Having a tough year

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Beth2004, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Nov 9, 2010

    Last year, my school didn't meet AYP in math or ELA. Our scores weren't awful, but they stayed mostly flat from the previous year, so we didn't make adequate progress. Then, we got a new principal this year. His experience has been working with underperforming schools and he came in ready to treat us as if we were underperforming as well. He hardly knows what we're doing in our classrooms yet keeps talking about how we need to change things. It's frustrating.

    Also, because we didn't meet AYP, we got involved with an outside benchmark testing company. They assess the students every 8 weeks and there's a really quick turn-around with the data, so we can use is to inform our instruction. We were told (by the company and our principal) not to stress about the scores during the first few assessments because we were probably going to be at the bottom of the school ranking, but we'd get better over time.

    Well, we took the first assessments in October and when we got the data back, the scores were pretty good. We ranked 4th out of the 40 schools in my state involved with these assessments and were only 4 percentage points away from the #1 school. Yet, still, we're being treated like we've got a ton of improvements to make. Sure, there are always things to work on, but can't we just all recognize the fact that our students are doing well?!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 10, 2010

    I hear ya, Beth! So much of our time and energy is spent on what our kids can't do that we forget to even think about what they can. I was actually told in a meeting about possibly finding an alternate placement for a student, when I brought up how well they are doing in certain areas in the classroom, "Okay, but we don't want to mention that."
     
  4. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Nov 10, 2010

    No Child Left behind = No Teacher left standing

    This is what Happens when you have "Bean counters" involved in education, Cookie cutter education.
    As much as many "wonder" about Special ED it does prove one thing students do not all learn the same way.

    What I hate is (if I am right) the AYP is measured by testing this years "8th graders" against last years "8th graders"?
    Isn't this a different population of test subjects?
    To me you should measure this "8th graders" against last years "7th graders" if the grade level advances a year then their tests scores should go up a year plus.

    I saw a report somewhere that stated that teachers are suffering from PTSD like ailments over all this.

    SO sit back pour yourself your favorite "beverage" and meditate on how many atoms are in the period at the end of this sentence .
     
  5. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2010

    Exactly. Or worse when the newly elected politicians (instant experts on schools ) start getting involved. Hey, they all went to school and understand the needs completely:huh:
     
  6. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Nov 10, 2010

    Yeah, don't even mention the state of education in Florida. Everybody knows a lot more than the teachers!
     
  7. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Nov 10, 2010

    PTSD....That is sad but totally believable.

    I agree with all sentiments here.

    Your best, no matter how stellar it is, just isn't good enough in today's education system. It's only getting worse, as more people with no teaching or extremely minimum teaching experience are becoming district leaders and will be the powerful leaders of a field they have no real experience in. I can't think of another field where you are able to lead thousands of people but you never walked a day in their shoes?

    I don't understand the venom that so many political leaders have against teachers and their unions? Like, how is a union hurting their lives? Is it about money? Based on their actions, we certainly know they don't care that deeply about children, so it's something I'm not getting.

    They will publicly state, on record, that teachers are hurting the economy and the unions have to go, and they have no problem firing them all. That politician lost here, as he went to war with the strong union, but the man who won as governor once worked with him, so I'm still thinking he's going to attack the union and remove due process rights for teachers. No one attacks the union for other government workers, so why teachers? And those other countries that excel in education have the strongest unions. I'm just confused about their agendas to destroy unions.
     
  8. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2010

    If you ever listen at all to any of the hate mongers on radio you might get an inkling of the hate for public schools. We teach in "govt (govt.=bad) schools" where the "agenda" is promoting homosexuality, unions, socialism etc. These places are very dangerous for children because of all the violence and drugs. btw all public school teachers are that dirty word "liberals" another reason to hate them.
    We are the lowest of all college grads because colleges of education can only get the poorest students. Our "failing schools and school systems" are proof that teachers are lousy. The amazing thing is those blowhards spewing this bile are so far removed from real classrooms they wouldnt know one if they saw one. Politicians hear this from their constituents because they listen to the radio.
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Nov 10, 2010

    Thanks for the responses, everyone. I know that we're far from the only school in this kind of position, but it's always nice to hear from teachers in other places who understand where we're coming from with this. :)
     
  10. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Very well said, I am not very pro union, but come on we cannot be someone's wiping boy... and it is not just Republicans I have heard Democrats saying the same thing the only time politicians are nice to teachers and teacher unions is when they want their vote!
     
  11. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Nov 10, 2010

    Is there any way you can send a school-wide e-mail just making a general comment--"congratulations to everyone for blah, blah, blah"? Or stand up at a faculty meeting and state it?

    I did it once (the faculty meeting), and the prince just looked at me like I was a bit nuts. I smiled at him after the meeting and said something about, "I just thought everyone needed some praise."

    In our case, he just needed a reminder to be more encouraging. Things really have changed now and he does end every faculty meeting by asking for successes.

    It might not be a bad idea for all of us to end each day with successes in our own classrooms...either shared with students or a private reflection at the end of the day.
     
  12. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Nov 11, 2010

    Irish yes it's Democrats and Republicans. No one is supporting educators and children at this point IMO, from all the chaos going on.
    Stephenpe, thanks for that insight.:thanks: I never thought about it like that, but knew the issue had to be deeper than tenure and test scores.

    The entire history/effects of all of this would make a good thesis or dissertation topic IMO. But thankfully I'm not in school.
     

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