Current/Recent Reading List

07 February 2008

Bizarro World

As expected, our 66 year-old principal has decided to retire, though oddly in March instead of the end of the year. He's been the head of my school for 12 years, and has hired all but 15 of the 136 teachers there. Understandably, there is much anxiety about who will take over, and what that might mean.

So I guess that might explain why nerves are a bit frayed, or why the scene at yesterday's staff development session was so bizarre. First, the teacher in charge of the session, just before it started, was barked at by a tall staff member after she said, "M_ _ _, I need you to stick this poster up high on that wall." Apparently he felt he was being bossed around, and screamed about it. Then, another member of my department was chastised by a history teacher when she accidentally cut in line for pizza (it was virtually the end of the rather amorphous line, and she had just spent 30 minutes helping set up the session).

And then, the saga's climax. Let's just say that a teacher was asked to give a testimonial about how her department's collaborative planning sessions over the last three years have begun to yield amazing fruits, and that her talk had been just wonderful. But she should have stopped before her final point, which was supposed to be, I think, that these sessions help one bond with colleagues who one might not normally bond with. Let's also hope that her story was not meant to come out quite this way:
Well, first let me say that I cleared this with D_ _ _ _, and he gave me permission to tell this story. A couple of years ago, he and I shared a grading folder on the server. Well, one day he accidentally deleted my entire electronic gradebook, and I was really mad. I mean, I didn't speak to him for an entire year, and really I just had no respect for him at all. But once we started these colloborative sessions, I started seeing how good his test scores were, and how high his kids scored in certain areas, and so then I decided that I could respect him after all.

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