It is teacher appreciation week around the country. Parents, students, and various organizations acknowledge teachers for their commitment to our profession. The online teacher stores that feature products made for teachers by teachers are having huge sales. Chain restaurants and stores are offering discounts and specials deals for teachers with a current I.D.
At our school, our PTO goes all out. They provide lunch for our staff each day, complete with yummy desserts and soft drinks. It is so nice to not have to think about what to pack for lunch. I am sure I will be greeted by several students with teacher gifts for me. Our administration always gives a token of appreciation to us as well.
An interesting twist this year, our administration decided to make this week the due date for teacher requests for next year. In previous years, parents had to list two names of teachers for the next year. They also had to give specifics about learning styles. Many parents followed the guidelines, with their child's best interests at heart. Others did not. With high stakes testing being an ever increasing part of teacher evaluations, our staff asked for changes. We are already hoping it isn't a "Be careful what you wish for" situation. The number of requests per classroom cannot exceed six boys and six girls. Special Education students will then be placed. In all classrooms at a grade level, the intent is to maintain a similar ratio of boys to girls, as well as the ratio of high, medium, and low students.
This morning parents began gathering prior to 7:15 for the 9:00 application acceptance time. By 9:00 the line had growth to more than fifty parents, some acting as messengers for friends and neighbors. By 12:30 the count was at 134. Applications are being accepted through Friday. Most of the top spots at some grade levels are filled.
This year's teachers will have the daunting task of sifting through remaining students to balance classrooms. (Fourth Grade teachers will be making up my fifth grade class list.) The principal will no longer be to blame when we get "that class" that makes you count down from day 180. Our colleagues will bear the burden. The principal is maintaining the right to make switches (high for high, boy for boy, etc.) as new students enroll or exit this summer.
How are your class lists determined? Do you allow parental requests?
I'd love to hear. We may be begging for a new policy for next year!