Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Circus--I Mean Board Meeting

There was a lot of people at the board meeting last night, which went until 11:30pm! It was a mess. Three of us who went were sitting in the lounge today during lunch, someone asked how the meeting was, in unison we all replied,"bad!"

How can I describe to you, dear reader, what this meeting was like. I can only describe with a teaching analogy, so enjoy =).

Once I was teaching some third graders basic algebra and balancing equations. We were drawing scales. We were practicing saying = signs as "the same as". It seemed to be going pretty well. The kids were doing it correctly and nodding along. Finally, I asked, "Does anyone have any questions?"

One little boy raised his hand and said, "Miss Understood, you made a mistake."

"Okay, what is the mistake?" I asked.

"You have letters in the middle of your Math problems!" I looked around and the other heads were nodding in agreement.

I knew at once: they didn't get it. AT ALL... We had to start from the beginning.

So, what is it like at a board meeting? It is like the district superintendent and leadership council are me, and the board members are my students. The district leadership council explains the situation and recommendations and the board members seem to nod along. THEN the board members begin to ask questions and it becomes abundantly clear at once: they didn't get it. AT ALL...

What is it like to be a teacher in the audience at a board meeting? Well, I am a spectator, so it is like being a spectator at a tee-ball game for six year olds. Only you're a spectator whose bet thousands of dollars on the game. When the six year old first basemen suddenly sits down for all of the third inning, you find yourself wanting to yell, "what the Hell!" The outcome of the game is in no way dictated by logic or reason, but you know you will pay dearly if things don't go as expected. In a word, it is FRUSTRATING!

As of 11:30pm last night, the rif was approved, but apparently we can't have contracts because they want to change wording and possibly rif more teachers. So, no job security for now... Why would they want to let a team of accountants, lawyers, and educators make a sensible budget when we can have elected officials with no qualifications make their own plan??

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