Time for some Sunday ruminations...
--Work continues to be challenging. At our Leadership meeting this week (department heads, administrators and the principal) we were informed that there were more "Class 3" offenses at our school in the past week and a half than in the ENTIRE school year last year. Class 3's are considered "major offenses" and the recent occurrences include two students who had a knife on campus, assault of a teacher ("luckily" with fists not a weapon,) and stealing. We had a full-faculty meeting this week to discuss safety on school grounds. I am saddened that things got to this point. I fear our meeting was probably "too little too late."
--The Florida state legislature (similar to many states) is looking at several changes within the public education system. Those which currently frustrate me the most are: budget cuts and
connecting teacher pay to a "rating" given by parents. I believe I am a decent teacher who maintains frequent contact with the majority of my students' parents. However, I don't think it is fair to connect my paycheck to a rating given by people who do NOT observe me in the classroom, nor witness my work first hand. Phone calls, e-mail correspondence, conferences and open house are not an adequate portrayal of all that goes into being an educator. Seeing as MOST of a teacher's work occurs IN the classroom, I don't understand how we can be fairly evaluated by people who do not observe us there. Sighs.
--I am at the point I will give my current school one more year and then if things have not improved, I will look at transferring to a different school. This makes me sad, as my goal when I changed to this school 2 1/2 years ago was to stay here until Emma was finished with middle school. Remember, I have her on "special assignment" at the elementary school next door to where I teach. I am disappointed...if I transfer it will mean changing schools for her as well. Crossing all fingers that things get better next year. (This would require HUGE changes within our administration team.) Overall, teacher morale is very low this year. There are many people who are unhappy and who are looking to transfer schools at the end of this year.
--I recently read "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. LOVED this book! It is narrated by an elderly man who is reminiscing about years he worked in a traveling circus in the 1930's. The book toggles between his present day life and his memories of the circus. Awesome, awesome story! DH actually read the book after I did and he enjoyed it as well. :)
--I'm currently reading "Home" an autobiography by Julie Andrews. Interesting read thus far, though it has been a bit slow going due to school work and our Disney vacation.
--Plugging away on his 4th book. Entered a contest for his 3rd book...with a 1-in-100 chance of getting to have his entire book read by a book agent. How wonderful would that be? I continue to admire his perseverance. I don't think I could stay dedicated at "keeping at it" without support from an agent by now.
--Dear Readers, what is your opinion of on-line university programs? I took several online courses to obtain my teaching degree. I am highly interested in obtaining my masters degree, but would like to find a program that is 100% online. Due to DH's work schedule (he works 11-7 every weekday and 9-5 many Saturdays) evening courses at one of the local universities would be difficult for me to attend due to needing child care for Emma.
--Do you think employers think less of "virtual" degrees than they do of face-to-face degree programs? Or once I've obtained a diploma will it really matter?
I think that's all the latest...
1 day ago