Saturday, December 07, 2013

Grade - in begins

Have arrived at the mall.  Sitting next to the carousel.  Three of us BATs so far! Comparing notes on our respective school situations.  testing, imposed common core test-based curriculum, OTES, value Added and so on.

I have learned that teachers can be suspended without pay for handing out info on the Opt Out movement. Yikes!  Good thing I've been too busy to even think of promoting that. some parents have posted links to various Opt-out pages, but I don't comment on them.

I have also learned that 4th graders had to do a language arts unit on child labor laws, and 8th graders are reading non-fiction as well on the topic of forensic anthropology. one of my brightest students was complaining how boring the work is.  Yes, lets abandon all our innovative arts-integrated curricula based upon Howard Gardner's theory of the Multiple intelligences and replace that with Pearson-produced modules that assume teachers do not know how to teach.

Taking bets on how long RttT mandates and state education "reform" laws will continue before being replaced. We need to be ready with some research-based holistic education anti-system re-positioning.

Three hours in to our Grade-in.  A very nice Mall cop stopped at our table and thanked us for all we do as teachers.

I did some work on student portfolios, my own solution for drama student assessment. I keep falling behind, distracted by all the incessant distractions and demands for me to stop doing what I know will be best for my students and instead, waste my time on bunches of acronyms provided by the state to ensure that I don't do what is best for my students. For me personally, this has be become a moral dilemma of the highest order.  Do I comply with laws I know are created to push out master teachers who teach in unique ways?  Will I be replaced by a raw Teach for america recruit or by someone fresh out college in need of a job to pay off their massive student loan debt?  Whoever it may be, they had best be compliant by nature.

As someone who came of age during the turbulence of the 60s and early 70s, the word "compliant" reeks of authoritarian overtones. I can collaborate with those who operate under the rules of consensus-seeking.  But compliant --no!

No comments: