Monday, January 7, 2008

Let's Talk A Bit About Accountability, Shall We?

Where to start with this one...

(deep breath)

Before vacation, my administrator, Ms. Weavilcious (a.k.a. The Weave) (a.k.a. The Moody Bee-atch) (a.k.a. Waste of Administrative Salary)...I could go on forever...and after all you've read about her, you probably could come up with some good ones too. Feel free to share.

But I digress...let's get back on track.

Before vacation, The Weave scheduled appointments with each of us to have a conversation about our upcoming observations / walk-throughs. Fine. We do them every year and honestly, we usually end up having a very nice conversation. Surface-y and fake, but nice.

(A bit of background - For the last three years, The Weave has followed up this meeting by MISSING at least two scheduled observations EACH YEAR. Yeah, she just doesn't show up, doesn't call ahead to tell you she's not going to show up and doesn't follow up with an apology. Instead I have to follow up, reschedule and type up a new lesson. -insert sarcastic tone here - It's awesome. Really. It makes me feel really important and valued. And like my administrator is as on top of things as she expects me to be).

My meeting was scheduled for today. I dutifully go down to her office five minutes early, but the door is closed. I sit and wait, and wait and WAIT as my precious free prep wastes away. A colleague passes by and informs me that The Weave is on the fourth floor in a meeting with our principal. A meeting that she has EVERY WEEK AT THE SAME TIME!!!


Does she need some basic calendaring or scheduling skills?? Should she start sitting in on my morning meeting and be the Calendar Captain?? Why would you schedule a meeting with a teacher who does not have a free second to PEE when you KNOW YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE ELSE TO BE?!?!?!??

I'm glad that I'm being held accountable to teach, accomodate, test and coach twenty children in seven subjects a day, five days a week while simultaneously maintaining relationships with parents and serving as the chair of a committee while SHE can't even KEEP AN APPOINTMENT! Hey, fair is fair, right?


However, in an effort to Be Positive in 2008 (I'm sorry if this was your resolution too, because I'm slowly starting to realize that it is bullshit...venting is fabulous!), I calmly walk back to my classroom to salvage my last ten minutes of freedom to tidy up my room.

At the end of the day, I receive the an email outlining in what ways I will be held accountable in my classroom.

Here are a few tidbits (complete with her spelling and grammatical errors(And I promise you I'm not making them up.) (Really.) (It's shocking.):

* Rooms should be tidy. Any extra books or papers is considered to be a waist of student space and should be removed.

* Student work folders should be clearly labeled. I shouldn't have to ask you, "Where your folders at?"

* Bulletin boards should be labeled with a title and task card. People needs to know what the works is about.

Do I even need to say it?

IDIOT!!!!!!! HOW ARE YOU IN CHARGE OF ME?!?!?!?!??????

No, I didn't need to say it, but damn, it felt good.

A side note - doesn't it just warm your heart that our focus is on the room's APPEARANCE rather than any actual INSTRUCTION??? Not that my room isn't fab-u-lous with a capital F, but I do think this is a bit much.

Dog and pony show anyone?

Can I be the pony?


That feels better. Back to the whole positive thing...


17 (really 15) more years said...

I would respond to that e-mail with "Where you're brain at?"

I miss my old AP- he would meet you in the hall, and say, "what are you doing interesting in class this week?" You would tell him, he would smile and nod and say, "Sounds great, write it up, that'll be your observation." He never actually came in- it was wonderful.

I haven't been observed yet this year- still waiting patiently....

Anonymous said...

My AP missed my stull meeting, too, but at least she's not at ass, just flaky. I get observed a lot (I invite a lot of guests) and the opinions I value most are those of other classroom teachers and the school psych. That's about it. Those formal observations are bullshit.

Dr Pezz said...

I have a new evaluator this year, and he was great. It's nice to have someone who actually wants to discuss why I use a certain approach and who wants to understand my job.

BTW, one of pet peeves is receiving e-mails from anyone in education littered with errors, especially basic ones. Grrrrr!

Dr Pezz said...

* my pet peeves (ironic there, ain't it?)

John Spencer said...

Wow! That is really sad. According to her standards, my class is a disaster. I mean, it's nice and tidy, but I don't do anything with my bulletin boards and I don't use folders. I'm with you on this one. She needs to focus on your instructional strategies.

The Virtual Teacher said...

Talk about being hung-up on the surface stuff! Nice as they are, how can neat labels and tidy books be used as a measure of the actual learning taking place?

In a crowded classroom with room for a meeting circle, small group meeting points, centres, desks,… - oh and kids too, just where are you meant to “remove” books and papers to? Are you expected to vanish them into thin air, or hide them somewhere inconvenient (and then remember where you put them for next time)?

What is your administrator doing looking through your folders without consulting you anyways? If you and your students know where they are, what is the problem?

Here’s a novel thought, if people want to know what the work on the bulletin board is about, they could READ IT!

A tidy, well-labelled classroom is terrific, but why waste energy writing rules and emails about it? What a poor use of time, but then you’ve already noted that she is scheduling challenged.

I have to say that finding your blog was the best thing that happened to me over the holidays. It is so good to laugh about what has frustrated us during the day. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

X said...

As much as I enjoy the myriad of grammatical errors the administrators at my school have made this emails, in newsletters, on the main office whiteboard where announcements are posted for all to see...this may top them all. What a load of cr@p for you to go through...but what great entertainment for your readers!

MadMad said...

Oh my goodness. I am a little bit gaspy now. It's possible we have the same principal. Maybe all principals are the same? If you can't teach, you principal. I guess that's not a verb, but you get the idea... Anyway, yikes. Very frustrating...

Zoemonster said...

You are a failure if you do not print that e-mail. CVircle the errors for the Board of Ed.. who likely have dumb arses.. like she..

But say..

"Here is what we are working w/. Do you think our +instructional leader+ can guide us to raise test scores?"

It's a shame you can't do it w/ yr name attached, but better to do it anonymously than not at all.

I would also send copies to key, influential parents as well as political figures (not that education isn't political.

That's craXy.

PLEASE follow up... for the sake of all of us who do- or have- put in precious time at The Pokeys of Amurca.


Anonymous said...

OMG Mimi. If I didn't have you to keep me laughing I don't know what I would do. How did this chick even get this high on the pay scale? She sleeping with someone? I'd check into the higher-ups if I was you.
Mystery Teacher

Blair said...

"where your folders at?" That makes me think of a T Mobile commercial. Good LORD Mimi!

Vanessa said...

I'm not a teacher, but this makes me scared for them. And the students.

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Linzey Joy said...

During a very bad midwest winter I had gotten into the habit of leaving my shoes on the radiator (tiny and running along the floor of my classroom not a space heater type) next to my desk when I changed into boots at the end of the day. My principal took actual time and effort to leave a post-it note on my lesson plan book that said "shoes on the heater are highly flammable" - need I say more.

Cathy said...

oh my gosh...parallel universe!!

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