Archive for the school Category

Meanies

Posted in community, Humboldt County, school on March 26, 2009 by inretaliation

You know that John Prine song, In a town this size?  Well if you don’t, its about small town gossip.  Our town has its favorite juicy tidbits.  There are some people who are constant sources of good conversations.  Mostly though, we talk about our institutions, the store, the bar, the soon to open(maybe) nursery, the nonprofit groups, and the juiciest of all, the school district.

There are strong supporters of the school, and very strong detractors. The two groups seldom agree on anything.  Although, lately they seem to be finding common ground, in the maintenance man.  The district does not have enough money for a janitor, but because of the wisdom of state budgets it has enough for a full time deferred maintenance employee.  Deferred maintenance is anything that has been put off so long it has become a hazard, like the water system.  Only one person applied for the job, a nonlocal. He drives an hour and a half to his job.

Small towns have hidden rules as in, it’s just the way things are done.  It is easy to spot people who are visitors because of a million tiny things.  The way they drive, the look on their face as they walk into the store, you know stuff like that.  I am sure the locals can make them a little nervous also.  We see the same people so much we stare at a new face.  Not a, “I think you have something in your teeth” stare, a “who are you and what are you doing here”, stare.

Back to the new guy.  At first he seemed to be doing a good job.  He didn’t talk to anyone but he was making the place look nice.  Then he decided that he need to make sure things were safer. There are a lot of rules for schools, I mean can you imagine the lawsuits over hurt kids… scary.  So newbie decided to put cones up in front of the school gate and in the middle of the road, he felt that peoples parking, and driving habits were unsafe.  Extremely difficult to find fault with, but mildly irritating all the same.  Next it was the school garden, its locked now because kids would go in by themselves and that was unsafe.  We have to have a babysitter at all school meetings because that many kids running around after school hours is unsafe, even though the parents are there.  All mildly irritating.

He recently decided to push his authority over the line of mildly irritating.  He was giving the insurance lady a tour of the school grounds, and chris20weston20big20brother20hey20oa couple of preschool parents were pushing their kids on the swings.  When asked if he knew who they were he said no.  He should know, they are there three days a week.  There is not that many parents to keep track of.  Any one else at the school would have known them.  Preschool parents or visitors of any kind now have to sign in at the office to play on the playground.  I understand the validity of this rule at big schools or even moderate schools.  Everyone in our town knows everyone else.  Even if we have never talked to them we know who they are.  If one of the teachers didn’t recognize someone on school grounds they would walk up and introduce themselves, it does happen about once a year.  City rules are seldom practical for rural places and vice versa, unfortunately bureaucrats, and insurance companies keep trying to get away with one rule fits all.

Once a month the preschool holds a board meeting at the school.  We had requested that the principal share with our board the repercussions of the newbies day with the insurance lady.   Newbie came and stood over her shoulder as we asked questions.  He whispered something in her ear walked off, and two seconds later the fire alarm went off.  Uh oh end of the meeting we need to practice the fire drill.  Fine, I need to find something to throttle anyway.

School Daze

Posted in community, Humboldt County, school with tags , , on March 20, 2009 by inretaliation

studyingSTAR testing is just around the corner for school children across California.  My oldest is in second grade so this year she will take the test for the first time.  I live in small town.  Their are only fourteen kids in my little girls class, and it is a multi grade classroom. K-3  Theoretically this would be great.  Can you imagine the one on one time?  Can you imagine it being a part of the older kids curriculum to teach the younger ones?  It seems like you retain information better when you have to teach it.  Unfortunately this teacher sucks.

Ok I am being dramatic she doesn’t suck.  She is mediocre, unimanginative, dislikes her job.  My girl has been with her for three years, and loves her.  I found out this winter that my girl is behind.  Her reading and math are at the first grade level.  The wierd thing about this was how I found out.  I did not get a bad report card (all E’s and plus’s), I did not receive a telephone call, I was not asked for a parent teacher conference.  I asked for harder work and was shown the work my girl was doing with the first graders.  I understand the logic, the more kids are on the same level the less levels you have to teach.  This teacher shows up for school after I do half of the time.  She misses more days then most of her class.  We are a necessary small school so no pink slips are coming our way.  She has tenure so each infraction must be documented in order to be evaluated.

I took my girl out of school one day a week for some extreme one on one time.  I have received many comments on how fast she is picking things up.  I have to drive two hours a day for school.  My success at home makes me want to take her out completely.  My girl cries at the thought.

Notes have been coming home about extra homework because of testing.  I was told to have her read the directions for her work herself as practice for testing.  I have been all year why haven’t you?  I don’t want it to bother me that she is behind but it does.  I don’t want anything to be hard for her.

I think I liked school better when I was the one who had to go.