Dust from the Book Fairy

Archive for May 2009

So I found this video on Joanne Jacob’s website. It’s a great explanation of the problems with merit pay.
In my area, teachers do get value added scores. So much depends on the group of kids you start with, how well you get them to do their work, the backup you get from parents and administrators, etc., etc. My value added scores my first year in the classroom were awesome.  I beat the 20 year veteran teacher down the hall.  By a lot.  In a year when I felt like nothing was going right, I changed my classroom procedures a million times, and went home to cry quite a bit.  Plus, my own classroom assessment results were not so good.  The next year, we got more done, class was calmer, and my value-added scores were not as good.  Okay, so I know this is all anecdotal, but that’s what really convinced me value added scores were crap.  crap. crap.  So it’s nice to find somebody else to explain why they are crap, in a more scientific way. (Besides the fact that teachers who do not have a tested subject just plain miss out)!


Ahh. . . summer vacation beckons.  The students are wild, the teachers are frazzlesd, and your friendly school librarian is nagging, nagging, nagging.  I spent the better part of my day calling the parents of the kids who still have 80ish books checked out of my library. That’s about 60 phone calls, people.  Of those phone calls:

  • 1/4 were to disconnected numbers, “She no longer works here,” and just plain incorrect numbers.
  • 1/4 had no voice mail/answering machine.
  • 1/4 were to voicemail, so  I left a message.  Easy
  • 1/4 I actually talked to the child’s adults.

So that last 1/4. 99.99% of the parents promised to look for the book and get it or the replacement cost to the library ASAP.

Now the others:

  • “My darlin did NOT check that out, I am not going to pay any $5, and the school had better NOT hold their grade card.”  Um. . . okay.
  • “My darlin said they returned that book, and we are not paying for it. It’s your word against theirs.”  My WORD?! We have spent the last two weeks inventorying all 10,000 items in the library.  The shelves have all been read and straightened.  We have searched for the books still checked out and/or missing several times.  My back still hurts, and my eyes still have a twitch from reading shelves in the semidark because our lightbults are blowing out all at once and we don’t have any replacements.  Your darlin has spent their last several library classes arguing with me about this book, and we have checked the shelves for it together.  Multiple times. It’s not here.
  • And my favorite:  Little darlin had failed to bring home any of my weekly overdue notices. SINCE JANUARY.   Darlin told momma they never got a note, and anyway they couldn’t return it because no one was in the library.  But, alas, momma wasn’t buying what darlin was selling. . . “I’m just calling to confirm that notes were sent.  I want to see how deep into this lie darlin’s gonna go.”

When does summer start?