lit lover book

reflections of an ever-evolving educator

Friday, March 04, 2005

no apologies necessary

Today we had an in-service for half the day, and then returned to teach our classes. We spent three hours listening to the high school language arts supervisor from the county office go over the new, improved performance standards. These are basically the same performance standards we have always used, but with a new acronym and longer sentences (they keep bragging about how there are fewer standards now, but they just took the old ones and combined sentences).

After 18 years with this county, I am a bit tired of our general lack of follow-through. I expressed this view to our illustrious new LA supervisor today, when she opened the floor to questions and suggestions. I offered the example of the two whole days I and many other teachers had spent back in October in vertical team training, during which we were assured that we would be given further time to collaborate and plan with the middle school teachers we trained with there. To date, not a single minute has been scheduled to continue our work, despite repeated requests. The supervisor launched into an explanation of the politics involved in the district, of her lack of access to funds earmarked for other things, yada, yada, all interesting, none of it addressing the issue inherent in my example. Namely, why should we take this training seriously, when this, like everything else the county insists we learn, is never fully implemented? Even if we make the mistake of getting excited about any of it, we quickly learn that this too shall pass before we have ever had the opportunity to actually use it. I cannot count how many times this has happened over my career.

Most irritating of all, however, was baby dept. head's reaction. At the end of the meeting, I overheard him apologizing to the supervisor for my comments. He didn't name me specifically, but his implication was unmistakable. It was all I could do to maintain my professionalism and not confront him right then and there. Maybe when he has more than 5 years under his teaching belt, he'll have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. Sometimes he really pisses me off.


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