Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Summer Reading

Each year, my immediate boss submits teaching assignments based on preferences of the teachers and the needs of the department, with an eye to giving as many teachers as possible sections of the courses they like, and as few sections (and usually no sections) of the courses they hate, as possible. On June 2nd, before we left for the summer, we picked up our schedules. We pretty much had schedules we like, for the most part. The Assistant Principal in charge of creating the master schedule of the school decided to ignore all that. The end result was a new schedule that might just as well have been completely random. It was also not the same as we had before we left.

My immediate boss told me about how my schedule of classes for this fall will not be the same as it was when I checked out on June 2nd. That was last Wednesday. It is the obligation of either the Principal, or the Assistant Principal in charge of setting the master schedule, to inform teachers if their schedules change. If you spend the summer preparing a year's worth of Biology, then come in on the first day of school to find you're teaching Physics, for which you haven't prepared this year, you might reasonably be a little perturbed, to put it mildly.

Now imagine if, due to previous schedules, you have never taught Physics. I'm not even talking about being able to, in the sense of knowing physics. You can know all the physics in the world. That has nothing to do with writing lesson plans, designing experiments, and creating assignments and tests. All of these things take time, especially if you happen to be teaching a class for the first time.

Now imagine that all of your Biology classes were given to the Physics guy whose classes you just got, and who hates Biology just as intently as you hate Physics. Can the administrators not see what a problem that is for the morale and attitude of the staff? Are they really that clueless? Granted, it is the obligation of the teacher to suck it up and exhibit some professionalism, but to give two people schedules they hate, simply because you can, and for no other reason than because you can? What kind of management is that? Is that the kind of management that leads to improved school performance?

It's been seven days. Have I gotten a call? No. When does school start? August 21st. Do you see what I mean when I say that administrators are clueless? They aren't always malicious, but they are almost always clueless. How can they not see that delaying notification about schedule changes and new classes does nothing but hurt the school?

Back to the title of this post. At least I'm not as bad off as the imaginary Physics teacher. I've got a whole month and two days to read the following: 125 pages of Gilgamesh, 271 pages of The Odyssey, 108 pages of Oedipus the King, 196 pages of Cyrano de Bergerac, 203 pages of Ivan Denisovich, and some little wisp of a world lit anthology coming in at a mere 1500+ pages.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?