Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ok .. the challenge ..

I had to add 30 names to my roster list (students who expressed an interest in taking electricity in the 08-09 school year.) Once again, I had ten days to do this. I, also, had to bring in at least one guest speaker to talk to my classes about careers in electricity.

The latter part was easy. It took one phone call.

The 30 new names tried to be tricky. I emailed and called the freshman principal at GRC to schedule a time when I could speak to the entire freshman class at once. There was going to be an assembly of the freshman class two days prior to the deadline. I was trying to get in to talk to them for 30 minutes to do my recruiting. That fell through. I scheduled another time to talk to more classes, but not the entire class at once. It was not the best scenario, but it was still something.

My principal had asked to be kept in the loop. What kinda irritated me was this ‘leave it all up to me’ stance that the state had. They hired me as a teacher. I was not a recruiter. I was not an administrator. My job was to entail teaching. I was to create lesson plans and teach them. That was the least of my jobs since I had been hired. If teaching was all I had to do, it would have been a cake job. Electricity, I know. Teaching, I know. Both, I have been doing for over 30 years.

Anyway, when I told her of my plans, she informed me that the ten days was ten actual days, not 10 business days. This meant that 2 weekends were included. Four days of the ten were days I had no access to students at all. She said she would try to get me more time. I had finally gotten a time when I would have access to most of the freshmen. Monday (day 11) was a freshman picnic.

I sat up a table. I had signs. Freshmen could sign up for a drawing for a cell phone, a Wal-Mart gift card, and McDonald’s gift cards. While they were signing up, I would talk to them about electricity class. I stressed to all of them that they were under no obligation to sign as interested to win any of the prizes. Over eighty signed up for the drawing. When the day was done, I drove back to the school and counted my ‘interested’ signers. It was thirty students.

I have to tell you, I prayed about this. We (family) prayed more than once. This was like a sign. I didn’t know if the state was going to close me down or not, but I knew it was going to be all right either way.

Needless to say, the state decided to close my program. One of the teachers at the school asked me why I jumped through their hoops when we all figured it was a forgone conclusion. My reason: when they did close my program, it would be not because of lack of effort on my part. No one was ever going to point a finger at me and say that I didn’t do everything in my power to keep that program alive.

Next installment: Student reaction and State insanity

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