13 May 2005


Yesterday was the culminating event of some planning I have been involved with all year. It was our accreditation visit. I'm not sure how important accreditation is anymore, even though schools still jump the hoops. I wonder if colleges and universities really do check to see if applicants are coming from schools that are "accredited."

Anyway, we have been running the requisite obstacle course this year. A variety of staff members from around our district, some local businessmen, and a couple of teachers from other towns came together to have a look at our school yesterday. They were "evaluating" us on our progress regarding the overall school improvement plan we developed seven (!) years ago, along with our yearly goals.

When I started seeing and talking to people right before lunch, I wasn't sure how things were going. And the more I chatted with our visitors, the more I worried that our school wasn't looking too good. There were lots of comments about how unengaged kids were...how much "down time" there seemed to be throughout classrooms. We did have a ton of subs in the building yesterday, so that may have had something to do with a lack of "bell-to-bell" instruction throughout the building. I felt a little embarrassed. I know our school is far from perfect, but I like to think we're not too bad, either.

I hauled my carcass up to the principal's office this morning to see what the comments were. I felt better after reading them. There were lots of "commendations" and also some very good "recommendations." The Principal is his usual clueless self. So, I've been asked to advise him how to process the information with staff. I have to admit that my heart isn't too far into the task. Now that I am seeing myself in more of a district role than teacher role, my pure allegiances to my school are waning. It's time for someone else to step up.

More on that idea tomorrow.


Fred said...

Our accreditation visit is next year, and the administration is already planning on how to handle it. As a third year teacher - it's now to me - but I was surprised to hear that they want to make sure they hire more diverse teachers as that would help. How?

The Science Goddess said...

I'm not sure how "diverse teachers" would help. Is this in reference to ethnicity, I wonder? Do you work at a school that hasn't had a lot of staff turnover, and perhaps some "new blood" would shake things up?

Every state's accreditation process is different. Things here in WA are pretty loose. We're primarily evaluated on how what "they" see when they do the visit matches the goals and targets we've identified.

Fred said...

Very little turnover - the school is only three years old. I'm still learning this whole gig, so when I do find out what exactly it means, I'll leave you a note.

EdWonk said...

We've linked this post at our latest Tales From The Trenches: Classroom Teachers Speak.