Friday, November 28, 2008


You've Got Some 'Splaining To Do

I'm confused. Befuddled and perplexed also.

As most (all?) of you know, I have an eight-year-old daughter (hereinafter -- and also hereinbefore which I know isn't a word but I like it -- referred to as Her Surreal Highness). Over the years we've had some ... um ... interesting experiences with her schools. Much of this is my fault; I'm not an easy parent to deal with and they're most comfortable with the folks who colour inside the lines and fill out the required forms and so on.

Uh, forms. Shit. I was supposed to send those back two months ago. But I digress.

Some of it has been the fault of educators who wanted to "help her conform" rather than enjoying and appreciating her differences and creativity. This year's teacher is a whole different animal. She "gets" E. Completely. She seems to "get" me, too. It's such a relief and I have no doubt that over the years as I continue to butt heads with teachers and administrators I will recall this year as an oasis of sanity amidst the bloodshed.

Anyhow, this isn't about that. This isn't even about "Professional Development" days, which have confused me a little for some time. (Especially when she was in daycare. What did they do? Attend advanced colouring workshops given by Crayola? Play-Dough as a Dietary Supplement seminars?) (She had the most amazing daycare also ... they toilet trained her. I didn't have to do it. At all. For that I shall always bless them.)

Anyhow that's not about that either and there's no disrespect meant towards primary educators who I know work hard to increase their knowledge and skills and bla bla bla weasel weasel backtrack oh god please don't come and TP my house.

No, this is about today.

Today is a "District-Wide Curriculum Implementation Day". Apparently the way to implement the curriculum is to ... uh ... not offer the curriculum and all of the kids have to stay home (or at least not come to school).

Fortunately my husband isn't working today (I am), so it doesn't inconvenience us but really ... can someone splain that to me?

I think perhaps they could use some help in naming their days. Don't you?

If they called it District Wide My God We Need Happy Hour day, no one would keep their kids home.
I wouldn't even dignify that day by naming it Fred.
We had the day and a half off for parent/teacher conferences. Which about 10 days out suddenly became half day Thursday, all day Friday, AND all day Monday off. Which a few days later became ALL DAY off Thursday, Friday, and Monday. Because it's not like knowing in advance might be convenient or anything!!!
So you guys have those days up there, too, eh? I swear we didn't have that many days off when I was in school...
Just asked DH what a curriculum day is (he teaches 6th Grade). He said, "professional day". I asked what they do...he said, "I dunno, depends on the school".

Useful, huh?

But, really what I do know is that they have people teach them better ways to teach kids who have challenges, better ways to deal with kids who are bullying other kids, and there is a certain amount of teaching the newer ways to teach...Which is also what your preschool to deal with recalcitrant toilet learners, for instance ;-)

Probably, the teachers are learning about or working to put together parts of a new curriculum. It's a good thing ;-)
I totally understand what you mean by a teacher that "gets" your kid. Seth (my oldest) has had a couple of those. Be thankful, very thankful. If only the world had more teachers like that.
I'm SO GLAD you have a teacher that gets you and E!!! And I'm so glad E has a mom like you!
And yes, the number of days that teachers get off is RIDICULOUS!! At least here in the US. Yes, come at me teachers! You'all work the equivalent of a part-time job. Yes, that is true. I dare any of you to work years in a row with only 2 weeks off!! That's 10 days for the entire year! And that's working 9-6 minimum every single week. Over and over and over again.

charlizeen yahoooooooooo
Like my commuter train with "Efficiency Testing". They unexpectedly, during normal train operations, stop the trains, make them travel at very specifics speeds over a certain length of track, etc. This makes the train late, which the passengers do not see as "efficient" at all!
My favourite is when my BIL tells us they really need all this time off in the summer because of all the stress they deal with during the school year. Like no-one else ever has stress in their job...
My husband (owns his own business) often says he'd like a planning day, but hey, in the real world, life does tend to go on.
To paraphrase from Mandy himself in Princess Bride, "I don't think that word means what you think it means" may be the best response for Curriculum Implementation Day!
A voice in the wilderness here... yeah, it's a bad name for a workday of Professional Continuing Education (and it _is_ work for the teachers). But 9 to 6? _Only_ 9 to 6? Easy. Teachers work a lot of unpaid hours at home preparing lessons for classes and grading schoolwork.
Ugh, professional development days...I hate 'em. We have to sit all day through lecture after lecture of how to use the new curriculum and they they say "We'll be in next week to make sure you are all doing this right at exactly the same time, right after we re-do the bell schedule, ruin your art and music time, and rearrange all your classes, but only for 2 hours a day." No pressure there.
Ah, yes. Our school district has Staff Development Days, Classified Staff Holidays, Classified Holidays, and Teacher Work Days.

Which are mostly School Closed days, God forbid we actually *say* that.

And yes, God bless the daycares that potty train our kids! And tiny porcelain toilets! Yessssss.
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