Well, I was a busy bee over the weekend. When I came back I had many fires to put out at my school site. The good news is that it appears I may be in my new room by Oct. 15th. The bad news is that the district is pretty much leaning on me to start taking classes once a week to prep for a test to satisfy CLAD.

Never mind that I was hired without CLAD, or that CLAD is not at present legally mandated for anyone previously hired. The district has simply decided that I will take CLAD training on their dime, or else I will be judged insubordinate. I was given two choices:

  • give up several consecutive Saturdays, and receive some modest stipend at the end of the semester
  • attend 8-4 classes for several consecutive Thursdays, for which days the district will pay for subs
Why is the district doing this? Is it because it is likely to make me a more effective teacher? I am frankly skeptical, and my colleagues who have CLAD haven't said much to lead me to believe that this is going to be anything other than a dog-and-pony show to make the district look good. But let's take the district's desire at face-value, and assume that they are just trying to be proactive and raise the quality of their work force. Why, then, am I not being offered any college credit through either option, both of which are being provided through the Tulare (why not Fresno?) County Office of Education rather than an accredited university? This is the equivalent of 12 units of coursework if obtained through a degree program as described here!

I find this especially galling because, for better or worse, I've tried to be a good soldier. I've taught six periods once when asked. I was a seventh-period instructor for two years, teaching a section that most of my other colleagues strive to avoid. I've taught all four of the standards-based courses, including in one year as an emergency fill-in. I've served on the Site Council both as a Rep and as President. I've sponsored student clubs and went to games, plays, etc. voluntarily on a regular basis. I've done inservices for faculty and helped individual colleagues resolve technical problems. In fact, to some of my colleagues I've become a running joke, the 'guy who volunteers.'

Well, to make a long story short I'm going to take the Thursday option because if I lose my Saturdays, what with working a second job already (church choir director) along with my other interests, I think my wife would, um, KILL me. But the downside is that I'm going to have to 'pick up the pieces' every Friday after a sub day for the rest of the semester and it's going to have a negative impact on my curriculum, and thus potentially those precious test scores that my employer places such a premium on could also be affected. If they are, though, will I be cut any slack from a district evaluator if my scores are below the site average, even though my students are effectively being deprived of more than a week's worth of real instructor time because of the administration's desire that all teachers have some sort of progress toward CLAD? Shoot, I doubt it. This is heads they win and tails I lose.

So....I really don't want to be the next administrator who asks me for a favor.

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