at the school where i work, we are “led” by the ultimate teenager-in-charge. obviously someone couldn’t fill daddy’s shoes or make daddy happy, so, when the person decided to go against the family’s tradition and major in education, the person got some attention. then, when the person began “teaching” and noticed that the students were just as disappointed in his/her style as daddy was, this person decided to “teach teachers.”

and therein lies the problem. not only do staff at this school endure mind-boggling lectures and speeches during morning announcements, mandated “book studies” with no apparent connection to a high school teacher’s life/teaching experience, and meeting after meeting with no direction, we also have to be checked up on. turn in parent contact logs (because i don’t think you are trustworthy); “do something” with your advisee group (or i’ll come in the room and embarrass you); participate in the book study by reading and taking a test (no, i don’t care that you don’t want staff development credit). and, this morning, all students must write to the prompt–i’m sending my minions to check up on you and make sure YOU DO AS I SAY!!!

all this is soooooo oedipal–needing daddy’s approval, never quite meeting it, but pretending that being in each teacher’s business is really working. and our leader has proof: test scores went up, for crying out loud! whatever is being done surely can be directly attributed to this form of torture. but daddy’s still not happy; we’ll have to try something else tomorrow!

i’m not sure what it is that drives me more crazy: actually being checked up on or feeling like i’m being checked up on. this has been the topic of conversation with colleagues for the last year at least. i mean, we are doing our jobs, and i don’t know of a teacher here who doesn’t try to meet the kids where they are and bump them up (although, there probably are some, maybe i just don’t associate with them). but i don’t see how the micro-management that goes on here helps anyone. it just makes us all paranoid and angry. i mean, does real experience in the classroom not count for anything? is the theory from a book, written by a “researcher” not in the classroom, really more scientific than what i know my kids can and can’t do on a daily basis? are those books taking into account the student who has no clothes now because of the tornado that ripped her house apart? or the kid who’s parent died, the other one is in jail, and the grandmother can’t find them a stable place to live because the boyfriend has medical issues? how about the farmer’s kid who doesn’t need to learn to read or write because he’s going to be out with the cows all day long, and won’t take “government handouts” –even if he has no clue what that means? or the girl who comes from an abusive home who rises above all that to want to make something of herself?

are big daddy’s “books” cooler than me or any of my colleagues in this building?? absolutely not!