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Monthly Archives: April 2015

After ten years, it’s hard to be consistently evaluated as effective. I received some mixed feedback during yet another meeting with my current supervisor today. Specifically, she told me that consistency was an issue of mine, and asked what I thought. 

Consistency ebbs and flows, and hopefully it flows. It’s gotten harder and harder to do this job, and the payoff and fulfillment level from it is relatively low. Every day comes a clarion call that it is probably time to call it the proverbial day here. I’m looking forward to finishing out my commitment to the school year, then continuing to look for another assignment, because a change, and broadening my horizons, would do me good. 

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The birds are out, the light’s changed, and the tulips are blooming.  

  

Ideally, every day would start with a 4 mile run in the woods or an epic spin class but I’ve been trying to fit those in on weekends and evenings. 

I got my rear view mirror fixed (I clipped it on a tree) and got an oil change the following day. Still putting about 80 miles on the car a day. 

Yesterday there was a run on the good weather, and some traffic, but after my run I got to the park with Fuji.   

Waiting outside the principal’s office for what will likely be an eviseration of my Tuesday lesson, to be included in my yearly rating, predicated on cherry-picked observations. 

Today is report card day and I’ve already had to make a few corrections: 85 to a 95 for an excellent student, 95 to a 60 for a horrible one. (Yes he is resentful.)

After meeting with my AP, she overrided my request to put the students back into rows, encouraging me to try another room configuration first, when I told her that the groups of 4 were an epic failure for behavior. 

I’ve also been instructed to change the creative writing portion of my class (which is wildly successful) to comport with Common Core standards. 

My plan is to continue with my creative writing activities as much as possible. 

Today after three hours of work, I left to go to my appeal hearing. 

I was provided with a union representative who was organized, cogent, and went through my appeal item by item. It was recorded and the principal didn’t show up in person like I had to, but she was patched in by phone. Time will tell the result, but I was really impressed by my union advocate, who worked really hard on my case. 

If I want an audio CD of today’s proceedings, all I have to do is send $25 to the state and they’ll provide me with one. (Seriously.)

Then I came home and ran six miles, since it was super nice out.

Tomorrow I have the post-observation conference with the principal (for the unannounced one she conducted yesterday morning).

Three days in after ten days off. Already I’m fiending for happy hour Friday.

My awesome coworker had to cover a middle school test, so I entered my class to find my principal sitting among the students as I got things started and took attendance.

I greeted her warmly and thanked her but likely it was to no avail. She asked for my lesson plan and I provided it to her. 

After a few uncomfortable moments that seemed like an eternity, she finally left.  I’m sure the resulting observation report will be another hatchet job on my career. 

On a positive note, I was only about five minutes late and I found a great parking spot right across the street this morning, despite it being alternate side, so I won’t have to move my car during my lunch break.

…and according to a memo I’m to sign tomorrow, I’ve accrued 12 hours of lateness this year. This is because I put 80 miles on my car each day and, despite the fact that I wake up at 5 and am on the road by 6, traffic is what it is.

I can’t make any additional tweaks to my morning schedule. If I could, I would. 

Who knows if I can buy the time back. The DOE is always making deals with people regarding time, trying to get people to retire early or maximize per session earnings. 

The UFT rep is once more blowing up my phone all day, trying to get me to come in early to go over my appeal for Wednesday. I can’t, not enough time to go to downtown Brooklyn after work with my hours. I don’t really have much faith in their process and only filed it after union urging, predicated on a technicality involving the timeline of last year’s observations (three or four negative ones within the last two weeks of the school year). I can’t pursue the appeal with optimism and vigor, because I’m a realist. Also, there are only so many hours in a day. Nonetheless, we’ll see which way the wind blows on Wednesday.

Aside from the administrators moving forward with their punative filings, I gave a test with my coworker today, graded it, and calculated final averages for the marking period for approximately 150 students. Tomorrow and Wednesday the plan is to do group work comparing Animal Farm to the Russian Revolution using primary source historical documents. Then Friday and next week we’ll do a critical lens essay.