Sunday, October 03, 2010

Am I the Homecoming Grinch?

“You crack me up.”

My colleague told me this while we stood on the football field watching about 30 Seniors celebrate the winning of the coveted Spirit Bell. 

“Why’s that?”, I responded.

“Your act about not liking Homecoming.  It’s funny.”, he said.

“But I really don’t like Homecoming.”

“Yeah, but you like this.”  My colleague pointed to the cheering, happy students.

Of course I like happy students.  But the happiness is meaningless and the lost week (much more like two) will end up creating an enormous amount of havoc in the academic realm.

For those that don’t know, Homecoming at Ukiah High School is basically seen as the best moment of the year.  For the complete rundown of the week, check out this post from two years ago.  The only real difference is that we don’t have a kiosk platform this year.  About three weeks ago students started to show up to class sleepy.  Two weeks ago the float and skit were in full force.  This week was a complete wash for many students.  My attendance was awful during the week, with Friday being a complete and total nightmare.  Kids were removed from class because they vandalized another class’s float.  Kids missed class to prepare for the Friday skit.  Kids missed class to work on the float.  Kids missed class to work on student government.  Kids missed class to dress up for the parade.  It was an embarrassing day for education.  And many students that came to school dressed like they belonged in front of the Crazy Horse in Chico on Halloween.  The girls, all the way to 14 year old freshmen, flaunted more lace, booty, and breast then what should be allowed while guys ran around with painted bodies in nothing but swim shorts.  Many teachers are frustrated, but hardly anyone wants to speak up because Homecoming is such a connection to the community.  Everything that happens is accepted because of one phrase; “It’s Homecoming, and it’s only one week”.

No, I don’t want to totally eliminate the idea of Homecoming.  But look at the week it terms of serving the students in the academic process.  It accomplishes nothing.  Kids are impacted for a month by Homecoming; planning, set-up, execution, and then everyone is sick the week after because they all stay up late, eat crappy food, and get hammered Friday night after the game.  Then I have to sit through idiotic meetings about EDI, “failure is not an option”, and supposedly doing a better job at helping students succeed.  All the while my phone is about to off the hook because student grades just went into a hole when Johnny decided that “Spirit Points” meant more than grades. 

Sure I sound bitter, I just watched my profession get bitch slapped on NBC while looking at sagging test scores and falling grades.  I’m on the one hand being held accountable for the academic progress of students in high school, while those students are being held accountable for being home by Midnight on a school night so they can work on the scene where Superman makes “Yo Mama” jokes about the Senior class in the Homecoming skit.  Then the parents will blame me for not being accountable for the academic end while the students are celebrating winning a dumb-ass bell that represents weeks of trashing other classes in school. 

Yep, I guess I’m a Grinch.  Hey, when my profession is evaluated by skit performance and floats, I’ll be the biggest Joe Homecoming ever.

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