I definitely do not teach for the recognition, but it's certainly nice when it comes. Today, we had the standard mid-year performance review. This often occurs like it did last year - a meeting with a person who has never seen me teach, who gives me three proficients (the highest score) and one satisfactory (the average score), explaining that, "We like to give you a little kick in the pants, something to work on." It's pretty meaningless and I don't really care much about it.
And that's still true, although today there was some tension in the halls, as some teachers were less than happy with their mid-year performance assessments. Angry memos were fired off, and there was even a teacher who stormed out. I became a little nervous.
However, I received a 100% proficient - four straight scores of "P." My department head said she would have a hard time justifying it to her superiors, because young teachers are not "supposed" to get this rating, but she was planning on sticking with it. She then looked at me and said, "Thank you for your leadership and your hard work this year. I have no idea how you do it." She was implying that she didn't know how I could do it without a classroom, so maybe there was a bit of sympathy in her assessment of me, but, heck, I'll take it. Floating between classrooms really is hellish.
I then walked downstairs, stopping in the College Advising office (an office, by the way, that got some big-time national attention today in the form of a USA Today article about the office). A woman stopped me, and said she had been wanting to set up a meeting with me. Apparently, there were a lot of students, particularly male students, who had cited activities conducted with me in their college essays, particularly kids on the baseball team and those who went on Outward Bound. We then spent about a half hour talking about current seniors, many of whom I haven't taught in a few years, as they took notes so they could write their college recommendations for these particular students. I almost teared up. Of course, "Bobby" was one of the kids mentioned prominently. Another of my favorites, "D," just made it into the University of Pittsburgh and Salisbury College today. He's still hoping for the full ride Hopkins scholarship, though. This, of course, was the best news of all. "D" had stopped by to see me earlier in the day, coming into my office and still doing the same stuttery, fidgety conversational tics as he did as a 9th grader - only now he's 6'2" and has an air of confidence to go along with the tics. I felt so happy when he left, and, later, when the college advisors sung his praises.
So I couldn't be more content right now. I'm going to have another great workout - like I've had all week - and then head home and prepare for my house concert. Anybody wanna come? It's Friday night, with Rose Polenzani.
The Best of The Dish Today - At lunch with my closest high school friend today, Larkin’s poetry came up. He’s not a chap prone to strong emotion and yet he told me the poems had such a...
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