Monday, October 29, 2007

I blog today with a heavy heart about teaching. My superintendent asked me to a be a part of the Michigan Mathematics Program Improvement team for our Intermediate School District. It requires me to attend 6 days of training, broken into 3 2 day sessions. Then I will be involved with delivering the same training to teachers in our district.

The training is wonderful, in depth, usable, interesting.... extraordinary PD.

However, I am gone from my classroom. The first 2 day training, Day One my sub did not show and I was covered by the elem principal, the athletic director, whichever warm body could be found for the hour all day. The next day, a retired elementary teacher was in for me. The kids loved her.

This time, when I told my students who my sub was to be, they groaned. I gave them the whole speech about I don't choose the subs and they must simply make the best of it, blah, blah...

When I was gone, I got emails and phone calls - the kids were horrible! Rude, disrespectful, walking out of class... the principal even had to come in to talk to them one day. How embarassing! But today, back in the classroom, I am even more torn. From the kids side of the story, and even the principal's story, the sub is unrealisitic in her expectations for middle schoolers. She expects them to sit and work and be quiet, entirely quiet for the entire 60 minute class period. No wonder they revolt!

I don't want to ever be gone, but unfortunately, when you assume leadership roles, sometimes you must be gone.

How do I balance all this? How do I mange to do the things I must do which take me out of the classroom, expect students to behave respectfully when I am gone, when I cannot trust the sub to treat them equally as respectfully?

Part of me wants to come down hard on the students, and I will give them my "no matter what you know what I expect speech" but at what point does it matter????

I don't know what the solution is, and maybe that is just it.. there is no solution....

I just know I will be gone again on Thursday and I am torn.....