The 50% Rule

Kate sent me this about the rule that says “Do your 50%”:
…personally from your talk I took away the 50% participation thought process. Students need to do their part too and together we make 100%. I was taught that 100% was the whole enchilada. When did we start thinking there was more?…
My response: this is the best rule. It reminds the kids that should not even try to turn us into video monitors. But we must remember to train the kids in how  to do it, because in our schools it seems as if requiring kids to show up in class in a participatory and reciprocal way doesn’t actually happen – the top kids take over the class and that’s it. We can be a part of stopping that. Here is a link to a previous blog on the 50% rule, to refresh our memories:
Kate went on in her email to add the text below, which is very right on about the absolute callous use of young teachers, especially, by the school system, a relatively new practice that more and more resembles the use of teens in fast food restaurants. In fact, a seasoned teacher in DPS recently shared with me his opinion that it is the conscious goal of principals now to get rid of older teachers, no matter what they offer in terms of experience, in favor of young new hires, and then burn those young ones out before their salaries gets too high, thus creating a revolving door situation very similar to that currently in place in the fast food industry. Kate’s comment:
…administrations and legislatures have demanded way too much from people so willing to give. Often the burnout factor takes place in our brightest and most innovative teachers who are truly reaching students but so bogged down in the mud of bureacracy. It was one reason I chose not to become a classroom teacher….
I’ll create a new category for “Burn Out” – because it’s going to become more and more common. I can’t believe we actually do what we do. I personally need to get my head examined about what I just did these past few years.



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