#SOL19: Day 12 SOLSC

“Here’s my proposal.”

“I can work with all 22 students (remembering that 18 is my limit), between 8 and 12:30.

I will need to make plans for days with staffings when parents can only attend with

afternoons, but everything else works. This will help me be a better teacher. It’s more

specific than my special ed. training.”

My palms were sweaty. I felt like I was begging.

Truth be told, I was.  This was the opportunity of my professional lifetime.

I could see the answer in his eyes.  Mr. “By the Book” Administrator.

“I’m sorry but the master contract just won’t allow it.”

I pulled the contract out of my drawer where it had been waiting.  “Please show me

where it says that it’s not allowed.”

His expression tightened.  He stepped back. “If we let you do this, then we will have

to let everyone else do this.”

I snorted in disbelief.  “Who else would offer to do a full day’s work in a half day and

then spend the rest of the day in training, to be a better teacher at no cost to you, except

for the release time?”

He shook his head, rapped his knuckles on my desk, turned and left without another

word. In his mind, the conversation was over. His decision was final. Two administrators

later, the district paid thousands of dollars for training, materials, and release time for

multiple teachers to undertake that same training. Training that I had offered to

undertake on my own.  Training that was refused on the basis that “everyone would

want to do it.”

Have you guessed the training that I was refused? 

(Continue Reading)

What clues are you using for your inference as the training was not explicitly named?

(And how do you teach inferences?)




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily March forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

Yes, that was Reading Recovery training.

Information here.

“Of 153 programs reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse, only one had strong evidence that it improved reading achievement –  – Reading Recovery.”

  • WWC 2007, Richard Allington 2013

I was a Reading Recovery teacher “wannabe” who was willing to do a full day’s work, plus the training, and on my own dime!

And now you know the rest of the story!

17 responses

  1. It is so frustrating how often I am told ‘no’ for that argument “If we let you do this then we will have to let everyone else do this” when clearly NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO IT! Rigid rules and inflexible thinking will never push us from good to great. Healthy conversation and even debate are welcome as long as some unbending or unyielding rationale shuts down the risks and ideas that are put forward in good faith. Thanks for this story today Fran. I feel ya…

    1. Paula,
      So true. I don’t see the line forming behind me. “Oh, what you are saying is that folks might be creative in their application of the rules.” Creativity not allowed. Please amend your mission statement if life-long learners are not the goal! You are welcome!

  2. I’m sad. If these administrators (and the media, and government officials in only knew.)

  3. A great story, Fran. So sad that many administrators don’t see the value in what teachers can do and want to do to improve their practice.

    1. Thanks, Rose. Short-sighted for sure!

  4. I’m impressed with how you crafted such a compelling story from this frustrating situation and your questions at the end caught me off guard by asking for a immediate response. That’s an interesting addition I hadn’t considered. Thanks.

    1. You are welcome. I love to encourage thinking. How can you connect, use, or apply any part of what you read OR your response! 🙂

  5. So much depends on the administrator and his/her perception of the rules. It is frustrating when something that will benefit both teacher and student is denied because of a lack of vision on the part of the administrator.

    1. And how quickly that vision changes for revolving door administrators. No wonder teachers feel the whiplash!

  6. Wonderful writing/story telling here Fran…but SUCH a frustrating ending for you. SO many opportunities are lost by short sighted rigid rule following admin… If only the outlook was “How can we make this work for everyone?”

    1. So true, Lisa, and after being on both sides of the issue, I do understand the need for rules. Rules that can be guidelines. Rules that can be re-imagined when circumstances change!

  7. Love this Fran. This feels like what I know about you. I love hearing this part of your story. I love the small actions and the dialogue.

  8. Isn’t it funny how that works? Great slice. I could really see the administrator’s facial expression.

    1. Not my most favorite one for sure! 🙂

  9. Isn’t it funny the different ways in which we view things? I knew it was going to be RR–which is one of the best out there for kids–but what admin doesn’t want her teachers to get better at their craft? If I was the principal, I would be doing my happy dance that I had teachers who want to get better for kids.

    I love the ‘knuckles rapped on the desk’ line–I heard and FELT those knuckles!

    1. Thanks.
      Those knuckles were always a signal! I know. Crazy that we see things so differently!

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