Veteran ELA teachers being micromanaged by the district, blamed for things they cannot control.

I received the following note from a long time reader.

There was an emergency ela meeting today because the district is all bent out of shape because we aren't using achieve 3000 enough!

So now ten weeks into the year we are having to reinvent the wheel...the new expectation is 2 articles a month.

We shared laptop carts so they could do one stop shopping which was not good enough for the district because they want instruction going on while one group is doing achieve EVERY DAY.
We are trying to work out the technology issues and we actually LIKE the program, but not being bullied, you know? We try our best to support the district but the teachers just were on the point of collapsing with this news.

Then all day on planning day we had a tech guy repairing many of lap tops...and we had no access during October because it was a marathon of testing.

Yet somehow us being behind is our fault.
Here is another note from another teacher.
When being on the exact day of the curriculum guide outweighs the students depth of knowledge on the subject, something is terribly wrong with our system.   During our teaching academy all the second grade teachers were told to do one Making Words lesson per week.   We argued we would  not finish the book if we did that.   Our district coach-teacher assured us that this is what the district wanted.   Flash forward to Week 5,  all the second grade teachers were called in and asked what lesson we were on.  We were all on Lesson 5 just like we told to be on.   Our Reading Coach told us that we were behind and that we should be on Lesson 13.   She told us, she didn't care how we did it but just catch up.   Now at Week 9, I am sitting in my mandatory administrative meeting with my principal and the teachers and the reading coach when the district coach walks in.   She asks what I am doing in Making Words.  I tell her how I have planned to catch up to the current district plan.  She informs me that I am all wrong.   I should not be trying to catch up, I should be doing the original plan from the Teacher's Academy, but I should still be doing at least 3 lessons per week. She didn't say how to plan 3 lessons together, but I should be doing them.   Now, I am confused.   Either way, I am going to get docked and my principal decides which plan of action she feels like that day.

When the district decided to collapse one second grade class, our principal notified the parents the students would officially begin on Friday.  However, she brought them to us on Wednesday.   We all underwent an Ethics course during pre-planning that told us not to listen to the grapevine.  However, it was the grapevine that notified me that I would be getting 5 new students the next morning.   If I hadn't listened to it, I would have had 15 minutes to ready myself for 5 new kids.   It wasn't fair to the children, their parents, or their former or new teacher.

I will tell you that I am hearing from teachers that I know from all over the county.  They are tired, they are on the brink,  they are making mistakes because there is just too much to learn.  Families are suffering because teachers don't come home when they are supposed to because they fear for their jobs.   Teachers are contemplating suicide because no matter how hard they work, it is never good enough.  Good teachers who dare to speak up are the ones being put on growth plans or are being punished.    Good teachers know they don't have to be treated like this and they are leaving.   Students don't learn in this environment.  Students pick up the feelings of the adults and transfer it to each other hence the behavior problems in Duval County.
Teachers have had enough and I have said it before we will never reach our potential as long as we continue to treat our teachers so poorly.


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