The Real Housewives

Teacher Depreciation Week

For a few short, fun months, I teetered tottered with the notion that I could lose my job. I went through low points where I toyed with the idea of auditioning for  The Real Housewives of Hooverville, and high points where I lost consciousness and dreamt that I was gainfully employed as Donald Trump’s hairpiece.

The local board of education decided that my job had some value to elementary students and added it back into the school budget, and the public voted in favor of it so I will soldier on as an elementary librarian–at least another year until I am laid off again and the cycle repeats like a Head-On commercial until I actually need Head-On.

It is a good time to be a public employee especially a teacher. Society seems to really revere teachers. Wait, is revere the right word? Oh right. . . the word I’m thinking of is revile.

This guy knows what I’m talking about:

et tu, Grandpa?

Teachers are the worst, especially that one who taught me how to read and that jerk who taught me how to write and that ass who taught me arithmetic does not actually begin with an “r”. I hate all of you.

Test scores are low, schools are failing and the tator tots taste like pencil shavings–and it’s all the teachers’ fault.

My school was placed on the needs improvement list this past year, along with a bunch of other schools in New York State, when the state decided to arbitrarily raise the threshold for passing the state tests. This happened after the students took the test, and 80 percent passed. Now 50 percent did. In your face teachers!

Here’s the thing with state tests. They’re awesome. They are created by corporations that get million dollar contracts from states, which then have less money to give schools. And it’s a one-size-fits-all assessment tool. It works really well because all students are the same.

Here’s the thing with actual schools. As teachers, we are told to tailor our instruction so if you teach 4th grade and have a student who reads at a 1st grade level, you give the student material at his reading level. Then comes state test time, and that student takes a test at a 4th grade reading level, and for some reason he bombs it. Why? The teacher sucks.

Student performance on these tests will be a huge chunk of the new teacher evaluation system. This seems like a good idea in the same way my performance on this blog is reflective of WordPress, and my somewhat high cholesterol speaks volumes about my doctor’s abilities.

As of yet there is no state test to assess a student’s library ability, but give Pearson Education time and I’m sure it will come up with one for the the low, low cost of $50 million. And if my students cannot successfully place Archery for Fun in the right Dewey Decimal range (it’s 799.3, stupid) or spell the word Caldecott then I guess I’m a terrible librarian.

Oh well, I should look on the bright side. I’ll likely be laid off next year.