Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Price of Policy

So far it's been a tough year at school: our meeting time (team, grade level, departmental, staff) has increased, as have the documentation requirements for all such meetings. There is a new class to teach, a new sixth grade configuration, a new principal, a new teacher evaluation process, a new test of standards for my curricular area, and a new state accountability process. Our enrollment has increased by over 20% and our classrooms are encumbered if we should want to work beyond our contract day.

The professionals in my building are frustrated, not because our formerly cushy jobs have suddenly entered the "real world," but rather because all of those things breed anxiety and take time, which is time away from planning and grading and from sponsoring after school activities-- there are only so many hours in the day.

My students this year are delightful-- smart, inquisitive, and conscientious, and I would love to devote more time and attention to them, but I can't. Because I have to jump through hoops to verify that I am meeting their minimum needs, I don't have the time to push them as far as they can go.

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