Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Your Problem Is You Can't Hear A Pin Drop
Normally I would not post stuff like this here anymore but I already spent 20 minutes in the APO's office bitching about what I am about to write, I figured I could share it here.
Basically, Mr. AP told us yesterday that the kids in our classes should be passing. While he doesn't want them to pass for nothing, he expects us to reach the majority of them. If kids are not coming to class, we should do something about it. If kids are not doing homework, we should also do something. We should teach slow enough to reach them all.
I've been working my butt off to get my geometry kids to pass. I make flash cards for every topic. I go over the same topics again and again. I let them use notes on exams. I've given up on the proofs that they hate. They still don't get it. They still add up line segments and set them equal to 180. I don't know what to do with them anymore.
I made the error of trying to talk to Mr. AP about this problem today. After all, he is the chairperson, the master teacher, I thought he could help.
Mr. AP: Can you hear a pin drop in your classroom?
Me: No, those classes are quite difficult.
Mr. AP: Well, that is your problem. In fact, it is only you senior teachers that have this problem. If one kid is noisy, send him out and don't let him back in until his parent shows up. That will set the other kids straight.
Me: It won't work. Too many are noisy. Besides, a kid that can't divide 12 by 2 without a calculator cannot learn geometry, no matter how quiet the room is.
Mr. AP: It will. It is your fault the kids can't learn. Big deal about what you do. You are only teaching four or five kids at most.
At that point I walked out. There was no point in arguing with this madman. But, the steam was still pouring out of my ears and I decided to vent to the APO. She invited me to sit down and air my complaints. She listened sympathetically and promised to talk to him tomorrow.
Mr. AP has no answers to the problems we face so he is choosing the easy way out--BLAME THE TEACHER. The APO's conversation with him will do no good but it did help me to vent to her and knowing that she is on my side helps as well.
Mr. AP's comments mean nothing to me in the long run. There is nothing he can do to hurt me but I will not sit back and be his whipping post.
At yesterday's departmental conference he also made quite a few uncalled for comments and told us he expected us to do things that cannot possibly fit into our school day. I managed to keep my mouth shut for most of the meeting. Not one teacher opened up a mouth in protest to anything he said. If they choose to be beaten, so be it. NOT ME. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. And, if it really bothers him, I will stay on for another few years. I WILL NOT LET HIM WIN!