Another one bites the dust

Dear readers (and I know you are few),

Today was the last day of school with students. I still have three days of finals and 4 days of teacher wrap-up next week, but I am done…in more ways than one.

I’ve regretted not posting at all since October, but things have slowly spiraled out of control since then.

I had parental difficulties with my grading system and was ultimately forced by my administrator to revert back to percentage grades (no more 1-5 levels). Then, I had to stop modifying scores that reflected student understanding (can’t have Johny or Sally feeling bad about themselves and hey, when students report their SAT scores, then only ever have to tell their highest score). I had scheduling conflicts that pulled students out of lab time so much so that I was constantly behind in material. I had parents upset that their up-until-now perfect child was doing poorly in my class must mean that I was doing something wrong (or was it that up until now no other teachers held them to any standard?…I’m confused). I struggled with the amount of time I was putting into teaching at the cost of my time with my family. And there were several other issues I was trying to deal with at the same time as all that.

All of which led me to check that I was unsure about my returning next year when asked in our annual letter of intent. So, I had a few meetings with administration over the course of the last few months to talk about those things. I explained again what I was attempting to do in order to change the culture of point hungry children bent on nothing but getting the best grade to get into college, how some daily scheduling changes would make things easier for students and myself, and a variety of other things – all with suggestions about how they could be remedied – not just complaints.

Well, I guess when you try to do an administrator’s job and put them against the wall to back you up when it comes to parents leads them to decide not to ask you back wether you want to or not.

So, it is with sadness that I taught my last class today. The teaching economy isn’t too bright with all of the budget cutbacks in this area so I am forced to look for another profession.

I have continued to read everyone’s blogs and wish to greatly thank those (Shawn Cornally, Frank Nochese, Jason Buell and others) who gave me advice early on this year and say to you all I’m still counting on you to change the American culture with the wonderful things you do in class each and every day. Some of you are down-right amazing.



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2 Responses to Another one bites the dust

  1. Jason Buell says:

    Sorry to hear that Matt. Tough situation all around. I don’t know where you are but in California it looks like the budget is likely flat rather than going to be cut. So there are spots around, especially for math. We’ve got a 7th math opening and I have a friend who just turned down a HS position.

    There’s also independent schools. At least in the Bay Area, they’re still hiring and a pretty good pace.

    Good luck though and best wishes with your future path. I’ll keep you in my Reader though should you stay with teaching or change up entirely but still wish to continue blogging.

  2. Sharon says:

    Good luck Matt. I tried implementing SBG as well this year. I also had to backpedal throughout the year. I have ended the year – still in favor of SBG, but overall dissatisfied with the “success” of the year. There were projects I have done in the past that I haven’t this year and I certainly didn’t finish my curriculum. I’m not blaming SBG, because family events did interfere. But I didn’t want you to feel that you were the only one who couldn’t perfect an SBG classroom in one year! Again, good luck.

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