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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Caugh, hack hack, sneeze, blow nose.
Things are getting back to normal. Grinnygranny and I have had the creeping crud lately, and we both stayed home. I'd prefer we do that when we feel good and can enjoy it instead of just trying to get to feeling better.
Went back to school today, but am losing my voice, quite a few teachers and students around here have the same problem.
Finished my grades and they're all recorded. Only twelve weeks left for this year.
I've been asked to join a pathways team for next year with ROTC, English, Science and my Law class. We'd all have the same students and a common prep to try and keep contact with parents and grades up. If it will increase the number of students in that class I'm all for it.
We're voting on the ridiculous A/B block schedule or staying with our current schedule (modified to include remediation) next week. The 4 X 4 that I spoke up for is not on the ballot.
Right now my inclination is that I'd rather dig a ditch than try to teach on the A/B schedule, but my mind might change between now and when school starts again.

A/B block schedule means all students take eight classes per school year but only take four per day. The classes alternate days so that you have A classes and B classes. Some weeks the A schedule will be MWF and B are TT, then the next week they flip. I'd just love waking up every day and wondering which classes I'm teaching that day. Teachers will teach 6 classes, but only have three to teach each day. This raises the number of students a teacher is responsible for per grading period from 160 to as many as 210. But since you're only seeing half of that on any given day it's under the state law and negoitiated agreement. Still every time a teacher makes out grades and grades papers they're doing so for up to 210 students -- stress levels will rise! Students will have to take 8 count them 8 finals every semester.

The 4 X 4 block schedule has students taking 8 classes, but only 4 each semester. Each semester counts as a full school year of instruction. Teachers do increase from the same 160 load to 210, but they are split up into different semesters so you only make out grades at any one time from 90 to 105 students. Students are only juggling 4 classes at a time and taking only 4 finals each semester.
To me the 4 X 4 is a no brainer as we are being forced to go onto something like this due to requirements to remediate students that fail their standardized tests (NCLB).
Maybe it's because I've already taught on the 4X4, adjusted to it and could easily go back, but the A/B is just plain stupid. Why should we be increasing a students classload by 30% each semester, when the same could be accomplished by a semester decrease of 20%. That a 50% difference in stress level for teachers and students.
Now you know why I hate going to IC meetings. Nobody else there is even remotely reasonable, won't listen to reason, see reason, understand reason if it bit them in the butt, or act on sound reasoning.
Does this make me unreasonable?


1 plus twins said...

omg why are they doing that, that sounds more like college courses to me. m w f, t t! that is crazy.

hope you feel better soon.

hey i had to make my blog private, if you would like me to add you the ones that are ok to read it, leave your email here in a comment to me and i will add it. sorry for the bother.

P M Prescott said...

My e-mail is jtenebrae@yahoo.com
For anyone interested in buying a book that's a good place to contact me too.

1 plus twins said...

sorry i was so busy this weekend, i will get you added!