Thursday, November 29, 2007

Highs:
2 of my babies got perfect scores on the short answer part of their state Social Studies exam. We were at school until 8 last night grading them. They blew most of the gen ed kids out of the water. SO incredibly proud of them. SO proud. My kids that didn't get perfect scores weren't far behind those that did. If they weren't so darn big I would pick them up and spin them around in circles. I hoped for it...wanted for it....planned for it....but for some reason, didn't expect them to score quite as high as they scored. I expected more silly mistakes like I had seen in class. I won't be able to tell them their exact scores until the official ones come back in April or May, but today I told them they did well on that part, and my expression was satisfaction enough. They were excited - we gave them 2 cheers - they smiled all morning, and so did I :)

They are motivated, oh so motivated, to meet their goals. Be they reading, writing, or behavior goals, my kiddos know where they are and where they're headed and they know how they're going to get there. We are a group on a mission and it's clear when you walk in our room. At least when I'm in there....

Lows:
Rotating paras every period - one day I had no para for 3 and a half hours (super duper illegal)
New students routinely - lack of structure makes my kids angry. They are focused, but edgey. They go off at everything and everyone. It takes every little ounce of control to say, "calm down, calm down," in a calm voice over....and over....and over....knowing that it's what they need.
A cluster (prep) teacher who covers my room for 50 minutes a day who does not plan lessons and has no classroom management skills. My kids feel like their time is wasted and they have no respect for him. The minute I leave my room is a war zone - loud, dangerous, toxic. They arrested Adony today, and by the time I returned from a meeting in the other building, only 2 kids remained in the classroom. He had taken my calm, focused class and allowed it to spiral into chaos.
"They get a zero," he said, referring to their behavior system.
I wanted to ask what he got...for allowing it to happen, day after day, and contributing to it by being an awful teacher, but I let it go...and instead worried about the 9 kids who were not in my room.
More lows than highs and the further we go down this journey the more I realize the dangers of such a strong attachment on both ends.

2 comments:

Zuzuzpetals said...

Just a thought, and please don't smack me metaphorically for pollyannish business.
Philosophically, I am always looking for how to prepare my kids for the worst case possible scenario. And yes, we can. I mean, think about it - what they really need to be able to survive, in school, in LIFE - are the challenging impossible situations. I tell parents and kids, administrators up front - I want you to be ready for the teacher you don't like, the one who doesn't teach you how you are taught best, the one who pushes your buttons. Because that's where you need survival skills the most.
Of course, the ones who go on to teachers as great as me (humble, too) will also benefit from those life skills.
Like I said, don't smack me.

Miss G said...

Point well taken :)
Although I will never understand (or forgive) colleagues who do not do their job and who are okay with it. If they were doing this poorly in nearly any other profession they would be fired.
Instead, they are doing what may very well be one of the most important jobs in the world, and they are accepting failure (and years upon years of it, in this case).
I cannot forgive them.
But point well taken :)