Staff Development Day

I think it’s funny that for Staff Development Day, I spent the day with three other teachers from my school, being trained to do the NEXT Staff Development Day in November…….  Of course they will forget that the three of us were off all day at this other training and will expect us to have somehow learned all of the stuff that was being done at our school all day.

They decided to have staff  picture day this morning at my home school at or about the same time as the staff development was starting across town at the place we were assigned.  I figured I couldn’t be in two places at once and went to the training, twenty minutes later the rest of the people from my school showed up.  They went for the picture first…….

There is such a huge difference between this school and my last school;  such a difference in what is considered important.  I have had to make a conscious  effort to keep from saying, “At my last school…….”  because I KNOW nobody wants to hear it…  I remember  when someone would say that at my old school I would  think, “Well, if your old school was so great, why did you leave?”  So I need to just shut up, at least at school.

So YOU GUYS get to hear me vent..  At my old school,  we were pretty much left alone (we didn’t THINK so, but compared to here it was a cake walk) as long as we were getting results.  Here I feel micro-managed to death.  I’ve been in school three weeks and I got a note in my box telling me that I should have x number of grades in my grade book per week and nothing was there.  Well, kindergarten doesn’t GIVE grades at least in the way they are talking, we do a report card that states simply, that they meet or don’t meet a standard.  And some standards are set for different grading periods.  The electronic grade book that the district has purchased, doesn’t even let kindergarten add assignments.  The way they have it set up it really functions as a report card maker more than anything else.  My position is that it’s what the district adopted and set up that way, so it’s not my problem.  Site administration, or maybe the next administrator up, has decided that in affect, we have to keep a separate grading book to justify anything that we put into the electronic grade book, but that we still have to input stuff into the electronic one every two weeks, two assignments or grades per week per major subject, and we do this by going into the grade book in sort of a back door kind of way of doing it and giving individual grades on the individual state standards instead of the other way around.  There are a TON of these standards, so you have to decide which ones you are going to mark and which ones not, and then since they might get better on that standard as the year progresses,  you have to remember to go back and change the grade you already gave, not input a new one.  The only grades I can give are a 1 for does not meet the standard, or a 5 for meets the standard, can’t do anything in the middle. way.

What is driving this is that our part of the district is pushing for the use of a component of the gradebook that allows parents to get online and see their child’s grades.  The same grade book is used K-12, but what and how we grade is not, especially in kindergarten.  I think that they should just give us the first grade grade book, that’s basically what we are teaching anymore………

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