We got a card in the mail a few weeks ago letting us know when to show up to meet Delia's third grade teacher, who was listed on the card as To Be Announced. So, we went to the school tonight and met Mrs Bowman. She seemed nice, but also a little frazzled and admittedly, very tired. She told us they hired her Three Days Ago, and she'd been working around the clock to get things ready for school.
One of the changes she told us about was in the math curriculum. Evidently there will be no Advanced Math available to third graders this year, because only 2 kids in last year's third grade scored high on the assessment test. They're refocusing the curriculum on Basic Skills and Drills, to counter this Trend. This was sad news for me, as one of my daughter's complaints about the second grade was incredible boredom, going over the same stuff again and again that she already knew. I asked the teacher if she had any kind of game plan to keep kids interested, and she assured me she had a plan. I don't reckon that she has a very detailed plan yet, having had only three days to assemble a classroom (there weren't even desks and chairs in the room when she moved in!), and I can hardly blame her.
One thing I would like to know is, why did they only just hire her three days ago? Who is in charge of running this school? They got a new principal over the summer, and so maybe that transition had something to do with it. How could they not know how many kids they'd have in the third grade? Did 20 9 year olds move into the district in the last two weeks? My daughter's classroom has text books and workbooks, but no computers, and only the enrichment materials that the teacher brought with her. I have high hopes for this school year, Mrs. Bowman seems to be energetic and enthusiastic. And maybe she talked more about the Curriculum than the other teachers I've met because she just got a hold of it three days ago and it is very fresh in her mind, but the more I hear about the Curriculum, the less I like the idea of a bunch of bureaucrats and statistics jockeys telling my kid's teacher what she has to teach.
Well, mostly I'm pissed that they took away Advanced Math. Delia loved math before she went to second grade and became Bored with it. She already uses algebra ideas in her day to day problem solving. I just don't want her to get burned out on addition drills and decide that math class is lame. So, we'll just keep doing what we do at home and hope that the new teacher can engage her in the classroom.
After the meeting we came home and celebrated the new school year with Not Dogs and lemon gelato. Yay for Back to School!