It has been a while since my last post. I have retired from teaching at the close of this school year and I have relocated to the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. Unfortunately, my last year teaching was one of the most difficult years of my teaching career.
As our local president I was in the middle of tense contract negotiations as well as dealing with new principals in every building. Our District hired a new superintendent who promptly moved me to a different building, knowing full well that I was retiring. Needless to say, my relationship with our new superintendent was strained to say the least. Unfortunately I had a school board that was blind to the damaging changes she wrought.
When we first met, I explained that I agreed that some change is positive and needed. However, change should be done with staff, not at staff. Unfortunately that advice fell on deaf ears.
My former district now has lost their science lab, SS texts, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar programs, and a viable reading program. Special ed teachers have their numbers increasing, reading teachers are overloaded and morale across the district is at an all time low. Yet, a ton of money was spent on Chrome books so that students now spend a good part of their day staring at a computer screen.
Testing was increased under this new administration, Fountas and Pinell (3 times a year),STARS ( 3 times a year-unless you get AIS services then it is even more) , and of course our state tests.
We were able to work out a new contract, only after an intense showing by by members at a school board meeting that woke up the community. Solidarity is powerful and my members learned that this year.
Now I move towards a new phase of my life. I intend to continue to advocate for public education and sensible pedagogy. I will begin posting more often but will also include a myriad of topics that I will be opining on.