Why I Don’t Like Meetings

Buckle your seat belts and hold on to your hats, because I have a nice long rant for you today  :)

I got really excited this morning while reading an email from my principal because he started off by saying we were not going to have a faculty meeting.  I thought to myself, “Fantastic!  I can grade a few things, then get out of school at a decent time, go to the gym, and then go out to dinner earlier than I had planned.”

Because, you see, I had plans.  I had based these plans on having a faculty meeting that would last until about 4:30, because that is how long most of them have been going recently.  If it got out a little later, that would be fine, because I did leave a little leeway.  My dad taught me well to leave extra time when making plans.  I was being logical.

And therein, I guess, was my mistake.  Using logic.  To be frank, logic is not something incredibly useful at my school.  Last Wednesday we went to homeroom for about 35 minutes at the beginning of the day.  We had nothing to hand out, no important information to disseminate, just approximately 40 kids (out of around 900) who needed to take ID pictures.  Logically, we could just pull those 40 kids out of first block, but instead we held the entire school in homeroom for 35 minutes instead of going to class.

Anyway, I digress.  I was very excited reading the aforementioned email from my principal, until I got to the part where he said that in lieu of a faculty meeting, he would be meeting the English teachers, ESL teachers, and Special Education teachers that support English.  Fantastic.

Being the good employee that I am, I went down to the library after school for the meeting.  School gets out at 3:15, meetings are supposed to start at 3:30.  We started at 3:45.  The principal asked why he doesn’t have any English II data.  We explained that we had showed him all the data when he pulled us out for an all day meeting last semester and had emailed him the updated data from semester exams.  He said he never saw it.

He then talked to the English III teachers about their writing data because the writing test is next week.  They’ve been meeting and talking about their data for weeks, so nothing new.  Then he comes back to us.  I tried to explain to him how it’s much easier to get lots of data on a 35 minute writing test that is easy to make up prompts for than it is for a 65 question test that covers over 80 different content standards.  He tried to explain to me that data is important.  Duh, I know that.  I have data.  I’ve shown you my data.  Just because you don’t remember it, or understand it, doesn’t mean I don’t have data.

Then he says we need to know who are “bubble kids” are.  English III knows who their “bubble kids” are.  Right, because English III knows their kids need to get a 4 to pass.  NO ONE knows what English II kids need to get to pass, because the state cannot make up their mind about the cut scores.  Last year, at first they told us we had somewhere around 92% proficient.  Then it was 30% proficient.  Now we’re 52% proficient.

Give me a mastery percentage I’m aiming for, and in 5 minutes I can identify my “bubble kids” for you.  And I could probably even tell you most of them off the top of my head without even looking at my data.  Because guess what: I actually know my kids.  I talk to them on a daily basis.  I make them do work on a daily basis.  I know where they are and what they can do and continually push them to do more.  Because that’s my job, and I actually take pride in doing it.

Of course, none of that really matters in this meeting.  We continued to remain in that meeting, discussing things we have absolutely no control over (the ESL kids can’t use dictionaries on the English II End of Course even though they can on every other EOC?  Did you know this?  Yes, I knew this, because, gasp!, I know my subject matter!) until 5:20 pm, a good 2 hours after school ended.  As a result, I didn’t have time to work out before dinner, so I ended up only having an hour at the gym after dinner, which meant I couldn’t get in my full routine.

And what did I gain from this meeting?  There’s going to be a writing blitz this week that doesn’t effect me at all, I won’t get to see my honors class next Tuesday because 10th grade needs to do a practice writing prompt the day the 11th grade takes the test, and we’ll have another English II meeting after school next Tuesday to talk about data.  Somebody kill me now.

Can’t I just teach my kids???

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1 Comment

  1. jenkakio

     /  January 25, 2011

    I’m sorry that you had to go through this. I work for a University and I know how “logically” the administration can get. Sometimes I look at the Dean, scratch my head, and say, “How do you run your department?” Sometimes its all about dollar signs and data at my school. Unfortunately, we had about 1,000 student drop since last semester, so it gets a little heated in the meeting. OH how fun education can be, right?


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