Well, we are back! And so am I. It’s back to the same program and the same room. If I want to do something else, I’m going to have to transfer to a different school because they are never going to replace me and there isn’t a lot of motivation for anyone to even look for a replacement as long as I’m around. In many ways, it was stressful to think about transferring to a new position, but in other ways it was stressful thinking about NOT transferring! My desire and commitment for change will be tested ultimately by my willingness to make it a more major move to another building with all new people and administrators and grade levels.
But in the meantime, I have students here who need me and I’m going to do my best to make it a banner year for them and for me. I’m going to do everything possible to make it such an outstanding year that everyone else in the building will weep bitterly at my departure! It’s about being proactive and making things happen and advancing. That’s going to be the hardest thing, but it’s the most important thing. I need to really reach and strain ahead. I need condition myself into stretching.
That’s me, giving myself a pep talk!
Each year there are always changes. This year, I get to meet the 4th principal I’ve had since starting at this school 9 years ago. It seems like people come and go so quickly around here! The new guy looks like he’s trying to tighten things up around here and he has a big job ahead of him. Our school was among the 52% of Georgia high schools that failed to make AYP this past year. We have to make it this year in order to keep off of the dreaded “Needs Improvement” list. As a county district, we also failed for the first time ever, to make AYP. And it’s going to be harder to do that in order to meet the federally funded mandate of 100% by 2014. So we can expect every school in the country to be on the Needs Improvement list by 2016. Students with disabilities continue to be the major subgroup that cause a school or district to fail. It’s ridiculous to think that every single student is going to master rigorous curriculum standards at the same rate or with equal proficiency as everyone else. No accommodation or modification is going to erase the reality that some students are not going to learn everything we teach them, even if they want to. And politicians seem to ignore the reality that there is a small percentage that just doesn’t care that much about doing well in school at any given time.
Preplanning involves lots of meetings and getting to know new teachers and staff. It also involves training my own folks and setting the pace for the coming year. We’ve gotten our room pretty much straightened out. This isn’t a small task since they removed some teacher desks. And moved everything around when they redid our floor. I’m going to do my best to have a good attitude this year and fend off the weariness that got to me last year.