The Eyes Have It…
Yesterday featured a group of observers coming through classrooms, mostly to observe whether certain partnership learning strategies, the so-called Kagan groupings, are in widespread usage on our campus. It was the second “Kagan Walkthrough” of the year, and this time much smaller in scope. In fact, so small in scope that I don’t actually know any teachers who were observed at all.
Later in the week, another walkthrough will occur, this to confirm that concepts from the “Reed Investment School” trainings are somehow being implemented on the campus. The trainings were so completely neutral and bland that it would be hard NOT to confirm some evidence of them. More or less, if you are actively teaching your classes, some element of those very basic meetings will take place. Still, that particular observation is part of a very serious legal settlement, and must be observed.
A more interesting component of that observation is the idea that the Suits will be actively speaking to students. In that role…they will be inquiring to see if the Students even know that they are at a so called “investment school” and what that might mean. It’s an interesting approach, because being honest, most of the teachers don’t really know anything about the Reed Case, or what being an “Investment School” might mean. If they don’t know, and they instruct the students in the first place…how could the students be expected to be all that knowledgeable?
The art focuses more on the reality of things for me, as far as the school day goes, when Suits arrive for Very Serious Observations. I don’t really care all that much, but it tends to freak out the students. Students that love to participate become shy, and forget to raise their hands and contribute. Others stop doing work, or yet others are actually afraid of the sudden influx of new, official looking people. It makes it pretty hard to plan around, in a useful sense, because the student reactions are so incredibly diverse.
I usually explain to the students that I will be ignoring any and all incoming Suits, because we have things to do…and I really can’t be bothered with breaking the momentum on the lesson. It usually works well enough, in that a large number of the students will attempt to follow suit, and we really won’t lose all that much useful educational time. This week, that’s a much easier sell, since the first report card of the semester is due from teachers on Friday. Most of the students are well aware that the report card will be distributed prior to “Parent Conference Night,” and as a result are taking this week pretty seriously.
That’s a good thing, especially with how the adults seem to be freaking out, in a way that the students usually do. Today there was a special after school meeting, to explain the observations later in the week, because the adult “freak out” level was so high. Bear in mind that we had meetings explaining this before…and have meetings scheduled after school tomorrow, so that particular meeting was…well…a bit excessive.
When I drew this, it was prior to the day one observations. Being used to middle school students, I expected a less mature, less measured response from the students, hence everything going on in the piece. The students were pretty reasonable though, taking the additional, Suit Clad presences in stride, with a few questions about them between classes. I expected the staff to be more calm, more uninterested in them than other faculties I have served with, and in retrospect, think that I probably should have drawn THEM freaking out over a baby mercenary holding giant, disembodied magical eyes.