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Monday, March 30, 2009

Are you kidding me?

OK, so I have this friend who is also a teacher. And she tells me these stories about her principal that just make me shudder in horror and disbelief. But lately, she's really gone off the deep end (the principal, not my friend).

For one thing, she has been trying to get a certain grade level at this school to do after school tutoring the way SHE wants it done. Namely, from 3:30 - 5:30, 3 days a week. Now, speaking from personal experience, at MY school, we tutor ONE day a week, from 3:30 - 4:30, and the kids (and teachers) are exhausted and not thinking at the end of that.

At my friend's school, they already tutor 3 days a week, but her grade level has only gone till 4:30, whereas another grade level buckled under the pressure and tutored till 5:30 each day.

When the results of the reading test came back, my friend's grade level had done quite well, with about an 85% passing rate. The other grade, who tutored till 5:30, had a lower rate.

Nevertheless, this principal is so stuck as the star of her own personal movie that she is still harping on everyone to tutor till 5:30, fixated on the handful of kids who did NOT pass the reading test, and worse! Get this... She actually asked my friend, a professional teacher as most of us are, "Can you GUARANTEE me that every one of your kids will pass the math test?"

As if tutoring for another hour every day (and draining the kids' will to live even further) would make it impossible for anyone to fail!!!

I do tend to have a sarcastic side, but if I worked for this lady, I think I would have had to go back to my room, pull a 3rd grade math text off the shelf, walk back down to her office, and go over the chapter on Probability with her.

"You see, some events are certainties, while others are only 'most likely.'"

What an idiot.


Mrs. T said...

How can she force people to stay so late? That would never fly at my school. Our Union reps would be all over that.

Anonymous said...

That is very much like my school, in the same district. Our principal is also all about her rising star. If I hear the word 'exemplary' again, I might scream.

Teachers are talking about leaving because of the extreme split personality at the top. One day, the boss is your best friend and the next day you are being ripped apart because your bulletin board is not neat and orderly even though it is filled with rigorous student generated work.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Oh sure, I can guarantee that they'll do well on the test just like I can guarantee that they have a roof over their heads, I can guarantee that they have three nutritious meals a day, I can guarantee that they aren't being physically, sexually or mentally abused, I can guarantee that mom and dad aren't making meth in the kitchen, etc.

Give me a freaking break. People like that are why I get down on my knees and thank God that I have such a fantastic principal.

lynn said...

Thank goodness for my union and contract hours!! My contract even states the district's cost for requiring teachers to go over their contract hours ($20 per hour per teacher.) I stay after 2:45 when I feel like it, but I don't know how some of you work without a strong contract!

Mister Teacher said...

Mrs. T, I don't think she can FORCE anyone, which is why my friend and her team have not yet actually stayed till 5:30 tutoring. However, while she cannot force them, she is trying everything she can to coerce them, harping on it every day, shaming them, telling them their kids won't succeed, etc.

Lynn, we get $20 an hour for tutoring and extra-duty pay as well, but the money is not the issue here. It's the fact that kids are going to be burnt out by 5:30! Probably even 4:30 is pushing it!

Mrs. B, I agree with your statements wholeheartedly...

Anonymous said...

Pardon me for being Pollyanna...
But maybe the principal is pushing so hard not for her benefit but for the kids.
Maybe she really, really is concerned that they pass so they have a fighting chance of doing well next year.
I agree that 5:30 is way too late for tutoring. But maybe the principal is just out of bright ideas for other measures.
As for guaranteeing that students do well... maybe it's her way of pushing the tutoring. If you're not going to tutor late can you guarantee your students will pass without it. Obviously you can't so maybe you should go ahead with the extra tutoring.

Anonymous said...

There my exist a student who can't learn. There may exist a teacher who can't teach. The world of education is filled with principals who can't lead or think. A perfect example of why hiring my committee is the one the stupidest inventions ever.

IMC Guy said...

Can you be forced to do that? Our contract won't allow it. Even if people wanted to do it, that's a long time for kids to be on task - long time for teachers, too. I love the guarantee comment.