Wednesday, November 15, 2006
posted by Q6 at 7:02 PM
After some of the things I've heard lately, I'm surprised we're not running around checking IDs all day.

While these two campus conversations are completely unrelated, they work off of the same theme of trust. The first deals with the English department's grading sub--the one they share around the department to get the writing graded. It seems that an edict was given that the grading sub was not to be used on Mondays and Fridays, presumably to avoid anyone using it for a three day weekend (I won't bore you with the particulars--suffice to say it would seriously impact the writing program and violate the terms under which that sub is being funded). The other deals with how 12th graders submit their work on Senior Projects--more specifically, on how we verify that the work they've done was actually completed by them and not someone else.

Issues of trust can be conflicting. On the one hand, we want to trust our teachers to do their jobs and do it well; I wouldn't be surprised, however, if someone could prove that one or more of the teachers is using the grading sub for a free day off. We want to trust that students are doing their own work, and although we know that trust is more fragile and more frequently violated, I have to wonder where we draw the line: unless an assignment is completed IN the classroom with the teacher watching, ANYTHING submitted by a student could be the work of someone else. Hell, I helped my daughter with one of her 7th grade assignments not too long ago; parents always walk the fine line on their younger kids' school projects.

Where do we draw this line, though? Do we draw it afar, and open ourselves up to frequent disappointment when someone abuses our trust? Or do we draw it at our feet, and check, verify, and scrutinize everything? The former keeps hope up but increases the risk of failure; the latter seems too Gestapo-like . . . so I gotta wonder why everyone's ignoring the middle ground.

Monday, November 13, 2006
posted by Q6 at 10:50 PM
Our English Department enjoys a "Grading Sub," a substitute teacher who rotates about the English classes so that teachers can have time to grade the written work. It allows the writing program to thrive, for without the sub there would, logically, be fewer assignments and therefore a lesser writing program. The position is funded by our very gracious Foundation.

But I was told, at one point, that the Foundation was more interested in funding technology than they were people. So what do you do when you need a sub, but you can only use the funds for technology?

I think I have the answer.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
posted by Q6 at 4:43 PM
I am no longer the administrator in charge of emergency procedures for our campus. And there was much rejoicing.

In the interest of devoting more of my time to the primary duties of testing, technology, and public relations, it was decided by persons other than me to take emergency preapredness off my desk and give it to two other guys (the other assistant principal and a teacher working on his administrative credential). And doesn't it just make sense that once they take it away from me, they allot a full half day of staff development time to the topic? Me, I had to fight for fifteen minutes here and there. They get half the day.

No worries here, though. They did very well in the presentation, they pulled off a simulation with good results, and everyone seemed to take it very seriously. On a lighter note, I got four boxes of literature and supplies out of my office. Yee-hah.