Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Selection Process

Talk about fun! Yesterday was course selection day, and I got to experience it all. That’s one of the great things about teaching English. With kids having to take it every year, then you’re the teacher responsible for hosting a number of activities to make sure every student is reached. And let me tell you there’s a bunch of them, and they all interrupt your lesson plans. A number of times a year instead of teaching, I’m taking kids to get yearbook pictures, or order class rings, or to a special assembly about cyber bullying where the school has paid a ton of money to bring in a guest speaker. The students texted all through that one, by the way.

Or in this case, selecting next year’s classes….

It was something to be seen, I tell you. There we were for each period in the library, with the counselors with course selection packets, fists full of pens and laptops. Oh, that’s another thing; they’re doing all of this in the library for an entire week. So not only am I not getting any teaching done, but if other teachers want to bring their kids to the library, then they can forget it. We’ve got jack-a-ninnies trying to sign-up for both early release and late arrival and filling in between with something called “Walking Fundamentals” for next year.

Anyway, I get a kick out of the counselors’ reactions to the kids’ requests for next year. They have these expressions on their faces like someone came up to them and asked them if they would like to be punched in the throat. But instead of saying, “Absolutely not! Are you crazy?!” they’re trying to explain how the kid’s plan is not possible.

“You can’t skip Spanish I by taking Spanish II. That’s not how it works.”

“I don’t care if you want to take Geometry. You can’t take something you’ve already passed because you know you can pass it again.”

“Don’t be too concerned about picking your lunch period because those are not registered for but assigned, even though you swear all the cool kids are in C Lunch.”

It never fails. As the kids run out of there after class is over, the counselors are shaking their heads. I tell them, “You’re shaking your head? I’m shaking my head. This school has had Exemplary status the last three years. How’d that happen?!”

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