The First Two Weeks

It’s been a long and tiring couple weeks.

Two weeks ago we went back for a series of meetings – mostly focusing on improving school achievement. My school has been deemed a “school in crisis” by WASC – we were only given a 2 year accreditation. Crazy. There are certainly areas we need some improvement, but we are a good school. Over 90% of our students passed the math and 88% passed the English part of the high school exit exam on their first try. As the principal put, it is something of a slap in the face.

Our problems are more about inconsistent leadership (4 principals in 7 years), an inconsistent attempt to improve problems (related to the principal issue), and the district turmoil which was resolved only weeks after the WASC committee visit. In fact, we decided to work to the rule during the visit and only met with the visiting committee once. The two year accreditation is certainly a slap in the face, but it is also a wake up call that we (the teachers) have to keep a school-wide focus on school improvement, not just focus on our classrooms. I was just as guilty as anyone else on this one. A big chunk of the meetings focused on

Like I mentioned before, I spent a considerable amount of time moving classrooms. I really didn’t start focusing on curriculum until Thursday.

The first week with students was great. My classes all seem good. Class sizes are reasonable. No major problems, issues, etc. I’m excited to be in the new room and starting the new school year. I hoping to find the time to make some major changes to the college prep curriculum… we’ll see if I have the time.

2 thoughts on “The First Two Weeks”

  1. Recently I’ve been thinking about the difference between teacher leaders and high quality teacher followers. I know that the word follower has negative connotations, but it should not. No successful organization can operate without followers. You mention in your blog that teachers need to continue to focus on school wide improvement. The question is this, can a high quality teacher restrain their focus to their classrooms alone, and not the whole school?

    Andrew Pass


  2. If ideas are not be received because there is no focus or the focus is elsewhere, then yes. It is hoped that those ideas will spread, but without a school wide focus it is difficult.


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