The Numbers

There are two words that chap my hide this time of year: Master Schedule. At least around my neighborhood, this is the time of year that we teachers wait with bated breath to see what sort of teaching assignments we will pull for next year. In a big school I imagine that this is a pretty boring process when teachers teach roughly the same preps from year to year. But in my little science department it can get quite interesting. We happy few are called upon to cater to the shifting demands of students, parents, and administrators as to which courses we should offer from year to year.

<rant>Unfortunately, hardly anyone else in the building outside my 3-person department has any clue what good science education looks like. To me good science education in a rural school like ours means spiraling curriculum that teaches basic science literacy in Earth, Physical, and Biological sciences. On top of this bare minimum graduation requirement we should add pathways into deep study of Chemistry and Biology for students whose interests will take them into science- and health-related careers.

Sadly, we are currently being attacked with “the numbers.” The numbers of student requests for courses are being used to say that we can’t offer College Chemistry, our capstone of Chemistry education. 7 students wont be able to take it now. The numbers say we can’t offer AP Biology, our capstone of Biology education. 8 students won’t be able to take it now.

The numbers say that one of our high school teachers has to teach a made-up junior high class with no title, no curriculum, and no supplies. A teacher with a Masters degree will be babysitting instead. </rant>

I meet with admin today to try to fix this mess.

Wish me luck friends.

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