Saturday, April 25, 2015

Six Word Saturday

Rainy - perfect day for spring cleaning!

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Out with the old, in with the new.

Mostly, out with the old.

The futility of it all

The state heads into its end of year testing next week.

Everything is going to be on line.

We already know it is going to have problems.

The teachers were told a while back that the scores will not be back before late summer, so they cannot count for the students. We would be living in a fool's paradise to believe the students do not already know this.

Ditto if we think they are going to give the tests their best effort.

Some will, most won't (if they know it doesn't count).

The scores will somehow be used in our evaluations - as part of the value added model.

I put a lot of effort into teaching - taking the time to verify what has to be covered, matching my instruction to the district tests (so they have seen the kinds of questions - not the exact question), creating work to be used to raise their grades if they do poorly on the tests.

As we near the end of the year the teachers are being told to come up with MORE work so the darlings WHO HAVE NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF ANYTHING ELSE will have the opportunity to pass.

And the kids wonder (if they think at all) why the teachers know the material at so much more depth.

I did have a student yesterday (one who matches the description above) that he felt teachers should be tested every year or so to make sure they knew the material.

Bless their hearts.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Warning: insensitive post

Apparently outer space aliens are both undocumented and from Mexico.

Who knew?

Lighten up, people, or we will have nothing to talk about - the weather will probably offend someone also.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Twenty Years

Twenty years is a lifetime ago.

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Twenty years ago I wasn't teaching. I was working in the business community and twenty years ago I was out of town for a conference when the Murrow building blew up.

My family is from the farmland around Oklahoma city - my family knew some of the people killed.

When I was reminded this week that twenty years ago this happened, I reflected on how much has changed. My children are grown. I teach.

I never thought something like that would happen in a place I was familiar with.

But then I never would have thought that 9/11 or many of the things since could happen either.

Twenty years since such a long time ago. And I was such a different person then.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Six Word Saturday

You can lead a kid to remediation . . .

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. . . but you can't make them think.

I has part of the credit recovery push this weekend.

The students came with nothing - no paper, no pencil, no idea of what they need help with. They did have their phones and their earbuds - they were ready to party. Not so much work.

But they will be going to college - just ask.

And the result of pushing more kids to college is that most are not ready.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Six Word Saturday

How to you change their perceptions?

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I was trying to teach some students how to create their own study guide for the state-mandated test that is coming. We went through each unit and discussed what concepts were taught and then I asked them to write it down - out came the phones and click click.

I explained who they would get more out of it by writing it down.

"My handwriting is terrible."
"I can't spell."
"This is faster"
"I will read these when I get home"
"I don't have paper [or pencil]."
"I don't learn when I write it down."

My averages on the first four tests were 32, 36, 43, 25. The tests were identical to the study guides that we went over in class and fairly based on the material covered.

Am I really teaching or am I just enabling?