Finally, things don’t have to be like this. I believe if we want to see improvement a great start would be treating teachers with the respect they deserve and giving them the supplies they need. We’re really in trouble when books are considered a luxury. –C
I’m the one who posted about the textbook problem at the high school level. Please don’t mention my name or any other relevant info that may lead to my identity. I prefer to play it safe.
I teach XXXXXXX at XXXXXXX. I love what I do. Teaching is my calling. I can’t imagine not teaching high school students the beauty of literature and writing – the subtleties and nuances in literature, the writer’s purpose, historical context, and all of the processes that go into analyzing amazing literature. I have an excellent rapport with my seniors – they love my class, they want to sign up for my class, even if they aren’t of the AP caliber. I have an excellent reputation among my colleagues, administrators, and students.
My principal is a great guy. I really like him. He’s very approachable and supportive. However, he plays by the rules; therefore he will not distribute any books to students, although they are in the building. Yes, that’s correct – the books are in the building, but they will not be given to students because of the directive from downtown. My principal will not deviate from any policy coming from downtown. He doesn’t want to risk jeopardizing his own position at XXXXXXX. I completely understand this.
It’s my understanding that some of the other high schools distributed books. I’ve heard Stanton’s principal did; however, she has a leg to stand on – who wants to piss off the parents at Stanton? Not even Vitti would do that. She also held on to her Media Specialist, and students have access to the media center that is actually used as a media center, and not a testing center.
I don’t even have to tell you how overworked we all are. Everyone. Every school. Ridiculous directives, documentation in lesson planning, common planning, PLC’s with coaches who are trying to justify their own positions. Focusing on the day-to-day instruction in classrooms is becoming more and more challenging each year. Now, without books….well, I feel like this is the final straw. I’m fed up. I’ve never commented on your blog before (although I am a regular reader) until just recently with the book problem.
When I asked why this directive is being forced upon schools (even schools like us, who have enough books), I was told that if there are not enough books for every student in the county enrolled in that course, then NO ONE gets a book. They are forcing everyone down to the lowest level, so we can all be in misery.
I also teach XXXXXXX. My students have access to this textbook online, so there are no problems with this course. It’s primarily affecting AP instructors.
And, just so you know, the county is allowing certain math courses to have books at home. I believe it’s Algebra I and II, and geometry. That’s it. I have several colleagues who are just as frustrated as I, and I could share some of their stories, but I won’t. It’s not my place to speak for other people. Suffice it to say, we are all at our wit’s end.
I would love to see the Times Union reporter contacting principals and inquiring whether their students received books to use at home. For every subject. What will they say? How will they respond? Let them send a photographer to photograph the books at schools that are not being distributed, and are just sitting in a room collecting dust.
I will trust that you will keep this information as generic as possible should you choose to post about it. Thanks for trying and making people aware of the ‘real world’ in dcps.