Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leftovers and Cloning Parents

A "Leftovers Casserole" is heating up in the oven made from you-guessed-it, leftovers from Sunday dinner - basmati rice, roast chicken, assorted steamed veggies all mixed together with cream of mushroom soup and a sprinkle of parmesan.   It's a good kind of meal for today.  We woke up to snow covering the bright green grass, daffodils, and forsythia.  At least we only got a sprinkle of snow.  Some folks not too far away got almost a foot of the stuff!  It's been showery, blustery, and even more flurries all day.  Seems much more like March than the end of April.  We got spoiled with a very early spring, and all of our blooms are 2-3 weeks early.

It also feels like a Left Overs year.  We have 37 days left of school, but the kids have definitely checked out. There's too much year left over to stop, but the kids have.

We are trying to do a final push with skills since our MAPS tests are coming up in a couple of weeks.  Even though these are not the tests that the state uses to assess AYP, they are scary for teacher tests.  We are being evaluated as to whether or not at least 60% of our students reach their target growth rates in reading and math.  If we don't have that percentage, we are put on a professional growth plan.  We're not sure what this means as this is the first year that the evaluation is occuring.  We were told in Sept what our percentages were for last year, and that no one achieved that.  I came close at 59%.  We were also told that it wouldn't count til this year.   All I know is that we all work very hard to ensure that not only are we teaching kids the skills they need, but that we are doing everything we know how to do to make sure that it's possible for them to reach their targets.  The only problem I see is that a lot of our students are not invested in doing their best. Instead, they just want to get the test over with.  Are any of you who are teachers seeing a  lack of motivation in your students?  My teaching partner and I are very frustrated with many of our kids' attitudes, and sometimes with their parents who agree that their child isn't motivated, but they expect us to solve the problem.  It was quite refreshing earlier this week to have a conference with a set of parents who said, "It's our job to send our son to school ready to learn.  You have enough to do with the actual teaching.  If our son is not achieving what he needs to achieve, because he's being lazy, then it's our job to push him."  I wanted to clone them right there and then!!

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

In ELA at least, we have been making our AYP for the feds and our state goals for some time, in spite of our struggles with getting English Language Learners up to speed and our larger special education numbers. However, our "top end" has deteriorated remarkably. We have to offer so many remedial classes to make the test scores that we no longer offer the more challenging classes that we used to have. In addition, students seem to feel that the TEST is the only important thing. Anything above and beyond that requirement is asking too much.