Another Day ...

another reason to quit.

This year, Mr. X, who I will now refer to as Mr. A, as in A**hole, scrapped our freshman reading classes and forced reading intervention, I mean, "reading" "intervention" into the world history classes.

So I now find myself teaching world history, which is fine; I love the subject. But imagine my surprise--and dismay--when I found that I was not, in fact, to TEACH world history, but to become, essentially, a worksheet dispenser.

This decision was based on a failed reading program, the Carbo method, which was originally designed as a pull-out program for at-risk students. In the Carbo method, a student would choose his own reading material, read at his own pace, and discuss it with a teacher. There were fewer than 15 students in the class, and the teacher had at least one aide. Also, that is ALL the teacher did, reading intervention.

Instead, our school system shoved Carbo onto us with little-to-no training, demanded immediate results, gave us classes of 30 or more, and still expected us to teach up to three (3) other subjects. The Board also failed to realize that the problem with a self-motivated program is that many of our students are NOT MOTIVATED. Therefore, this program was a massive failure.

Down the road at Mecca High School, where the sun shines out of their asses, they transferred the Carbo method to the world history classes. Result: Students did not understand the text, did not do the work, and did fail the class.

Anyone else would have seen that this was a bad approach to reading intervention, not to mention world history, but not our hero Mr. A. As devoted to a bad idea as only a maniacal egotist could be, Mr. A declared that ALL schools in the county would follow Mecca High School's example.

I didn't. I ignored it.

And guess what: my students learned something. Oh, sure, it was largely against their will, and I had to fight like the dickens to stuff it into their heads, but they learned something.

Guess what else: my students read. Oh, yeah, they read their butts off. They read the book, they read supplemental material, they read encyclopedias, they read everything I can find that relates to the subject at hand.

But that is not good enough for Mr. A. Oh, no. This semester I have to do things His Way.

Let me explain His Way to you: During a world history class, another teacher has to give up half of his or her planning period to pull my students, one by one, out of class to read aloud from a workbook. The teacher does not track fluency, does not track comprehension, and does not track reading gains. What the teacher does is put a checkmark next to the student's name in order to prove to Mr. A that a "reading" "intervention" has taken place. Essentially, a tape recorder could do this job.

I do not think Mr. A would know a reading intervention if it bit him in the A.

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