Thursday, April 9, 2009

It Must Be Nice...

...To Have No Observable Work Ethic. I guess. I don't think I could look 20 children in the eyes and think to myself, "self, I'm going home early today...screw all that work!" But hey, that's just me. Evidently I take my job a bit more seriously than others.

And the Bacon Hunter saga continues. Sometimes I would just love to pop her. Pop her! But I know that is both unprofessional and unladylike and so it will remain a fleeting day dream. Recurring, but unrealized.

We had a meeting the other day. It is the first time we've really seen her since The Great Bullshit Email of 2009. While we've been walking the halls, heads held high, she's been skanking around corners and laying low in her office. Hmmmm....or maybe she just got a mini-George Foreman, has hidden it under her desk and is busy frying up bacon. Either way, she's avoiding us and not doing any real work. Not that I expect anything else, but still....

So at our meeting the other day, she informed us (all without making eye contact or lifting her head off her hand) that we need to spend approximately three to four hours of our time filing work in student portfolios. So SHE can come around with her clipboard and check to make sure that it's done. Like she's the Portfolio Police or a good example or something. Let me back up a bit, because you may not fully understand how ridiculous this request is. And it is truly ridiculous.

I have no problem with collecting data from my students. I have no problem with worthwhile paperwork. Some paperwork is necessary. I get it. But these portfolios - oh these portfolios!! How can I explain to you these mechanisms of dust collection? Let's see. We've been using them for the last five years. In those five years, the format has changed approximately three times. Each change came complete with hours of re-creating labels and tabs and switching out old tables of contents for new table of contents. Each year I have spent HOURS filing student work into these big black space wasters as they rained buttons, gumballs and pipecleaners from old pre-K projects all over my floor. My Super Colleagues and I have spent HOURS choosing pieces that should be added to the portfolio and creating projects for the sole purpose of eventually putting them in said portfolio.

However, in the five years that we have been "doing portfolios" NO ONE HAS EVER OPENED THEM EXCEPT FOR THE BACON HUNTER. NO ONE. NOT ME, NOT AN ADMINISTRATOR, NOT A PARENT, NO ONE!

Unlike true portfolios, there is NO work that represents the students' perspective. There is no reflection piece. There is nothing of value whatsoever. Really, they are more like a monument to Wasted Time and Space, as I have probably spent 20-25 hours of my working life on these for no real educational purpose.

When we raised these concerns to the Bacon Hunter, for the FIFTH TIME she said (and I quote), "Sometimes you just need to do what you're told."

Um, I don't even say that crap to my eight year old friends! JUST DO WHAT I'M TOLD?

14 comments:

tidbitor said...

um, okay..........

Is she an admin or something? Department head? Would "wtf?" be outta line here?

Jason said...

Bacon Hunter is a curriculum specialist for Mathematics in 2nd grade at Mrs. Mimi's.

Bacon Hunter needs a "Come to Jesus" meeting with reality.

HINT!!!! HINT!!!!

Introducing...The Millers... said...

This is all I have to say -- LMAO!

(Oh, if it makes you feel any better, I teach high school English in Kentucky, and it is the exact. Same. Way.)

ms-teacher said...

I love it when those who don't teach, think they know better than those who do. The one thing I absolutely detest about teaching? All the meaningless paperwork that comes with it!

Smallest Twine said...

So what would happen if you just didn't do it? I think it's time to make a stand :)

John Spencer said...

My approach has always been to pretend I can't do it. I fail to do the Blackboard Configuration and feign incompetence. I sometimes think our curriculum specialist really believes I am unable to do the BS paperwork.

Hays Family 5 said...

I don't even know what to say.

I would like to tell you that this kind of thing doesn't happen everywhere--but that would be a lie. I would like to tell you that those who know best-do indeed know best--but that would be a lie. I would like to tell you that this is what is best for kids--but that would be a lie. With all this lying....you would think that someone would get fired--but that would be lie.

What is it about getting into a position of "those who know best" that makes the most intelligent person stupid?

All the more reason to continue as a classroom teacher--and skip the big bucks of administration.

Mary Louise Brooks said...

Curriculum specialists are positions for people who want out of the classroom. I am a specialist (who wants to stay IN the classroom) and my position is useless because I'm forced to go into classrooms to "co-teach" or walk around and get my exercise on. I've heard many a specialist say, "I will never go back into the classroom." I'm going to start a new saying ... those who can't teach turn to administration! Oh, yes I did!

Pamela.A said...

You are AWESOME!!!!! You are the Terry Prattchet of blogging teachers. Hilarious. Seriously :)
Pamela

laylablue said...

i need the backstory on the bacon...
the rest of this is creepy and disheartening...i will graduate next week (age 34) with teaching degree...
as teachers we must KNOW OUR STUDENTS, so, couldn't we expect the admin. to KNOW YOUR TEACHERS...?

sarah said...

I agree with Mary Louise. As a reform facilitator who is out of the classroom for the first time after 13 years IN it, I am very torn. While I love the planning, policy, leadership, support, accountability, and equity elements I miss my kids horribly.

It is also hard because I find a lack of understanding, in BOTH directions, about work in and work out of the classroom. There are teachers at my school who are so, so grateful and appreciative for what I can offer them and also there are teachers who actively avoid me (i.e. turn and walk the other way in the hall because they are afraid I will ask them something). I have heard people call my work amazing but also heard other people call it useless. Depending on the day, I have held both opinions and everything in between. It sounds like what this woman does is not helpful to you, and I'm sorry...but try not to write all of us off quite yet.

jimwilliam said...

I love to teach, but i got one rule. I do not do stupid crap! I had a job when I got this one; I can get another. Mke up all the dumb crap you want, just do not think I am going to do it.

KCL said...

Here's the problem: the bacon has clogged her arteries and the brain/oxygen flow to her brain, and she's basically suffocating herself and others. Beta blockers, ya'll?

learningreality said...

Have a hug...

HAHAHAHA! Great name :)

Bacon Hunter sounds EXACTLY like Lame Duck, my soon-to-be-ex principal. If I had a nickel for every time she said "we need to do... (insert latest waste of time here) because the district wants us to...," we'd have enough money to make up the California budget deficit.

I'm probably not the first to point out the similarity between "deficit" and "defecate."

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