Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm Making a Statement

Yesterday was far from fun, sitting through a training session that those of us who were there already know, was a waste of time.

The consultant was fair to mediocre. She led us through a few lessons with the intervention program, but couldn't answer a lot of the questions because they pertained to our building in particular. The curriculum director stopped by and tried to answer some of the questions, but he's not in our building on a day-to-day basis, so he doesn't have a clue. However, he said he would discuss our concerns with our principal. In hindsight it would have been best if our principal had been at the training session, but she wasn't. If some changes are not made in the building schedule, this new reading intervention program has a slim-to-none chance of succeeding. (And I do NOT want to hear about how our special ed teachers are doing just fine with it! NO INSULT TO ANY SPECIAL ED TEACHERS OUT THERE! It's just how things come out of certain people's mouths.)

The consultant who did the training wanted to spend time showing us a powerpoint presentation on part of the company's program that we will NOT be using. And that will benefit us how?? I sort of spoke up and said that since we would not be using that part, we would get nothing out of the powerpoint. I don't think she was very happy with me, but she chose not to show it.

After lunch she took us through a few more lessons, then wanted to go over their brand spanking new products that could go along with what our district already purchased. Someone asked if we had what she was about to show us, and in a rather exasperated voice, said that it was brand new and no, we did not have it yet, but could purchase it. Okay, and given that almost every single school district in the state of Ohio is in a dire financial situation, just where would the money come from to purchase this brand new software, etc? She wasn't able to answer that, so again I spoke up and said that since we did not make the purchasing decisions and have been told repeatedly that there is NO money, why should we spend valuable time going over it? And again, she seemed rather exasperated and said that she guessed she didn't have to show it to us. Then she said that she was done and asked if we had questions.

Okay, then I sort of felt a little bad that I had kind of eliminated part of her plans for the day and said something to the effect of us needing to actually use the program for a few weeks, then we would know the questions we'd have. (at lunch a group of us discussed just this, among other things) I said that it would be best if we could meet with her again after we'd implemented the program because we would know a little more about what we were doing. She pretty much had no comment about that, so I guess I'm off her Christmas card list. She let us out a little early then.

I'm just a little frustrated about some things as far as starting up this school year goes, starting with how EARLY it's beginning. Many of us are tired of being expected to do more and more and more with less time, fewer materials, and less cooperation from some staff members. I realize I'm being a little vague, but there are a couple of people I work with that occasionally visit this site and I don't want to be pointing fingers and assigning blame. But for the record, those visitors here are not the ones I'm referring to.

So anyway, I'm making a statement. I refuse to go to school any earlier than I am required to. When we ended the school year, I went through a lot of stuff and threw a bunch of junk out. All I really need to worry about is getting the top of my desk in order, along with the countertop by my round table (and do NOT even let me get started on my round table...that I wish would magically turn into a kidney shaped table).

There's a bulletin board to put up, but I have the idea floating around in my head, and I know it won't be too difficult to do.

This year I plan on keeping track of how much extra time I spend at school. Last year I cut way back on it, and plan to continue that trend this year. What doesn't get done, doesn't get done. I'm only one woman and I wasn't in line when they gave out the passes for the clones. I plan on leaving the building at the teacher dismissal time at least three days a week.

I'm good at what I do. I have the data to back that statement up. I get kids excited about reading. I help kids hone their skills not only in reading, but with test taking skills (ah yes, the's all about the tests). I have kids coming up to me, asking me why they can't be in my reading groups and they really really want to be. Not only do I make education fun and exciting, but I make it functional.

But what really irritates me is that no one seems to be interested in the facts and data unless it says what administration wants it to say.


So I'm making my statement. I plan on enjoying the last few days of summer break. I only have two commitments left. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my oncologist, and Friday I have an appointment to order Alex's senior pictures. I'll have to share the proofs with all of you soon...we were really pleased with them!

And that's it.


Jen said...

That sounds fair to me! I was a teacher too, and I was always astounded at what I was expected to do for free, besides being paid about 1/10th of my actual worth. I really think we need to come up with some kind of privatization plan (a good one!) to make schools for profit, so that they run better.

edbteach said...

I'm not even going to get into all of the work that teachers do for free. Ugh . . .

I applaud you for calling the salesperson on being a saleperson instead of being a trainer!!

As a teacher, I don't need to hear about what else you have for sale . . . I need to know how to use what my district actually bought. I have no power over large purchases such as software/intervention kits. When are these people ever going to learn???

Paulie said...

I hope you have a terrific year! May the beginning not be too hot so everyone can enjoy the new start. We have had temps over 100 for the past 4 days and when finish catching up on your blogs I missed, I plan to go ride the air conditioned bus to nowhere just to be cool.