A New Fluco Blog

Fluco Blog has changed hands.  Now it’s a personal view (mine) of issues facing public education and public educators in Fluvanna.  I’m already reporting some of this on Facebook for the Fluvanna Education Association, but Fluco Blog gives me the chance to include more of my own experiences.  Plus, it gives readers a chance to weigh in anonymously, if necessary.  I hope Fluco Blog becomes a safe place for people to share their ideas on education in Fluvanna, and comment on anything that might make our schools better for students and staff.  I speak at most monthly school board meetings and I’ll continue to pass on teachers’ ideas and information.

I’ve been teaching in Fluvanna for 25 years, and representing FEA members (almost half of the county’s teachers) to the school board, board of supervisors, and state legislators for the past several years.  It’s no secret that FEA members want Fluvanna school employees to have a greater voice in decisions affecting teaching and learning.  And we want to help with more than just the big issues, like curriculum and assessments.  As a teacher, I’m losing my influence over even small, but important, classroom decisions.  For instance, instead of determining instructional methods and pacing based on my own experience, I’m required to follow prescribed spelling, literacy, and math programs on a strict schedule of implementation.  My professional expertise is often unnecessary, which is beyond frustrating, and leads me to retire this summer.

I am Perrie Johnson and (obviously) not speaking on behalf of my employer or any other organization. I hope Fluco Blog becomes a vehicle for helping Fluvanna teachers stay informed and cope with their challenges.  I hope it becomes a forum for us to share our ideas and concerns, which I’ll continue to take to the Fluvanna school board.  Fluco Blog is my small attempt to lighten the load for those I leave behind.  I am in awe of you.

 

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8 thoughts on “A New Fluco Blog

  1. Thank you Perrie for all that you continue to do for us. You will greatly missed in the classroom but I sincerely appreciate your willingness and drive to continue working to better the conditions of teachers and students in Fluvanna County. We are blessed to have you in our corner!

  2. I want to weigh in, as well, Perrie, with thanks to you for your tireless goal to promote teacher input into decisions made in the division. Unfortunately, too many of us have received consequences for speaking up when we believe things need to change for our students and for ourselves. Instead of showing appreciation for our opinions, we have more often not even been given the chance to offer them. In addition, the lack of respect shown to those who DO speak up at meetings is astounding! When School Board members fail to give speakers their full attention BY LOOKING UP AT THEM, it is embarrassing and shameful. Equally shameful are the consequences, such as those you listed in your post, that have been handed to many staff members. At least our school board has ONE member who believes teachers deserve better; the others simply stamp approval of anything the administration recommends, so I wonder if change will EVER occur. I fear that the decisions regarding salary, benefits, and mandated pacing, testing, etc. will result in many good people, such as you, leaving our system. Thank you for the years you’ve given. You’ve certainly made a difference in many lives, my own children’s, included. You will be missed!

    • Thank you Perrie for always speaking up for the employees of Fluvanna County. Unfortunately many teachers and other employees of Fluvanna County Schools feel that they will be reprimanded for comments that they may make at committee meetings or at SB meetings; taking away our very first right here in America, our freedom of speech! Our SB seems to ignore what teachers have to say and are even rude by not giving the speaker eye contact, but instead playing on their tablets. SB members seem to believe that teachers and other employees don’t care because they do not come to the SB meetings in large numbers, totally ignoring again the obvious: teachers have small children at home, elderly parents to care for, second and third jobs because of low and decreasing pay, coaching positions, or just being too worn out at the end of a very busy school day. I for one and very pleased that you will give us a voice online through the Flucoblog. We will miss you at school for being the strong leader you are and the fantastic teacher you will always be.

      • Of course, another reason teachers don’t come to these meetings is that they feel no confidence that their voice will be respected, let alone heard.

  3. Perrie, it brings tears to my eyes to think of the countless kids who will never have the opportunity to experience the true teaching that goes on in your classroom. You have been an excellent mentor for new teachers and veteran teachers alike. You have taught us how to keep your head held high, even when faced with direct consequences (masked as typical changes within the school system) for speaking up for ALL teachers, staff, students, and parents. I have knowledge of several teachers who have also received direct consequences for speaking up whether it be private conversations with administrators, being put on some sort of “plan of action,” or having their evaluations altered in an effort to shut them up. I’m hopeful that many of us will take your lead and stick our necks out regardless of the consequences in a genuine effort to make this school system a better place for all those mentioned above. The only way it will happen is if we all band together. They can’t fire us all. Perhaps this blog will be just what we all need to feel united, stand up to be counted, and make our voices count. Together we CAN make the administration VALUE OUR VOICE!

  4. How does the administration justify individualizing our lesson plans to fit the child’s needs and then giving all those Interactive Achievement tests, MAPs tests, and SOL tests which are pretty much ALL THE SAME?

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