Thursday, November 08, 2007
Rock and a Hard Place
One of the things we heard on staff development day is that the school is not reaching enough Black students. Interesting, I didn't think this term was politically correct but evidently, this is the way the kids are being referred to this year. One of the kids mentioned by name, Nutjob is a kid I have written about in the past I wrote twice because I like him so much and he is being left behind by a corrupt system. It seems Nutjob should be a junior but he has accumulated less than ten credits since he began high school. I'm not surprised. Nutjob is hyperactive. He has attention deficits. He cuts. He disrupts classes. He looks scary. In reality, he is a sweet, kind kid looking for attention. He is bright. I know because I have spent many periods working with him one-to-one. He wouldn't hurt a fly. So now he has been pinpointed as someone in need. Will anything be done to help him? I doubt it. He still wanders around. He sometimes comes to my ninth period class and actually does some of the work (even though the class is two years ahead of his math class.) He sometimes finds me before he has a test so we can go over the material he will be tested on. His classes are still packed in at 34. He is getting no special help in math or reading. Unfortunately he will probably not get any credits this semester either. I don't think our school really wants to help kids like Nutjob. The administration would like them all to just go away. Nutjob is stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is no place for him to go.
On another note, my AP is trying to meet with all the teachers in the department to go over scholarship reports from last term. I haven't seen him yet, and don't intend to unless he makes time to see me during my C-6 assignment. I'm not worried about his threats. Three U's and I'm out. Well, I've never even gotten a negative letter in my file so I'm not concerned. If he starts with U's now, I'll be long gone before three. If he tells me to transfer or retire, I think I will threaten him with an age discrimination suit. One of my friends, probably the best teacher, definitely the best math teacher in the building met with him today. He told my friend that his statistics were too good. He should be failing more kids. His tests must be too easy if so many kids are passing. He then pointed out a kid that my friend gave a 93 but who only got an 82 on the final!
Suit wants us to pass them all. AP wants us to fail them. Those of us caught in the middle don't know what to do. I'm glad I always walked to a different beat. I pass the ones that deserve to pass and fail the ones that deserve to fail. I give the grades earned. I don't base a grade on one test. The new teachers and even some of the older ones are worried. They need their jobs. They want to do the right thing for the kids. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.