Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Business as usual

It never ceases to amaze me how inefficient, ineffective, and inept public schools are.

So I needed the money to pay for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary bash and I signed up to teach summer school.

Today I was ready to quit.

Even though I was never a very good Boy Scout, I do live by their motto of "Be Prepared." If I so much as show a video clip for a class, I make sure that everything is set up and ready to go so precious time is not wasted.

You would think that something as important as a new computer-based summer school curriculum would be given great care and preparation. Yeah, right.

I worked over the weekend and came in earlier than the administrators to ensure that everything was ready for a smooth start.

I wish the school district cared as much. Not only was the software not loaded yet onto the computers they would be using, but once it was loaded, it didn't work.

Yep, I had to wing it for three hours; a lot of good being prepared did.

So Day Two would be better, right? In a word, no. We were still unable to use the curriculum and I have severe doubts that I ever will.

This is going to be a long three weeks.

Day Three update: I guess I am an optimist because I actually thought it would work today after talking to our district technical experts who would be working feverishly on the system.

Wrong. No improvement whatsoever. But here is the most amazing thing: the highly paid district mucky muck in charge of summer school came in to check this morning and she said, "I might have to call the company's representative to see what can be done about this."

MIGHT? You mean the vendor rep wasn't called the first day! How is this possible!


jon said...

You should write a book. Seriously.

Irene said...

Our school bought a program to help with the hot lunch program. It has a "glitch" which someone is trying to fix. I'm taking bets on whether it will be ready by September.

Three weeks? That is only how long summer school is?

Laura said...

I second the book suggestion!

This ties in well with an article by Jonah Goldberg today advocating the government get out of the education business...I'm going to link to your post along with it. :)

Best wishes,

Ugly Naked Guy said...

Jon and Laura:

Thanks for the suggestion. I can see how blogging about these things is a good starting point for a possible book. I really wish I had a blog when I worked for Home Depot because I could have a doozy of a book about customers--oh, the stories I could tell! Well, I could tell them if I remembered the details and I don't.

This is sure another reminder of why government oversight of schools (or anything?) is not a good idea.

You may have noticed that I put in an update--at least I am about to.

Wolf Flywheel said...

The sad thig is that we have come to expect this type of "quality" from our school system. On another note: Have you heard of the school voucher program and as a teacher, what do you think about it?

Ugly Naked Guy said...


I was for vouchers before I became a teacher, and I am for them now. Something needs to be done to wrest the monopolizing grip the government has on schooling, and vouchers are a good place to start.

I understand that vouchers might lead to my job being eliminated if people take their vouchers and flee to private schools. I don't want to lose my job, but I'm not going to prop up an abominable system for personal gain.

Many of my peers are shocked that my children are homeschooled too.

Competition is always good.

Laura said...

I suspect if there was the choice of more private schools, private schools would be boom and you'd have a new job in no time if you lost your current one...there would probably be competition among those schools for dedicated teachers like you so hopefully it would be good for your salary, too! :)

Thanks for that update...

Best wishes, Laura