Between being in our second week of standardized testing and having a student teacher who has taken over about half of the school day, I am bored out of my ever-loving mind. I’ve been keeping myself busy with some photos.
After a series of break-ins since the beginning of 2012, my school district was forced to research measures to keep the school and the equipment inside safe. They came to the conclusion that bars on the windows was the way to go. It was a bit depressing upon arriving to school yesterday morning and finding my windows barred up and the window in the door completely blocked out.
It makes me a feel a little bit like we are in prison, or maybe a zoo.
As I’ve mentioned 5 or 6
hundred times, we are in the midst of testing. The state tests are done in booklets that, when sent back to the powers that be, are scanned for results. Our district testing, which mirrors there state, is done in very much the same way. Except that the tests are done in stapled packets. Before sending them in to the district, the stapled end has to be cut off so they can go through the scanner.
This year’s group of kids are a like short hoarders.
Just about anything I throw away, they want to dig out of the trash – mostly to play school at home. While collecting tests yesterday one-by-one to prepare for scanning, the first of the stapled edges was cut off. In mid-cut, the student watching asked, “Can I have that?” “Can you have what?” I asked back. She pointed to the little stapled edge. I shrugged and let her take it. After that, the remaining 24 students wanted the stapled edge from their tests. Every few students, I asked again, “Are you sure you want THIS?” Each and every student smiled and nodded holding out their hand waiting for the scissors to cut the edge off into their small grasp.
Every year our school district does an art show. It’s rather nice. The art work is beautiful, especially the work done with the help of the art teacher in the upper grades. As I wandered around campus today
trying to find something to do I saw this sight.
The empty art show box is really the epitome of how important standardized testing is at the school where I teach. We don’t really do art here. In fact, we are now being told that social studies, writing, science, and music aren’t that important either. If the kids are struggling, they are not to have those other areas of academics – they aren’t on the standardized tests. That philosophy frustrates me to no end.
Open House will be upon us in a couple of weeks. During the weeks of testing, the kids work on mindless Open House projects to pass the off-time. They have been putting together a
“Me” mobile to hang from the ceiling. One of the pages is about what they are most proud of.
This one was completed by a struggling student. She is a bright girl; a whiz in math, but has had a hard time with remembering her phonics rules and decoding new words. For most of the year, she had to do her homework with me. No one at home could read it or help her with it. She knew the skills to complete the work, but really struggled to read the directions, so she would come work with me before school a couple mornings a week. She’s worked REALLY hard this year and decided just before spring break she could do her homework at home, on her own. Her reading has improved and, even though she’s not at grade level yet, I am so proud of her progress. So being able to read her work independently is a very big deal.
Reading her “proud” page brought tears to my eyes. How great that she sees it as an accomplishment too.