There was one other e-mail on Friday, waiting in the inbox to get stuck in my craw. This time, it was from a teacher at another school.
She isn't very good at keeping up with her e-mail. A couple of weeks ago, I received some comments from her regarding a meeting at the end of February. I just thanked her for her input, and pointed out that decisions regarding her specific concerns had been made several weeks ago by the Scope and Sequence Committee.
She must finally be making some headway into her backlog of correspondence, because this time, she was commenting on minutes from a meeting I sent out at the end of April. It appears that she either did not read carefully or did not read the minutes at all. Although, she does say, "Now that I have had the time to read all of this. I am alarmed. Where I have taught:the kids in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and even Idaho get full-year science 6-12. I know of no other district that limits jr. hi science like we do. The"gifted bunch" get full year science 7 and can elect a full year 8th and ninth is Adv. physical science. Science is reading and math and writing............so why limit what hooks kids in school? Perhaps we need another period in the Jr. High schedule?"
Uh...maybe if you'd read everything you would know that it's because those schools don't have the classroom/lab space? And also due to concerns about staffing? Not to mention all the schools in WA we contacted who don't have full-year science available for grades 6 - 12. And, not to mention that access to science here is not restricted to the "gifted bunch." Maybe she didn't notice the part where we'd already talked about bell schedule options. Or maybe she just saw what she wanted to see.
This time, I again thanked for her input and directed her to her department chair (who was on the committee) for further information. Friday was just not the day for me to be dealing with her.
The "funny" thing is, she was someone who thought she wanted the district science position. Since then, I've heard her brag about how since her daughter was graduating from high school, she could spend all her time focusing on getting rid of the WASL. (That would have gone over real well with my Boss Lady.) Now I know that she has poor skills when it comes to managing her e-mail. When there are 6 different schools to interact with plus admin members, you really can't wait 4 - 8 weeks to read your messages. It kinda makes me wonder how the rest of her time management skills are.
In the end, though, I just have to remind myself to take a deep breath and count to 10. People like DC and her are not my only challenging cohorts and I have to learn to be effective in my dealings with them...whether I like it or not. It's part of my job now.
The Boss Lady tells me that part of my responsibilities beginning in the fall will include setting district science goals. I don't mind working on that (with plenty of input from staff, of course). I don't think teachers across the district will mind, either, because it means that each school doesn't have to come up with its own plan. What will be interesting is "where the rubber hits the road." Great, we've got our goals---what are each of us going to do about reaching them? Are you prepared to look at your inbox more than once a month? If not, what can I do to help you be able to do that?
It's going to make for some mighty interesting conversations in the fall.