07 November 2006

The Other Shoe

We're waiting for an awful lot of shoes to drop around here. Fate must be a millipede.

The big one around here is the Superintendent's recommendation to the Board regarding school closures. That happens tomorrow evening. The safe bet is two schools on the list, but I like the dark horse: three elementaries. I taught a fifth grade class today at the school which would most likely be number 3 on the list. Kids were busy and happy. Teachers seem secure. I wish them well but budget and enrollment indicate that if they survive a cut this year that it will only be a temporary reprieve. I don't think the district is going to want to go through all of this multiple times. They might as well make deep cuts and redraw lines just once.

Most of us in Curriculum are still waiting for the Come to Jesus meeting, although it now looks like it's scheduled for Thursday. The person in charge of literacy here knows no bounds. This is not entirely her fault, as the previous Boss Lady did quite a bit of enabling. But there now seems to be enough critical mass and abuse of resources that the current Boss Lady is ready to make some changes. It's too much to go into at the moment. I'm not gleeful at watching the fall of Writing in the district. I am relieved that other content areas will get attention and that teachers will no longer be expected to do poor quality assessment on this woman's orders. It does mean telling elementaries "Oops, we really shouldn't have made this plan." I don't think they'll be upset.

Will we still have jobs next year? Don't know...and won't until February or so. We teachers are starting to build our own parachutes. It's far better to make one's own luck.

Beginning teachers and mentors are starting to take off. I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about not being out with the newbies more, but one of the mentors pointed out that I've already been in their classrooms more than the previous person. They think I'm doing a lot more positive coaching than noobs have had in the past. I don't know that it's true---I just wish I could do more.

The Washington Learns report will be out on Monday. I know a lot of us around the state are holding our collective breaths to see what will be in the final version...and what the legislature will do with the information starting in January.

The budget for the kit center is fleshed out, but the numbers won't be revealed until the morning. Our coordinator has been working very hard and getting lots of freebies, but my guess is that our start-up will be more than our budget. There have just been too many surprises this year.

There's so much more going on...it's hard to keep things straight from day to day and school to school. My focus is so split among the 16 new science curricula out and about in classrooms and the new teachers and district craziness that it's hard to sit still and complete one full task; however, all too soon, it's going to be raining shoes around here.

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