No Way Out

In a stack of papers called Legislation.

  • Oct
  • 13
  • 2010

As this school year year rolls on and you no longer have a bookroom clerk, librarian, subject area coordinator, testing coordinator, repro clerk, counselor, career center adviser, campus monitor, activities director, student services adviser, and any number of other positions that have been eliminated, you face a difficult choice. And no matter what you choose, you’re in trouble. We need to keep schools a safe and positive place for students while sending the message that we cannot do even more work with fewer resources.

The One Hand

You pick up the slack. You start to check books out to students yourself. You find library resources and pass them on to your students. You arrange for testing materials to be delivered and scan answer sheets. You take requests from friends, spending more time next to the copy machine than on your couch. You meet with students before and after school, at break, and at lunch to talk about their next steps and how to manage through the tough road they find themselves driving along. You counsel students through difficult guidelines for work permits. You do all the things that used to be done by others.

The Other

You teach. Nothing else. You take your primary job with the highest degree of seriousness and don’t venture into any other area.

It seems that no matter which path you choose, you’ve done some significant harm. You’ve perpetuated the myth that schools will be just fine no matter what we cut by covering all of those things that have vanished. Either that or you’ve pushed the pain of cuts onto the backs of students who now no longer have the support systems that make school a possible and exciting thing.

Take Away

If there are ballot measures that give your local school districts more money, consider all your options before voting. I’m not even saying to vote yes. All I’m asking is that you take a look at what schools are being asked to do and compare that to how much money they are given to do it. And line up a few different schools, both basic aid and revenue limit campuses. Do some work here and don’t let someone else tell you how to vote on this, be that person on a blog, a radio show, a magazine, a pulpit, or the phone.

I’ll get back to some classroom application ideas next. Some cool stuff with The Things They Carried and we’re wrapping up Animal Farm; I’d like to do post-op on both of those units.

Comments are closed.