Tomorrow ends our second week of state testing. Some of my colleagues have already blogged about their experiences on TeachForUs.org, but I thought I’d add my own thoughts and observations as well.
As we approached testing, we could feel tensions rising in the school. There’s a kind of tension you get before a big game or before a concert that gives you some extra adrenalin–an extra edge to your performance. Then there’s the kind of tension that builds before the explosion or meltdown. As it was building up, I’m not sure we could tell which outcome to expect.
In my class, I have a philosophy. I teach like the test doesn’t matter. The standards are what matter. I do my best to get my students to stretch, grow, and progress. They grouse about it every step of the way, but even those who loudly complain that its boring or too hard have…
The school year is beginning to wind down. This week we began administering state standardized testing. The feeling is like having prepared a team for the championships and its about to go in for the big game. So far, I have been favorably impressed by the sense of determination and focus I’ve seen in the…read more »
Today is the third day of class I missed this week. My son came down with a stomach virus and he has been throwing up for the past three days. I had to use some of my own sick days to stay home and take care of him. That means the school has had to…read more »
Sometimes you just have to stand there in amazed silence at the dumbness of the system. Oklahoma ranks 49th of 50 states in education. It’s an almost completely red state. Decades of conservative “fiscal responsibility” have left a gaping chasm of inequity between the suburban schools and those in the inner city. The thing that…read more »
Education is all about opening minds to consider other possibilities. It’s so easy to get focused on meeting the daily objective and aligning it with the Big Goal. Then along the way, once in a blue moon, almost as if by accident, something happens that’s quite disconcerting to both teacher and class. A true teaching…read more »
Today, the principal and the two assistant principals came to my class at the end of sixth period. I saw one of their faces peering in through the metal mesh that covers the front door’s window. At that very moment, the class had finished their exit ticket and, because of their cooperation (they’re not normally…read more »
Today I attended the first Oklahoma Regional Summit meetings in Tulsa. It was a good shot of enthusiasm to bolster up a weary batch of achievement gap warriors. The positive energy there was great and best of all, I had the chance to visit with some of my Institute pals. The focus on the meeting…read more »
Unlike the more “garden variety” of TFA teachers, I have five children of my own and five grandchildren. That doesn’t mean I have figured out children. It just means I have more experience at being astonished by them and the things they do. It never ceases to amaze me what they come up with. I…read more »
We have a huge problem at school. Our school is essentially a construction site and one of the teachers was injured by a falling window back in August. She has been out on workman’s comp ever since. Her classes have been either tended to by subs or by us covering her classes. For these classes,…read more »
I grew up in a big Navy town and my father was a Coast Guardsman. Nautical analogies come easy to me. Here’s one for you. Classroom management is like turning a really big ship. I used to watch the big aircraft carriers or the large container ships sail out of the Chesapeake Bay with some…read more »