Well, it's April....it's not quite as close to the end, but the kids are starting to act like it is. This is the time of year I struggle with...not the beginning or middle, but the end. It's the time where you're hoping what you've been doing all year will not get lost as they finish up their year. It's the time where you are constantly giving them the "evil eye" as they act like we've taught them nothing all year. The weather is nicer - not that this winter was bad - and the days are brighter.
Last week was ITBS or what we've now named the Iowa Assessement. Last week was also my week to "hate" people. We put sooooo much emphasis on these tests that not only do we make the kids nuts about them, we make ourselves nuts too. Nothing is ever smooth during these and it doesn't help when communication isn't high on our priority list. We just want OUR test to go perfect and everyone else be hanged.
To me...this is one of the greatest examples of how these tests make our profession a dog-eat-dog world. At a time where we should be collaborating and sharing information to work together for our students - ITBS is the time where everyone just wants their scores to be the ones that shine. Soon new legislation will make our willingness to work together impossible as we compete for our salaries with our peers. I'm afraid of this...I like working with some of my peers...I like having conversations to help each of us think outside the box or build on skills that the others have taught.
Teaching used to be a profession where you just closed the door and did your own thing...thankfully, it's moved away from that. We talk to each other more, work together, build on each others' strengths....etc. We work as a team. I don't like to see where education is going if we lose this.
I hope that we will recover soon from the fallout of the testing that we did last week....I'm ready to move on to something more positive.