After an “observation” last week by AP Hellhound, she decided that her usual negative write-up wasn’t a sufficient medium in which to display her displeasure with my teaching methodology, and as such, scheduled a meeting with me to discuss the shortcomings of the lesson. In addition to the usual cavalcade of stupidity, she had this to say to me:
Hellhound: I was very confused as to what exactly you were doing with the students.
Me: You were confused? It was a Writer’s Workshop – the students had written an essay, and I was speaking to them individually in conference. You watched me for over 30 minutes, and even presumably read some of the students’ work over my shoulder. What, exactly, were you confused about?
Hellhound: Because I don’t know why you chose to do it.
Me: Two reasons: One, because they had just completed a first draft of the essay, and needed guidance on how to proceed, and two, because you told me specifically that I should incorporate Writer’s Workshop into the lessons.
Hellhound: I told you that?
Me: You sent me to five separate training conferences over the course of five days on the exact topic of incorporating student writing into the Balanced Literacy model! I was out of the school for three days and had to give up a lunch period. So yes, you told me that.
Hellhound: Well, I don’t think that the Writer’s Workshop was an effective use of instructional time.
Me: Whoa, wait, you’re going to have to repeat that, because it sounded to me like you said something completely asinine. (Yes, I do in fact talk to the supervisors like that, because at this point, a) it makes for great dialogue in my blog posts, and b) I just don’t care anymore). You’re saying that the Writer’s Workshop is a waste of time?
Hellhound: Don’t put words in my mouth, Mr. Outcast! I never said it was a waste of time. I said it wasn’t an effective use of instructional time.
Me: That’s pretty much the same thing. Waste of time / not effective use of time. I don’t see the difference. Can you explain the difference? Or would you care to stumble backwards and recant?
Hellhound: It’s not a waste of time! It’s not effective! That’s what I said!
Me: Even though you sent me to five workshops on using that exact method in class?
Me: Hmm, ok. Well, since you think what I do in class is not effective, I need you to come in and model for me what is effective (Note – it is an administrator’s obligation to provide educational support to teachers, in the form of training, supplies, or by modeling lessons). So, when can I expect you?
Hellhound: Oh, I can’t do that, I’m extremely busy.
Me: So you won’t?
Hellhound: I didn’t say that! I am busy and couldn’t possibly model a lesson until sometime in December.
Me: Ok, well, I guess I’ll just continue on being ineffective then. (Exit, me).
For those of you not acquainted with Ms. Hellhound, she is the Assistant Principal in charge of English Language Arts and Literacy, and makes approximately $125,000 a year. And what, pray tell, has she been too busy doing over the past week? Photocopying spelling words. Yes, I’m serious.
If you have a child, and he or she is currently attending a NYC public school, then I respectfully submit that you should visit the main office of that school tomorrow, and pull your kid out so fast, he leaves skid marks on the linoleum.