Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Good On Paper
I walked into the math office a little before period 2 today. The office was filled with kids who needed help. There was one teacher in the room and it was obvious she was doing her best to help them and it was also obvious that she was overwhelmed and that it was impossible for her to help them all. I went over to one girl to try to help her before my class started. The girl was a Math B student and her questions involved domain, range and composition functions. The poor kid was totally lost. She was having problems factoring and solving basic equations (skills she needed to do the other questions.) I helped her a short time, but had to go to class. She wanted to stay another period but no teacher was assigned to tutoring until third period. No one was going to be around to help.
The same situation hits me when I have my tutoring in the library. There are just too many kids for one person to effectively help. Sure, I can answer questions, but when the kids really need a topic taught or thoroughly explained, it just cannot be done. On Monday, the English AP commandeered the library for her departmental meeting. No tutoring could take place. The librarian told me to go to the math office but, I am assigned to the library, not the math office, and it is not her job to tell me to go anywhere. Also, the math office was being used for math meetings. My AP used his own space instead of the space belonging to someone else. Other days the library is closed because it is overcrowded and the kids cannot get in for tutoring. Yesterday, I sent a bunch of them to Suit so they could complain. (I don't know if they got in to see him or if they even made it down there.)
One of Principal Suit's favorite tutoring programs is "lunch and learn." Teachers are assigned to the cafeteria where kids can get help while they eat. Sounds great, right????? Wrong!!!!!! The cafeteria is so loud no one can hear themselves think, let alone an explanation to a problem. There is also no seating area for tutoring and the smells are nauseating.
All these programs sound great on paper. Maybe this is why my school got rated as "well developed." Too bad no one really looks closely into what is going on. Too bad no one sees through the smoke to see where the real fire is.