Friday, December 07, 2012

27 Rejections for One Job Application

I recently applied for a job and got the usual, "Thank you for your interest in applying to the XXXX School District, specifically the position of YYYY.  The District is fortunate to have many qualified applicants; regrettably you have not been selected for an interview at this time." and so forth.  Only, this time I got the email message 27 times.  I guess they REALLY didn't want to consider me for the position.  Nor 20 other applicants, whose complete names and email addresses were also included in the rejection note.  I hope someone is suitably embarrassed about the error and the breech of privacy.  They did apologize and they blamed it on the software the district was using.

Looking on the bright side, this is a new record for the most rejections I have ever gotten in a day - and this was for a single job application.

It looks as though I will never get a regular job in a school district around here.  I am simply too old (63) and too expensive.  I have two master's degrees and 199 hours beyond the second master's degree toward a Ph. D.   And, even though I have a perfect score on a relevant PRAXIS exam, 200 points, and a commendation from ETS for Excellence, I evidently am not good enough for the school districts that are close to me, as most of them do not even call me to interview. 

I guess it is fortunate that I actually find subbing interesting, even though it is exhausting and often extremely difficult.  I enjoy comparing school districts, schools, classrooms, teachers, curriculum, and above all students from different educational venues.  I just wish the pay rate wasn't such an insult - no person living alone could afford to be a substitute teacher - at least around here. 

And, 27 rejections is discouraging, even if I know it was a mistake - because they have been preceded by many other individual ones. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Just Coincidence?

I was in a top-rated school today and enjoyed the students.  But, there is one thing that seems a bit odd.  I have been ranting about large class sizes in most schools.  This class was only 22 students.  That is the smallest class I have had for a long time.  It could be just a fluke of numbers and classes, but it seems odd that a top-rated school would have a smaller class and the struggling schools have much larger classes. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Don't Bother

I am now annoyed by an entirely different thing.  If the only reason you comment on my blog is to advertise or solicit views for YOUR blog, don't bother.  If you truly think your blog is relevant to my comment, explain why, don't just give me a link.  I don't follow random links.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Questions about Differentiation

I know I have talked a lot about differentiation - how it is not adequate for highly gifted students, how most teachers don't seem to be able to do it consistently or adequately.  So now I have additional questions.  Has the gifted field's emphasis on differentiation helped?  Are there more accommodations for gifted children or fewer?  Are the needs of more gifted children getting addressed at an appropriate level or not?

I don't know if there is research about this, but I do know that one state I lived in, Illinois, dropped funding for all gifted programs.  I have also been told that a school district neighboring where I live now has eliminated all gifted teacher positions.  The thing that I feared a dozen or so years ago seems to be coming to pass.  Educators of educators tout differentiation -> new teachers are all expected to subscribe to the differentiation mantra -> now that all teachers can differentiate, they can take care of the needs of all students in their classrooms -> special programs are no longer needed.  Only, there are laws about students with disabilities and there are high stakes tests for students who are struggling with the regular curriculum.  So, it turns out that the special teachers who help students with disabilities or those who need extra support are still there - and in even greater numbers.  There are literacy support teachers, numeracy support teachers, ELL teachers, LD teachers, special education aides.  Do you notice the one group that there is no more?  GT teachers. 

Don't get me wrong - I think differentiation is a great thing for teachers to learn to do.  And, as much as they can in the limited time they have available, all teachers (in my opinion) should be able to differentiate for the students in their classes.  But has the gifted field's emphasis on differentiation helped gifted students get the services they need?  Convince me.