Broken, Broken, Broken

Dear JCPS,

Dr. Hargens has said previously that “the data” doesn’t support the claims that student behavior is a real problem in JCPS. If the data she is referring to has to do with behavior referrals, let me tell you that I enter many referrals. However, if I wrote a referral on every referral-warranted act, then that’s all I would be doing. Honestly, I don’t have the time. After the behavior has been addressed (the situation deescalated, one-on-one conference with the student(s) involved, parent call, writing in the agenda, assigning consequences, etc) it’s often a choice between writing a referral, or getting back to the lesson/teaching at hand. This cycle with behavior is a daily occurrence in my classroom and in my school.BehaviorDJ

Anytime I have ever written a referral, it’s on my own time. Shoot, I’m even expected to administer consequences and type referrals for students who aren’t even in my class because administration has their heads buried in the sand and are not held accountable for the behavior at their schools.

I already spend a lot of time calling parents on my own time – sometimes dozens of times, for the same behavior. I already have to keep up with behavior “plans” and point sheets for many students on a daily basis. At most, I have only 3 “planning periods” per week due to PLC’s and district mandated, administration-led “common planning” meetings, which are not planning at all. The 3 planning times that I DO have are used to make copies, handle other student issues that range from sadness and sickness to anger and defiance, set-up and preparation for the next lesson, and, of course, if I’m lucky, use the restroom. So ask yourself, is the “data” really not there or are you too busy burying your heads in the sand?

It takes me about 25 minutes to enter each referral. As of this year, I couldn’t even enter referrals on Infinite Campus until I watched a video about entering referrals. I couldn’t watch the video until I called Tech Support and got a code. You can’t just hand-write who the referral is for and what they did. Teachers consistently struggle with all the demands on their time.

Time will always be an issue – no matter what. I’m insulted that the superintendent, board members and district personnel are so far removed from reality that they would assume behavior is not an issue, and that they don’t even acknowledge the professional judgment and acumen of their own teachers who are telling them that behavior is a major issue. Furthermore, I have to wonder why they wouldn’t take into account the direct relationship between the behavior data and the lack of time teachers have to input that data.

My time is finite and already I do so much on my own time, after work hours.

I wish JCPS would realize that all their mandates, basic operating procedures, and inability to deal with reality simply sets up teachers and students to fail. And now, teachers are supposed to monitor behavior on buses? When does it end? Every single expectation the district has of its teachers is always unrealistic. I’ll give you three words to describe JCPS – broken, broken, broken.

Signed: Concerned Teacher*

*Note: The identity of this teacher is being withheld from this posting for their protection. However, their identity is not anonymous to Dear JCPS, and should a JCPS Board member wish to follow up with the contributor in order to address these issues, Dear JCPS would be happy to facilitate an introduction.

Leave a Reply