Friday, November 30, 2007

New Memo

I don't know why these notes bother me. I know he is not talking about me. I'm lucky. He leaves me alone.

In my brief stops recently, I have seen some good lessons. However, the following scenarios really concerned me:

1. Some review sheets were titled "Chapter Test Review." Please stop giving chapter or unit exams. It is the major reason why your students do not perform on the final exam.

Mr. AP came into my room today as I was giving one of these tests. He looked at it, said it was good and walked out. The teacher he is referring to gave out a review sheet on the unit but her test was spiraled. I know, I saw it.

Two and four are quite contradictory:

2. Please show them [students] at least one example befre you ask your students to try [it]. (Sounds like Chalk and Talk to

4. Showing or telling students how to solve a math problem does not help them in their effort to learn.

If I was new, or one of the older teachers under attack, I would not know what to do. How he can contradict himself in one memo is unbelievable.

Number 3 deals with his micro management issues.

3. Please take attendance in the beginning of the period instead of a few minutes into the period. If you do that, you will probably have many students walking in late.

A teacher should be able to decide the best time to take attendance. I admit that I am a bad attendance taker. But, my students know how I feel about their lateness. Marking it down at any one minute does nothing to change their actions. Teachers need to be the decision makers in their classrooms.

He also mentioned that grade leaders should begin working on the final and that we should communicate with the teachers teaching the same course. Unfortunately, in a school the size of mine, I never see others teaching the same course. It would be nice if we could have some common planning time in our C-6 periods. But, this will never happen.

I don't know why all these things bother me. He leaves me alone. He never comes to the trailer and when he does, he stays a few minutes and leaves. I hate his double standards. I hate his making the lives of some of my colleagues a living hell. I hate the fact that he is really a miserable teacher who has no business telling others how to teach. I hate his trying to control every detail of our lives and I hate the fact that there are some people that will never be able to do anything that pleases him.

As far as grades are concerned he wants to:
See our test grades before we make up grades. Some say we should just let him make up the grades himself.

If he didn't like the grades, he would want to see our tests. Some say he should make up the tests himself.

If he made up the tests himself, he would claim we did not teach the material. Some say he should supply all our lessons.

If he supplied all our lessons, he would claim that we did not teach the material correctly. We cannot win.


17 (really 15) more years said...

"Showing or telling students how to solve a math problem does not help them in their effort to learn."

Since when is modeling how to solve a problem a bad instructional strategy? I was doing old Regents questions with my kids today, and they NEEDED me to model for them how to break down the questions (as 8th graders, those higher order thinking questions are so difficult for them). They LIKED it- after I did a few with them, they had a better idea what they need to do.

I just ignore most of the memos that we get- they end up pissing me off.

proofoflife said...

I think all AP's have a little black book of assinmind comments. I have an AP that is the principal's secretary. I called her "mini me' once, and it caught on! The custodians call her mini me too! I wish someone would update their little black book!

Schoolgal said...

There is a time to model and a time to use inquiry. Teachers should be able to choose. As for what to name a chapter review--that's insane. Any review is helpful because it's an assessment.

I always thought teaching in High or Jr. High was better because you dealt with "grownups". I was wrong. Does your AP have a math background???

Anonymous said...

Sounds like massive CYA... Some enterprising teacher might ask the AP (in writing) how to simultaneously implement #2 & #4 (ask for a specific example, eg, adding rational expressions). Now, I doubt the AP will answer, but this means that somewhere teachers will have the original memo, in writing, the question, in writing, and no answer. We know how to COA's too.

Actually, I have long said that a school might get more teaching done and be a more interesting place if not so many A's were C'ed....

Your comments no longer allow me to link to my blog (need blogger).


IMC Guy said...

Sounds like some teachers can't win. I would agree with you that since he leaves you alone, it's probably a good thing. However, he's not improving the quality of teaching in your school.

Anonymous said...

I had to use html to type in the link. Blogger would only let me post with a blogger account, or anonymously. At the top of the comment it says “annoymous”

Pissed Off said...

sorry, don't know why it is now working.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Poor little adminstrators with their ill fitting suits. You have to understand that they are very nervous these days--having given up tenure, having to follow a script themselves and having to please the "Gods" (Bloom/Klein).


Just a Cog said...

Don't become too complacent because your AP leaves you alone. Mine left me alone, too--for five years. I watched as she eviscerated several colleagues, and did nothing. Then I became her special project.

I landed on my feet, but I wouldn't wish anyone the experience that I and others have gone through when incompetent APs are give free reign. The time to get your chapter together is now, before your AP gets the idea that he can do whatever he wishes.

Pissed Off said...

I will be long gone before he can do me any damage. Thanks for the advice. I wish the people who really need it would take it.