Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Preparation for the New Term

Dear Dialog,

There seems to be quite a few different opinions when it comes to the teachers versus the administration when determining the future of the school. A new requirement for graduating Seniors this year is that they have to pass both the OAKS Reading and Writing exams. These, to me, show that a student can pass a test, NOT that they know the material. I myself, could not pass one of these exams, but I know the material.

The reading exam is in a multiple choice format which is ridiculous... How can a student show proficiency in reading by taking a multiple choice exam??? This is absurd!!! Also, the writing exam... What do I have to say about the writing exam... Well you don't know how to spell, but you need to know your conventions, how to formulate an essay, word choice, make the voice of the writer evident and oh ya... Conventions again...

Currently, some people at school believe that those who pass the Oaks exams in both reading and writing, should be given upwards of 3 Credits of English! This would only mean that students need 1 Credit of English before they fulfilled their requirements. Our English department has decided that they should be given no more than 2 Credits but they have since been overruled even though they were asked to decide how much credit should be allotted in the first place!!!

This argument continues both in the departments of Math and Science... Social Studies is a department that you don't even want to get me started on...

Any who... Currently the staff at school are all working without a Prep period... This has caused chaos amongst students, hectic classes without proper direction and exhausted teachers! For many of us, our Prep period is our time to prepare for classes. To have meetings. To regain our train of thoughts. To get prepared!!! I have been talking with various teachers at school and have created a schedule that allows us to not only have a prep period, but also to keep our classes around 15-18 kids per class. We are also able to keep our Academic Focus classes. I am going to send this around to the staff once again and then when I have input from everyone, I am going to present it to our principal. I am really hoping that it goes well and that the administration adopts the schedule.

I am also starting to think about how I want to structure my Academic Focus classes next term. Next term, they will be all the same students, three class periods in a row without anyone moving from class to class. There will be consistency!!! A big goal of the school is to be a Proficiency school. Unfortunately, many of our students have yet to get the memo and our Proficiency model has turned into a lazy model. Most of our students need consistency. They need a regular schedule. They need accountability...

My next move this term is to determine what this consistency, regular schedule and accountability will look like.

Any who...Life is being life...


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