Wow. I heard something today that just made my head spin.
We spent pretty much the entire morning on our standardized testing. It was one LONG test. Holy cow. Mrs. Reading Teacher offered to help proctor my class. It isn't that she felt like I couldn't do it, but she feels like I am the odd one out because I don't have a TA/Student teacher to help monitor the class. We had a testing session from about 8:50 - 10ish, then the children had a restroom break and recess. After recess we had a snack for them and started the second part of the test at 11. The first part was SO long. I felt really bad for two of my ELL kids who just didn't have the stamina to keep going with that big test. I sure hope they did okay because they were feeling stressed and I hate that.
First thing this morning, after announcing our schedule for the day, I sent the children off to use the restroom before we started since they can't get up and leave during the test. Mrs. Reading Teacher commented that she really liked my manner with the children. She said I don't talk down to them, I just talk to them like they are people and she got the sense that they really respond well to me. This is a great compliment for two reasons a) it reaffirms that I freaking rule (*wink*) and b) I'm sure she'll report back to Mrs. Principal about what she sees in my classroom because she's in such a leadership role in our school. I do really enjoy my students this year and I think that shines through in my interactions with them.
During lunch, however, I heard the most preposterous thing I have ever heard. One of the fourth grade teachers was telling us that yesterday when Mrs. Principal and Mrs. Coach were doing some informal walk throughs), they were flabbergasted to find that her students were doing coloring on a math sheet. Apparently Mrs. Principal's boss (whom we all refer to as the Wicked Witch...because she is not a nice person, at all), would have a hairy canary if she saw any of us having children color because "your students are too low to be allowed to color". Even if it is for math. It gets better. Apparently, in schools like ours that are on the priority list, even 1st grade teachers are told their students are not allowed to color.
What? Are you serious? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life. Of course, this woman was fired from being a principal in our district but now is in charge of all of the principals. So clearly she is an incompetent moron yet she's going to tell me how to do my job. I think what bothers me the most is that she is also in charge of the ELL department....and the SIOP training they've had people go to states that you should allow students to color and/or draw to show what they have learned. Can anyone say "contradiction"?
Then this teacher said that Mrs. Principal told her that this higher up person actually stopped a teacher, in the middle of a lesson, to chastise something she wasn't doing right. I have to say, she better not ever do that to me...because I will gladly lose my job to tell that woman that a) I am trying to teach here and b) don't interrupt me. I can't even imagine having the gall to do that to someone. As Mr. 4/5 split put it so eloquently, this woman must've had a really bad childhood.
I am not going to change how I am teaching. I know that what I do with my students makes them better readers, better writers and overall better students. If the Wicked Witch thinks she can do better, I'll be happy to stand aside and let her....but she wouldn't accomplish anything because the children wouldn't respond to someone who was so cold and absolutely unfeeling.