Saturday, May 08, 2010

How Much CYA For A CPU, and Y

Yesterday after lunch, the world ended.

Not really. Not for everyone. Just for several of us at my school.

You see, Zangle, our online attendance-recording (among other things) program, stopped working. The student names came up, but I couldn't mark them present, tardy, or absent.

I sent an email to the rest of the teachers on staff and from the replies I got, several teachers all over the site were having the same problem. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to who was having problems and who wasn't. One teacher said that she couldn't take roll on Firefox but could on Safari. Go figure.

I emailed our attendance office with the names of my absent students and asked her to mark the students absent via her access. At least this way I have a record that I did, in fact, take roll. I also contacted our Tech Services people and let them know of the problem, and sent my principal an email letting him know I'd done so.

It's important that I did all this because we have a vice principal with Napolean Complex. If someone makes a simple mistake, his response is not just to point out the mistake but to identify how the teacher has violated numerous state laws, district policies, and components of the California Standards For The Teaching Profession. If in writing, these laws, policies, and the CSTP will be stapled to the letter/note/warning. At my Alma Mater we had a special term we used for such people....

On Monday it might appear that I didn't take roll during 5th or 6th periods yesterday. There's a part of me that is hoping I get a nasty-gram for not doing so.


Ellen K said...

Ah....the joys of Zangle. We were supposed to leave our current grading program for Zangle next year. But the erratic nature of the program just didn't give many of us confidence to support it. As it is now, we have online gradebooks from Esembler and have used that for around six years. It works okay, but takes up a great deal of space on the servers. Of course that wouldn't be a problem if the district didn't insist on keeping emails for five years. At some point those archives are going to dump the system. And when that happens I will have paper backup unlike some of my younger collegues.

Ellen K said...

Oh-we have an attendance nazi as well. She will call, usually in the middle of presenting the lesson of the day, demanding to know where attendance is. Sometimes it doesn't go through. As it is, it takes up ten minutes at the start of class when I would rather be teaching. One of the Teflon heads of dept, send in all of his attendance before the school day starts and simply emails the specific secretary in charge if someone is absent. Unfortunately, if we get more than five calls a grading term, our professional rating goes to Unacceptable on our PDAS. Nice way to use a brickbat to swat a fly isn't it?

mrelliott said...

I'm amazed at the extremes today's teachers have to go to document our work. I keep a notebook on my desk at all times where I can record anything. Such as, if I write a pass for a student to the nurse, or to see their counselor, I record what time they left and returned. I staple passes to the pages when students come in late...etc., etc. Last year it saved me when I was called in on the carpet about a student who failed my class. Second semester, students in elective classes may be taken out during class time to go to tutoring to get them ready for our state standardized test. We are told to give them "accomodated" lessons for all the missed class time. At the end of the semester when this student failed my class, the powers that be said, "Didn't you adjust your curriculum?" Thank goodness I recorded all the "adjustments". It got me off the hook.

So does your "violation nazi" of a principal behave this way with the students as well? Or is this specialness saved exclusively for the teachers?

At my school, the students get away with all sorts of laws, policies, and rules violations, while the teachers get in trouble at the drop of the hat. We call our principal the "Screamer". Nice, huh?

EdD said...

Don't all of you pay dues to a union?
If you do and your union doesn't intercede for you when administrative
types get out of line, you have to ask yourselves why you are paying those dues.

maxutils said...

Ed . . .if you only knew. And yes, the students get to experience the same degree of specialness.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Darren, it was such an appropriate term too, wasn't it?

Darren said...

Indeed it was, and apropos as well.