The scope and sequence team didn't end up getting to present today. Many principals were away recruiting for job openings...but only 1 had told the Boss Lady that they would be away today. So, the group wordsmithed our recommendations, added a significant amount of data and research, dealt with a few other "clean-up" details, and called it a day around 11:30. I can't even begin to describe how positive everyone is about the work.
The Boss Lady did stop by toward the end in order to debrief the group about their work. I enjoyed hearing their enthusiasm as they talked about the plan we've created and their support for it. Considering the variety of strong personalities (few of whom knew each other when we started), it is amazing to me to have sailed through this process.
Since principals were unavailable today, we'll find an after school time within the next month to talk to them. They'll need some time to think about the impact the recommendations will have on their buildings and give us some feedback. I'm hoping that we can get these to the school board in the early fall. In order to get new course proposals in the catalog, things have to be ready by December. I will have many people helping me shepherd these items through the hoops. I feel very grateful for that.
It is doubtful that we will meet much resistance along our path. I truly don't think that principals, the superintendent, or school board will not support us. Resistance will come at a few buildings from other teachers. Why? Because if science increases its needs for student time, someone else's program---and job---will decrease. I'm sure that if I was the one on the fuzzy end of the lollipop in this scenario that I'd make some noise. Sometimes parents can also be less than enthused. More requirements means fewer elective opportunities. What happens when you've spent several grand for a cello and now there's no room in the kid's schedule for orchestra? That being said, we are only asking that 2 out of 4 junior highs increase their science classes by a semester at both the 8th and 9th grade levels. If the other 2 schools have figured out a way to offer full-year science for those grades, then there must be a generally satisfying answer.
Change never happens on a dime, does it?
My position as (almost) full-time science goddess was confirmed today. The Boss Lady has funding for .8 of it. She believes that she can come up with the last 20% somehow...but one of my building admins is pushing to have me teach 1 period: AP Biology. I really wouldn't mind this. I like the curriculum and love the kids. It does make things slightly more complicated (vs. teaching no classes) in terms of subs and other demands. I told the Boss Lady that I'm very excited about this opportunity---and I am. Doing this work for the district is quite challenging and I appreciate being asked to stretch myself in new directions.
I went to lunch with three of the Scope and Sequence members. I really enjoyed being out and getting to know them better. We talked some about our work. How do we get "reluctant" teachers on board? What about teachers who won't follow the sequence? Can we get all of this in place for 2006 - 2007? How do we navigate building level politics?
I don't know all of the answers to these questions. Heck, I'm making up this job as I go along. But I do have a very good sense that it is going to work out...somehow. (What's my evidence for that?!)
I came home early...had a lovely nap...and now it is time to get back to work for the evening. Cheers.