Wednesday, November 30, 2016



Slowing Down

Image result for Indiana Jones giant boulder. animated gif

For the past several years, I have sometimes felt like Indiana Jones just a few feet in front of the damn giant boulder.

This is not entirely the result of various education reforms. We've been through some changes locally, including but limited to some schedule changing that has resulted in slightly shorter periods, and some changes in staffing that have led to slightly larger classes.

But of course like many other schools, we are being trickled down upon by the dripping ooze of school reform. We have lots of additional paper-- well, computer work that is meant to show how we're aligning our instruction to the standards (spoiler alert-- mostly by completing computerized paperwork). We spend time worrying about the numbers and part of my week is now set aside for sitting and fretting over various slabs of data. And when you add up all the days I lose to testing, or pre-testing, or practice testing, it all adds up to days and weeks of school during which I don't get to actually teach.

Meanwhile, the mountain of material that I feel I should be getting through looks more and more like, well, like two mountains, piled on top of each other and sitting on top of a third mountain that has been smushed into the ground so far that I'll have to dig it all out before I can deal with it. And so there is a voice yammering away in my ear, strained and urgent, reminding me that I only have X days left and if I don't hammer through this stuff today, and quickly, I'll never get to the other material which I really need to get to because these students are less than two years away from going out into a world that will demand every possible skill set from them and oh my good lord in heaven how am I ever going to get anything done if they want to talk about stuff and holy crap the boulder is right on my heels-----

It has become almost routine for me. Maybe it happens when I'm home unwinding with family and vacation, or maybe it happens when I suddenly see what I'm doing and realize I am losing the