Let me begin by explaining the header. First…there is no way to just “not go” to scheduled teacher meetings. Secondly, there is a Rakdos (red/black) Magic: the Gathering card called “Captive audience, that is really, really rough. Get it now? Double meaning.
So…the meetings on Tuesday were precisely as I expected. Three hours of discussion about WASC, punctuated with pleas to 1)take it seriously, 2)dress nicely for it, and 3)read the materials that the school submitted as indicative of what we intended to be doing. There was an “inspirational speech” by the principal himself about not being intimidated by WASC, which seemed to demonstrate the opposite. In fact, at one point he said, “If WASC goes badly, I definitely won’t be here next year,” and then instantly backpedaled that.
After a mostly WASC driven meeting, there was a segment where the principal indicated that “too many students were failing,” and that this was a crisis at our school. He read a bulletin from the District (on a Powerpoint slide, of course) that empowered administration to “look into” high fail rates, and then revealed his “D of F plan.” It really put a whole lot of the blame of students failing onto the teachers, and failed to put anything else into context.
There was a pretty major pushback from the teachers. It was kind of fun to watch, really.
I had to much actual work to do, in that meeting, in order to engage in any of that kind of nonsense. My co-teacher an I needed to set up a time to take an important online certification, for one. I had a lengthy psychological evaluation to do on one of my students, a girl who has major absences and other challenges. I had to attempt to figure out exactly how we would be finishing out the “unit” that one of the other Tenth Grade Teachers suggested for us, which would be the rest of this week in class.
In addition, I needed to plan Parent Conference Night, and along the way, I drew Thursday’s two panels of artwork.
Again…too much to do to deal with nonsense.
I was pretty cranky in fact, about the grading issue. As it is, I have a very small percentage of failing students, and the ones that are failing either don’t ever do their work (making me unable to document that they meet the standards), or simply don’t come to class at all. The students that come in, and do the work, have multiple avenues to revise the work, edit, reattempt quizzes and tests…to the point where the safety net is huge.
In short…if you are failing my class, you have pretty much EARNED the fail.
The art, with that huge Rakdos demon getting kicked in the face, is more about my frustration with these “school politics” than anything else. Next week, for a week, I’m expected to “put on a show” as it were. There’s an after school “focus group” that I should attend, to see if I know what’s in the document that was submitted, and other such things. The WASC group will be visiting classes for about ten minutes, and there is a checklist of things that Administration (and especially the principal) would really like to see happening during those ten minutes.
I won’t be dressing differently, and I’ll be proceeding with the lessons as planned. I’m all about Ponies, not Phonies.
Cap almost never kicks anyone or anything. I don’t think it’s because she doesn’t know how to…although given her massive super strength and nigh invulnerability, she has no real reason to know how to fight very well. The kicking just seemed very visceral and cathartic, as well as the demon-monster’s face clearly breaking. Since he’s giant, I kind of imagine that she’s either jumping into it (hence the direction of the crumple lines on his face), or maybe kind of standing on some sort of huge collarbone. It’s not that important.
Kind of like all of this WASC nonsense. Not that important. It should all go well if I just come in, and do my job well.