Worst Year Ever?

2008-2009 is finally over.  (For many teachers and administrators it's
not just the year that's over; they're losing their jobs).  For me, at
least, it couldn't have happened soon enough.  It just seemed like
there wasn't much good news out there, between budget cuts and youth
violence and the seemingly-intractable internal disputes at places like
Gunsaulus and Prescott.  It's not that i'm particularly sentimental
about the past.  And I know that my own cynicism and readers' comments
probably give me a skewed view of things.  But Huberman doesn't inspire
a lot of confidence, so far at least, and the press's version of the
Chicago miracle under Arne Duncan is a constant reminder of just how
slow and frustrating improvements can be. I don't mind things moving
slowly, as long as they're moving in the right direction. 

So, was it the worst year ever?  Was it even a bad year?  Maybe
some of you have had good experiences or successes, however small, that
could buoy everyone's spirits.

Filed under: Events & Deadlines


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  • from sandra, a cps teacher who emailed me:

    I had a GREAT year! I found out I would teach Headstart a day before school started and I had reorganized my kindergarten materials/furniture to take home and mostly by myself moved more to the Annex over the 08 summer. It was a BIG job, so I was not too happy when I got back to school. But Mr. Rivera's plan turned out terrific! and I realized quite quickly that I should go back to his office and apologize for all the high pitched whining I gave him.

    I like the new Headstart curriculum and computerized assessment/record keeping process, having taught Pre-K/Headstart for almost 17 years at Suder before it closed. I didn't like Headstart when it first came back into the schools. The record keeping by pencil and pen was exhausting and the curriculum was way too limited. But the changes are exceptionally well thought out. I took over 500 photos of the children and their parents and then reorganized them so each family got a CD journal of their child's schoolyear. It was wonderful. What I learned about teaching reading and math in kindergarten fits like a matching glove to Headstart (well, the left hand anyway, since the little ones are first learners).

    The National Board Certification process is a gift. I am learning and implementing so much good teaching. I feel confident because of their guidance and support. I also feel nurtured and supported by Mr. Rivera, our principal and by Mr. Seda, the new assistant principal. Mr. Rivera is musically oriented and my morning class learned how to play the violin and even performed.

    We now have a Monroe band - it looks more like an orchestra to me though because of all the fine instruments.

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