Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If It Will Feed Nothing Else, It Will Feed My Revenge (or The Final Post About My Past Teacher Life, I Promise)

I had not planned on writing another post about the difficulties at my previous school.  With that behind me, I plan to enjoy my new, drama-free school.  I like teaching again, which is a relief.  However, we recently got some news that made me want to point, laugh, and say, “Told you so!”

Now, I’m not one to put too much stock in standardized test scores, in fact I hate standardized tests with every fiber of my being.  But after a year or so of being told that our 2nd grade program was a failure, our test scores for 2011/12 turned out to be quite good. 

In language arts, 83% of our kids were proficient – up from 69% the year before.  For a Title I school, that proficiency level is outstanding.  In math, 93% of our kids were proficient, up from 81%.  Our math scores were the highest in our district, even higher than the six English only/higher income schools.

The thing about the whole year, we knew that what we were doing was working.  Each year we turned out kids who were better readers than the previous year.  We researched and tweaked our program based on our students’ needs.  But to constantly be told differently was so disheartening and frustrating.  When we brought up the concerns with administration, it was met with anger and vindictiveness.  For our kids to have earned those test scores is such a validation of what we were fighting for all year long. 

After the year we had, the 2nd grade team at my previous school was obliterated due to our requests for transfers.  We have all moved on now, taking those high test scores with us.  I know that revenge is a sign of weakness and narrow mindedness blah blah blah…in this case it’s so very sweet. 

18 comments:

  1. Good for you.
    But I cannot get beyond the notion that you were constructively dismissed.
    When people move against the objective data then something is very wrong and you are better off out of it.
    There would have been only one reason to stay and that would be to take over. But you'd have needed political connections to dodge the pitfalls. As I said, if things are moving against the goals of an organization by the management then there is serous undercurrents.

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    1. So true, but I think it took leaving in order to see how much better off we are. I knew I was pissed off most of the time last year, but when you're caught up in the drama you don't really know any better. Now it's calm...and these scores are a nice little FU for the trouble.

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    2. A mix of Stockholm Syndrome and loyalty with a dash of stubbornness keeps many of us doing things far longer that we should.

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  2. Those scores are incredible! Congratulations to you for all of your hard work. And way to go to your babies. They rock. I love good teachers. I am glad you are happy again!

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  3. Brilliant seeds needs good soil. I'm so happy you've found a better school. You'll flourish.

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    1. Ahh, good quote. Thank you. I'm enjoying it so far.

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  4. You're so right. And I like your stories about teaching a lot, they're so heart-felt.

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    1. They're all a little bit crazy I think, like a train wreck. :)

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  5. I read a really interesting story in Psychology today about how children should be treated as scientists from the beginning b/c so much science education is overriding misconceptions....

    And that was before testing.

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    1. Yes! I love that! There is so much gained by exploring and experimenting...but it's not on the test (said in my crankiest voice). :)
      Oh and so much education policy disregards the science behind learning.

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  6. What a shame for those kids at your old school to lose out. Glad you feel wanted and appreciated at your new school...and I can't wait to see next year's test scores :)

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    1. I would've loved to have seen my last year's kids to tell them how well they did, but I'm keeping a safe distance from that place.
      I hope you had a great first day!

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  7. Such vindication, it would be hard not to gloat. It would be interesting to see what the scores will be next year...no it won't because it is the kids don't benefit from a cohesive teaching staff.

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