Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Screwing up and Personal Responsibility

I think every education blog in the state is up in arms about the testing issues yesterday.  That was a mess, no doubt about that.  My 7th graders came into my class yesterday after testing, completely frustrated, shut-down, wound up and totally unprepared to do anything except act out in class.  I had thefts, profanity, disrespect, physical aggression....stuff I never, ever see here outside the teachers' lounge.  (just kidding)

I have a bigger problem.  Apparently, at some point in the semester, I lost my mind.  If you see it, please tell it to come home.  It's relatively open, not too big, and tends toward the sparkly yet nerdy.  I miss it.

Perhaps I have overscheduled myself.  I am taking 6 grad school hours, teaching full time, trying to learn lines for a play, beating the bushes trying to find an assistant principal job for next year, taking care of a 17 year old with depression issues and a boyfriend who overthinks every little thing. 

Last night, I was putting the final touches on my group's final presentation for Organizational Theory, and I thought I would log into my discussion group for School Finance.  Did you ever see something that shocked you so bad that your vision did the Alfred Hitchcock focus thing where the sides of your vision move out while the center moves in?  Yeah, that happened.  Apparently, last week, I was supposed to lead a discussion, and completely spaced on it.  The entire class was expecting a discussion prompt, which never came.  This discussion was 10% of my overall grade.

Embarrassed beyond reason, I sent a note to my professor, prostrating myself, telling her I accepted the grade, and begging forgiveness.  This kind of thing is completely unacceptable at the grad school level.  To make matters worse, I am currently under consideration for the doctoral program at this school.  If this professor is on the committee, I'm toast.

Now let's compare:  Janet Barresi screwed up too.  She recommended a testing vendor who had a history of failing us and the students of Oklahoma.  She defended this vendor, and we paid them the equivalent of 170 teacher salaries, only to have them tank once again.  This is after we pulled students during the school day to load test their systems before testing began.  Let me restate:  we STOPPED STUDENT LEARNING to trouble shoot for an outside vendor, who still failed to achieve the desired results. 

Barresi's response was to suggest that we might not want to use that vendor anymore.  Really?  REALLY?  That's what she came up with?  No poop, Penelope. 

When I screw up, I apologize.  I feel mortified.  I try to ensure that the offense never, ever, ever happens again.

I doubt we are going to get the same from our leadership.

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