Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Notes From The Education Underground

The TeachWonk Diaries:

Let me go on record by saying that I actually think that it's a good idea to telephone one's homeroom students at the start of the year. Having said that, I had to chuckle when my school's administration put this word-for-word telephone script into our mailboxes nearly two weeks after school had started:

Hello, My name is (TEACHER NAME), and I am (STUDENT'S NAME) teacher for this school year. I'm looking forward to working with you. Please call the school at ***-**** anytime you would like to speak with me or any of (STUDENT'S NAME) teachers. I still need to finish working in my class to prepare for the start of school, so I must get back to my work. I am looking forward to meeting you at our "Back to School Night" on September **st.

Thank you so much for your time.

Of course, for those parents who don't speak English, the office supplied a Spanish version of the script for teachers to parrot follow.

Sadly, the Spanish-language version did not include a pronunciation key to assist the 80% of teachers in our junior high that don't speak Spanish. Which is interesting, because the school is located close to the border in California's so-called "Imperial" Valley.

Happily, I am fluent in Spanish.

Would it be entertaining, or would it be horrifying, to listen to my refuse-to-learn-Spanish-because-this-is-America colleagues try to communicate with the 50% or so of parents who don't speak English?

Or would it be simple shadenfreud?

Something tells me that most teachers don't need some sort of script in order to make a telephone call to a parent, either.