Sunday, February 11, 2007

Message from the Principal



....setting individual goals for students might be something you want to consider. This can be done by challenging the entire class to raise their grade by five points from the Fall to the Spring semester. Or you might meet with each student to set a specific individual goal....


I have nothing against challenging students to raise their grades, 5, 10 or 20 points. I encourage them all the time to do this. If a 20 student gets a 30, I praise the 10 point growth and push them to do 20 points better. Over time, I believe the student might be able to pass, and pass with a really good grade. In fact, by using this praise method last term, I helped encourage a boy who was getting 0's to get a 77 on the regents (and he had only taken Math 3/4--he still needs one more course to finish the sequence).


I do however object to the meeting with students individually. When I mentioned this in my usual whiny way to my husband, he said "that is a great idea. why not do this twice a week instead of tutoring?" I told him that idea had been suggested and rejected by Principal Suit. Too many teachers took advantage of situations like this and did nothing. As much as I hate to admit it, he is probably correct. Still, there are plenty of us that do the right thing. We are not being penalized, our students are. If I can't meet with the kids during my professional period, the only periods left are lunch (I do like to eat occasionally) and prep (there are copies to be made and papers to mark). There has got to be a way for good ideas like this one to be put into place. Administrators: I call on you to find the way to let me meet individually with my 150+ students to set the goals that will help them succeed.

3 comments:

NYC Educator said...

You don't seem to understand your place in the universe.

Why don't you just get with the larger program of ensuring your principal gets the merit pay he so richly deserves, whether or not he deserves it?

Pissed Off said...

Forgive me old great NYC educator. it seems I have much to learn.

Ellie said...

You know, NYC and PO'd, I remember the kids, years ago, quoting a rap song (maybe it was a movie after the song). The name of Principal Suit's game is the same name as that song: "It's All About the Benjamins". Greed and extreme selfishness have taken the place of real concern for our kids, especially the struggling students who might prevent Principal Suit and some nasty whiny AP's from getting their bonus "benjamins". Luckily, the kids still have teachers like you folks (and myself) who truly care if these kids succeed.