Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
*I'm knitting a hat. I just thought you'd like to know that.
*I don't know if I will finish a hat, but that is something we will worry about down the road.
*For now it is enough to know that needles are moving.
*The schedules at school today were, once again, completely messed up.
*Yesterday, half the kids went to the wrong lunch.
*Today, the other half went to their "specials" while the rest went to their academic blocks like they were supposed to. No one got the email that reminded us to remember that email from a month ago which was designed to refresh our memories regarding the schedule changes that would be implemented during 7th grade state assessments.
*There have been several emails sent out over the past two days to help us remember the five tons of information we need in order to deal with state assessments.
*No one can remember all of it. Half can remember a third of it. But of that half, at least a quarter can't remember all of it. An eighth of that information is useless anyway.
*Hopefully, there will be no fractions on the math portion of the test because I doubt we taught any of that stuff right.
*The state isn't so hot with fractions either. Or with whole numbers for that matter.
*Great, huge, whacking chunks of money that we were supposed to get this year are no longer coming.
*We received another email today letting us know that all budgets are frozen. We are only allowed to spend for emergency purposes.
*At the bottom of the memo was a clarification regarding what the districts defines as an emergency.
*"Think: Handing Over Your Firstborn Child As Payment."
*I wish I was kidding. That is almost word for word what the email said.
*I do not have children.
*I am, however, a firstborn child.
*Hence, I think I am safe in assuming that the handing off of a firstborn is unpleasant.
*I almost responded to the email asking if this was correct or if people who didn't have children were exempt from the spending restrictions.
*I rethought that reply.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
That's it. I've had it. State assessments have officially lost their charm for me and I doubt that we will recapture that special magic. Ever.
Today we inflicted the last two sections of the math test upon the hapless students and they did not take kindly to this. My earlier bribes of candy and free time in exchange for minimal effort on these tests are no longer effective. Resorting to threats of an extended school year and the loss of gym or music because they have to go to the math lab during those times isn't working either. They are done. And we still have two more writing tests left to go.
It begins with one student losing all patience with the process and putting his head down. (The first to fall today was the boy who is Gauged And Aerodynamic. He and his holey lobes barely lasted half an hour) This signals the first stage of the mutiny. Eventually, he will begin tapping his pencil loudly. Soon he will snap his state-issued protractor and his calculator will need to be removed before it suffers a similar fate. Ms. Sheep will have no choice but to end his test session because it is clear he can go no further with it and she doesn't want the other students disturbed.
But it's too late...
Soon, everyone will be affected by the I Hate Testing bug and it is only a matter of time before they have all decided that this is a waste of a perfectly good morning. It's Game Over. Worse, we can do nothing until the official testing time has passed and this leaves an hour and a half of dead time. During this endless parade of minutes, the kids are no longer testing. They are resting. Granted, there will be repercussions, but those are very far away. In that moment, they have beaten the test.
Fine. That's how they want to play it? I hate these tests, too and am just as cranky. I have weapons at my disposal. When they pull this stunt tomorrow, I'll be ready with math worksheets instead of dead time. I no longer have to wait to start classes. I'm also going to sit there and eat all the candy. I'm going to do this whilst making very loud "nom-nom" noises and I'm going to wave the wrappers right under their noses so they can get teasing whiffs of taffy that will never be theirs to enjoy.
I might even use my laptop to play that motocross game they all like to play and announce my score every five minutes. Loudly. Or I might not. I'm still considering that course of action. I want to torture them, but not at the risk of my dignity. I'm not very good at that game...
I'm just cranky. I promise I'll be more mature about this when the time comes. I will just take lots of deep breaths and remember this morning when Gauged and Aerodynamic asked, "Is Friday a half day?"
My original answer to that was in the negative since I didn't have an early-release day on my calendar. However, a quick check with my Organized Teaching Assistant revealed my error. The students do have a half day on Friday. Sure, the staff have to stay for workshops but I can live with that. The place isn't half bad without all those pesky children running around. We can order out for lunch and talk about boys. It'll be a nice way to kick off the long holiday weekend even if I do have to attend workshops.
All I have to do is make it through two more days of 8th grade testing. I can do that. If an early release day, lunch and a long weekend of knitting are being dangled before me, I can do anything.
And the first person who mentions to me that 7th grade testing starts next week will not be getting any taffy. I'm not kidding.