Teacher 'Coaches' Get Paid To Do Nails, Talk On Phone Or Just Disappear

Does anyone have a good coaching story? Reader 'Resident of the Land of Babble' describes just how elusive -- and unnecessary -- coaches seem to be. As a matter of fact, the coaching program would be the first item they would scrap from the LAUSD budget, and it's hard to argue otherwise when most of the scenes our reader describes sound like an episode of The Office. Read the email and you'll easily understand why...

You might also remember awhile back when another reader told us the entire faculty voted to eliminate a literacy coach position from the budget. The Principal decided to go over their heads and hire the coach anyway.

Resident of the Land of Babble:

"If I were appointed God of the District for one day, I would eliminate the worthless coaching program as my first mandate. I have never, in [Removed] years in this district, seen or heard of a more worthless program (well maybe the old 'mentor' program). These coaches are worthless, worthless, worthless. The first one assigned to my department was in my room exactly three times all year--a fully paid teaching position plus a stipend. I kept asking where I was supposed to turn in the assessment tests and she repeatedly answered 'keep them in a file cabinet and I will collect them'--so I did exactly that. None of them were ever picked up. The next year, in September, every assessment test was still in my file cabinet, some a year old. I threw away all of them. Would this money not be better spent lowering class sizes? Last year's coach, I never laid eyes on. Not once. So someone was getting a teacher's salary plus a stipend for doing nothing. I doubt either of them (being English coaches and all) would have a clue as to what 'Kafkaesque' means. 

The math teachers tell me pretty much the same story--one told me he saw last year's math coach exactly one time. He had a feeling the coach was utterly worthless so he asked her to solve a simple algebra problem which she could not do-- probably the reason the 'math coach' avoided his room the rest of the year.

Later, a high school English teacher contacted me quietly and asked if I knew the job description of the 'literacy' coach--she had a young, inexperienced, poorly educated coach who was, in violation of the UTLA contract, lording over her during class telling her (an award-winning teacher with 25 years of experience) 'she wasn't teaching right'. This teacher spent every afternoon in the principal's office asking that this coach be assigned somewhere else. This coach, for some reason, was allowed to come to school 1/2 hour late every day because she 'had to see her child off to school.' 

DH (administrator at a large high school) tells me the coaches at his school spend their days on the phone, doing their nails, disappearing for hours at a time, coming in late and leaving early--anything but coaching kids and helping teachers. 

If the district insists on funding this stupid program then they should have an evaluation form at the end of the year for teachers to submit feedback--and then publish it! Maybe then this program would be eliminated. 

Next, I would eliminate the stupid, useless waste of time called 'Professional Development.' I have never left one, not once, and thought: Oh Wow! I learned so much in there! But that is for another post.

The math coach couldn't do math? Tsk tsk.

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05 2010

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