As in most professions, we Professional Elementary Educators have our own techincal terminologies. Many of them can be reduced down to TLA's as in other industries. For those of you not in the know, TLA stands for Three Letter Acronyms. Yes, there is a Three Letter Acronym for the phrase Three Letter Acronym. TLA's are indeed conversation timesavers. Through the use of them, we teachers can condense our meetings and professional conversations down to just under the amount of time it takes to stalk, kill, skin, and cook a wildebeast. In an odd coincidence, they are just about as enjoyable as that too. Here is a sampling of just a few:
- ELD - English Language Development. This the time of day our plan books say we instruct our second lanugage learners but more often we use it to get caught up on the many activities students have fallen behind in during the week, read a novel with the class, sneak in science or social studies lessons, or do the occasional PE activity. Don't tell anyone, but we might even do art at that time. Ssshhhhh
- SST - Student Study Team. This is a team of teachers, psychologists, and other education professionals who brainstorm ways you've already tried to help struggling students. Their advice generally begins and ends with some form of a behavior contract that will temporarily bribe the student into compliance. If we're going to pay them for behavior with stickers, then free time, then extra computer privledges, then lunch with the principal at a local hamburger joint, then A NEEEEW CAR (well, maybe not that one), why don't we jump to the inevitable and just start giving them cash? That might actually be an area we could see immediate positive results from school spending.
- FRL - Free or Reduced Lunch. Students whose parents can believably falsify information on a district lunch application qualify for this program.
- CST - Before I define this one, I should stress the importance of it. According to the federal government, nothing, nada, nil is more important than this in our state. Don't let them fool you. The work they have teachers do is not performed for the enrichment of the students, but for the enrichment of the scores said students can produce on the California Standards Test. If the kids get any long-term benefit from their experiences in school outside of their test scores, well that's just gravy.