Tuesday, August 7, 2012

And The Kids Aren't Even Here Yet

Whew!  I'm exhausted and the kids haven't even reported yet.  One  more day of in-service before school actually starts.  We've got THREE in-service days this year!  That is because of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Louisiana, which is being phased in this year, and the new Compass teacher evaluation program.  It's just overwhelming. (Thus, the picture, stolen from a co-worker's Facebook page which made me laugh.)

But, after sixteen years in the classroom I can confirm ... it's just another thing.  These ideological fads have come and gone and this is just another.  It may work, it may be wonderful, but this reinventing of the wheel every few years is ... what?  My job?  Challenging?  Amazing?  I don't know.  I'm all for whatever works.  I'm for whatever allows the red tape and bureaucrats to stay out of my classroom and let me do my job.  I can teach. I'm trained.  I'm experienced.  Maybe Common Core will be the ticket.  I'm on board and will give it my best shot.  I have some thoughts I might share later, but not right now.  I'll give it a good go right now.

Anyway, it's been good to see my friends and co-workers and we've had some fun through all the in-service, training, and workshops.  Whatever comes down the pike ideologically, I can say that I do work at the best school in the parish with the very best people!  Now that's something!

Meanwhile, life goes on while I'm consumed and focused on Common Core.

The Mitt Romney VP sweepstakes intensifies daily and speculation is rampant.  I'm not going there.  Both campaign camps are about to solidify and get real serious, and nasty I expect.  The economy truly sucks.  It's starting to show in places that have not previously been seriously affected.  Business people are very, very nervous and holding their cards very close right now.

I'll probably be quiet here for a few days until school settles in and things get normal again.  I've got to concentrate on my 75 new kids right now, but I'm here.


Bill said...

I talked to Scott Smith yesterday and he told me about the new evaluations. I'm glad that I am retired and don't have to worry about all these fads that come and go. If I understand correctly, it will be very difficult for a teacher to get the highest rating on an evaluation. Any way I don't have to worry about it anymore. Good luck. Hope you have all motivated students and a great year.

Pat Austin said...

Thanks, Bill. Yes, as I understand it, it will be next to impossible for someone to get a top score of 4. For a person raising a family and/or caring for aging parents, or generally doing anything that takes time and attention after work, a four would be impossible. I will never be able to be a four.

That is a little demoralizing for someone who strives to do their best. It's almost like a failing grade to me; it will require some adjustment and acceptance of my limits. Still, demoralizing.

What matters to me in the end is what I can get the kids to do and that I see progress. Whatever score the state wants to put on me is their own deal. I'm a teacher. I teach. I don't perform or do tricks. Teach.

Jayhawk said...

The picture reminds me of a basketball game between Kansas and Kansas State many years ago. The venue was Allen Field House at Kansas, and at halftime the State fans turned loose onto the court a rather bedraggled chicken which they had painted red and blue. You may have to look up the Kansas Jayhawk mascot to fully appreciate that. Even the KU fans had to admit the stunt was funny.