Thursday, January 24, 2008

Things that make me go grrr...

It's remediation time again! For the last few days, the powers that be have been in high, frantic gear trying to get lists together of those students who are not proving to be successful in their SOL classes. Teachers submitted lists of those who did not pass respective 9-week tests, and have been asked to revise those lists AT LEAST 3 times. Each time, we get a memo to the effect of that there are too many kids on the lists. OK - if they didn't pass the test, they didn't pass the test. If the criteria for remediation is not passing the test, then the students on the lists should be in remediation, right? One would think so. Instead, we hear "We need to remediate those students who we think have a chance of passing the SOL." Shouldn't we be thinking that ALL students in our classes are capable of passing our course SOL? What happened to the old self-fulfilling prophecy?

In any case, the remediation list has been pared down. I have 11 kids scheduled for remediation, starting tomorrow. Of those 11, seven are kids from my classes. Here's a thought: If they didn't learn it from me the first time around, what are the chances they will learn it from me in remediation? I suggested that maybe, just maybe, we should mix up the groups. There are two of us doing Earth Science remediation, so we could mix up the groups so we are not necessarily teaching our own kids.

My principal loves to do drive-bys. He adores coming up to us in the halls and having impromptu meetings that last about 3 minutes. Very productive. Anyway, he entertains me yesterday (while I was on morning duty) with a run down of the 'best practice' theories for remediaton. Turns out, according to him, it's 50/50 whether remediation of your own students is better than letting your students hear it from someone new. Either way has proven to be effective. BUT - he thinks we should remediate our own. We know where the deficits are, we know the behavior issues (yes, that's the crux of this situation. The implication is that my SPED students do not behave well enough for other teachers), blah, blah, blah.... Yesterday afternoon, he pulls me and the other remediation teacher in to an empty classroom during class change to 'discuss' (read 'mold') our thoughts about the remediation groups. We both say we'll remediate whoever shows up, but we wouldn't mind mixing up the students a bit. Way to make a strong statement! (Meanwhile, our classes are starting without us) This morning, during class change from homeroom to first period, he has a meeting with us in the hall again. He shows us the list of students, tells us who we have, and says "OK - we're good to go tomorrow morning." I have my own kids, Leah has her own kids. After the principal leaves, we look at each other and say, "We'll swap kids around, after we see how the groups work out."

I just love it when I feel administration is hearing what I'm saying. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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