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Daily Archives: January 24th, 2009

The student handbook for my school states that any student with a grade of 69 or lower will be assigned mandatory tutoring.  The staff handbook states that any student with a grade of 69 or lower will be assigned mandatory tutoring.

The first 20 minutes of the school day is set aside as “mastery learning” time.  This is when students go to tutoring.  The math department can “reserve” a student on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We turn in a list every week with the names of the kids we’ve assigned to tutoring.

Most teachers have 25+ kids who should be in tutoring.  25+ kids/20 minutes doesn’t give much time for real tutoring.

I make myself available one hour before school and one hour after school every day.  If a kid’s grade falls below 70 they have to serve 40 minutes sometime during the week.  They can do one 40 minutes stretch or 10 minutes a day for 4 days, whatever.

Because of my flexible schedule for tutoring most of the kids who need the extra help spend a considerable more time in tutoring than 40 minutes.

 Not all teachers do any tutoring other than the mastery learning time.  They have complained that they can’t do any real tutoring with so many kids.  The administration told us last September to only assign mandatory tutoring for kids who are failing, maybe someday we’ll be able to catch the kids with D’s, but not now.

Whatever.  I still assign tutoring for kids with a 69 or lower.

I get a note in my box yesterday from my AP.  She wants me to stop by her office during my planning to discuss my tutoring list.

She starts the meeting by congratulating me on my failure rate.  First semester 8.3% of my students failed (the average for the math department is a little more than 25%.  I’m not sure if that is an indictment on the quality of teaching, or the quality of our students, but it is what it is…).  She wants to know why I have 29 names on my tutoring list if only 10 students are failing.

Because I have 19 students with D’s.

We don’t place students with D’s in tutoring.  That is only for failing students.

That’s not what the handbooks say.

You know we changed that.

I don’t know why though.  You do realize that a student needs to score 70 or better to pass the state tests, right?

There are too many students failing to worry about the D students.  [yes, that is an exact quote]

My failure rate is so low because I expect my kids to make a 70.  Kids work up, or down, to your expectations.  You used to teach, you know that.

It doesn’t matter.  Quit assigning kids who are passing to tutoring.

Really?  Lower my standards.  That’s what you’re telling me?

I’m telling you to quit assigning tutoring to kids who are passing.  You’re making the other teachers look bad.


God forbid I try to make a difference.

January 1, 2007

My best friend called me a few days earlier and asked me if I wanted to join a “biggest loser” contest he was putting on with his family.  We would weigh ourselves on New Year’s Day and again on April Fool’s Day and the one who lost the most, by average, would be the winner.  Sounded good to me.  I weighed in that day at 313 lbs and was wearing a 52 inch waist pants.

April 1, 2007

I weighed 292.  For the math impaired, that was a 21 lb. loss for roughly 7%.  Nobody else in the game lasted past the first week, but I was happy with the results.

Summer 2007

Buying clothes for school I’m now in 48  inch waist pants.  Good deal.

January 1, 2008

Weighed in at 284.  Still wearing the same pants I bought in the summer.

January 24, 2009

Weighed in at 261.  I’m still wearing the pants I bought in summer 2007, but I have had to buy a new belt.  I cinch them up so they won’t fall down.  My wife tells me I have to buy some new blue jeans.  I’m hoping that I can fit into 44 inch waist.  I take the 44’s into the dressing room.  Too big.  I walked out of the store with 42’s. 

woooty woot woot.

BTW, the magic diet?

I quit eating so much.  Portion control.  No seconds.  No late night snacks.

I haven’t lost anything in 4 or 5 months.  I joined a gym this week.  Goal:  size 38’s by the end of the year.  I don’t think I’ve worn those since 6th grade…