2072. Ms. No - 11/20/2019 6:01:59 PM
If I weren't so lazy, I'd go back through this thread to see if I'm just extra angry/whiny/bitchy this time of year --- it is, of course, traditionally the lowest point for morale during the school year.
At any rate, I am resolved not to be so negative all the damn time. A new colleague of mine called me out on it last night --- gently, but publicly -- and I nearly burst into tears. Not because she was right (she was) but because that's how taut my emotional bowstring is right now. It was also especially timely since I had just commented to another friend earlier in the day that I've got to quit running my mouth and complaining all the time.
It doesn't fix anything and it just spirals into despair and makes me no fun at all to hang out with. Making a list of things you want or need to fix is fine. It helps to also make a list of things you don't like that you have no power to impact so you can quit obsessing over them -- yes, I'm avoiding all the impeachment talk if I possibly can. Once I've got a list I can make plans or just shut the hell up about them and save the energy to address them at a later date.
I tell my seniors this every year -- don't just complain, bring a solution.
2073. Ms. No - 11/20/2019 6:14:33 PM
In positive news, I went to an awards dinner for Champions of Mental Health last night. Good entertainment, pretty good food, but most importantly I made three new contacts that I can pass along to one of my students for her Senior Project.
She's focused on the lack of mental health services used in the black community. Some of it is stigma - common across all demographics. Some of it is accessibility -- can't afford it, can't get to it. Some of it is cultural - turn to the Church and pray it away (not a great treatment for bipolar disorder of schizophrenia) A lot of it is that black people don't really want to go to white therapists.
Duh. That's such an obvious thing, and I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't think of it, but I'm certainly going to use it as a teaching example in future.
It got me thinking about how I would feel if all my health care providers were men. I'd never go in for a physical again in my life unless I thought I might be dying.
How would most white people feel if all their doctors were black? Or how would most men feel if all their doctors were women?
2074. Ms. No - 11/20/2019 6:19:34 PM
And now I'm wondering how many non-black mental health workers are really able to give excellent care to black patients. Not because they're racist, but because their frame of reference almost guarantees a deep ignorance about what it means just to wake up black in America.
Hmm....okay, lots of pondering to do and nobody to have the conversation with at present.
2075. Ms. No - 11/20/2019 6:33:30 PM
And every time I open my mouth about any of this stuff I wonder who might get offended. I don't mean here, but I'm so aware now of how often well-meaning white people get it wrong just because we don't know any better.
I mean, do my black students really need a middle-aged-white-lady telling them how awful slavery was? And why is that the only real history we tell about black people? I mean, it's important to know, but if we only ever talk about how some kids ancestors were disenfranchised, victimized, and abused, we're still framing their narrative from a white perspective.
Alright, really have to go now --- gotta go teach.
2076. arkymalarky - 11/21/2019 9:47:45 AM
Hate I missed a chance to visit. Mose can be the same, and she has pretty much quit looking at things big picture, which has helped her more than anything. But being a librarian makes that a lot easier to do because you have a lot of control over your world.
I'm having to work more on my positivity now that I'm retired, especially in the Trump era. The hate and racism isn't offset by me going to work and seeing a positive diverse social dynamic every day. And I'm not doing anything social or mentally stimulating. I'm so busy, and a lot of it is great--getting the house ready to be grandma over holidays right now, spending a lot of time with my parents--but I don't have time to get into things I would like to do.
2077. Ms. No - 11/21/2019 5:33:56 PM
Yeah, I know that feeling ---- meetcha in the Cafe to chat house stuff!
2078. Ms. No - 12/10/2019 2:25:40 AM
Now she's gone and changed the school logo without notice or input from anyone.
Why? Who the fuck knows. No mention of what was wrong with the old logo other than "some students" said it was too elementary school.
Uh, okay, it's great to get student input, but why didn't we talk to all our students and not just the two who hang out in the office all day with her?
And if we're going to make a new logo, then it still needs to represent our school ---- not look like all the other logos of all the comprehensive high schools who have designed their logos to represent the "fierce fighting spirit" of their football teams.
We don't have a football team. We have kids who want to be doctors and nurses and health policy wonks. Yeah, our mascot is the jaguar, but maybe let's not choose an image that looks like we're going to rip out your throat then shit you off a cliff after.
And how about putting the actual name of our school on it as we're known in the community rather than some long convoluted abbreviation that nobody recognizes?
Fer cryin' out loud.
Oh, and somehow this wasn't made clear to us in the interview, but her credentials --- both her "counselor" credential and her administrative credential were earned at the same time......in June of 2018.
Yep. that's right. Her certifications were all earned at once barely a year before she took the job here.
And it turns out that she never actually worked as a counselor. She was a coordinator of student services.
She didn't do college planning, she didn't do transcripts, she didn't even do emotional support for students in crisis ---- except for the rape victim she suspended because the girls' presence was "causing a disruption on campus."
Talk about a snow job. We've been had and I'm pissed about it because there really wasn't any way for us to know any of this stuff about her.
She never should have even been allowed to apply for the job. Never should have made it through the paper screening.
Just goes to show what getting coached before-hand can do for you.
We're pissed as hell.
She also keeps talking about how easy this job is blah blah blah. Right, because she isn't actually doing the job that needs to get done. Our former principal left the school in tip-top shape because she knew it would be a bit before someone came in and she was setting things up for us to be able to live without a principal for awhile.
I wonder how easy she's going to find it with a staff that doesn't respect her or have to listen to her. There's only one teacher on campus who isn't tenured, so she doesn't have a whole lot of recourse.
Which is just shitty. I hate that we might be reduced to "who can make whom more miserable faster."
We just want her to take her toys and get the fuck out.
2079. arkymalarky - 12/11/2019 10:53:46 AM
What a mess. Hopefully her superiors will get rid of her. In my whole career I had one situation similar when the principal left a few weeks into the school year after finding out he wasn't going to get the open superintendent's job even though he was qualified and the person appointed was not. They moved a teacher up to principal and it was disastrous. We're lucky we didn't get sued and he's lucky he didn't get arrested. He had zero control over anything and it was a madhouse for that whole year because they never got anyone to fill the job. It was every teacher for him or herself.
2080. Ms. No - 12/14/2019 1:32:36 AM
Is every industry like this, or is education some special kind of backwards?
I mean, truly, how can so much of it just be so damn wrong-headed. I never met so many well-meaning but wrong-headed people as when I came into education.
2081. Ms. No - 12/14/2019 1:41:14 AM
In better news, I did go and talk to her. It was good, but less than satisfying. She's more than a little passive-aggressive and it's hard to know when she's saying something but really meaning something else that we're both supposed to understand, or when she's saying something that she actually means.
At least I'm not on her shit list, but she's just kind of......not bright. She's one of those people that can check all the boxes but not figure out whether something else actually needs to be done. She's not much of a critical thinker, but she's a rule follower because she comes from a corrections background.
So she went through her online programs or whatever and regurgitated what they made her read or lectured to her and they gave her a credential.
That's a lot what happens in this region with advanced certifications.
Seems like it should be a lot harder, but they keep churning out morons who weren't good enough to teach but are somehow now qualified to run schools.
2082. Ms. No - 12/14/2019 1:41:53 AM
Not that teachers necessarily make good administrators, but if you're going to be in charge of guiding instructional practice, you should have more experience than what somebody told you in an online course.
2083. arkymalarky - 12/14/2019 6:07:08 PM
Was going to say it tongue-in-cheek, but I think it's probably true at least here, administrative credentials and degrees in education are easy to get because so many coaches moved up into ministration because it is been so male-centric until fairly recently and coaches mostly the only male teachers on a school campus. Maybe a math or science teacher, but they didn't want to move them up because those positions were harder to fill. And unfortunately, even now a lot of women don't move it up because they're competent that because they schmooze like men have often done to get management positions. They just entered the Good Ol Boy system. Or were married someone who got their foot in the door which is what happened at the last job I worked.
2084. arkymalarky - 12/14/2019 6:10:41 PM
Mose and I have both worked with some great women administrators, but the system was so messed up before they got into it that the methods of moving up were never very good and in a lot of places they still aren't. Which means man or woman you're less likely to get a good administrator.
2085. Ms. No - 12/15/2019 11:33:36 PM
I think what causes the most problems is that district administration is so far removed from the classroom. This means they give ill-informed directives to site administrators, and if you don't have a really good one who's willing to ignore or countermand those directives, you get shitty ed policy.
And don't get me started again on state and national policy.
But tomorrow I get to go work with the good folks on vertical articulation to the local community and state colleges for English instruction. Amazing bunch of educators. It's almost better than a day off!
2086. arkymalarky - 12/25/2019 5:20:55 PM
I can imagine that's a real problem where you are. Where I am the superintendent lives pretty much on the campus.
2087. Ms. No - 1/10/2020 8:21:20 PM
Getting a new teacher to support for Induction with the new semester. English teacher at another site. It'll be cool to support someone in my primary content area again --- and someone at a different school site.
In other good news -- my student teacher is fast approaching the point when I have to vacate the room, so I'll have more time in my day for prep and grading. Even in just the last couple of days when I'm in the room but just sitting back, I've been able to get a lot done. It's made my 6th period class much better --- that's the one I always end up running out of time to plan better supplemental activities for.
2088. Ms. No - 2/4/2020 7:47:49 PM
Musing on Ed policy and standardized testing and had these rather less than coherent thoughts:
If Academics are going to drive Education, they must recognize that not all students desire or need to be academics.
Education Policy makers need to think of themselves as bus drivers. You drive the bus to all the stops for all the people. You don't tell them what stop to get off at. No stop is better or worse than any other stop. You just make sure to pick up everyone and safely, respectfully deliver them to their chosen destination without passing judgement on where they have decided they want to go.
2089. Ms. No - 2/17/2020 11:39:49 PM
Woot! Took the GRE yesterday. Won't know my writing scores for a couple of weeks, but I was pleasantly surprised with my score on the Math -- just north of average. That's the part that really worried me. Verbal was great, but now I'm sweating the written portion because I ran out of time on one of the prompts.
Keep your fingers crossed.
2090. arkymalarky - 2/21/2020 7:00:19 AM
Fingers are crossed! Good analogy with the bus. I always used to tell my kids that the main purpose of getting an Education was to help them find their place in the world
2091. Ms. No - 2/25/2020 7:36:13 PM
So, momentous decision: I'm waiting to apply to the EdD program until next year.
Got super-stressed with the application deadline, and the more I thought about things the more I wanted to focus on my own classroom practice for another year before I go in. I have two main areas of interest that so far I don't see a clear overlap for --- unless you want to get really existential and look at not just policy but theory.