Tomorrow we are being "blitzed" by the district office. This is when all the district office employees descend on one school and "visit" for an entire day. Union representatives have brought it to the DO's attention that the word "blitz" has a very negative connotation and, in their effort to begin creating a more positive relationship with teachers, they should discontinue the use of this term. Truthfully, regardless of what they call it, the disruption it causes feels like an invasion.
As I create my lesson plans, with students and not the DO in mind, I can't help but think about the needs of particular students.
X needs a friend. She seeks me out before and after school...just to talk. She has one of those pushy personalities (yes, like mine) that tends to drive others away. Is finding M. a friend her age a meaningful lesson objective?
Y is new to my class. He threw a chair at his last teacher. This is his third language arts class this year, and I have been warned he is a very emotional student who doesn't handle change well. The class they put him in moves at an academic pace that is much too fast for him, but they won't put him in the appropriate class because of a conflict he has with a student (who has similar issues) in that class. That is my other core class. While it is our job to make decisions with his needs and challenges in mind, I doubt that this change is best for him. the adults who made this happen seem pleased...apparently it is best for them.
Z had a rough day Friday. He misses his mom, and his new, twenty-something, stepmom is not cutting the mustard in the mom department. He spent the entire second period talking to his counselor about it. Then, he cried and chatted with me for a while during break. Tomorrow our guests will be looking for students who are engaged in the lesson. I wonder if T. will be engaged. I wonder if he will be able to make it to class at all.
I am stressing over tomorrow, but I don't care about having visitors. I have a larger concern...How will I meet the needs of my students and create a the right educational environment for them? They are far more important; afterall, they will be with me longer than the duration of the