Faculty meetings the first day back are usually pretty easygoing. You go back, see your colleagues you haven’t seen or spoken to all summer, introductions are made, and the principal pretty much thanks you for a job well done the previous year. Well, I should have known something was up when I walked in, and saw the little gift bags on the table for EACH teacher. They were filled with chocolate, a plant, a mouse pad, and more chocolate! My ecstasy over the contents of the bag were short-lived once we got down to business. My school is under academic review!!!!! That means, according to one test score and the data gathered from it, we suck! We suck, and “they” get to come in and tell us what to do to fix it, or come in, spend 15 minutes in our rooms, sit my principal down, and tell him everything we are doing wrong. The consequences? If you don’t do better next year, you are in bigger trouble, they will send more people. Another year? They will get rid of the staff, whoever they deem unworthy AND send the parents a letter saying the school sucks(not in those words), and here are schools more worthy of your children. WOW! This is scary, overwhelming, frustrating, did I say scary? At the end of the day, my principal asked the team leaders how we felt about the staff meeting, we concurred, scary, but necessary. Unfortunately, we can whine all we want about the test scores being used to judge us, but it’s not going to change. I’m not mad at my principal, he did what he had to do to motivate us. Happy First Day!
August 14, 2010