Friday, November 7, 2008

Mme. Duck quacks and complains

We're in the first semester of a new daily schedule here at Curmudgeon HS. We moved from the old 4-period blocks to a hybrid 4.5 block setup. It's kind of complicated, with some blocks being split into half-block with full credit courses running all year. Other 40 minute half-block run for a semester and generate a half credit. The majority of the courses are full block, one semester, courses.

It's going to take some time to get fully used to it, but it has definite potential. The biggest upside is the increased chances for electives. We were all given the opportunity to propose new courses that we would like to teach. It was great. The Spanish teacher also knows Russian - how cool is that? Forensics got the nod, as did SAT prep and other non-traditional courses.

Needless to say, Mme. Duck is not amused. "I have so much work." "I'm just overwhelmed." "The students hate me even though I tried to help them. It just goes to show you how ungrateful they are."

Gee, Mme. Duck, I'm not an expert, but the probable cause is that you offered a course which is not in your area of expertise, you demanded that it be a requirement for seniors, and you forgot that many of the seniors are probably not finding your class too useful or meaningful, and that they've hated the way you teach for about 4 years now.

Why is that?

It's because you hand out photocopied workbook pages, plop down in your chair, and then don't teach them anything. It might also be that you chose a ninth grade level consumer-math skills book (designed for pre-algebra abilities) and everyone is feeling just a weeeee bit insulted. They don't think that learning to make change is something worth spending three days on. Many already have a car, with insurance and payments, they have a credit card and bank account. You don't need 12 pages of culturally diverse vignettes describing how to fill in the lines on a check.

I'd be more sympathetic, but when the math department pointed out a few of these problems, you rejected us and ran to the principal. Principal PJs couldn't figure out how long D period is -- 9:37 - 10:18 -- addition and subtraction are not his strength. He went along because "Everyone needs consumer skills."

The guidance counselor and scheduler, Mr. YankeeFan, got upset when you went over his head and basically forced him to redo the entire schedule in the first weeks of JUNE because you and Principal PJs suddenly wanted this a GRADUATION REQUIREMENT. At the last bloody minute. Mr YF got great glee setting you up with exactly the classes what you demanded before he waltzed off to a new job.

You have what you demanded. Your students are barely hanging on to their sanity. Your complaints are ringing in our ears.

Epic FAIL.

No comments:

Post a Comment