11 December 2005

The Rest of the Story

A couple of days ago, I was moaning about the meeting I had on Wednesday. But that was only one part of what Wednesday delivered to my doorstep. Here's some of the rest (fallout is ongoing).

When I arrived at school, one of our assistant admins stopped me in the parking lot. Did I know that yesterday the vo-tech director for the district had floated a proposal to all of the secondary admins about moving Principles of Technology to grade nine? Perhaps this doesn't sound like a big thing, but after all of the work we did as a district last spring on our scope and sequence, this is not a welcome suggestion. The vo-tech guy wants this class offered as an alternative to the ninth grade science course we currently want to require. (It is offered at the high schools as an elective science option.) Why? My guess is that it's an attempt to do something about declining enrollment in those courses. More and more classes are becoming required, meaning there is less space for electives of any kinds. Also, one of the teachers of the class isn't very popular and so kids don't sign up for the class.

I make it in the building, pick up my mail, and as I start down the hall, our vo-tech teacher stops me to talk about the Principles of Tech issue. He doesn't want to teach at the junior high. What about all the equipment that would be needed for those classes at other schools? I told him that I'd keep him in the loop as things unfolded and continued to my room.

I had been away from my class Monday and Tuesday. There were no sub notes from Monday. The mystery was solved when my kids came in and told me that the sub made bookmarks with them all period long. She apparently didn't look in my mailbox for the plans---nor did she ask anyone in the department or main office for guidance. I've complained about subs here before. This is just another stellar example.

Then I went to the meeting. 'Nuff said on that. In the meantime, I was trying to track down an order gone bad with a science supply company. A principal at one of the elementaries asked if I could come out and present to her staff tomorrow (Thursday). And the Boss Lady and I needed to catch up on the course description nonsense, the vo-tech issue (which was news to her) and deal with our rogue junior high. You see, this particular school doesn't think it needs to follow the crowd in terms of course offerings. So, even though we've got a scope and sequence...and even though the admins of these schools want parity of offerings...this one keeps straying. Oh, and a group of teachers wants a meeting via e-mail but they don't actually want to take the time to write the e-mail. And one of the teachers who committed to being on the materials' adoption committee has decided that he can't miss his class for two more days this year.

Was that all for the day? I think so. I kept thinking that I really should have just stayed in bed because there was just one mess after another in the offing.

I think I've more or less recovered. I did do the presentation on Thursday. I hate to turn down any invitation at this point. It went very well and teachers were excited. A plan is in place to address the vo-tech issue. And I found a replacement for the spot on the adoption committee. I turned in the course descriptions, even though one teacher will be unhappy. I still have to think more about Wednesday's meeting and also the "e-mail meeting" that hasn't happened (due to the failure of the two teachers who suggested the format). But there are other battles I need to wage this week, so this other "stuff" will just have to wait its turn for later.

1 comment:

Christine said...

We have a few elementary schools that feed into my school. In theory, they have a scope and sequence to follow. In actuality, most of the principals don't make them follow said scope and sequence.

I can always tell who my kids had in fourth grade based on their oversaturation of knowledge on a particular social studies topic. The Revolution means they had Ms. D, Lewis & Clark means Mr. G, etc. While this is a pain in social studies because kids are bored to tears when we do those units, the problem rears its ugly head in science - it's mostly not taught in the elementary schools.

My favorite quote, when a student was told the science topic they were discussing (weather) should have been review, "We didn't do any science last year, just wars."