There have been concerns lately that the newly-intoduced-on-our-campus AP English Language course may be having problems. It's no surprise, especially when you consider the fact that this course was supposed to be taught by our department chair--who quickly fled to another school district closer to home (good for her, by the way)--and was given to someone who hired in at the last minute and had no idea it was coming. There is now the distinct possibility that those two sections will be switched to another teacher. "Who will we get to teach this class?" my principal asked me. I didn't even skip a beat:
"Give it to me," I replied. "I'll teach it."
The several seconds of silence that followed were a clear indication that she was considering it. I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, you understand . . .
We'd been through this last year when an administrator was poised and ready to take over a Math class. The district didn't want administrative time spent in the classroom (presumably since there is so much administrative stuff to do), and so there's no way they'd switch positions and let me back into the classroom (which is now my dream: to get myself financially stable enough to get back into the classroom, hopefully while my mother is still on this Earth). I'd like to point out two things on the subject, though:
One, the term "principal" in education has its roots in the schoolhouses of old. There may have been more than one teacher, but one was considered the top dog--or, more accurately, the principal teacher, which is where we get the term. Whatever idiot eventually decided to move this position out of the classroom altogether clearly wanted his own office, little interaction with students, and premium dental insurance.
Two, I think the only real way for administrators to truly have their fingers on the pulses of their schools is to be on the front lines and in the classrooms themselves. Anything less, and we're seriously shortchanging the students. (For the teachers' union's position on the concept of administrators in the classroom, click HERE.)
* This quote is legendary, and shame on you if you can't place it. The movie remake from this classic TV series looks good, by the way.