flightless hag

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

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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.

September 12, 2012

Ahhh, so THIS is karma?

So, school started. And I have great, fun classes with great, fun kids!

I love the beginning of the year.

(jfarch I could do without, but Sep-Nov kick)

Anyhow, we found out, like 2 days before school started, that our juniors are going to have to take a biology test in January. They had biology last year. The tests weren't ready last year. So they have to take it, oh, seven months AFTER they completed a course that was 10 months long. Our principal thinks (realistically) that they mightn't do well on this test.

The solution? To have me teach biology to the chemistry kids the first part of the year (sep - dec).

You'd think the VP was a newbie, but no, she's actually a really GOOD teacher who has just left the classroom. Last year, we worked together to get our juniors through PSSA math - I had to teach math 1 day a week to the chem kids. And I was ok with that. I've got a pretty good math background. I guess she figured I'd be ok with this.

So let us ponder, for just a second. First off, if I spend september - december doing biology, I lose almost 1/2 of the year for teaching chemistry. When they have to take the chemistry test next year, which you just know they're gonna do, they won't have a prayer.

Second, I have not had biology since... gosh, I want to say 1986? I mean, I took it senior year, but we did nothing in that class. Except feed the piranha. But I digress. I took bio in 85-86, when I was a sophomore. We studied, if I remember, from the top down. I remember KPCOFGS - you all know the king philip anagaram, right? I remember dinoflagellates cause red tides. But I don't remember the krebs cycle. Oh, phloem carries water and xylem carries food, right? That's a plant thing. But I don't know the difference between a carbohydrate, a lipid, a protein, and the rest. I don't know the ATP cycle. I don't know miosis vs mitosis vs halitosis. I think we all get here that I know almost no biology, or at least, not what is considered important in 2012.

So, I look at her with my head tilt, and I chortle. She did not smile back.

"Are you serious? Every class? Biology?"

She solemnly answers, yes, and that they're looking for a computer program to supplement my lessons. In biology. That might as well be latin, for all I remember of it.

I ask her, not so tongue in cheek, if she speaks English. She nods. Korean? (she's korean american) She nods again. I ask her, well, how about you teach Japanese for three months? That's about what you're asking me to do.

She just glared at me as if I would go away. I did. But I managed to put my aggression away and channel to passive aggression. I decided that I would teach chemistry until someone gave me lesson plans for biology. They haven't yet. They will... but they haven't yet.

Meanwhile, one of our science teachers is out of commission. Long story short, they need a physical science/environmental science teacher. And they can't get a full time sub because of some school district nonsense. So guess who they have teaching the environmental science, with no lesson plans? The VP. I stopped by her office to offer all my old powerpoints and activities from when I taught that class 2 years ago. She looked at me and smiled. "I understand how you felt now. Being ineffective in the classroom because you don't know the material is AWFUL."



Blogger junewilliams7 said...

Definitely sounds unrealistic that you can cover a year of chemistry while also cramming in biology. Does this biology test affect their chances of getting into their first-choice college?

September 13, 2012 1:13 AM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

The lovely thing no one informs the public about these standardized tests is that they have no impact on the students. Pass swimmingly or fail brilliantly, the student is not impacted. Only the school, and in the case of subject tests, the teacher. Unless that changes in the future. It may. But as long as I've been here, that's what the system has been.

September 13, 2012 6:36 AM  
Anonymous kid#6 said...

and you left GMAC for this kind of BS.

Good luck little sis. Like the rest of your siblings you will succeed despite the situation. Your students are fortunate that you are their instructor vs. some DofE flunky.

September 13, 2012 9:05 AM  

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