Thursday, April 30, 2009


Thanks SO much, kind readers, for your well wishes this week. I so appreciate your words of comfort. :)

My school meeting yesterday went better than I anticipated. Though I'm still frustrated that our department was docked points on the evaluation, at least we were able to vent and discuss things as a group.

The positives:
1. Our reading department bonded and is closer-knit because of our recent frustrations.
2. The principal and vice principal were able to witness first hand that some of the items we had points deducted for, we were NEVER informed about prior to yesterday's meeting. (This is a "positive," because they now know we didn't neglect to do things, rather we were not previously told the policy.)
3. My principal rocks! At the beginning of the meeting, he said he called us all together (himself, vice principal, myself, the other 3 reading teachers in my department, Ms. Cray --the district Sch.olastic Read180 rep, and Ms. Cambell--the district county-employed Read180 rep) so that we could communicate in person. He stated he doesn't like going back and forth behind people's backs, and wanted us to all communicate freely in person. I SOOO appreciate him for this. Some of my prior principals were the exact opposite of this----they'd much rather discuss things with the district reps and then come back and "scold" the reading department. I truly appreciate my principal for making things feel team oriented.
4. We were told that we are one of 4 middle schools in our county who has a team ready for the "next step" in Read180. Ms. Cray reviewed specific reports for us to use during "Checkpoints" in the Read180 curriculum.

The negatives:
1. None of the points from the Cluster visit evaluation are going to be altered. (So though my department and I still feel some things were unfair, the points remain as they are.)
2. Despite never asking to see Ms. J's data notebook, they are still not altering the points indicating that Ms. J lacked data.
3. Despite never asking my students or I where their Sourcebook/portfolios are, and despite the typed "Student Sourcebooks are kept here" sign hanging on my cabinet, they are still not altering the points for my students "lacking" portfolios.

I feel like the district is going against what they train their teachers to do. We are always told to give students rubrics and/or clear expectations for every assignment. We're told that it isn't fair to deduct points from students if they weren't exactly sure what was expected of them beforehand. Yet points were deducted from our department for UNCLEAR expectations. So, my anger is starting to subside...but it's still there, because I feel we've been treated unfairly.

The best news however----the county has heard us loud and clear. Other schools who combined language arts and Read180 are struggling just as much as we are. The district ladies told us yesterday that the district will NOT ALLOW Read180 and Language Arts to be combined next year. YIPPEE! Planning over in 2 minutes....sorry for the long ranting session. At least it's over. :)


Mrs. Gamgee said...

I'm glad that you got to be heard! I know it's frustrating that it changes nothing in regards to your score, but hopefully the district reps will take these things into consideration when evaluating your school (and others) in the future.

Carrie27 said...

I'm glad you have such a supportive principal. That makes it so much better, even if the scores stand.

We combined our LA and reading this year, when it hadn't been in few years. Not really sure, yet, if I like it this way or not. I would like it better if we had longer class period, that's for sure.