Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Not A Team Player

A month ago I shared how badly our school district is screwing up its math program.  Frequently we're sent emails about some new meeting wherein we can "have input" into the decisions being made, but I honestly don't think anyone's interested in input.  No, the decisions are made, at this point they're just trying to get buy-in.  If you agree with the decisions you get to have input on implementation; if you don't, "the decision has already been made."

I have a lot of respect for my principal so it was difficult for me to tell him, but I can't be a so-called team player on this.  They pay me, so I'll teach, and I'll teach what they want me to teach, when they want me to teach it.  But I believe the decisions are so demonstrably and incredibly wrong that I've decided not to help them make those decisions, I don't want my fingerprints anywhere near them.  There are some teachers across the district who believe these decisions are the right ones--I'll let them participate in making any such decisions, let them determine pacing guides and order of topics and which textbooks to use, and let them give me that information as marching orders. 

Tell me what you want me to teach, and when, and I'll teach it.  That's where I am right now.  I'm not going to sabotage my district's plans, but I'm not going to help them formulate those plans, either.  They get my obedience but they don't get my support.


Jerr Doctor said...

For 32 years in public high schools I don't think a month went by without a counselor or administrator telling me "You're not a team player." I decided that this "ultimate" insult was actually a complement. Rather like being told "You think about the issues rather than automatically buying into the current groupthink."

My favorite time being told "You're not a team player" was when I responded to the head counselor that I actually was a team player... just not his team.

maxutils said...

I very much wish you would try to sabotage them.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about the decisions being made by my district and my school's administration. I have been department co-chair for a couple years and this year in particular it has hit me that I need to step down because I don't support the decisions being made. My input isn't valued. They just want a stamp of approval on what they have already decided. I'd rather go to my room, close the door, and teach then to be part of a sham "leadership team".

PeggyU said...

I don't envy you that. You've got my respect for sticking to your educational principles.

Always too cool for school, aren't you said...


Identical to the stance you took on California Academic Standards. And the pendulum couldn't have swung much farther in the opposite direction. Clearly, nothing that comes from above you will ever enjoy the Darren seal of approval.

If nothing else, you are skilled at articulating why it is you will never muster passion for the subject you teach.

Darren said...

I have no idea what you're talking about. I supported STAR testing, the now-outdated California math standards, and even NCLB. I don't even know what "California Academic Standards" you're talking about.

Clearly, you are a fool.

Anonymous said...

So much enthusiasm for the old testing regime, I an hardly stand it.


Darren said...

Ah, yes. Saying it's stupid to test, on an Algebra 2 test, material not taught in Algebra 2--that makes me against "the old testing regime"? I have to agree with every single part or I'm against it?

Again, you're an idiot. An "anonymous" idiot.