A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Monday, September 24, 2007

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

I have been given the honor of having a "co-teacher" this year. I'm all aflutter thus far.

Now we received an entire hour of training-- which is, by the by, 45 more minutes of training than we received on our new grading software-- in which we were told that co-teaching should be completely cooperative, and that both staff members should supervise students and grade papers and deliver information. Of course, the fact that neither of us have any time to actually sit down and plan together has been a tiny leetle hitch.

I could probably deal with that somehow. But now I must, as darlin' Educat says, remove something from my craw.

Because, apparently, "co-teacher" means "I will show up whenever I feel like it, and when I am there, I will sit on my can and play on my electronic devices." To be fair, there have been three times this year that my "co-teacher" has supervised a kid making up a test or an assignment.

BUT! Thus far, this person has not shown up more than 20% of the time. Gee I wonder what would happen if I didn't show up, even once?

I have received one email in advance of these disappearances, which said, and I quote in its entirety: "I have lots of important stuff to do." Well, of course, teaching this class we are both assigned to apparently isn't that important. The rest of the time-- POOF! C-T is not there...or else is walking in fifteen minutes late.

I guess I should be grateful that this person has not thus far brought in a litter of puppies, which, 'pon my honor, is what one other co-teacher once did to one of my colleagues after being absent for half the week.

Now, C-T's supervisor told me that I should pass along if I needed a sub when C-T isn't there, but since I get no advanced warning, and there is no way I'm going to stop keeping my little ducks in a row long enough to fire off an email that I know won't be read, I've been taking it on the chin.

But thank you, dear blogosphere, for providing some venting space. Grrrr.

Labels:

17 Comments:

At 9/24/07, 8:01 PM, Blogger Dr. Bad Ass said...

INCONCEIVABLE!

 
At 9/24/07, 8:13 PM, Blogger Rita said...

Oh, I feel your pain. Really. I'm in the same boat this year. Only I've had fantastic co-teachers in the past, so I know how it could be. And since I've been doing CWC for so long, they load me up to the point where, in one class, I have only two students without an IEP, and both of them don't speak English (a separate rant -- or at least separate planning for them). And two of the students have a shadow para who also hasn't been showing up. No puppies, yet. I did go out and get myself a (good) student intern from one of the U.'s, so that has been helpful.

 
At 9/24/07, 9:06 PM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

Co teaching can be wonderful, and as you've found, a nightmare. I can't imagine not showing up.

 
At 9/25/07, 4:40 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

Playing with electronic devices? You must have the same co-teacher I had last year! *wink*

 
At 9/25/07, 5:41 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

What the hell is the purpose of that co-teacher? Is s/he an intern or something? Is there an administrator to whom you can complain (try not to snort at me - I am fully aware of how ridiculous that sounds, but I'm outta ideas here...)? Can YOU "fire" this person?

Good luck with this - keep us updated..

 
At 9/25/07, 6:36 AM, Blogger MsWhite said...

And this? This is exactly why it's so freaking hard to be a SpEd teacher in a teamed classroom these days! There are too many lazy, irresponsible, poor excuses for educators who have NO business even working in the schools, and these people are bringing ALL of us down. And don't even get me started on the accountability issue (or lack thereof)...

As a SpEd teacher, I find it appalling that the bar has been lowered to this level. As the parent of a child in all teamed classes, I am frightened about the effects of this type of situation on his education. Not all classroom teachers are proactive as you when it comes to accommodating their IEP students.

My advice? Report her to your administrator, and get her lazy butt kicked to the curb!

 
At 9/25/07, 9:12 PM, Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

Good gracious she sounds like our reading teacher last year (who we finally got rid of) who missed an average of 2-3 days a week with headaches. She had a doctor who would fax in an excuse anytime she asked, so her absences were all excused....and then she was caught going to wrestling matches (boyfriend was a coach) on the days she was supposed to be sick at home. My favorite was when the kids thought she was having a seizure (she had ducked down behind her desk and hadn't come up) and they ran next door to get another teacher for help. That teacher found her crouched under her desk on talking on her cell phone to her boyfriend while the students did whatever they damn well pleased. Good riddance!

 
At 9/26/07, 1:24 PM, Blogger loonyhiker said...

I have seen this over and over again. There needs to be more communication and planning between both teachers with each taking an equal responsibility for the classroom and the administration needs to take a stronger role in making sure this happens. Until this occurs, I can't see that coteaching will be successful.

 
At 9/26/07, 8:14 PM, Blogger Mimi said...

Whoah!! And this person gets a full salary??!?? How do they still have a job? What does the admin say?

Vent anytime you need to...that sounds intolerable.

 
At 9/26/07, 8:16 PM, Blogger sharcr said...

Oh my. Not that I enjoy others misery, but it does make me feel better to realize that others are frustrated too. So sorry you are having to deal and I hope it gets better!

 
At 9/27/07, 11:08 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Ha. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Supposedly I will get a paraprofessional whilst C-T absents itself from the environs of our happy classroom. We'll see.

 
At 9/28/07, 7:26 PM, Blogger liusia said...

I don't want a co-teacher. I would, however, like a student teacher. A young pedogogue to mold in my image.

Cue the evil laughter...

 
At 9/28/07, 9:28 PM, Blogger theclass said...

Sweet fancy Moses.

My first inclination would be to prank this person somehow. My second inclination would be to wonder why I'd rather cause someone emotional distress than to confront him or her in a professional manner.

Regardless, having no experience with co-teaching, I wish you the best of luck.

 
At 9/30/07, 3:10 PM, Blogger Jose said...

And this is reason #3 why I love having my own space to teach: I wouldn't want to co-teach with anyone because people are highly unreliable. Good post ...

 
At 9/30/07, 3:13 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

wow..some folks just do not get it, do they?

 
At 10/11/07, 10:25 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Dear theclass:

We'd rather prank because then at least we get to have some fun. I mean, let's meet idiocy with mischievousness!

 
At 10/11/07, 10:26 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Dear theclass:

We'd rather prank because then at least we get to have some fun. I mean, let's meet idiocy with mischievousness!

 

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