Sunday, November 15, 2009

There's an Assembly Right Now

There’s an Assembly Right Now

There are more unscheduled assemblies at my school than you can imagine. Advanced noticed is an hour before. Extreme advanced notice is 24 hours before, but this is usually the way it happens.

“Mees, estan esperando para ti” says a janitor

“Ok, donde?” I say

“El deportivo”

“Ahora? Estas seguro ahora mismo?” is my response, because ordinarily this information is only partially correct.

“Sí, ahora mismo.”

This week took the cake though when Sunny the Shark the new school mascot assembly was scheduled with advanced notice (meaning less than 24 hours in advance) for the next morning at 7:10. Students were supposed to start their math trimester exam at 7:25. Let’s get kids all hyped up to go take a math test. Let’s push an exam that is 20% of their grade out of the way to welcome a new school mascot in November. That is a genius idea.

I got to school and my Principal said to me, "Right after the bell rings at 7:05 take your students to the deportivo."
The other 6th grade teacher and I went at 7:05. We all sat down and we the only ones there while the janitors swept the leaves off the ground in this partially covered outdoor structure.

“Que paso?” My colleague asked the janitor.
The time, of course, had been changed between the time we arrived at school 7:05, and the time we arrived in the deportivo 7:15. The new time was 10:15, after exams. What an amazing idea! If any teacher had been asked, I’m sure they would’ve suggested that time in the first place.

Scheduling meetings last minute at any job is annoying, but when it requires moving a bunch of 11-12 year olds it’s a much bigger production. Oh, but don’t think this only happens with assemblies, it happens with meetings too.

Let’s also do this: schedule a meeting less than 24 hours in advance for the English department and the only way this is communicated is by an e-mail. (Did I mention that I need to use my personal computer as well as my portable internet modem for work because I don't have a computer there?) At that meeting let's tell you that your whole second trimester plan is due tomorrow. Guess what, I missed that meeting because I checked my e-mail at 12:30 and the meeting was 11. Well gee, sorry about that. I’ll give you a plan, but don’t expect it to be quality work with the “it’s due tomorrow” deadline, when so are all of my report cards with comments that I have to translate into Spanish.

If this happened once in a while it would be understandable, but it actually happens almost everyday. It happens so much my colleague and I joke each other by saying, "There's an assembly right now."

Hey, here’s an idea – it’s called a PA system. If there’s a meeting that gets scheduled last minute, or a planned meeting that gets cancelled by another unplanned meeting (this also happens a lot) let us know.

No wonder the students aren’t as respectful to adults as they could be at this school. It’s hard to be respectful when the adults don’t know what’s going on.

1 comment:

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