Playing Catch Up (Not Mustard)

Posted on September 5, 2012Filed Under Back to School, Teacher Evaluation | 1 Comment

Is it really Wednesday again already? Dunno what is so different this year, but everything seems just a tad rushed this time around. I’ve been running out of time in classes a lot this year, which isn’t like me at all. I figure I’m at least a couple of days behind where I’d like to be with everything. Not to mention this blogging thing.

And yet the kids seem good for the most part this year. Well… Every year does seem to be more… how should I say it…coddled–yeah, that’s it–than the previous one. This is the first year ever that I had a kid say that his reason for showing up to class on the first day with nothing–no pencil, paper, binder, notebook, etc.–was that his mom told him that his teachers would give him what he needed.

You can imagine how that went over with me. (And no, I checked, he’s not homeless; it wasn’t about that.)

Speaking of crabby reactions, I think I’ve already set a record for counselor solicitations on behalf of terrified new seventh graders.

“Elvin is scared of you.”

“Wha? He’s one of the good ones in that period.”

“He saw you go off on one of the not-so-good ones, and is worried that he might be next.”

“I’ll talk to him and assure him that I only punish–sorry, administer consequences to–those who disrupt the class. Elvin’s got nothing to worry about.”

“Could you please tell him that? Thank you.”

Sheesh. And the stick is still in the closet. If I fished that out now, I’d need a mop for this bunch.

I think all this might be related to what I saw at BTSN last week. (I know; so early. Upside: I knew so few names at that point that I couldn’t be engaged “privately” to talk about specific kids.)

I asked at the beginning of each 10-minute spiel how many were first-time middle school parents; you know the first time with a seventh grader hitting the junior high.

OMG. So many noobs!

Two-thirds at least in most classes, approaching 3/4 in a couple. No wonder my e-mail inbox is full. I don’t think a lot of them quite understood the part where I say,

“You already did seventh grade; it’s their turn now.”

Maybe I should have busted out the song from last year.

Update: Looks like I am on track to be one of the teachers to be evaluated under the new system. That assumes the union votes to approve it. That vote happens by the end of this month. I hope to blog about what goes down as it goes down. The problem with this whole vote thing is that it pushes the start date for the whole process, and compresses the timeline. I think principals are already going to rushed for time as they practice with this whole new (really) way. Then the temptation will be to rush through things like always and forever before.

Here are some of the documents and such we will be using.

This is the E-Smart Card (what is up with that name?) which is a summary of the four “domains” and the 22 “components”  (1a-e and etc.)of those domains and the 76 “elements” (the bullet points) of those components. My principal and I are supposed to choose 4 of those components each to be looked at in detail during my evaluation.

Here is the principals’ timeline. Good luck with that. (The internal links won’t work yet.)

More on this as it develops.

Also: Cloud Atlas, the movie comes out in October. Between now and then you should be (re)reading Cloud Atlas, the book. I can’t wait! I am on my third pass through David Mitchell’s most excellent novel.

 

Comments

One Response to “Playing Catch Up (Not Mustard)”

  1. Meg on September 9th, 2012 10:36 pm

    I feel ya with the middle school newbies. Have a class of 6th graders where 70-80% of them are the oldest, and many of them take things too literally. Hang in there!

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