Thursday, June 30, 2005

Normal ?

Life is slowly returning to what we recognize as normal. The kids and the dogs are driving us crazy. Malcolm has decide to have diarrhea. YUCK ! The kids, well, the ones that are here, are back to their annoying ways. Tammy and I have decided to be ill as well. There must be some stomach thing going around.

I was in class yesterday in London KY. It was a paperwork class to teach me how to do the assessment paperwork for the state so they can adequately assess whether I am doing my job or not. We, collectively, went over several of the sections, and then broke off into smaller groups to address the rest of the sections in 'the box'. There are 21 different sections that have to be addressed. We handled 5 of those in the whole group setting. We were moving along smoothly through most of the sections.

Then, we got to the section concerning Work Based Learning. There was one guy, a principal named Barney, that got all tore up about it. It seems that while he was teaching auto mechanics, he co-op'ed a couple of students, juniors, out to a diesel mechanics business during the summer. This mechanic convinced the kids to quit school and keep their jobs with him (or at least how he saw it or tells it). Now, he is completely soured on the co-op experience. This section is part of the assessment of your program. Without it, the assessment suffers as a whole.

This year, they changed this section to include the words, 'School Based Business'. He was all about that. He likes the idea about basing a business in the school when he can supervise. He likes that he doesn't have to trust his students in the hands of other business owners. The idea, in and of itself, is a good one, but there was a section that said there must be someone else, besides the teacher, assessing the students work and work ethic. This is where the discussion/argument began. For 20 minutes, Barney argued with the guy training us (who had nothing to do with writing the assessment) about this. Finally, at the end of the 20 minutes, the trainer told Barney he would look into it further, so we could go on and finish this class and GO HOME.

About his time, the branch manager, who was teaching one of the other smaller groups, and who was finished, and who had already sent her students home, joined our class (the last remaining class). Barney decided that he needed to rehash the issue with here and spent the next 10 to 15 minutes laying out the same old argument that he did with the first trainer. At the end, nothing was accomplished. Nothing was solved. The issue remained the same. We just wasted 30 plus minutes on something that was a personal issue with only one of the participants. Education and educators are just a wonderful bunch. However, when you get a group of people together that talk for a living, DO NOT think it is going to be a short meeting.

Anyway, it was still a nice drive. Tammy went with me. She found a big yard sale while I was in class. We enjoyed each others company both directions. I love being with her. My EX told her recently that she was good for me. I have to agree.

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