Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I love my baby -- even when she's trying to hack our computer.

Non, je ne regrette rein

Well, it seems I can't blog consistently this year.  And while that does bother me a bit, I am going to try to make one of Edith Piaf's songs my theme: non, je ne regrette rein -- No, I don't regret anything.

How could I regret when life is packed with so many things?  Some are good and some are bad, but all serve to keep life busy.

The "bad" things serve to teach me a lesson.  Like today, for instance.  I've struggled and struggled to make online scoring for a particular curriculum company a possibility.  It has been like pulling my hair and my teeth out every day.  Their technical specs were unclear and it took a while to get to the root of the problem.  The training took forever, and there were multiple complications.  I discovered that my assessment of a "good teacher" -- even when using the rubric they provided -- and their assessment tend to differ.  If this were face to face I could, perhaps, talk with someone to figure out why they score certain things certain ways.  I've been back over several portfolios and I just don't see why the teacher who has about the same about of rapport with his students as a doorknob (and teaches social studies in a traditional way -- that is, the way coaches teach and make kids think they hate the subject) scores better in some areas than the teacher who has genuine rapport and an engaged classroom.  Do they both have room for improvement?  Yes.  But which teacher would I hire?  That was easy -- and my answer just happened to differ with the curriculum company.  I tried adjusting my standards, but without knowing the reasoning behind their varying interpretation of the rubric, adjusting standards doesn't do much good.  And so today I discovered I will not have more to score because they are almost to the end of the process and it's "too late to go through mediation."

I have conflicting emotions.  I've never "failed" at an education-related task.  I am a master teacher and I excel in all areas of education...except, it seems, in this.  And I don't like feeling like a failure.  On the other hand, this has been such a stressor and has taken up time and energy and was going to take even more from an already packed week that.  I am thankful to be able to put this behind me and look at other things.

So what have I learned?  I have learned that online systems are not my favorite.  While working with people can be difficult, it is easier to understand intent when in the same room.  And that lesson, my friends, is a valuable one.

Non, je ne regrette rein.
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