Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Return of the 3rd Graders

Only this time, they're 4th graders.
Yep. They're promoting them, in the middle of October. The 3rd graders (who used to be mine) have been causing chaos in the whole school, not doing their work, not wearing uniform, and pretty much running the other building are getting rewarded a)by coming back to my class and b)by being promoted to the 4th grade.
Oh - and they've managed to waste almost a month of instructional time in the process.
But it's not their fault.
It's my administration's fault, who knows NOTHING about special ed.
Someone came in today and told them they were too old to be in that class, so our special ed AP has decided she'll just promote them. That will fix the problem of them being too old for the class with the teacher who can't control them anyway, and the problem of me having 3 grades in one room.
"They can't multiply, or read on the level of my class," I reminded her. "I've gotten new students since then."
"Yes, but now they're 4th graders," she said.
"Yeah, but they're still at a 2nd grade level," I replied.
"It's the only thing we can do," she said. "Some kids just can't do the work, and we can't hold them there forever. That's why they're in special ed."
"No, they're in special ed so they get extra help and master the basic skills they need to function in society. Until they do, we keep them here. They made a lot of progress last year, but we can't push them through to a grade they're not ready for." I said. I could feel the tension in my neck.
"It's the only thing we can do," she said. "You'll make it work!"
I wanted to scream, "YOU MAKE IT WORK! YOU COME IN AND TEACH THEM! OH, AND BY THE WAY, DO YOU CARE THAT I'M GETTING THE REST OF MY KIDS READY FOR THEIR SOCIAL STUDIES TEST?"
No, she doesn't.
Arg.
I really want to not go to work tomorrow, but unfortunately, that would only punish the 9 people who deserve it the least - my babies.

4 comments:

X said...

Jesus. I have no idea what to say. If I weren't a teacher, I wouldn't believe this. You and the kids have worked so hard together. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. It's making me ill.

Julie said...

I guess the happy teacher movie couldn't last forever:( Stay tough.

Miss G said...

I'm glad it's making someone else physically ill, too.
I met with my principal for 45 minutes this morning and told him I know those kids are capable of passing the 3rd grade test this year and that we're doing them a huge disservice.
The problem is that they're getting pressure from outside consultants to advance kids based on age. I don't know who all of these people are, but if they know so much I wish they would come in and teach. People who view kids as paper statistics and not people are what makes our education system a failing one.

Jen Barney said...

I am so sorry!