Zero Dark Pony.
Today all of my classes will be done with reading the text (Catcher In The Rye), and will begin writing the essay that will be due in about a week. That’s going to be a pretty Big Deal in terms of student grades, and a necessary skill for their Junior year. At this point, I pretty much have to keep in mind the last few skills that I will need to impart on the group before they depart…there are only around twenty five class sessions remaining. Every hour counts, in a very real way, in terms of preparing them for what is generally considered the most demanding year of High school.
Concurrently, at the Edu-Mountain, the High Evolutionary and the Edu-Lords are frantically preparing for a visit from the Public School Choice Office. That is a Big Deal, especially considering the nature of the review, which has to do with compliance with the Transformation Plan filed about five years ago. There’s a fair amount of tension about it, and the High Evolutionary has been uncharacteristically nice to everyone. That’s in stark contrast to the hour long chewing out she gave to the staff when the visit had been announced, and seems pretty transparent.
The Evolutionary is pretty worried. Worried what the group will say about the visit, and worried what the Teacher Focus Group will have to say about the school, and the leadership of the school. It’s a Big Deal, and a possible career changer for people that outrank the basic teacher. It’s unclear which classes will be visited, and for how long, it’s unclear how the various “focus group” interviews will work. The meeting is two days from now.
I have some experience with the PSC office, so it is entirely possible that they will stop by for a “meet and greet.” Not all of that experience is all that great, but they know the kinds of things that I stand for, and that I’m a straight shooter. Honestly, I think the school runs well, and though there might be some compliance issues this year, in part that’s the District’s fault, not the Administration. I will be fair about all of that.
I have to be fair about other things, if asked. We are a “Reed Decision School,” which has special protections to prevent major teacher turnover due to contract policies that became unintentionally discriminatory to students. Those teacher protections should limit teacher turnover…it’s the point of the settlement. Our site maintains a fairly brisk turnover rate, in part from some of the “stronger personalities” in the leadership team. If asked, I’ll be ready to speak about that as well, fairly and impartially.
In both cases, I have data tables, charts, and graphs prepared. Those tend to keep things objective.
Still…that’s why we have Zero Dark Pony today, a Very Serious Pony. These are serious topics, that have serious fallout for teachers, students, and even Edu-Lords. The goal is to produce the best possible school…which in turn means doing the best that you can to hang onto the best possible teachers.
I haven’t had to be involved in something this Serious with the District in a little while. Thankfully, Zero Dark Pony is here to help.