Posts Tagged ‘evil’
My job fair had a distinct highlight.
It was not the local KIPP affiliate stuffing my bag with press clippings even after I told her she was preaching to the choir, and that I was really just looking to interview.
It was not the unprovoked Scowler Unified admins outright grimacing at me once they saw that the cordial student teacher walking by did not teach math or science.
It was not overhearing one administrator cover for another by saying the former was busy talking on the phone while seeing, at the same time, the former administrator eat a sandwich behind their district’s display.
My job fair’s highlight was when I sat down to interview at district I’ve substituted for and taught at for a year and a half. There, I saw the principal of the school I taught at last semester. As it turned out, this principal would be interviewing me. I made the mistake of pointing out the connection.
This was a mistake because she really hated my then-master teacher, and he hated her. There had been a huge row between them before I came on the scene, bad enough that he had resigned as athletic director and became a regular teacher. He regularly butted heads with the administration again and again.
He had characterized her on several occasions as the type of resume-padding administration-type who comes to schools for a few years before moving on to another.
Nevertheless, I did my spiel. Nevertheless, she froze me out.
We aren’t hiring any social science positions this year.
This is a lie on multiple levels. For one, schools have not yet finalized their master plans. Therefore, schools don’t know if they need any more social science positions.
Besides, this is one of the largest districts in California, and I’d believe they would at least entertain interviewing for some positions even if I didn’t know for a fact that my high school plans on looking for an extra social science teacher to fill out the new Small Learning Communities.
I told her some of this in the politest language possible. I told her my excitement for a Small Learning Community. In all likelihood, this was to no avail.
I want to teach at my high school. I really don’t want to teach at hers.
Are there errors in the standards?
A previous post that questioned why standards are associated with ever-thirsting evil brought had comments that brought up another issue: inaccuracy within the standards.
Curious about what my master teacher thought, I asked her.
Any social science professor will tell you that the iron triangle is an outdated model by 30 years. “It’s really a dodecahedron-to-the-nth-power…” Blah, blah, blah.
Or that it’s wrong that we teach that Germany was fascist and that the Soviet Union was fascist, when the nations got there different ways.
University professors say, “When I find out what these kids learned in high school, I’m just so frustrated.” University professors have a whole semester to teach World War II, when we have three days.
Yeah, sometimes I want to pull my hair out when I find out how little they know. But we’re teaching kids without language, without vocabulary. We’re teaching kids who may or may not have had any history between sixth and eighth grades because math and English were more important because they’re on the test; these kids have no existing history scaffolding.
It’s easy to criticize us, but we’re the ones building a scaffold for their later knowledge.
Are there mistakes in the standards? I don’t think so. Calling them mistakes is as much a matter of vocabulary and perspective as anything. Maybe the standards are guilty, sometimes, of oversimplification. Maybe standards standards are guilty, sometimes, of being too hard.
Given our constraints, it’s a stretch to call those standards mistakes.
Does the same logic apply to math or English as it does to history? Does it even apply in this case?
Where are the flaws in your standards, or are there even flaws in the standards? Are they insurmountable?