Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are now T-Minus 20 hours from the official start of the school year. Tomorrow every mostly serious educator in the county will be packed into a crumbling auditorium to lap up the pearls of wisdom and inspiration that are sure to be dropped by our Fearless Leaders in their annual “Get out and Teach” address. And yes, it is as disturbing an experience as it sounds.
Longtime readers of course have figured out by now that my enthusiasm for teaching is matched only by my disdain for educational politics and the Fearless Leaders who champion them. Given that, you can imagine that starting off every single school year with this kind of self-aggrandizing circle jerk of congratulation is almost as painful for me as running a mile over broken glass.
In addition to talking about how awe-inspiring the teachers at the neighboring school are and how we can all learn from their example, we’ll be talking about the “new” teacher assessment tool that we’ll be using this year. The word “new” is in dubious quotation marks because this assessment tool has in fact been in use for a year and a half now. In fact, the “new” teacher assessment tool isn’t all that different from the old one at least in the sense that if you are actually doing your job (teaching) then you’ll get high marks, no bonus money, no pay raise, and we may still fire you next year due to our never-ending statewide search for the bottom of the barrel. (Look out Mississippi, we’re going to catch you yet!)
It really concerns me that we are still “learning” about the “new” teaching assessment. Our Fearless Leaders have been trying for 3 semesters now to tell us how this new method is superior to the old one and how it will work, exactly. The fact that there are still so many questions about it indicates to me that our Fearless Leaders would actually score quite low on their own assessment. We know that it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the uninterested and jaded audience that is the teaching staff because we’ve all learned from President Bush that the reason why students don’t succeed is because their teachers are sub par. Given all this, I think maybe our Fearless Leaders should step aside and let someone who’s actually good at teaching talk to us about the “new” assessment tool.
Tomorrow’s exercise in uselessness will be conducted in our very own auditorium, which means that I’ll have access to the internet. (These people never learn!) Anyway, it is highly possible that tomorrow’s blog post will contain something like a running inner monologue of my reactions to my “training” session. Yes, you will at last gain access to the clandestine world of teacher training sessions in all their mystery. I’m sure that my groundbreaking expose will shake your beliefs and assumptions, but I firmly believe that we will emerge from the other side of this dark and twisting tunnel stronger for the experience.