Ahhh, what a relaxing summer (at least after the statistics course I was taking mercifully finished on July 15th -- I passed!). The first day of school for kids around here is this Tuesday or Wednesday for most schools, and I'm so relieved not to have to worry about it. As my sister said, "Just think, the next time you're preparing for the first day of school, it will be as the school psychologist!" Yep, I started my graduate school courses in school psychology last week! One week down, 155 to go. But who's counting? ;)
In my old school's typical lack of attention to detail, my old work e-mail account was never shut down. I've been logging in from time to time over the summer just to see if anything interesting is going on. That's how I found out my supervisor (the special ed director) quit. My co-workers and I had a feeling in the spring that she was interviewing for another job. She kept being out for part of the day at very specific times, and once she couldn't even go with me to a professional development workshop we had signed up for. Now that she's left, they've literally had a complete turnover of all administrators since last year's first day of school: the principal, both the middle school and lower school vice principals, the special ed director, and the person who was the equivalent of the dean are all gone.
A few minutes ago I logged in for the first time in a few weeks, and found these reactions to the new schedule which was just shared with teachers a few days ago:
"It is difficult to integrate English/history with the arts every single week. It should be less frequently and for a single period instead of a double period.
We have been told for the last two weeks to write 45-minute lessons. Now our schedules are double-blocks every day. We were also never told about the constant integration periods we would need to plan for.
Some teachers have class all day without prep time.
It is completely unnecessary to have 80-minute blocks with each class almost every day.
160 - 240 minutes straight through makes us ineffective teachers. Students are completely unable to sit through 160 minutes of intense instruction in core classes.
Each core class should have single periods every day with only one double period a week.
I am double-booked with two classes for the same period on Thursdays.
This schedule is a complete disaster for all. We need to completely re-work it."
Yikes! I cannot imagine having the same sixth, seventh, or eighth grade class for 240 minutes straight. That's four hours! I wouldn't have liked that as a student, let alone as a middle school teacher.
Is it bad to admit that after reading all those comments, I promptly sprang up and did the dance of joy because I DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANY OF IT!?!? ;)