Oh em gee! We are almost there. And I know this because … wait for it … there is testing going on. Math MCAS is complete, so now we’re doing District Determined Measures and finals. Finals need to be in insanely early because of shop/academic schedules and MCAS and all kinds of craziness. It’s a 4 day week next week, but 2 of those days are Science MCAS. And while doing that, my ninth graders also need to take the DDM and Writing-to-Text.
I was right. All Enrichment classes with a partner from Mathematics that I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind if it weren’t expressed as a lesser class so often. I’m feeling so defeated.
Tick, tick, tick, tick. I’m in a room proctoring the Math MCAS for the 10th graders. The kids are well behaved, but you can see confusion on their faces. Some of these students know already that they’ll be taking a re-take come November of next year. Our most academically fragile students, pulled out of classes for more tests. How does that make sense? Others will have no problem getting near that 260 that they can get. They’ll wonder why they’re in school with such knuckle heads. This is not solving anything.
If our classwork is rigorously designed, and we’re meeting the standards, why the testing? It kills staff morale; decimates student morale; APs and principals get money based on the scores. This is no way to run a school system.
In other news, the theory is that I’ll know what classes I’m teaching by day 159. My boss said to stop by and Friday and he can tell me. I’m anxious. I might stop by earlier. It feels like some weird set up for failure. I’ve had a lot of anxiety dreams about classes, and I think I know what I’m going to wind up teaching. I suppose I could be wrong, but I don’t know. My tarot cards seem to be saying that I’ll be doing the same thing I expect.
My babies are taking their AP Literature and Composition exam as I type this. For mostly obvious reasons, I can’t be one of their proctors, but I wish I could! I don’t want to give them answers, honest. However, my school first asked me to take on AP Literature because they wanted someone who would nurture the students, build the students’ confidence. I’ve always done my best, but now I wish I could be with them.
As far as I know, it’s the last time I’ll teach AP Lit here at Putnam. At least for the foreseeable future. While I like teaching the books, and I enjoy pulling out knowledge from my English Lit major, I never took an AP test. I don’t think I could pass one now. It seems hypocritical to then try and teach them how to prepare for this test. Also, unlike the MCAS, which requires students to learn skills they should learn anyway, AP is more specific testing strategies. I don’t have those.
They’ve been testing for about an hour. The multiple choice should be about done. They’ll be going on break and then back for another two hours to do three essays. I’m going to bite my nails down to nothing and pace a new groove into the floor. Sympathy stress for the win.