Yes, you are responsible.

This morning I was frantically trying to complete my grade entries into our new and improved electronic gradebook program just in time to print hard copies of the student’s online progress reports, when it occurred to me that this never ending, perpetually expanding list of things teachers are responsible for might be reaching critical mass.

For those of you playing the “at home” version, let’s recap a bit, shall we? As we step into RW’s WayBack Machine, we remember those tranquil days of ‘yore when teachers only reported student progress at the end of marking periods. The purpose of the marking periods was to give parents some indication of their child’s success before they finished the course. Parents were able to chart their students progress a few times a year by looking at the report cards. If they had special concerns they could call or drop by the school and ask the teachers.

Then, as parents became increasingly frantic that their Golden Child had a “B”, we added the teacher responsibility of midterm grades (euphemistically called “progress reports”). Of course, parents are still invited to call, email, or visit with teachers if they have concerns, but now they can do so more often.

And now we’re right back up to today. Now our grades are instantly accessible online via password, 24/7. Of course this new, expensive technology renders our “progress reports” and report cards completely obsolete, but teachers are still responsible for them! That’s right, if our parents don’t receive that piece of paper generated from the same computer program available online, then how will we know what our little Lotus Blossom’s grade is?

Of course this isn’t even the half of it. Teachers have also assumed responsibility as Parking Lot Attendants, Hallway Sex Police, Athletic Ticket Scalpers, Fashion Monitors, and (my personal favorite) Self Esteem Coaches!

So what happens when the growing number and intensity of teacher responsibilities reaches critical mass and they crack under the pressure? Can you imagine the complete collapse of our social fabric when teachers start drinking on the weekdays? What on earth will happen if that message from Boy Wonder’s mom gets accidentally deleted because they don’t intend to discuss his 0.04 GPA discrepency anymore?

In short, what happens if teachers start acting like everyone else and are no longer responsible?!

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6 thoughts on “Yes, you are responsible.

  1. livebait1

    Rockwalker,
    It is may great hope that this is the verbatim version offered to your second period class. I almost walked in and asked if I could audit your class during my planning period just so I could hear all about the 7 year-old players.

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  2. nerosremorse59

    Thank you, Rockwalker. I have been under the impression that I was the only one who thought that it is enough to make the tests, grade them, and record them on a sheet of paper. Now I have to broadcast them as well. I spent yesterday afternoon feverishly setting up my patriotgradesbook and entering grades just so students can instantly check their e-grade. Uggh… this is the first year I have felt overwhelmed by my computer — how long does it take to load NCWISE in each class (it times out if you try to leave it open)? check email on an also-timing-out system? and enter homework assignments on the class page. I feel like it’s 20 computer minutes for each class!

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  3. rockwalker

    What? Are you implying that our aged computer server is not up to the task of handling 3 times the internet traffic with aplomb? I can’t believe you’d even suggest such a thing! Why, our computer system is state of the art and

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  4. mav3n

    What, socially responsible rockwalker? Did I miss the part where you also talked about the destruction of our environment with a useless paper trail?

    I also thought that you would rant some on the co-curricular meetings. Were they fun? Didn’t you get the fact that you have to teach your curriculum AND someone else’s, all while filling out another form (attached on e-mail of course). . . .Maybe you didn’t get that e-mail because it “timed out.”

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  5. rockwalker

    Ahh well, I didn’t really want to get into all of that, mav3n. After all, not everyone agrees with me that human beings are apparently trying to find out how long it takes to turn a planet into a desert. That, and I save my “Socially Responsible” arguments for my AP class blog.

    Also, I’m actually not too fussed about the co-curricular meetings because I do that stuff anyway and one more officious paper submitted to our Fearless Leaders is hardly worth mentioning.

    When I envisioned these collaborative efforts, I didn’t intend for it to be a burden, but rather the opposite. I wanted to get out of the useless cross dept. meetings we had last year and use that time for something interesting. I imagined that these collaborative efforts would be very informal, relaxed, fun, and educational for both students and teachers. However, in the same manner as mosquitos, once the Fearless Leaders get a hold of something they feel obligated to suck the life out of it and for that I apologize.

    I will say, however, that I am annoyed that our Fearless Leaders felt perfectly free to introduce the concept as their own and not allow the idea’s creators to explain things.

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