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Monday, February 20, 2017

Testing Season

I love what I do. Kids are great, interesting, weird, They are filled with potential. Every day is new, Honestly, if I made a little more money and had a lot more respect, I would probably do this forever. In my class, we are at the end of a writing process so we are having our open mic - I bring cocoa and the kids read their work. Maybe for the first time they get hooked on the real thing about writing, which is communication. Telling your truth to someone else. Being heard.

Right now, despite the joy, I am discouraged. I worry that our push for test scores ignores the humans we are charged to educate. My hubby can attest to the fact that in most weeks there is a time when I am discouraged, overwhelmed and feeling like I might drown. Here, in testing season, tempers are short, patience is stretched and I wonder if what we teachers do is worthwhile.


At every turn, there is a wall or worse
a task, given by someone, and didn’t you know
that you had neglected to attend to it properly, because there were rules.
And I -s that needed dotting
that you should have already known about, didn’t you already know? Slacker,
Where is your checkpoint, lesson plan, data analysis? Formative
assessment, lesson modification, standard focus, learning goal? Did you complete
the reading inventory, failure predictions,meeting notes?

the architecture of citizenship. 12-year-olds defend their heart-held beliefs
out loud and in letters and essays and poetry. Memes and
jokes and quotes arrive via student gmail. Dreams
eked out in doorway greetings.