Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day #95

Today HR reps from headquarters came to the school to tell everyone what their options were since the school is being zero-based (although they didn't call it zero-based, they termed it in glorious Orwellian speak "Expanding Great Options." So "your school is getting closed and re-opened under new management, you all are being shit-canned and forced to re-apply for your jobs" becomes "wow, what a wonderful opportunity for you to change careers and work at BK or KFC!").

I take it in stride. I got peeved by the piss-poor uninvolved school manager who trashed me in a review full of hearsay and insinuation--I admit it. But the school getting shut down and re-opening needs to happen. What bugs me is the fact that the teachers take the blame for this failing school, which is built right in the middle of a run-down, bombed-out neighborhood on a fucking former cemetery. The school fails because 5 parents show up on conference day. The school fails because students who attack faculty are back in school the next day. The school fails because we are forced to teach to tests which don't measure education, they measure regurgitation. The school fails because the principal was fired last year and never replaced, and an unqualified nincompoop protege of that rightly shit-canned lunatic was allowed to step in and run the school all year in an "acting" capacity. One can't help but think the plan was to make sure the school failed this year.

But it's the teachers' fault--whatever. I went to the meeting actually viewing it as "expanded great options," meaning I can get the fuck out of dodge and go to a school where I can shine instead of languishing in some rat-hole. But then I sat at the meeting where many long-term staff with heavy investment in the community and school were obviously devestated at the prospect of getting transferred God knows where. They looked battered, defeated, panicked. It really pissed me off. They asked questions of the HR people whose response was a gazillion variations of "allow me to answer your question by not answering your question." Then I thought about my sixth graders and how hard I worked to forge relationships, and how I won't have the opportunity to choose to stay and work with them again next year, because only "up to" 50% of the staff will be asked to stay--after re-interviewing and going through the screening process decided upon by a third-party vendor hired by the City which is a totally unknown quantity at this point.

So I left the meeting and went to my conflict and crisis intervention training. Tomorrow night we learn grappling and restraint techniques; I wished I'd had them tonight.


Anonymous said...

Oooooohh boy. I am sorry to hear this!
:) jv

Anonymous said...

I just saw this on CNN.com:


thought you'd find it interesting

:) jv

Nyarlathotep said...

I bet there are some terrible teachers in that building--there are some terrible teachers at any school, even the best schools.

But teachers are not the main reason that school is struggling. The system is slow to react to the changing needs of the community. If most of the kids barely speak English, it's not the teachers fault that they are all English-speaking staff required to give these kids the same tests everyone else gets. Ridiculous. We need bilingual educators, and tests in Spanish for those kids. Who cares what language they speak and read so long as they demonstrate skill mastery? Give them a chance to learn English without requiring them to be fluent before they're taught. Argh.