Today we returned from Spring Break. As an AP teacher, my interior clock is already ticking away: 22 class days until the AP English Language exam. Because my school operates on a block schedule, we are forced to teach an entire year’s curriculum to students during only one semester of 90-minute class periods. We’re always running or cramming or screaming in frustration because we have too much to teach in so little time.
But we manage.
Then I returned today to discover that an administrator is pulling some of my students out of class tomorrow in order to conduct a pep rally to encourage students at a local elementary school to do well on their standardized tests. As if we don’t have enough class interruptions for our own students who are involved in tests! I asked administrators to reduce how many times our classes are interrupted so students are in class for the 22 remaining days before AP exams. One administrator sees nothing wrong with pulling kids out of class so long as they have A’s and B’s, and another administrator never responded to my concerns.
What I would give to work in a school where all administrators were truly instructional leaders! Why should I have to fight to keep students in my class?
Another email flew out to teachers this afternoon. Since the school will hold an honors day next Friday during school, followed by the junior-senior prom that night, we have a special form students must complete in order to check out at noon.
One more interruption! Sometimes I think it is amazing that our kids learn as much as they do. I can only imagine how much our kids would learn if learning were indeed our primary focus!