Compliance and TAB are two things that seem not to go together. As a TAB teacher I want my kids to think beyond the rules and explore and make art because they want to…not because they are trying to be compliant with “school rules”. My friend Ian Sands says that making art for a grade is not a reason to make art. I 100% agree with him.
Unfortunately, there is an expected amount of compliancy that goes along with our traditional school experience. And, it bucks at what I believe in my heart is what is best for my students. In this case of compliancy, I am talking about my compliancy…the compliancy of the teacher to what the district expects. Even when it goes against what you believe in, you have to be in compliance. If you don’t and you try to fly under the radar, eventually you will get called on it and the end result is not fun. (Even if your principal understands completely what you were doing. His hands are tied because even he has a boss with expectations to answer to.)
The biggest issue dealing with non-compliance in my mind is grading. As a TAB teacher, grading is the worst. I don’t have little check boxes to fill in. I don’t have an answer key. I don’t want my students to work in my classroom because they have to. I want them to work because they want to. How do you grade that? I don’t want to grade every warm-up, every bell ringer, ever activity….because for me, that takes away from the learning and makes it about a number. But, if I don’t grade those things, how do I remain in compliance with the minimum amount of major, minor, and homework grades the district tells me I have to have?
I don’t have the answers. I do on the surface. I have reworked a bunch of assignments so I can meet the grading requirements I am expected to have. What I can’t answer are the internal dilemmas that arise when it comes to what I believe to be in the students’ best interest and what I am expected to do. That for me is the hardest part.