Monday, October 31, 2011

What the Hey?

It is what?  A plan, for the whole year?  Is it a lesson plan?  No, it is called a Pacing Guide, a P.G., for short.  Another teacher called it, "teaching by number," as in paint-by-number paintings.  Those paintings looked beautiful far away but up close, they were obviously fake.  What gives?  I decided to investigate.

I didn't need to look far.  On my desk was something titled, "12th Grade Pacing Guide."  It looked suspicious and smelled like a greek salad.  It was definitely not from Subway.  Since it was a day famous for haunting and haunts, I decided that it was John Fante haunting me with his humor.  I need that because with a horrendous head cold coming on and students reading Canterbury Tales and The Crucible (apologies to my 9th Grade Pacing Guide), to be honest, the D.V.D.'s I ordered from the library were not arriving quickly enough.

I checked my work email named after a flower, named after me.  There were some antiquated ideas contained in some of the missives, possibly a result of the present holiday.  They were haunted with the idea that teachers begin with a standard and they scramble around to find material to match and then "teach."

It wasn't Valentine's Day, so why was I so disappointed?  It was all part of the beat, part of the groove I was trained to observe.

1 comment:

  1. The hardest teaching job I ever had was at a city college in Santa Barbara. Pay was part-time chump change. A classroom the size of a canyon, packed full of 250 students, all fated to be denied the chance to go on to university, simply because of where they were. Yet there was an eagerness in the room, almost audible over the continual loud drone of power lawnmowers cruising back and forth beneath the open windows. I tried all sorts of books on them. But the one they really fell for was Fante's Ask the Dust. They could identify... with the heroine.