ADMINISTRATION DOESN'T SUPPORT ME! Please HELP!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by snowboarder77, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    2

    Feb 25, 2009


    This is an ugly reality, but true for non-tenured teachers. They don't have to give reason for not renewing your contract. Furthermore, many school districts won't hire you if you have 2 or 3 failures to renew your contract.

    That said, all of this changes once you're tenured and being in the union has impacts as well.


    The entire reason behind tenure in teaching is to prevent situations such as administration telling you what grade to give a student or how to teach your class. Teaching is supposed to be results oriented with a focus on getting the students to a certain level of profficeincy. HOW you get them there is your business (within reasonable bounds.)
     
  2. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,471
    Likes Received:
    2,488

    Feb 26, 2009

    I feel like you guys are all thinking that I'm some terrible, horrible person for doing what my principal tells me to do.

    I'm not a bad person. I'm not a bad teacher either. And I have a huge problem with unfairness and injustice. But the fact remains: if the principal wants it done, it gets done. That's my job. It's in my contract.

    For the record, I've never had an administrator override my grades or ask me to change them. I suspect that's because a) my grading is fair and logical, b) I have clearly defined expectations, and c) parents aren't really too involved in their kids' educations here at my school (sad, but totally true).

    Sometimes life isn't fair. Sometimes things happen that I don't like. And sometimes people have more power than I do and are able to perpetuate unfairness. That's an unfortunate fact of our society. When it comes to school and being a teacher, I play by the rules, make my opinions known (through the issuing of the initial grade), and leave it at that. What happens after that happens. I've done my part. I'm not willing to risk my job security to fight for something that I'll probably lose anyway--at least not this thing. I'll fight for things that are truly unfair and unjust, but honestly...a C instead of a D? That's not worth losing my job over.
     
  3. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 26, 2009

    I'm not thinking that.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    5

    Feb 26, 2009

    Cassie, I do not think you're a horrible person. :hugs: I just want you to know that. I think you're a great teacher with scads of wonderful ideas and teaching techniques. You've helped to make me the teacher I am today. I do not know what I would have done my first year in this environment without your input in dealing with the inner city. I do; however, STRONGLY dissagree with you. I simply will not do something that is that far against my moral code of conduct, no matter who tells me to do it.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 26, 2009

    I don't think you are a bad person or teacher at all! I said earlier that I don't fault you for doing what you need to do. :)
     
  6. American

    American Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 1, 2009

    No.It doesn't typically happen and should not. I admire you for standing upto the pressure and not quitting the ethics.If you have the absolute rationale for the grade you gave, don't back off. I hate the parent and administration but not the kid.
     
  7. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,897
    Likes Received:
    27

    Mar 4, 2009

    If I was asked to change a grade, I would not do it. The P needs to stand up to the parent and if the parent sues, so what. That is why we keep all test in our rooms for a year. If a parent questions a grade, I have the test to prove it. I think with my personality, even if the P changed a grade that a student had earned I would go over his head and report it. There is no way a P should have the right to change a grade of a student that he/she has not taught. How would he/she know what grade is deserving for that student? It is just like mm stated that all this does is lead to problems in the future for the student who was given the grade. One more thing, how does this help the student?
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,471
    Likes Received:
    2,488

    Mar 4, 2009

    Here's something to consider from another angle.

    Sometimes teachers are bad. I know that none of us here are, but they still do exist. Some teachers assign grades arbitrarily or based on how much they like a student. Some teachers give everyone a C. I've seen it happen. Many times.

    Why should an A student who performs A-level work be satisfied with a C from a teacher who didn't do his or her job? Why should that student be forced to keep the C on his or her transcript, perhaps the only blight on an otherwise terrific academic record?

    In a situation like that, the principal might be the only one who can change the grade. And why shouldn't they?
     
  9. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    2

    Mar 4, 2009


    You have failed to address THE most critical element of assigning a grade. Is the Principle truely assessing the STUDENT'S work and performance in ONE particular class for the grade reassignment?

    What difference does a transcript make in the assignment of a fair grade in ONE particular class?

    In your example, what effort does the principle go to in assessing STUDENT performance.


    I hear you advocating the arbitrary changing of a grade based on the assessment of a teacher instead of a student. Two wrongs don't make a right.




    On a related note, this exact discussion is the reason tenure was created in the first place. The purpose of tenure is not to protect teachers and professors from dismissal, but to allow good teachers/ professors to practice their craft without undue intrusion from administration.

    If the teacher is arbitrarily giving C's to everyone. The Principle has a rock solid case for disciplinary action and should pursue that avenue instead of arbitrarily changing grades that he thinks were arbitrarily assigned. If the principle in your example knew it was going on and didn't address it until a parent raised flags, then the principle is failing to do his/her job as well.
     
  10. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 4, 2009

    My cooperating teacher changed grades all the time; all her students passed. If she noticed that a couple of students were in danger of failing, out would come out the high-point, easy assignments. All it took was one very easy high-point assignment and no one failed. She looked liked a great teacher, the kids moved on, no one hassled the admin. and the parents loved her. This teacher eliminated all the stress from her life. She knew she couldn't count on any backup from the admin. so she came up with this system so that everyone was happy. Is she going to burn in teacher heck? I don't know, but I do know that everyone loves her. She does her little grade thing very secretly so no one has ever caught on (except her student teachers). She only has to it do a couple times a semester or so, the kids that have passing grades aren't really affected so no complaints from anyone. She really knows how to play the game.
     
  11. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    2

    Mar 4, 2009



    You have just presented an EXCELLENT argument for standardized testing. Keeping kids from loosing hope is important and she may be accomplishing that with what she's doing, but are they leaving the class with requisit knowledge level for the course?

    If they are then more power to her!!!!!

    ALL of my courses have state issued end of course exams so I have a bar to meet that I have absolutely no power to manipulate. We gripe about them, but they do serve a very real purpose.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,471
    Likes Received:
    2,488

    Mar 4, 2009

    I never said that the new grade should be arbitrary.

    The student or parent should have the OPTION of requesting that the principal change the grade based on the incompetency or apathy of the teacher. And the principal should have the power to make that change. I absolutely believe that.

    I've seen it happen just this year. Students who are stellar students, hard workers, not grade grubbers, not lazy...but they're all failing Algebra II/Trig H. They are ALL failing. With such a high failure rate (virtually 100%), you HAVE to consider that the TEACHER is the one making the mistake. How in the world is it fair to force those students to keep that grade, unfairly assigned, on a transcript which might make or break their admittance to college?


    I stand by my position, even if you disagree.
     
  13. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    33

    Mar 4, 2009

    I'm with you Cassie! Enough said.
     
  14. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    2

    Mar 4, 2009

    I agree with your position.

    The bugger is in the details. Principles are under job pressure to have a certain percent passing. Several Metro Nashville school teachers I know have been specifically told "Though shalt have no more than 15% failing."

    So how do you keep the Teachers AND the Principles honest? Especially when jobs are on the line?

    How do you prevent abuse of power by giving one person the arbitrary right to change the grade a teacher has assigned?

    In the example you cite above, there's a major employee performance issue and it sounds like that employee needs to be replaced.
     
  15. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    2

    Mar 4, 2009

    Let me throw this out there Cassie.....


    Do you have State end of course tests in Algebra II? Tennesse is starting them. If you have a class that is all passing their Algebra II course but all fail the State issued test, the State is going to be paying a visit to investigate why. (That's our new State policy.)

    Do you think the students in your example learned the curriculum and are prepared for the test?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kat.,
  2. Emily Bronte,
  3. greendream,
  4. MissCeliaB
Total: 407 (members: 4, guests: 373, robots: 30)
test