From the thread, Drawing Lines in the Sand, below is this heartfelt plea from a teacher. I sometimes give these teacher thoughts their own thread, not so much for comments, but so we can all hear what it is like from the front lines. (I have teased it out, line by line, to maximize the impact and realities of what teachers face.)
I have been teaching for 6 years. Last year and this year have been the toughest years of my short career by far. I have bigger classes, less support, and more district bull to deal with.
I spent countless hours last year battling badly designed alignment plans.
This year I have been told to raise my expectations to close the achievement gap as if I have not had high expectations for my students to begin with. As if raising my expectations more will make my students magically rise to that expectation. A mentality that conveniently disregards the need for boots on the ground support in schools.
I can raise my expectations as high as the moon, but without resources for students with learning, language, home, and personal challenges my high expectations will not be enough.
I need resources to close the gap.
I need instructional IA's in the classroom, counselors who are not managing 500 students, and a career center than can help them find a career path after they graduate.
I need a truancy specialist who can track down students who don't come to school.
I need a library that can stay open past 4pm so students can study after school.
If the district was serious about the gap they would put their money where their mouths are.
I'm hoping for a superintendent who walks the talk. Someone who has a plan that actually is a plan and not an acronym.