Sunday, May 2, 2010

Well, somebody taketh away!

One of the great ironies of the Education profession: We are (sorta) entrusted with 30 or more students at a time, and yet we can't seem to be trusted with anything else!

I recently met some people (McActivPeople, to be exact) who wanted to plan a conference in my area. Great! My school would love to host it! After getting approval of both principals on the shared campus, talking to my District Office contact about how to get approval, sitting down with the McActivRepresentative (who is a wonderful person, by the way), and sketching out a plan, I got an email.

From my district office contact. I'm pretty sure it was written by her boss.

"Please give us the contact information of your McActivRepresentative. These things are usually planned through our office."

Yes, you read that correctly. Not, "Oh, great! Thanks for starting this process! How can we offer our support and make this the best conference ever, bringing rare good publicity to our district and encouraging our teachers with real professional development rather than bashing them down with the mediocre shit we usually offer?"

Not, "I'm glad that you're excited and taking initiative. Let's talk so that we can make sure we're following proper protocols."

Nope. Basically, they're saying "there's no was a measly little teacher could plan a conference worthy of our district's untarnished reputation. Now that you've made the contact, hand over your work so that we can transform it into another poorly-planned, cheaply run, narrow-minded district love fest where everyone sits around getting talked at all day and our department gets to stand up and welcome everyone and feel all important."

I have to wonder how much of this comes from the recent furlough days we agreed to if the parcel tax doesn't pass. They know we, the teachers, want to see cuts at the bloated, croneyistic district office, and they see that their jobs could be on the chopping block if they don't prove their worth. What better way than by making work for themselves?

Isn't there something better they could be doing?