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Mr. David the VP?

I've sworn that I would never go into administration. I have a lot of respect for those that do because it's a tough job. Most administrators that I've had while teaching have had my pity at some point. They get into the job wanting to be leaders and "teachers of teachers", but the job turns into chaos through no fault of their own.

A student caught with drugs in the bathroom and your entire day is shot. You didn't get to see Mr. Gulyas engage his math students with a super cool dynamic geometry presentation. Two days later vandalism and a fight lead to multiple meetings with police officers that you know on a first name basis. And again you miss out on seeing students marvel watching things blow up in Mrs. Ames science class.

Mr. David the VP? Not so much. But I did get talked into being a grade level leader (GLL) for the 9th graders. My principal (Fursey Gotuaco) asked and gave me a very vague description. I said sure. The job is basically an extra layer of admin before getting to the VP or principal. Here's hierarchy.



Grade level leader

VP (curriculum director)


It makes a bit more sense in that the grade levels here are self contained. There are no students in varying grade levels in the same room. We all have about 10 students in an advisory. Grade 9 has 5 advisory sections (48 student's). The advisor is the point person when a student is struggling. When we have conferences the parents meet only with the advisor, not the classroom teachers. When a student needs some intervention the advisor comes to me before talking to administration if they need some advice. I've had two situations where I was asked for some ideas. After being in the business for 29 years I'm actually a solid fit for this role. In both situations I was able to recall a similar instance where I sought advice from a peer. I specifically remember a person advising me to assume positive intent. I passed along the same advice and it was well received. It made me feel wise.

Now the dark side. I get to have a hand in dealing with some troubled students too. We have a couple of 9th grade boys that are behavior issues that are repeatedly getting into trouble for instances surrounding rude behavior or bad choices. The rudeness in a couple of cases is related to a disturbing trend that I'm noticing. Mysogeny. The longer I'm here it's fairly evident that girls and women are thought of as much less by elements of Chinese society. I'm thinking that could be a blog post onto itself, but probably will need a bit of history added in for clarification.

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