Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finishing the School Year

Last summer, Joel Harris and Joe Sweeny acted out a scenario for the then first year teachers in which a teacher told his students their end of the year grades just before school finished. In the skit, a male student that had failed almost became violent toward the teacher and caused a huge disruption. I am so grateful they did this skit for us because it made me think about all kinds of situations that would put me in a dangerous or uncomfortable position with the students.
I recently turned in my end of the year grades to the office and made sure that I didn't tell any of the students their grades, keeping in mind the skit from last summer. However, on the second to last day of school, my administration called down every senior I taught that had failed for the year to tell them that they would not be graduating because of their grade in geometry. Then, the administration told each student to go ask me really nicely if I would change their grade so they could graduate. So, in the middle of the day, these seniors come crying to my room, asking me to change their grades. Now, only one of these students made above a 65, the others had between a 58 and a 61 for the end of the year. And, since I can't change grades from the previous nine weeks, if I had wanted to get them to pass for the school year, I would have had to change their fourth nine weeks grades to more than 100.
After these students left my room, they called their mothers and stormed over to central office. The superintendent told them that I could change their grades if I wanted to, and that it was completely up to me if I wanted to. Thanks. So the mothers came back to the school to yell and threaten me. I had a police escort as I walked down the hallway, and another police officer had to drive me off campus. I was assured that if the mothers came back to school on Friday, they would be arrested.
I came to school on Friday, which was a teacher work day, and the mothers were back at school at 7:30 in the morning. On top of that, my access to my grades online was blocked for all my high school students. So I left. I came back to school on Tuesday to drop off my grade book (after I made a copy), and snuck out again after I heard a mother yelling about me in the office. I still haven't cleared with the school, but I've given them everything they need from my lost textbook list to my keys. I hope I am done with this school for good.