“Have That To The Office By The End Of The Day…”

This poor pony is bewildered by paperwork.

This poor pony is bewildered by paperwork.

Before anyone says anything…the pony’s eyes are crossed on purpose. I think maybe Derpy got to have eyes like that because of the massive amount of forms involved in Public Education. Poor thing.

Not only that…how is that pony supposed to even fill out the form in the first place? No pen, no pencil, and no hands. Very frustrating, right?

After the first day back, I am still on my schedule for getting basic paperwork of grading done, which is a good thing. In the next semester, I’ll be moving over to an entirely new grading program endorsed by the district…we will see if it is harder or easier. Right now, it’s mostly a set of data entry chores…making sure the descriptions of assignments are understandable, double checking that I’ve entered all of the grades, making sure the contact log is up to date. The MISIS system actually maintains all of that (although not efficiently) so this is more of a process of making sure that various parts have imported data to other parts of the program.

Still…there’s a whole lot of it, and it is “high stakes”, so I’m on top of it in considerable advance of when the actual “drop dead” date is. That way I have time to confer with students about grades, and generally be a responsible educator at the Edu-Mountain.

That created some real counter frustration for me today. At the end of my Conference Period, just before my last class, I got a call from an out of classroom staffer. This Edu-Lord had a favor to ask. I was to find the CAASP online certification video for teachers, watch it, and then take the online certification test for teachers. The, I was supposed to print out my certificate, sign it, and that in to him…all before the end of the day, which would be an hour later.

An hour that I had to teach class.

For those that know me, it is pretty easy to predict the high level of Snarkiness attached to my immediate response. I actually went with a vague snarkiness, very much suggesting that I might not, in fact, bother with anything so last minute that did not seem to affect me directly.

After school, the Tiger Lady and I took some real time navigating the confusing district web sites for the online courses, watched the video, and took the test. Twice, in fact, because it was unclear which certificate that the Edu-Lord wanted…so we gave him both.

Today’s after school “Professional Development” is going to address online gradebooks AND the paperwork and procedures for “Breakfast in the classroom.” In short…we will be focused on the kind of paperwork driven system that satisfies some obscure bureaucratic requirement, while being confusing and frustrating to those that have to actually DO the paperwork. In effect, more of the same, again at the last minute.

Education has a lot of this sort of thing. Some teachers get used to it. Others, like myself, find it a sort of endless source of random disturbance to wrestle with.

The really bothersome thing for me is this: I’m trying to show my students the example of me NOT getting things done at the last minute. I’m trying to model efficiency and preparedness…so having confusing bureaucracy come at me in the “last minute” is really at odds with that. Completely at odds with it, in fact.

It is, however, where today’s art came from. I decided to have one of my favorite ponies look at some kind of useless form, and be as confused by it as I was with many of the forms that crossed my desk in the past 24 hours. At least then, it took the sting out of the inefficient randomness, and made it something mildly adorable.

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