Saturday, January 22, 2011

Absolute Dread

As we left school on Thursday, we realized we likely would not be there on Friday. Hooray for a long weekend, right? No. Not for one of the audit schools. Teachers have to stay the full workday on an early dismissal anyway, so we all stayed and made sure our room was in order and our binders were in check. Why? The audit.  The audit is coming on Monday.

In the weeks leading up to the audit, I've tried to keep up a positive face, especially for my kids. We're going to pull through this. They're going to be amazed at how great we are. This is survivable. We're going to make it. Our kids have been beside themselves. They worry about us because as much as teachers care about students, a lot of students really care about their teachers. I have kids that hate doing school work and are bears when I try to make them do anything. If you say one word against me, they are there to stand up for me, even when I don't need it (especially then, it seems). For some of the kids, we're stand in parents. For others, we're just people who they know care about them a lot. We're stability. We're friendly (but not too friendly). We're happy for them when they succeed. We're stern with them when they stumble. We laugh with them; cry with them; work with them; love them. There is a very real possibility that I, and many other teachers in our building, may not be back the following year. For our kids, this is terrifying.

The next time I set foot in my school building, we'll have a dozen veteran educators coming in to assess how our building works. They are there to question, analyze, evaluate and judge us. They are there to tell us what we're doing wrong. They will tell us how to fix it, which could involve restaffing between fifteen and sixty percent of the teachers in the building. Think of your school. Imagine how warm, inviting and stable it would seem with sixty percent of the teachers replaced with new faces. They might tell our principal to step down, maybe our whole administration. Our Site-Based Decision Making Council will likely be disbanded. And for what? Test scores. Test scores from a test that's broken, that has been broken for a long time.

I'll make it through this. I'll survive. I can't say the same about the upheaval my kids will endure.


  1. Oh man. That sounds incredibly stressful. I work with a girl who gets good grades in school all year and then bombs the standardized test every year. I agree, the test is broken. They're starting a new one here this year but who knows if it will make a difference.

    I really hope you're able to relax this weekend and know that you've done what you can. Hopefully the auditors will see the value in your school's hard work.

  2. Oh Lord! I really do hope everything goes well, and that this nightmare finaly ends on monday. Try to have a nice weekend, darling. God bless you!


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