Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Life changes....Teaching under cloud of NCLB

As I noted in this blog over the summer, I was diagnosed with type II Diabetes and had to make some changes. Among the changes I have to make, involve changing how and what I eat. I am trying to strictly follow the diet guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association. I still don't miss (too much), the sweets. I still miss my larger portions of cheese and meats. Since mid-July, I have lost about 30 pounds. I "complain" to my wife that her husband is shrinking, and she says that is a "good thing." My clothes are baggy and loose and I have put new notches in my belts. I suspect that I will get some new clothes for Christmas.

Another aspect of this is remembering to take my metaformin before each meal. Sometimes, I remember to do this, other times I remember during or after the meal. But overall, I am surviving.

Teaching. Lots of stuff going on at my "long term" failing school. Again, WE missed the APS, AYP, ASS, or whatever the NCLB moniker is.....and as usual, it was one of our "socially-promoted, not-held-accountable-for-their-learning-or-behavior" sub-groups that sunk us. So, us teachers are suffering for it. Suffering from the threats or promises of what can/will happen to teachers of consistently failing schools. Suffering through late afternoon "how to teach" inservice presented to us by people who have not taught real children (not counting how some teachers behave in these inservices), in a number of years. Suffering through these inservices' because they are not well planned. Take for example, our most recent inservice on AVID skills. Our school is "AVIDized" and we were told by the presenter, that our administrators would be looking for "AVID" techniques when they visited our classrooms ! This presentation would have been much more useful if we had been seated in department groups and allowed a tiny bit of time to actually discuss how to best use the introduced ideas/techniques for teaching our material. Instead, we were lumped together in a mish-mosh manner and not alotted time to discuss this because we had to get through this presentation. One teacher, who tried to ask a question about a procedure, had a stickly pad thrown at him and told to write down his question and maybe we'll get to it later! I must have missed the part of the vast catacombs of NCLB that allow teachers to be treated in such a manner. Our staff is working their butts off, and have been successful with our students. But this is ignored by NCLB. Instead, teachers must be whipped harder. It is no wonder that I continue to read about failing schools not being able to find teachers. Didn't the 14th amendment to our US Constitution outlaw slavery ?

Oh, I also noted that over the summer, I wrote to many of our congressional leaders who are Education Committee members or representatives from my state. So far, I have only received two replies, one from my local representative in the House of Representatives and one from one of our two Senators. Both were political responses, neither really said much about NCLB one way or another. Was this a wasted effort ?

Thanks for reading my blog.