The newest Fwd:Fwd:Fwd:Fwd that showed up in my email today is the one about the new version of Survivor: 3 businessmen and 3 businesswomen are each dropped into a 5th grade classroom for six weeks. Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her state standards, and a class of 25 students.
Each class will have two learning-disabled children, three with A.D.D., three gifted children, and two who speak limited English. Two will be labeled with severe behavior problems. Eleven of the 25 will be eligible for Title One Math and four will be eligible to receive reading services...if the district can afford to offer them.
Each business person must complete lesson plans at least 3 days in advance with annotations for curriculum objectives and modify, organize, or create materials according to the needs of their students (differentiating for the gifted students as well as for the lower achieving students). They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents, and arrange parent conferences. They must also supervise recess and monitor the hallways and serve on at least one building committee.
In addition, they will complete drills for fire, tornadoes, and lock downs. They must attend workshops, faculty meetings, union meetings, and curriculum development meetings. They must also tutor those students who are behind and strive to get their 2 non-English speaking children proficient enough to take the state tests (as per NCLB). If they are sick or having a bad day, they must not let it show (or spend three hours the night before writing sub plans). Each day they must incorporate reading, writing, math, science, and social studies into the program. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment at all times.
The business people will only have access to the golf course on the weekends, but on their new salary they will not be able to afford it anyway. There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch, and lunch will be limited to 30 minutes. On days when they do not have recess duty, the business people will be permitted to use the staff restroom as long as another survival candidate is supervising their class.
They will be provided with a 50-minute planning period daily while their students are at specials. If the copier is operable, and paper is not being rationed, they may make copies of necessary materials at this time. The business people must continually advance their education on their own time and pay for this advanced training themselves. This can be accomplished by moonlighting at a second job or marrying someone with money.
The winner will be allowed to return to his or her job.
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Also in my email was the weekly electronic newsletter from NCTE. There were these news articles: Why Educators Quit: Lack of Support, Too Much Paperwork (duh) and How to Gauge a School's Progress ("Some educators and other advocates say that comparing one year’s third graders with the following year’s third graders doesn’t reflect individual progress or take into account changing demographics." DUH!!)
Let's take a moment to meditate on the meaning of the word IRONIC.