A Blog Covering D.C. Education [ABCDE]

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 04 2009

A RIF Shift

Something unbelievable just happened.  Yes, I’m still in disbelief.  I still haven’t fully processed my thoughts.  I keep trying to catch my breath, but my breath keeps on running away.

One simple phone call after lunch this beautiful Sunday afternoon changed my whole perspective for the year…

Assistant Principal F: “Good afternoon Mr. K.”

Mr. K:  “How are you today, Mr. F?”

AP F: “I’m fine.  You heard about the changes on Friday, right?”

Mr. K: “Yes, of course…”

AP F: “Well I just wanted to let you know that you will be taking Ms. R’s classroom.  You’ll receive new rosters tomorrow morning.  Talk to the special ed coordinator. He might have a 40-minute lesson plan you can use.”

Mr. K: (stunned silence)

Mr. K: “Okay great! Thanks for the call! Have a good afternoon!  Enjoy the day! It’s beautiful outside!  See you soon!”

As of tomorrow, I will be taking the place of a RIF’d English teacher.  I will have two periods of English 3 and one period of English 2.  That is all I know.

To start anew past the half-way point of the semester–and a couple days after back-to-school night–makes me wonder whether this untimely RIF will negatively impact our students and, consequently, our school’s annual performance under NCLB.  I’m not quite sure what our exact status is, but if we do not meet AYP this year, we might be subject to restructuring.  That’s not good.

So, at a larger level, how does a school–especially one that has enough problems as it is–recover from such a disruptive event?

From a micro perspective, how should I start my teaching?  Should I pretend as if it were August 24th all over again?  Should I ask my students what the previous teacher was teaching them?

What do I do???

(Also, I suspect that the next few weeks will be unbelievably busy. I will still try to post as regularly as possible.  I need the reflection time.)
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One Response

  1. Jin-Soo

    Hi! What a crazy weekend! Man, that crush thing made me laugh a bit. The situation is CRAZY but I’m sure you’ll be able to do it. Call in those resources like whoa because I’m sure there will be teachers willing to give you their lps. I do wonder whether or not you have to do procedures again or if you can just adopt Mr. R’s protocol. I wonder how attached your new students were to Mr. R, because that can be difficult to overcome. Best of luck! You’re going to have a great yera!

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Really, "A Blog Covering Dilemmas in Education": A (former) English teacher's reflections…

D.C. Region
High School

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