Thursday, August 06, 2015

The Faculty Conference

As principal, I am horrified by lateness. There is no excuse for lateness! You must let the kids know it is absolutely unacceptable. When I was a teacher, none of my students came late. That's because I kept a late log. Every late student had to sign the log, and write in the exact time they arrived. I suggest you do this too. However, if students are frequently late, you should fail them. And you should tell them you failed them because they were late.

On another note, too many of our students are failing. We need to reverse this trend. Of course we need to do whatever possible to help our students. On that front, I'm opening up the floor to suggestions. Mr. V.?

Well, in my class I find it helpful to pair the students up. I like to pair up a low-performing student with a high-performing student. I do that throughout the year, and I let them team up on tests. I find when I do that, the low-performing students tend to do just as well as the high-performing students. I've been doing this for a few years now and it really works like a charm. Not only that, but my AP never calls me into her office and asks about passing rates anymore. It's a WIN-WIN!

Thank you Mr. V. I see a hand over there. What's your suggestion, Ms. R?

Well, what I do is go over the tests very carefully. I make sure we completely review absolutely everything. I give half credit for each answer a kid corrects. Only half. Then, if a student got a 60, he can get his grade to change up to 80. A 50 can become a 75. The kids really like it. And my grades have gone up by an average of 50%. I learned about this in a grad class. I've never been called in for a passing rate conference, and now I'm pretty sure I never will.

Great suggestion Ms. R. Mr. C, what's your opinion?

Well, this is a kind of new thing but it's working for me. I actually have the kids make out cheat sheets for tests. Now hear me out. It sounds bad, but when kids write out the cheat sheets it helps them learn the stuff. And if I allow it, it isn't actually cheating. So the kids learn the material, they're able to prove it on tests, and the grades are up overall. Not only do we improve graduation rates, but we have fewer kids in summer school. Maybe we can use summer school for enrichment instead of just to teach kids who failed during the year.

Well, those are some great ideas. I'm hoping you'll all get on the train and use them. Maybe one works for you, maybe another works for you, or maybe you can just get on board with all of them. And as Mr. C. said, all these things are good for our school. The higher the grad rate is, the better our rep will be and the more people will want to come to our school. 

You know, we have to be competitive, like pro athletes, these days. We have to do whatever we have to do to be the best. That's what it's all about. I'm proud to be the instructional leader of such a creative and dedicated staff of professionals. Please welcome Ms. Ratzenkellar, who will tell you all about Right to Know.  Ms. Ratzenkellar?
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