Guilt Tactics

Today was the last day of school for teachers, to finish up administrative chores and check out. Usually it ends with a faculty meeting where the principal gets up and gives a "go us" speech and says goodbye to any faculty that's leaving. Today there was an extra 1.5 hours devoted to something else.

We had 217 juniors (out of about 400 or so .... dang, that's a LARGE %) who did not pass at least one of the 4 subject areas of our exit exam. Oh my. Our principal thought she'd try something new this summer (I started getting a bad feeling) where she'd dole out the names to the 150 or so faculty to be mentors - mentors that called the kids at least a couple of times to remind them of tutoring available over the summer and of tests dates. She "knew" not every faculty would step up to the plate, so maybe those who knew the kids and had already formed a relationship with them would take 3 or so kids.

Well, she started calling out names of students and teachers raised their hands to mentor them. And on and on and on. Intermittently, she would interject with comments like "our school is made up of people / individuals", "this test is what we're about", "our kids have to pass this test". I kept waiting for names of kids I knew. None came. Then I started obsessing that I wasn't choosing anyone. Then I started to feel resentful that I should be manipulated into picking someone. Then I started not actively choosing students.

After the last name was called, here was her zinger, "and for the people who didn't choose a student, I want to thank you, because we don't want anyone to volunteer and not have their heart in it and to drop the ball and not call the student". Is it just me or was that saying one thing and meaning another? I HATE that kind of manipulation. It's so offensive. We bust our butts all year coming in early in the morning, leaving late at night, tutoring practically every day after school. Tons of people were volunteering. Why not honor that and end it on a good note instead of calling to fact that there were people who did not volunteer for this ONE task. It's like I see her panning the room and committing to memory the nonvolunteers .... okay HERE are the people on my poop-list for next year. Great. Have a terrific summer.

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