flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

My Photo
Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

January 16, 2009

Bureaucratic Nightmares!

(date changed to make it a lower post.)

OK, so as most of you know, I attempt to teach science to a hoard of kids in an inner-city school. Because most of our schools are a little bit challenged in keeping up to what the kids need to know (you know, no child left behind and all that), we have very specific and detailed instruction on what we must be teaching and when. This exists for most major courses.

Well, this year we have a new overlord of the schools and she has been informed (? does she have snitches?) that many? some? of the math and english teachers aren't sticking to the program. So now they all have to give a quiz EVERY FRIDAY (which takes a good portion of the period) to see if the teachers are far behind... so they're losing one in five (on a good week) days of instruction because they're not going fast enough... does anyone else see that this might be a dog-chases-tail kind of problem?

But we science teachers are not immune. Beyond our bi-monthly "are you teaching the right stuff" test, the state administered a standardized science test last year. Every district (in the state?) apparently scored below proficient. Much of the test, wisely, as it is governed by politicians, is geared toward environmental science. Which is not a course required in most schools. Also, there was a great deal tested on the life-cycle of stars which is taught in 7th grade. The test is administered in 11th grade. Yes, this all makes a great deal of sense.

So, the knee-jerk reaction is to "teach to the test". I now have a lesson I have to teach every week to help my students prepare for the PSSA.
Problem 1: most of the stuff in the review is biology/environmental. I last had biology in 1985. I do not remember it, and I do not care to.
Problem 2: I have 150 students. 10 of them are juniors. The other 140 are not required to take the PSSA until next year.
Problem 3: I have my own schedule that I must follow. I am just a little bit behind now, but stealing a day a week? Please see the second paragraph of this post.


Speaking of teaching outside my "expertise," in celebration of the coronation on Tuesday, the school is doing a whole host of presidency-related stuff. I have to teach about the Gettysburg Address, I have to teach about the I Have A Dream speech, I have to teach about the Declaration and the Constitution and all this civics history and other schtuff. And I have absolutely no clue. So I got out Schoolhouse Rock. Isn't that the best way to learn it? Heck, I can still sing the preamble.

All of this makes me very confused. But hey, keeps me on my toes!


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home